Business Roundup for Tuesday, January 28

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are higher on Wall Street this morning after three days of losses. Health care stocks are seeing the biggest gains after drugmaker Pfizer turned in better than expected earnings. The Dow was up as much as 100 points in the first hour of trading, while the broader indexes are also higher. However, Apple is holding back technology stocks after forecasting revenue that was less than the market was expecting.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer confidence is climbing again. The Conference Board says its gauge rose to 80.7 this month as consumers' view of the job market and business conditions continued to improve. Conference Board economist Lynn Franco says the rising expectations suggest that the economy is poised to pick up momentum in the months ahead.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses cut back sharply on durable goods orders last month. The Commerce Department reports orders fell 4.3 percent. There was weakness in a number of categories including demand for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a category viewed as a proxy for business investment plans. However, analysts say the December weakness may be temporary after a big jump in November orders that was driven by expiring tax breaks.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home prices fell slightly in November. Colder weather slowed buying and brought an end to a nine month run of price gains. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index slipped 0.1 percent from October to November. However, prices have risen 13.7 percent over the past 12 months. Of the 20 cities in the index, only Detroit's prices remain below their 2000 level.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says creating more economic opportunity will be the unifying theme of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address tonight. He's planning to announce that he's raising the minimum wage for workers under new federal contracts to $10.10 an hour. Obama is also expected to announce executive actions on job training, retirement security and help for the long-term unemployed in finding work.

HONG KONG (AP) — International stock markets stabilized today. Selling pressure eased after several days of steep losses and investors shifted to a holding pattern ahead of a Fed decision on scaling back stimulus. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen. Benchmark crude oil rose above $96 a barrel.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fed policymakers take a fresh look at interest rates today, as they begin another one of their regular 2-day meetings. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department releases durable goods for December. That's followed by Standard & Poor's release of the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for November. Also from the private sector comes the Conference Board's assessment of consumer confidence for January. There's a relatively long list of quarterly earnings results.

BRUSSELS (AP) — The International Monetary Fund is urging the 18-nation Eurozone to press ahead with its planned banking union reforms to lay the foundation for fresh growth and job creation. IMF chief Christine Lagarde says the bloc must reinforce its institutions to stabilize its financial market and reduce "the very damaging link" of failing banks dragging down weaker governments' finances.

NEW YORK (AP) — Google Glass is getting glasses. Google is adding prescription frames and new styles of detachable sunglasses to its computerized, Internet-connected goggles known as Glass. The add-ons will cost extra. Glass is supposed to become commercially available later this year.

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