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TMCNet:  AP Business NewsBrief at 7:18 a.m. EST

[January 22, 2013]

AP Business NewsBrief at 7:18 a.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) New York City extols virtues of tiny apartmentsNEW YORK (AP) _ Sam Neuman jokes that he doesn't casually throw off his coat when he gets home at night _ it would take up half his apartment. Such is life in his walk-up studio a few blocks from Manhattan's bustling Times Square, which at 280 square feet is barely the size of a one-car garage, with just enough space for a bed, a desk, a TV stand on one wall and a kitchen against the other.



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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

EU grouping set for financial transaction taxBRUSSELS (AP) _ A group of 11 European Union countries are set to get the green light to push ahead with the introduction of a financial transaction tax, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said Tuesday. The European Commission, the EU's executive branch, has suggested that trades in bonds and shares be taxed at 0.1 percent and trades in derivatives at 0.01 percent. The money raised could run into billions of euros and help shore up the finances of cash-strapped countries in Europe.

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.

Interest rates down as Spain sells $3.7 bln debtMADRID (AP) _ Spain has sold (EURO)2.8 billion ($3.7 billion) in short-term bills and seen the interest rates it has to pay fall sharply. The amount raised was more than target and provides further evidence that investors are growing less concerned over the country's economic future.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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