Jan. 14 - Summary of business headlines: Bernanke urges Congress to raise debt ceiling; Dell stock jumps on talk of going private; Investors worry about Apple demand; Carl Icahn's new investment. Bobbi Rebell reports.
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PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking at the University of Michigan, urged U.S. lawmakers to raise the country's debt ceiling, to avoid a potentially disastrous default on its debt.
SOUNDBITE: U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN BEN BERNANKE (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"Raising the debt ceiling which Congress has to do periodically gives the government the ability to pay its existing bills. It doesn't create new deficits. It doesn't create new spending. So not raising the debt ceiling is sort of like a family which is trying to improve its credit rating saying I know how we can save money we won't pay our credit card bills. Not the most effective way to improve your credit rating."
Dell stock surged to a near eight month high. The number three PC maker, which has been losing ground to HP and Lenovo, is in talks with at least two private equity firms about going private- according to Bloomberg. Dell said it does not comment on rumors or speculation.
Shares of Apple weighed on stocks in Monday's session. Shares lost ground after reports the tech company has cut orders for LCD screens and other parts for the iPhone 5 this quarter because of weak demand.
Apple isn't in the Dow- that closed higher. But the other major U.S. indexes lost ground.
Shares of Transocean got a lift after disclosing that billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has acquired a 1.5 percent stake- and is seeking approval to increase that holding. Less than 2 weeks ago the company settled U.S. government charges related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill for $1.4 billion.
General Motors global sales rose 2.9 percent last year- thanks to record demand for its mainstream Chevy brand. International operations, dominated by China, had the biggest increase. The company has been showing off a new version of its Chevy Corvette sports car at the Detroit Auto show.
Fashion is paying off for Fifth and Pacific. A 27 percent same-store sales jump at Kate Spade offset weakness in Juicy Couture brand for the clothing and accessories maker. Shares of the company formerly known as Liz Claiborne hit their highest level since October of 2008.
In Europe: A mixed picture for the major indexes, with the FTSE closing lower for the third session in a row.
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