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BC-Business News Digest

Business News at 5:30 p.m.

The supervisor is Richard Jacobsen (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact customersupport(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

If you have questions about transmission of financial market listings, please call 800-3AP-STOX.

A selection of top photos can be found at http://bit.ly/APTopPhotos

NEW THIS DIGEST:

â¿¿ Adds: COMCAST-NBC-GENERAL ELECTRIC, DRUG SAFETY-FDA, HFR, WELLPOINT-CEO, YAHOO-CEO

â¿¿ Updates: WALL STREET

TOP STORIES:

STATE OF UNION-ECONOMY

WASHINGTON â¿¿ The U.S. economy, the expected focus of night's State of the Union speech, is much healthier than it was four years ago. Yet growth remains slow and unemployment high. By Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber and Paul Wiseman.

AP photo.

COMCAST-NBC-GENERAL ELECTRIC

LOS ANGELES â¿¿ Comcast says that it's buying General Electric's 49 percent stake in the NBCUniversal joint venture for $16.7 billion several years early, as the company takes advantage of low borrowing costs and what CEO Brian Roberts called a "very attractive price." By Business Writer Ryan Nakashima.

AP photo.

With:

â¿¿ EARNS-COMCAST â¿¿ Comcast's fourth-quarter net income rises 18 percent.

APPLE-CEO

Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling a shareholder lawsuit against the company a "silly sideshow," even as he said he is open to looking at the shareholder's proposals for sharing more cash with investors. Investor David Einhorn sued Apple Inc. last week, saying a proposal slated for a vote at the company's annual meeting in two weeks would make it more difficult to enact his plan to reward shareholders by distributing a new class of shares. By Technology Writer Peter Svensson.

AP photo.

With:

â¿¿ APPLE-CEO-CASH-BALANCE â¿¿ The amount of cash and securities held by Apple at the end of each fiscal year.

G7-EXCHANGE RATES

BRUSSELS â¿¿ The Group of Seven leading industrial nations, which includes the U.S., Japan and Germany, seeks to defuse escalating tensions about an impending "currency war," warning that volatile movements in exchange rates can adversely hit the global economy. Exchange rates and the threat of a "currency war" are expected to feature heavily at the Group of 20 meeting of finance chiefs in Moscow on Feb. 15-16. By Pan Pylas.

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