PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – Jan 29

Jan 29 (BestGrowthStock) – The following were the top stories in
the New York Times business pages on Friday. Reuters has not
verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The Senate gave Ben Bernanke a second four-year term as
the head of the Federal Reserve on Thursday after critics
excoriated the central bank’s conduct in the years leading up
to the financial crisis.

* In promising Wednesday night to double the United States’
export growth over the next five years, U.S. President Barack
Obama set an ambitious goal for American trade policy that, he
said, could create two million jobs.

* The Senate voted on Thursday to raise the nation’s debt
limit to $14.3 trillion, a $1.9 trillion increase that would
allow the government to keep borrowing to cover operations
beyond the November election and into early next year.

* Ford Motor Co (F.N: ), which managed to skirt the problems
that forced crosstown rivals General Motors Co [GM.UL] and
Chrysler to seek government bailouts, reported a surprising
profit on Thursday of $2.7 billion for 2009, its first in four

* Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: ) faced heightened scrutiny on
Thursday over problems with the accelerator pedals on its
vehicles, as a House committee scheduled Congressional hearings
into the matter and its recalls expanded to Europe and China.

* European leaders are quietly considering whether to come
to the aid of their troubled neighbor Greece amid fears that
the nation might default on its debts and unleash another round
of financial crisis.

* A Silicon Valley start-up says it can help eradicate more
than 100 diseases by allowing couples to avoid having children
with the carrier genes.

* Samsung Electronics Co (005930.KS: ) returned to profit in
the fourth-quarter on strong sales of flat screen televisions
and mobile phones as well as higher prices for computer memory
chips following a rare loss the year before.

* The Treasury Department announced on Thursday that it was
streamlining the Making Home Affordable program in the hope of
increasing the number of successful modifications.

* The Securities and Exchange Commission said it had
reached a tentative settlement of a civil lawsuit against
Stockman, a former budget director in the Reagan
administration. The agency said in the suit that he and other
executives of the bankrupt auto-parts maker Collins & Aikman
[CKCRQ.UL] of Southfield, Michigan, had misled investors.

* Airline baggage fees are not taxable, the Internal
Revenue Service said, a victory for carriers trying to protect
a growing revenue stream.

* Sweden’s top banks are going their separate ways on the
question of employee bonuses. On Thursday, Nordea (NDA.ST: ), the
biggest lender in the Nordic region, said it would pay out 280
million euros ($390 million) in bonuses for 2009, a move it
said was necessary to retain the best employees. A day earlier,
a rival, Swedbank (SWEDa.ST: ), said it was canceling its 2009

* Businesses are slowly regaining the confidence to invest
in equipment and machinery, according to a government report
released on Thursday.

* Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: ), the world’s biggest
retailer, is consolidating some operations in the United States
while dividing the country into three regions with separate
presidents. The company is looking to more efficiently manage
its more than 3,700 American stores.

* A survey of 600 computing and computer-security
executives in 14 countries suggests that attacks on the
Internet pose a growing threat to the energy and communication
systems that underlie modern society.

* Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N: ) and the Colgate-Palmolive Co
(CL.N: ) increased sales in the last quarter, as a tentative
recovery in consumer spending helped both consumer goods
leaders post better-than-expected results on Thursday.

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PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – Jan 29