Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

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JPMorgan Chase reaches $4.5 billion settlement

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Friday it has reached a $4.5 billion settlement with investors over mortgage-backed securities.

The settlement covers 21 major institutional investors. The mortgage-backed securities were issued by JPMorgan and Bear Stearns between 2005 and 2008. New York-based JPMorgan acquired the failing investment bank Bear Stearns in March 2008.

The deal is the latest in a series of legal settlements over JPMorgan's sales of mortgage-backed securities in the years preceding the financial crisis. As the housing market collapsed between 2006 and 2008, millions of homeowners defaulted on high-risk mortgages. That led to billions of dollars in losses for investors who bought securities created from bundles of mortgages. Those securities were sold by JPMorgan and other big Wall Street banks.

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Retailers take on Silicon Valley

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) a¿¿ Software engineers wearing jeans and flip flops test the latest smartphone apps. Walls and windows double as whiteboards where ideas are jotted down. And a mini basketball net is in the center of it all.

At first glance, this workplace resembles any Silicon Valley startup. There's just one exception: Target's trademark red bulls-eye at the entrance.

Target, Kohl's and home-shopping network QVC are among a half dozen retailers opening technology test labs in the San Francisco area to do things like improve their websites and create mobile shopping apps. They're setting up shop in modern spaces and competing for top Silicon Valley talent to replicate the creativity, culture and nimbleness of online startups.

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Altered landscape for Sony, Microsoft consoles

NEW YORK (AP) a¿¿ Remember a time before "Angry Birds," the iPad and the iPhone? No?

When Sony and Microsoft last came out with new video game consoles a¿¿ seven and eight years ago, respectively, the companies touted the machines' high-definition graphics, powerful processors and ability to play DVDs, and in Sony's case, Blu-ray discs.

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