PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Feb 6

Thu Feb 6, 2014 12:27am EST

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Feb 6 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* CVS Caremark Corp, United States' largest drugstore chain, announced on Wednesday that it planned to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products by October. ()

* Despite the diminished state of late-night television and technology that has altered viewing habits, the "Tonight" show remains one of the signature franchises of broadcasting and still carries unusual resonance with Jay Leno exiting the stage for the last time on Thursday, making way for Jimmy Fallon. ()

* The American International Group is continuing its quest to upend an $8.5 billion settlement between Bank of America and a group of mortgage securities investors. ()

* After years in philanthropy, many wonder how Bill Gates, a luminary of the tech world, will choose to position Microsoft Corp going forward. The last time Bill Gates played an active role at Microsoft, as chief software architect, he witnessed the company muffing its earliest efforts to become a major player in search, smartphones and tablet computers. ()

* Apple Inc has taken down one of the last remaining iPhone mobile applications that allowed users to buy and sell Bitcoin. The app, named BlockChain, had been downloaded 120,000 times, and was commonly used as a way to hold and spend Bitcoins. ()

* Google Inc has agreed to a settlement with European competition regulators that leaves the company with a few bruises, yet victorious over all, and would end half a decade of wrangles with antitrust authorities across the globe.

* Twitter has finally acknowledged what any newcomer could have told the company within five minutes of signing up: The messaging service is too hard to use. Discussing the company's fourth-quarter results in a call with analysts, Chief Executive Dick Costolo said that he was working on improving its web software and mobile apps to make it easier for new users to sign up and current ones to find the most relevant information on topics they care about. ()

* The makers of the blood-thinning drug Pradaxa were so worried that an internal research paper would damage drug sales that some employees not only pressured the author to revise it, but suggested it should be quashed altogether, according to newly unsealed legal documents. ()

* The Coca-Cola Co agreed on Wednesday to buy a 10 percent stake in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, as it seeks to cement ties with the fast-growing coffee company. ()

* Anheuser-Busch InBev, United States' largest brewer, has agreed to buy the Blue Point Brewing Co in a move that could help it capitalize on the popularity of craft beer.

* Investigators say they believe they have identified the entry point through which hackers got into Target Corp's systems, zeroing in on the remote access granted through the retailer's computerized heating and cooling software, according to two people briefed on the inquiry. ()

* Lazard Ltd said on Wednesday that its profits rose 35 percent in the fourth quarter, as it benefited from improvements in its advisory and asset management businesses. ()

* Whether or not Mario Draghi and his European Central Bank colleagues plan to do anything about it at the monthly meeting Thursday, many economists are sounding the alarm. It is time, they say, to act defensively against the danger of deflation. ()

* Growth picked up in the service sector in January, with steady strength in private sector hiring, suggesting that the severe winter weather over the last several weeks had a limited effect on the economy. ()

* Investors' faith in Puerto Rico's debt appeared undaunted on Wednesday after Standard & Poor's cut the island's credit rating to junk a day earlier. ()

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