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Feb. 5, 2013 at 2:43 PM   |   Comments

Stock indexes head higher

NEW YORK, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The Dow Jones industrial average regained the 14,000-point level Tuesday morning as U.S. markets followed an equities rebound in Europe.

In early afternoon trading on Wall Street, the Dow added 122.09 points or 0.88 percent to 14,002.17, taking back most of the 129.71 points it gave up Monday.

The Nasdaq composite index gained 43.60 points or 1.39 percent to 3,174.77.

The Standard & Poor's 500 added 17.77 points or 1.19 percent to 1,513.48.

The 10-year treasury note fell 16/32 to yield 2.016 percent.

Against the dollar, the euro rose to $1.3577 from Monday's $1.3514. The dollar rose to 93.38 yen from 92.38 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index dropped 213.43 points, 1.9 percent, to 11,046.92.

In London, the FTSE 100 index added 0.58 percent, 35.92 points, to 6,283.76.


Dell to go private in $24.4 billion deal

ROUND ROCK, Texas, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. computer giant Dell said Tuesday it had agreed to go private in a $24.4 billion deal that is meant to buy time for a turnaround.

Dell Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden said the deal "immediately delivers value to shareholders." He said "we do recognize that it (a turnaround) will take more time," and that making changes as a private company would allow Dell more flexibility than it would have as a public firm.

The Wall Street Journal reported Dell co-founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Management will buy the computer maker for a price of $13.65 per share, a 25 percent premium above the average share price in the month prior to news of a deal reaching the public.

It will be financed by cash and equity from Michael Dell, a Silver Lake investment fund, a cash contribution from MSD Capital L.P., and a $2 billion loan from Microsoft, the Journal reported.

The company announced that Michael Dell, who currently owns 14 percent of the company's shares, will continue to serve as the company's chairman and chief executive officer.

The company's headquarters will not move from its present home in Round Rock, Texas.


Justice files $5B suit against S&P

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Justice Department said it was seeking $5 billion in a fraud case filed against credit rating firm Standard & Poor's for misleading ratings.

In a news conference on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the ratings firm was operating under a conflict of interest as it passed judgment on subprime mortgage securities banks bundled together before the housing market bubble collapsed.

As banks were also paying for the service, S&P had motivation to give their products high ratings, a lawsuit filed by the federal government, 16 states and the District of Columbia contends.

The case filed in a federal court in Los Angeles says S&P promised its ratings "were objective, independent" and "uninfluenced by any conflict of interest."

The Wall Street Journal reported the case includes an allegation of an S&P securities analyst sending an email that included a spoof of the Talking Heads song "Burning Down The House," but with lyrics that joked about the collapsing housing market.

The email was allegedly sent March 19, 2007, and it went to several colleagues. It was followed up by a video sent out two days later that showed the analyst singing the song, while other co-workers laughed, the law suit says.

One of the analysts who received the song lyrics and passed them along to others later evaluated mortgage securities highly and the value of those securities later collapsed. One investor lost $90 million when the securities failed, the Journal reported.

S&P, which is owned by McGraw-Hill said it would "vigorously defend" itself in court. The claims filed against it were "unwarranted," the company said.


BlackBerry says thanks with a gift phone

TORONTO, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Canadian firm BlackBerry said it would give away 12,000 special edition Z10 smartphones to application developers who stuck by the company.

Formerly known as Research In Motion, BlackBerry changed its name last week as it launched two new phones, including the all touch-screen Z10.

BlackBerry, once a pioneering company in the smartphone market, is now playing catch up to the likes of Apple and other companies that have eclipsed BlackBerry in sales.

The new phones will be carried by Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and AT&T, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. The Z10 is expected to go on sale in March.

In an online posting, BlackBerry said "thank you" to developers "for all of the outstanding applications you have developed for BlackBerry 10."

"Thank you for all of the long hours, late nights and early mornings you've spent coding," the posting said.

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