PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – Feb 4

Feb 4 (BestGrowthStock) – The following were the top stories in the
New York Times business pages on Thursday. Reuters has not
verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* As Japanese officials ordered an inquiry into problems
with the brakes on the 2010 Prius, Toyota Motor Corp’s (7203.T: )
stock price dropped almost 5 percent in early trading Thursday.

* In a sign that Inc (AMZN.O: ) wants to upgrade
its Kindle e-reader to compete head-on with the Apple iPad,
Amazon has acquired Touchco, a start-up based in New York that
specializes in touch-screen technology, a person briefed on the
deal said Wednesday.

* An investigation has shed new light on how major banks
unwittingly shifted hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf
of politicians, their relatives and associates.

* To the growing list of grievances between the United
States and China, add one more: the Obama administration is
reviving American pressure on China to stop artificially
depressing its currency, a policy that fuels its persistent
trade gap with the United States.

* U.S. President Barack Obama moved on Wednesday to bolster
the nation’s production of corn-based ethanol and other
alternative liquid fuels and ordered the rapid development of
technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions from the burning
of coal.

* The Treasury Department will invest up to $1 billion from
the federal bank bailout fund in small banks and credit unions
that make loans to small businesses in some of the communities
most ravaged by the economic downturn, officials announced on

* Time Warner Inc (TWX.N: ), the media conglomerate that has
spun off some of its major businesses over the last year, said
on Wednesday that its revenue and profits had improved,
providing more evidence that traditional media businesses may
be pulling out of a prolonged downturn.

* Honda Motor Co (7267.T: ) of Japan on Wednesday raised its
forecast for the fiscal year ending in March, as cost cuts and
recovering vehicle demand helped it post better-than-expected
earnings in the last three months of 2009.

* Germany’s finance minister warned German tax evaders
Wednesday that they risked punishment if their names were found
on a CD the government is buying that contains information
about Swiss bank customers.

* Greece won breathing space Wednesday in its battle to
stave off financial ruin as the European Commission endorsed
plans to bring its public finances under control, though it
warned that the country’s progress back from the brink faced
unprecedented monitoring by Brussels.

* Dozens of employees at CBS News were laid off in recent
days amid a new round of budget cuts at the third-place
network’s news division.

* The economy’s service sector grew slightly in January,
while the rate of job losses slowed, signaling a recovery still
struggling to gain strength.

* North Korea’s sweeping attempts to revive socialist
central economic planning and crack down on private markets
appear to have set off runaway inflation and perhaps caused the
country’s reclusive leaders to reconsider some of their own
measures, according to South Korean news reports and
intelligence officials.

* Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O: ) reported sharply higher
fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday, propelled by gains in
Internet and phone revenue, and also announced a new brand for
its core cable operations as it transforms into a media

* Monster Worldwide Inc (MWW.N: ) said on Wednesday that it
had agreed to buy Yahoo Inc’s (YHOO.O: ) HotJobs site for $225
million, citing an improving job market.

* AOL Inc (AOL.N: ), newly released from its merger with Time
Warner Inc (TWX.N: ), reported a modest profit for the fourth
quarter on Wednesday, even as revenue from online advertising
continued to fall.

* Pfizer Inc (PFE.N: ), the world’s biggest drug maker, said
fourth-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) missed analysts’ estimates on costs from
its acquisition of Wyeth and projected lower-than-expected
earnings in 2010.

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PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – Feb 4