AP News

Business Highlights


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Silicon Valley isn't sharing Facebook's misery

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Silicon Valley, it turns out, doesn't revolve around the stock prices of Facebook and its playful sidekick, Zynga.

By most indications, tech companies in this hub of innovation are humming along, even as two of its rising stars endure steep declines in their stock prices that have wiped out more than $60 billion in wealth in the past six months.

Companies catering to mobile devices, business software and data management products are thriving, while longtime Silicon Valley stalwarts such as Apple Inc. and Google Inc. remain among the most revered brands in the world.

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T-Mobile launches campaign to lure iPhone users

NEW YORK (AP) — T-Mobile USA, the only "Big 4" phone company that doesn't sell the iPhone, now wants to snag used ones from AT&T.

Starting Wednesday, when Apple is expected to reveal a new iPhone model, T-Mobile will start advertising that AT&T iPhone owners who are out of contract can switch to T-Mobile.

Apple Inc. hasn't said anything about a new iPhone, but it is expected to announce the iPhone 5 at an event it has scheduled in San Francisco on Wednesday. Sales would likely start later this month.

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China's imports shrink in sign downturn worsening

BEIJING (AP) — China's imports shrank unexpectedly in August in a sign its economic slump is worsening, bad news for exporters elsewhere that count on the appetite of the world's second-largest economy for natural resources and industrial components to offset anemic Western markets.

The Chinese president warned growth could slow further, prompting expectations of possible new stimulus spending.

Imports declined 2.6 percent from a year earlier, below analysts' expectations of growth in low single digits, data showed Monday. That came on top of August's decline in factory output to a three-year low and other signs growth is still decelerating despite repeated stimulus efforts.

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US consumers cut credit card use for 2nd month

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans cut back on borrowing in July for the first time in nearly a year. Credit card use fell for the second straight month, suggesting many consumers remain cautious in the face of high unemployment and slow growth.

Total consumer borrowing dipped $3.3 billion in July from June to a seasonally adjusted $2.705 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Monday. It was the first decline since August 2011. The drop in credit card debt offset a small rise in a measure of auto and student loans.

The Fed also said Americans have borrowed much more than previously estimated after it revised consumer borrowing data back to December 2010. June's figure was increased to $2.708 trillion, or $130 billion higher than initially thought. It's also well above pre-recession levels.

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BP sells some Gulf of Mexico assets for $5.55 billion

LONDON (AP) — Oil company BP said Monday it is selling some deep-water assets in the Gulf Mexico to Plains Exploration & Production Co. for $5.55 billion, a big step in the BP's drive to cover the cost of its oil well blowout in the Gulf two years ago and concentrate investment elsewhere.

BP is selling its interests in three of the assets it operates: the Marlin hub, Horn Mountain and Holstein. The deal also includes BP's stakes in two non-operated assets, Ram Powell and Diana Hoover.

Plains is also buying the 50 percent interest in the Holstein field that BP doesn't own from Shell Offshore Inc. for $560 million. Both deals, representing production of 59,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, are expected to close by the end of the year.

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Transocean selling 38 shallow water drilling rigs

NEW YORK (AP) — Transocean, a major offshore drilling rig contractor, is selling 38 of its shallow water rigs to newly-formed Shelf Drilling International Holdings Ltd. for about $855 million in cash.

The Zug, Switzerland-based company said Monday that the deal also includes $195 million in preferred shares being issued by Shelf, which is owned by private equity groups and management.

The companies said that would bring the total value of the deal to about $1.05 billion.

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HP's cost-cutting drive to dump 2,000 more workers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. is planning to cut about 2,000 more jobs than it had previously announced as CEO Meg Whitman tries to turn the company around.

In a regulatory filing Monday, the computer and printer maker said it will eliminate 29,000 jobs by October 2014, up from the 27,000 cuts it announced in May when HP employed about 350,000 people.

The company, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., didn't explain why it had raised the number. The revision comes amid signs that the already slumping personal computer market may weaken even further as an increasing number of sleek smartphones and tablet computers win over consumers.

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Kodak job cuts continue as it aims to exit Ch. 11

NEW YORK (AP) — Kodak is reshuffling some executives and continuing to cut jobs as the pioneering photography company tries to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

Eastman Kodak Co. said it cut approximately 2,700 employees worldwide since the beginning of the year, and plans to eliminate roughly 1,000 more by 2012's end. Annual savings from these cuts should reach about $330 million, the company said Monday in a regulatory filing.

Kodak's workforce peaked in 1988 at nearly 150,000 employees. But the company couldn't keep up with the shift from digital photo technology over the past decade and with competition from Japanese companies such as Canon.

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Toys R Us gets into the tablet computer game

WAYNE, N.J. (AP) — Toys R Us said Monday that it plans to launch its own tablet computer aimed at children called Tabeo on Oct. 21, a low-priced entry into the increasingly crowded tablet business.

The news comes ahead of the holiday season, which can account for up to 40 percent of retailers' annual sales. Toys R Us has focused on exclusive toys rather than discounts as it faces tough competition from online retailers like Amazon.com and discounters like Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

The 7-inch touchscreen tablet comes with 50 preinstalled apps selected for children, including games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, and a book app called istorybooks. It will retail for $149.99, is equipped with Wi-Fi and runs on Google Inc.'s Android 4.0 operating system.

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J.C. Penney brings back free haircuts for kids

NEW YORK (AP) — Children who missed the opportunity to get a free haircut at J.C. Penney last month will get plenty more chances.

After an overwhelming response to the chain's free haircut program offer for children in August —1.6 million haircuts, to be exact — Penney will be making it a permanent offer every Sunday, starting Nov. 4.

The decision underscores the extent of new CEO Ron Johnson's efforts to re-energize the chain and transform every aspect of its business, from pricing to creating a new shopping experience.

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By The Associated Press(equals)

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 52.35 points to close at 13,254.29. The Standard & Poor's 500 slipped 8.84 points to 1,429.08 and the Nasdaq composite fell 32.40 points to 3,104.02.

Benchmark crude ended up 12 cents to $96.54 in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, gained 56 cents to finish at $114.81 per barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline rose less than a penny to $3.024 a gallon. Heating oil finished up 1.8 cents at $3.17 a gallon. Natural gas rose 13 cents to end at $2.81 per 1,000 cubic feet.


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