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TMCNet:  AP Business NewsBrief at 2:37 p.m. EST

[February 05, 2013]

AP Business NewsBrief at 2:37 p.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dell in $24.4B founder-led deal to go privateSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Slumping personal computer maker Dell is bowing out of the stock market in a $24.4 billion buyout that represents the largest deal of its kind since the Great Recession dried up the financing for such risky maneuvers. The complex agreement announced Tuesday will allow Dell Inc.'s management, including founder Michael Dell, to attempt a company turnaround away from the glare and financial pressures of Wall Street.



US sues S&P over pre-crisis mortgage ratingsWASHINGTON (AP) _ The U.S. government says Standard & Poor's knowingly inflated its ratings on risky mortgage investments that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis. The credit rating agency gave high marks to mortgage-backed securities because it wanted to earn more business from the banks that issued the investments, the Justice Department alleges in charges filed in federal court in Los Angeles .

Key allegations government is making against S&PHere is the basis of the case the U.S. government is making against Standard & Poor's Ratings Services in a 128-page lawsuit: _ THE CHARGE: Stocks rebound, rising on home prices, earningsNEW YORK (AP) _ The stock market bounced back Tuesday following a surge in U.S. home prices and signs of strength in Europe's economy. Strong earnings reports also helped power the gains. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 123 points to 14,003 as of 2:13 p.m. EST, erasing most of its loss from Monday. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 17 points to 1,513. The Nasdaq composite was up 41 points to 3,171.

US service firms grew more slowly in JanuaryWASHINGTON (AP) _ Growth at U.S. service companies slowed slightly in January behind weaker new orders and business activity. But hiring improved, a bright sign for the economy. The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its index of non-manufacturing activity dipped to 55.2 in January. That's down from 55.7 in December, which was the highest level in nearly a year. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

US home prices rose last year by most in 6.5 yearsWASHINGTON (AP) _ U.S. home prices jumped by the most in 6 1/2 years in December, spurred by a low supply of available homes and rising demand. Home prices rose 8.3 percent in December compared with a year earlier, according to a report Tuesday from CoreLogic, a real estate data provider. That is the biggest annual gain since May 2006. Prices rose last year in 46 of 50 states.

Yum blindsided by KFC chicken scare in ChinaNEW YORK (AP) _ When KFC was hit by a controversy over its chicken suppliers in China late last year, parent company Yum Brands offered free drinks and ice cream to bring diners back. The company, based in Louisville, Ky., apparently didn't realize the severity of its problems; the promotion did little to assuage fears about its chicken and on Tuesday the company said it expects its earnings per share to decline 25 percent in the first quarter. Yum had already warned on Monday that a key sales figure for the region would plummet by the same percentage during the period. Profit for the full year is now expected to decline as well, snapping an 11-year streak of growth of at least 13 percent.

New doubts Egypt will get $4.8 billion IMF loanCAIRO (AP) _ New signs of distress in Egypt's economy emerged Tuesday with the disclosure that foreign currency reserves _ already at critically low levels _ fell nearly 10 percent in just the last month as political turmoil flared anew on the streets. With unrest holding back critically needed austerity measures, there is growing doubt that Egypt will be able to secure a $4.8 billion dollar IMF loan in time to rescue the flailing economy, or even at all. The loan is considered crucial to shoring up investor confidence and freeing up a wave of loans that Cairo has requested from other lenders.

Lawsuits contribute to big UBS loss in Q4GENEVA (AP) _ Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS AG, posted Tuesday a 1.9 billion francs ($2.1 billion) loss for the fourth quarter in the wake of a series of lawsuits, scandals and a wave of restructuring. The bank, based in Zurich, attributed the loss mainly to "net charges for provisions for litigation, regulatory and similar matters as well as net restructuring charges and an own credit loss." In contrast, UBS made a net profit of 323 million francs in the fourth quarter of 2011 despite a $2 billion rogue trading scandal.

New keyboard BlackBerry in US could take monthsTORONTO (AP) _ A modern BlackBerry with a physical keyboard might not arrive in the U.S. until May or June, a month or two behind other parts of the world, the chief executive of the smartphone maker suggested in an interview. Although Research in Motion Ltd. CEO Thorsten Heins said the exact release date will depend on each wireless provider, he said the physical keyboard version, the BlackBerry Q10, will likely come out eight to 10 weeks after a carrier releases a model with only a touch screen, the BlackBerry Z10. The Z10 is expected in the U.S. in mid-March, so eight to 10 weeks brings the U.S. date for the Q10 to mid-May to early June.

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

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