The results left the industry optimistic about the new year. Businesses bought more trucks. Consumers are ready to buy â¿¿ their cars have reached a record average of 11.3 years old â¿¿ and banks are making it easier with low interest rates and looser credit terms.
Few surprises in Super Bowl ads
NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ So much for surprises.The majority of the 30-plus Super Bowl advertisers have been releasing their spots in the days leading up to the game. So it's unlikely there'll be lots of action off the football field to make viewers drop their jaws on Sunday. Advertising fans already can catch a glimpse of "Spider-Man" actor Willem Dafoe in a Mercedes-Benz ad. They can watch a baby Clydesdale grow up in an Anheuser-Busch commercial. They even can spot old people partying in a Taco Bell ad. Gone are the days when Super Bowl spots were closely guarded secrets. With the growth of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, it's no surprise that more advertisers are releasing ads online up to a week or more before Game Day. ___ Refining margins boost 4Q profit at Exxon Mobil DALLAS (AP) â¿¿ Exxon Mobil Corp. said Friday that fourth-quarter earnings rose 6 percent to $9.95 billion with help from higher refining profit margins. The oil giant barely missed a record for full-year earnings. It earned $44.88 billion in 2012, about $340 million shy of its 2008 mark of $45.22 billion, an all-time high for a publicly traded company. Exxon still makes most of its money by producing oil and gas, but that end of the business was less profitable than a year ago because of lower prices and production. The company made up the difference in the refining business. ___ Chevron profit up on asset exchange, refineries