EconTracker News

Dec 7, 2012 12:41 PM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center

Friday business briefs

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Modest hiring continued in November and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly four years, according to a report released Friday. The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7% from 7.9% in October, the Labor Department said. While that's the lowest unemployment rate since December 2008, it fell due mainly to workers dropping out of the labor force.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Apple's announcement that it will shift some of its production back to the United States hopefully will encourage other companies to follow suit, manufacturing industry insiders said , even if Apple's move is mostly a symbolic step. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in recent interviews confirmed by CNN that his company, which currently does most of its production in China, would invest $100 million to bring some of its Macintosh manufacturing back to the U.S. next year.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for posting information about the company on his Facebook page. In a Facebook posting on July 5, Hastings said that Netflix customers were viewing more than 1 billion hours of video content a month. The same information had appeared on the company's blog the month before. But in neither case did the company issue a formal press release or make a separate filing with the SEC disclosing the billion hour statistic.

LONDON (CNNMoney) - Germany's central bank said the country may slip into recession early next year, confirming Europe's biggest economy has lost much of its immunity to the economic gloom pervading the region. The Bundesbank is now predicting growth of just 0.4% next year, down from a June forecast of 1.6%. It blamed the impact of deep recessions in other eurozone countries engaged in biting austerity programs, and the slowing global economy.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Someday soon, your employer may match your contributions to a 529 college savings plan, just like it does with your 401(k). One company is already pioneering this concept. Dun & Bradstreet Credibility, a credit reporting and monitoring firm for businesses, is now offering a 529 college savings plan to its 600 employees that matches annual contributions up to $2,500 for salaried workers and $1,000 for hourly employees, dollar for dollar.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - U.S. stocks closed slightly higher for a second day Thursday, thanks to strength from the technology sector, including Apple's 1.6% rise. But the gains were limited as investors refrained from making big bets as long as the fiscal cliff remains unresolved. The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 rose 0.3%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.5%.

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