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TMCNet:  AP Business NewsBrief at 8:04 a.m. EST

[January 22, 2013]

AP Business NewsBrief at 8:04 a.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Verizon Communications 4Q loss widensNEW YORK (AP) _ Verizon Communications' fourth-quarter loss widened, dragged down by restructuring, pension and Superstorm Sandy costs. The company activated a record number of new devices on its contract-based plans during the period. The parent of the country's biggest wireless carrier lost $4.23 billion, or $1.48 per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of $2.02 billion or 71 cents per share, a year ago.



Delta Air Lines clings to $7M profit in 4QMINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Delta says its fourth-quarter profit was nearly wiped out by Superstorm Sandy and special charges. Delta recorded a profit of $7 million for the quarter, or a penny per share. During the same period last year it earned $425 million, or 51 cents per share.

DuPont reports 4Q earnings droppedDOVER, Del. (AP) _ The DuPont Co. says weakness in performance chemicals and electronics and communications, coupled with costs associated with growth initiatives, led to a sharp drop in fourth-quarter income. The company on Tuesday reported net income for the quarter ending Dec. 31 of $111 million, or 12 cents per share. That's down from $373 million, or 40 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011.

Germany, France to improve economic coordinationBERLIN (AP) _ Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany and France plan to work together on proposals on how to improve economic coordination in the European Union this spring as the continent struggles to overcome its debt crisis and generate growth. Merkel said after meeting French President Francois Hollande Tuesday the two countries are "aware of our great responsibility" to end the crisis and make growth possible. She says they're both convinced competitiveness is hugely significant.

Markets shrug off Bank of Japan movePARIS (AP) _ World markets shrugged Tuesday after the Bank of Japan's announcement of a new round of bond purchases that many thought wasn't bold enough. Surprisingly good results from a German investor confidence survey tempered losses later in the morning, but many traders were waiting for earnings releases later in the day from the U.S. Google, Johnson & Johnson and IBM are among those set to report results.

Obama stands his ground on fiscal debatesWASHINGTON (AP) _ President Barack Obama devoted one word _ "deficit" _ to the issue that brought Washington to the brink of fiscal crises time and again during his first term. But it was the paragraph that followed in his inaugural address that foreshadowed what's to come _ more hard bargaining and more last-minute deals driven by Obama's own conviction that he now wields an upper hand.

Bank of Japan sets 2 percent inflation targetTOKYO (AP) _ Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a "monetary regime change" Tuesday as the central bank bowed to government pressure, setting a 2 percent inflation target aimed at helping the country emerge from its prolonged bout of deflation. "This opens a passageway toward bold monetary easing," Abe told reporters after the Bank of Japan and government jointly announced the inflation target and plans for "open-ended" central bank asset purchases similar to the strategy followed by the U.S. Federal Reserve to keep market interest rates low.

Oil prices above $95 a barrel in European tradeThe price of oil fell remained above $95 a barrel on Tuesday, boosted by the Bank of Japan's announcement of more bond purchases next year but tempered by ample supplies and uncertainty about the outcome of negotiations in Washington on the U.S. debt limit. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for February delivery was down 3 cents to $95.53 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Financial lobby group warns on emerging marketsZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ A leading lobby group for the world's financial institutions is warning investors not to get caught short in emerging markets in the event that the cheap money policy of the past few years comes to an end. The Institute of International Finance says Tuesday that the withdrawal of massive stimulus by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other rich-country central banks could lead to a "boom-bust cycle" in emerging markets if investors are unprepared.

Sharp rise in German investor optimismBERLIN (AP) _ A closely watched survey shows an unexpectedly sharp rise in German investor confidence, suggesting increasing optimism over how financial markets will perform in the coming months. The ZEW institute said Tuesday its indicator of economic sentiment rose by 24.6 points in January over the month before to an overall 31.5 points _ its highest level since May 2010. Economists had predicted a more modest rise to 12 points.

(c) 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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