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Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

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Cerberus to sell gun company that makes Bushmaster

The company that makes one of the weapons used to kill elementary school children in Connecticut is being sold by its owner, which called Friday's tragedy a "watershed event" in the debate over gun control.

The private-equity group Cerberus Capital Management said Tuesday that it will sell its controlling stake in Freedom Group International, maker of Bushmaster rifles. Investors continued to bail out of other gun makers while retailer Dick's Sporting Goods said it will stop selling military style rifles.

Some Republicans and Democrats who previously opposed gun control measures now say they're willing to discuss it â¿¿ along with mental health issues and violent video games.

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Fiscal cliff efforts ongoing, Boehner offers plan

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner pushed ahead on negotiating a broad deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," even as the GOP leader readied a backup plan Tuesday to pressure the White House with little time left to avoid a double hit on the economy.

With exactly two weeks until automatic tax hikes and spending cuts take effect, Boehner offered a measure called "Plan B," that would cancel tax increases due to take effect Jan. 1 on everyone earning $1 million or less.

Boehner insisted that his plan would address the burgeoning deficits and that the president has failed to produce a balance plan in weeks of postelection negotiations.

The White House rejected Plan B.

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Facebook users hit 'like,' stores jump into action

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Facebook isn't just for goofy pictures and silly chatter. Whether shoppers know it or not, their actions online help dictate what's in stores during this holiday season.

After polling customers on the social media site, Macy's decided to carry denim jeans in bright neon hues rather than pastels. Wal-Mart for the first time decided to let customers vote on which toys they want discounted. And to better plan orders for the decorative flags she sells, a small business owner in Mississippi is running a contest that encourages customers to chime in about how they're decorating their homes this winter.

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