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Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

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Facebook unveils social search feature

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) â¿¿ Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new search feature on Tuesday in the company's first staged event at its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters since its May initial public offering.

Called "graph search," the new service lets users search their social connections for information about people, interests, photos and places. It'll help users who, for instance, want to scroll through all the photos their friends have taken in Paris or search for the favorite TV shows of all their friends who happen to be doctors.

Until now Facebook users were unable to search for friends who live in a certain town or like a particular movie. With the new feature, people can search for friends who, say, live in Boston who also like the film "Zero Dark Thirty".

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Wal-Mart to hire vets, buy American

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Why wait on Washington to fix the economy when there's Wal-Mart?

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer and the biggest private employer in the U.S. with 1.4 million workers here, said Tuesday that it is rolling out a three-part plan to help jumpstart the sluggish U.S. economy.

The plan includes hiring more than 100,000 veterans in the next five years, spending $50 billion to buy more American-made merchandise in the next 10 years and helping its part-time workers move into full-time positions sooner.

The move comes as Wal-Mart attempts to bolster its reputation, which has been hit in the past year by an alleged bribery scandal in Mexico and a deadly fire at a Bangladesh factory that supplies clothes to the company. Wal-Mart, which often is criticized for its low-paying jobs and buying habits in the U.S., said it's plan aims to highlight career opportunities in the retail industry, which supports one in four jobs in the country. The company's plan could have an impact on the U.S. economy. With $444 billion in annual revenue, if Wal-Mart were a country, it would rank among the largest economies in the world.

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