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Business Roundup for 1/3/14

Business news for Friday, January 3.

Ram truck logo
(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Chrysler)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are little changed on the day after the market saw its first opening-day-of-the-year slump since 2008. It’s been a quiet week on Wall Street and trading has been muted today as a winter storm hit the Northeast.

DETROIT (AP) — Numbers released by U.S. automakers show sales slowing a bit in December. But analysts still expect the best annual performance in six years for the auto companies, once all the figures are in. Ford sales were up just 1.8 percent in December but rose 11 percent for the full year. Chrysler and Nissan sales were up 9 percent for the year, while sales for GM and Toyota rose 7 percent.

HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama plans to press Congress to reinstate long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans when he returns to Washington next week. Obama will hold an event at the White House Tuesday, where he’ll warn of negative consequences for the economy if Congress fails to act quickly. The White House says Obama will be joined at the event by Americans whose benefits expired in late December.

NEW YORK (AP) — A journalist and business author who was known to TV viewers as Adam Smith has died. George Goodman was 83. He was the host of “Adam Smith’s Money World” on PBS stations — a show that helped make economics accessible to millions of people.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Super Bowl is still about a month away, but the ad blitzes are already beginning. Pepsico plans to promote the halftime show it is sponsoring in a TV ad airing tomorrow. The commercial is part of a larger campaign by the beverage giant aimed at driving awareness for the show during the 48th annual big game on Fox on Feb. 2, featuring singer Bruno Mars.

DETROIT (AP) — Ford says its U.S. sales jumped 11 percent in 2013 to almost 2.5 million, a six-year high. It sold more than 763,000 F-Series pickups last year, up 18 percent over 2012. Ford is also reporting record annual sales for the Fusion sedan, Escape SUV and Fiesta subcompact. For the month of December, Ford’s U.S. sales were up 2 percent.

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler has posted its best annual sales numbers in six years, finishing 2013 with a 9 percent increase. It sold just over 1.8 million cars and trucks last year, up from 1.65 million in 2012, led by record global sales of Jeep brand vehicles. In December, Chrysler’s U.S. sales rose 6 percent.

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says its U.S. sales fell more than 6 percent in December, but the company still finished the year with a 7.3 percent increase. GM says it sold more than 230,000 cars and last month, down from nearly 246,000 a year ago. Sales of the Chevrolet Silverado pickup, GM’s top-selling vehicle, fell 16 percent but sales of the recently updated Chevy Malibu midsize car surged 33 percent.

DETROIT (AP) — A North Carolina company is recalling more than 33,000 child car seats made before January 2013 because the harnesses aren’t strong enough to meet federal safety standards. Combi USA is recalling the Coccoro, Zeus Turn and Zeus 360. A company spokeswoman says one part of the harness failed strength tests but she says the seats are still safe to use because the harness as a whole meets safety standards.

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors are hoping yesterday’s market pullback isn’t going to last. The S&P 500 began the New Year with its worst performance in three weeks, dropping 0.9 percent. In 2013, the S&P 500 surged almost 30 percent, its best year since 1997, and the Dow climbed 26.5 percent, the most since 1995. The Dow fell 0.8 percent yesterday. The Nasdaq slid 0.8 percent as well. Future point to a slightly lower opening.

BEIJING (AP) — International stocks markets were mixed today after weaker Chinese manufacturing data and gloomy sales forecasts by South Korean automakers. Investors looked ahead to comments later today by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The dollar gained against the yen and the euro. Benchmark crude oil rose to near $95.50 a barrel.

UNDATED (AP) — The major automakers will report December vehicle sales today. Also, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will talk about how the Fed has changed over the years at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia.

SEATTLE (AP) — Today is a big day for Washington state and Boeing machinists there. Union members will vote whether to accept a contract that would concede some pension and health care benefits in order secure assembly of the company’s new 777X airplane in Washington state. The offer has fractured the union with the local recommending a no vote after being ordered to hold a ballot by national leaders.

NEW YORK (AP) — Snapchat, a popular service which provides the ability to send messages that disappear after a while, says it plans to put out a more secure version of itself after a hack. The usernames and phone numbers of some 4.6 million customers were scooped up. The breach occurred after security experts warned the company at least twice about vulnerability in its system.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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