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Phones and rescue hopes dominate

Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - 02:03

Sept. 5 - Summary of business headlines: Markets on edge awaiting ECB decision; FedEx warning delivers somber reminder; Nokia, Microsoft bet big with Lumia but market does not see a winner; Google's Motorola upgrades Razr Droid lineup. Conway G. Gittens reports.

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Trading desks from the U.S. to Europe were uncertain which way to go as speculation about the European Central Bank's next step dominated psychology. In the end, U.S. stocks were little changed with the the Dow bucking a negative bias. Media reports suggest the ECB will announce a major bond-buying plan on Thursday, but there was no official confirmation. Nokia kicked off what's going to be a big month for consumer gadget product launches in time for the end-of-the year shopping season. The new Lumia family of smartphones, powered by Microsoft Windows mobile phone software, hopes to beat back the dominance of the Apple iPhone and phones powered by Google's Android software. Investors were far from giving Nokia a ringing endorsement, with shares tumbling 13 percent in Europe. John Jackson of CCS Insight: SOUNDBITE: JOHN JACKSON, ANALYST, CCS INSIGHT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Investors are an impatient bunch and you know that's been true for a lot of these companies like Nokia like RIMM who are undergoing these very very deep transitional periods so investors seem to have short shrift for anything less than a series of revolutionary steps on the comeback trail." Across town: Motorola Mobility, another fallen star in the handset world, and now a unit of Google, unveiled its upgrade to it once popular Razr line-up. The three new models include two with bigger HD screens and longer battery life. And a lower-end version for $99, which goes on sale immediately. But all these new devices will have to stand-up to the iPhone 5 , which is expected to make its debut on September 12. Apart from gadgets: FedEx cut its outlook for the current quarter. The world's second biggest package delivery company blamed sluggish demand due to a slowing global economy. In Europe, there were modest gains in Germany and France, but a dip in the U.K. ahead of that key ECB announcement. Conway Gittens, Reuters

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Phones and rescue hopes dominate

Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - 02:03