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More fiscal cliff-bitting

Saturday, December 15, 2012 - 01:34

Dec. 14 - Summary of business headlines: Stock market quiet with eyes on fiscal cliff and school massacre, Apple shares slide as Chinese shun iPhone 5, Best Buy tumbles as founder gets more time. Conway G. Gittens reports.

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A deflated end to the week with investors disappointed in the lack of progress on averting the fiscal cliff. Trading, however, was subdued with investors following coverage of a deadly massacre at an elementary school in Connecticut. So, Wall Street was mostly range bound, although the Nasdaq was weighed down by Apple. For the week: The Dow and Nasdaq shed a mere 0.2 percent. The iPhone 5 made a less-than-stellar debut in China, sparking further concerns about sales and growth at the most valuable company in the U.S. stock market. Shares have been battered as of late, losing close to 4 percent on Friday. Best Buy Founder Richard Shulze gets an extension to make a bid to take the struggling retailer private. The new deadline gives him a chance to review Best Buy's full-year performance. But it also extends uncertainty around the company. The stock fell roughly 15 percent, one-day after surging as much as 17 percent. Economic news gave comfort. American wallets should feel a little heavier, according to the Labor Department. That's because consumer prices dropped 0.3 percent in November, the first decline in six months. The dip was largely because it was cheaper to fill-up at the pump, which offset a higher bill at the supermarket. Meanwhile, factory output showed its strongest numbers in about a year thanks to a rebound in auto production. One economist describes the economy as one with "a lot of slack and upside potential." In European action, markets were a bit directionless with signs the euro zone recession is deepening.

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More fiscal cliff-bitting

Saturday, December 15, 2012 - 01:34

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