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Business Update for 12/20/13

Business news for Friday, December 20.

Blackberry 10
Blackberry 10 (YouTube)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are climbing farther into record territory after the U.S. reported solid growth in the third quarter. Red Hat shares have jumped $7.33, or 15 percent, to $56.33, after the open-source software company said that its earnings rose nearly 50 percent and beat Wall Street’s expectations.

WASHINGTON (AP) — It turns out the U.S. economy grew at a faster pace than previously thought from July through September. The Commerce Department says the gross domestic product grew at a solid 4.1 percent annual rate, the fastest pace since late 2011. Much of the upward revision came from stronger consumer spending, primarily in the area of health care. Economists believe growth has slowed to between 2 percent and 2.5 percent in the current quarter.

TORONTO (AP) — BlackBerry is reporting a massive $4.4 billion loss in the third quarter and 56 percent drop in revenue. The company says revenue was $1.2 billion, down 56 per cent in the same quarter last year. Its adjusted loss from continuing operations was $354 million, or 67 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, expected a loss of 43 cents per share on revenue of $1.66 billion. The results are the Blackberry’s first under new chairman and interim chief executive John Chen.

CHICAGO (AP) — Boeing has booked a big order for its planned 777X aircraft. Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific is buying 21 of the planes, which Boeing will build later this decade. The 777X will be an updated version of Boeing’s best-selling 777. For the new version, Boeing plans to replace its aluminum wings with wings made from a lightweight, high-tech plastic, and make other improvements that will make the plane more fuel-efficient. Boeing builds the current 777 in Everett, Wash., but is still deciding where it will build the 777X.

BEIJING (AP) — China has promised to ease restrictions on imports of U.S. beef and speed up work on opening its market for government purchases of software and other goods. The pledges came as U.S. and Chinese trade and agriculture envoys ended a regular high-level dialogue today. A Chinese deputy commerce minister said the two sides agreed to “promote U.S. beef exports to China” but gave no details. Beijing banned U.S. beef in 2003 due to fears of mad cow disease.

NEW YORK (AP) — Financial markets are still digesting the Federal Reserve’s decision to trim its stimulus. Stocks gained the most in more than two months on Wednesday after the Fed’s announcement. But investors decided to take a breather yesterday and the market closed essentially flat. The S&P fell a point, The Dow gained 11 and the Nasdaq dropped 12 points.

MUMBAI, India (AP) — World markets are mixed today as China moves to prevent a new liquidity crunch and investors continue to react to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to begin scaling back on its easy-money stimulus policy. European and Asian markets have been relatively flat. The dollar has hit a five-year high against the Japanese yen, helping the Nikkei recover some early losses and remain near a six-year peak.

PARIS (AP) — The European Union’s credit rating has been downgraded. The Standard & Poor’s rating agency says the battle over the EU budget and the worsening creditworthiness of its member state prompted it to strip the EU of its AAA rating. However, the agency say the outlook is stable and has given the EU a rating of AA+, which is still considered very solid.

WASHINGTON (AP) — There’s only one government economic report scheduled for release today. The Commerce Department will reveal the final third-quarter gross domestic product number. Also, Walgreen will release its quarterly financial results before the market opens.

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York City Council has taken a step toward banning the use of plastic foam food containers. It voted unanimously Thursday to begin a yearlong inquiry to see whether the foam containers can be effectively recycled. If not, the council will move to ban the material. The chamber also voted to amend the city’s Smoke-Free Air Act to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in areas where smoking’s already not allowed.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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