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Jan. 4, 2013 at 5:09 PM   |   0 comments

Stocks rise in late trading

NEW YORK, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. stock indexes closed in positive territory Friday despite tepid trading after the Labor Department said the unemployment rate remained 7.8 percent.

The department said 155,000 jobs were added in December.

The Census Bureau said new factory orders rose for the sixth time in seven months in November but the gain was marginal. A $200 million gain to $477.6 billion came to less than 0.1 percent.

At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average added 43.85 points -- 0.33 percent -- to 13,435.21. The Nasdaq composite gained 1.09 points (0.04 percent) and finished at 3,101.66. The Standard and Poor's 500 added 7.10 points -- 0.49 percent -- and ended the session at 1,466.47.

The 10-year treasury note yielded 1.908 percent.

On the New York Stock Exchange, the total share volume was 3.4 trillion shares.

Against the dollar, the euro was $1.3074 from Thursday's $1.3049. The dollar was 88.17 yen from 87.24 yen Thursday.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index gained 2.82 percent or 292.93 points to 10,688.11.

In London, the FTSE 100 index gained 0.7 percent, 42.50 points, to 6,089.84.


China imposes $56M fine on LCD makers

BEIJING, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- China imposed $56 million in fines and penalties on six South Korean and Taiwanese makers of LCD screens for price fixing, officials said Friday.

China's National Development and Reform Commission said the companies -- South Korea's LG Display Co. and Samsung Electronics Co., along with Taiwan's Innolux Corp., Optronics Corp., Chungwa Picture Tubes Ltd. and HannStar Display Corp. -- met each month from 2001 through 2006 to set prices for their liquid crystal display panels used in smartphones, computers and televisions, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

"When selling LCD panels in mainland China, the enterprises involved manipulated market prices based on prices agreed on and information exchanged during their meetings. This has harmed the legitimate rights of other manufacturers and consumers," the commission said.

Officials said 5.15 million LCD panels tied to the price-fixing scheme were sold in mainland China.

Besides the fines, penalties against the six companies included an order that they return a combined $27.6 million to domestic color TV makers that purchased the display screens during the period, the Journal said.

The commission said the companies promised to extend an 18-month warranty on their products to 36 months.

China's actions follow actions by the European Union, South Korea and the United States.


Cerberus-Supervalu deal close

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Cerberus Capital Management and Supervalu are nearing a deal in which Cerberus buys parts of the grocer and has a stake in others, The Wall Street Journal said.

Citing a source it did not name, the newspaper said instead of a clear-cut buyout, Cerberus was close to buying some parts of Supervalu and taking a stake in the remainder, which is expected to remain public, the Journal reported Friday.

As conceived, Cerberus would contribute about $500 million in equity, several hundred million dollars less than initially discussed, the source told the Journal.

The purchase's structure is meant to partially bridge a gap between how much cash Cerberus was willing to front and the amount of money banks arranging financing wanted Cerberus to commit, the Journal said.

Supervalu, which has headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn., put itself on the market last summer as losses mounted and customer discounts didn't drive up sales. The company is parent to chains such as Shaw's in New England, Jewel-Osco in Chicago and Shop 'n Save in St. Louis.

A deal could be announced as early as next week but terms weren't finalized and the deal could still collapse, the source told the Journal. Other firms have expressed interest in buying parts of Supervalu if the Cerberus deal isn't consummated.


Canada employment up in December

OTTAWA, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Employment rose in Canada by 40,000 positions in December, the fourth increase in five months, Statistics Canada said.

In 12 months, employment rose 1.8 percent, or 312,000, all in full-time positions, Statistics Canada said. The total number of hours worked increased 1.6 percent.

Employment increased in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island in December, while declining in Nova Scotia.

In a year-over-year comparison, employment gains among private sector employees totaled 242,000, an increase of 2.2 percent, while public sector employment rose 92,000, a 2.6 percent jump and the number of self-employed showed little change.

Among industries, employment rose in transportation, warehousing and construction, and dipped in professional, scientific and technical services; natural resources and public administration.

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