AP Business NewsBrief at 7:43 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The cash register rings its last saleNEW YORK (AP) _ Ka-ching! The cash register may be on its final sale. Stores across the country are ditching the old-fashioned, clunky machines and having salespeople _ and even shoppers themselves _ ring up sales on smartphones and tablet computers.
Stocks rise on Wall Street aided by earningsStrong company earnings boosted stocks on Wall Street Friday. Investors also saw a chance to add to their holdings after declines earlier in the week. Nike reported a surge in profit, sending its stock price to a record. Tiffany topped earnings predictions, boosted by demand from customers in Asia.
Exodus from bonds Not yetMarket pros call it the Great Rotation. That's the long-awaited scenario when investors take their money out of bonds and sink it into stocks. It was the buzzword this month when the Dow Jones industrial average reached a record high. The idea was that investors were confident enough in the economy to shed their financial crisis fears and leave the safety of bonds.
Crisis in Cyprus threatens EU role and legitimacyBERLIN (AP) _ By rejecting an EU bailout and turning to Russia for help, Cyprus has exposed the growing frustration and dwindling solidarity within the European Union, a bloc meant to bring the continent closer together after World War II. While talks about a Russian rescue appeared stalled Friday, experts noted that the idea of seeking Russian money alone raised doubts about the legitimacy of the European project _ notably over perceived German dominance and threats to national sovereignty. The extraordinary spectacle of an EU member seeking salvation from the old Cold War enemy has raised deep questions about how far Europe can or will go to take care of its own.
Tiffany 4Q net income rises less than 1 pctNEW YORK (AP) _ Tiffany says its fourth-quarter net income edged up less than 1 percent, but still beat Wall Street predictions as strong customer demand in Asia for its pricey baubles offset weakness in the U.S. The upscale jewelry company also offered an annual sales outlook that topped analysts' estimates, and its shares rose nearly 2 percent Friday.
Darden 3Q profit falls but tops Street's viewNEW YORK (AP) _ Darden Restaurants' third-quarter net income dropped 18 percent, as it dealt with soft sales at Red Lobster but the performance still beat Wall Street's expectations. The Orlando, Fla., company said Friday that sales at its Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants open at least a year fell a combined 4.6 percent.
Deal requires ferry to stop ash dumping in 2 yearsTRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) _ The nation's last operating coal-fired ferryboat would stop dumping waste ash into Lake Michigan within two years under a deal with federal regulators announced Friday. The agreement between Lake Michigan Carferry, which operates the S.S. Badger, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would require the ship to retain its coal ash during trips across the lake and dispose of it on land. The 410-foot Badger hauls passengers, vehicles and cargo between its home port of Ludington, Mich., and Manitowoc, Wis., from May to October. Currently, ash from its boilers is mixed with water and piped overboard. More than 500 tons of ash is released during a typical season.
Carlos Slim's company wins Olympic TV rightsMEXICO CITY (AP) _ Mexican magnate Carlos Slim, the world's richest man, secured the Latin American broadcast rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympics on Friday. The IOC said America Movil, the Mexican telecommunications company controlled by Slim, was awarded the rights to next year's Winter Games in Sochi and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on media platforms across Latin America. The deal does not include Brazil.
FCC Chairman Genachowski to step downNEW YORK (AP) _ The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, on Friday announced that he's stepping down in the "coming weeks," after a four-year tenure that's garnered mixed reviews for him and tangible progress in the industries he oversees. The country's top telecommunications regulator told a staff meeting of his decision Friday morning. His impending departure was reported Thursday by several news outlets.
Record crop insurance payout stirs subsidy debateDES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Farmers will be paid a record $16 billion in crop insurance claims for 2012 because of the widespread drought, a staggering amount that has critics calling for changes to what they say is an inefficient taxpayer subsidy the government cannot afford. While farmers buy crop insurance from private companies, the federal government subsidizes their premiums and picks up the tab for losses over a certain amount. One analyst estimates the federal tab for 2012 will come to about $11 billion.
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