Some Fed officials wanted more aggressive response
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some Federal Reserve officials pushed in August for a more aggressive response to the economy's slowdown. They settled for a plan to keep rates near zero for another two years and won agreement to discuss more options at an extended meeting in September.
Minutes of the Aug. 9 policy meeting released Tuesday show that Fed officials discussed a range of actions, including another round of Treasury bond purchases. Some Fed officials said a weaker economy called for such a step.
Fed officials in the end said they planned to keep rates low until at least mid-2013, assuming the economy remained weak. They also added a second day to their September meeting. That raised speculation that the Fed would announce some further action after that meeting.
CNN acquires iPad service
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- CNN has acquired Zite, an iPad service that learns about readers' tastes and customizes a digital magazine with stories from hundreds of websites.
CNN, a cable news channel owned by Time Warner Inc., has no plans to change Zite's format, said K.C. Estenson, general manager of CNN's digital division.
"This is a product that people love," Estenson said. "It just needs to be in the hands of more people."
Zite delivers different editions to different readers based on their individual interests. After downloading Zite's free iPad application, readers can specify certain topics they want to read about, such as stories about the Pittsburgh Steelers or Lady Gaga. The magazine is programmed to learn more about readers over time, based on the kinds of stories that they tend to click on.
Financial terms of the deal announced Tuesday weren't disclosed.
'Geek Squad' pact extended
Installs Inc., the Buffalo-based company that handles high-tech installations for retailers and other clients, has extended its contract with Best Buy's "Geek Squad" for two years. Installs has handled installations for Best Buy for 15 years.
Co-founded by Lee Hess and Tom Hunt, the company currently employs approximately 325 people in the Buffalo area. It provides fully customized nationwide in-home and onsite installation, delivery and technical services programs for well-known partners such as hhgregg, Sony, Costco.com, Dell, Staples, Best Buy for Business and many others.
The company also provides workforce management and field dispatch services for companies with their own field force.
John Nettina, chief operating officer, said anyone interested in phone-based dispatch jobs can contact the company at email@example.com.
Icahn shedding Lions Gate
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Activist investor Carl Icahn is shedding his entire stake in Lions Gate, sending shares of the niche movie studio tumbling in electronic trading.
The sale announced after the market closed Tuesday ends a nearly two-year battle for control, with both sides agreeing to drop all pending lawsuits.
Lions Gate and its next largest investor, Mark Rachesky, will buy back half of Icahn's shares for $7 each, which is about what Icahn spent acquiring his stake in the company.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., based in Santa Monica, Calif., said that it has the right to designate one or more parties to purchase Icahn's remaining stake, also at $7 a share.
The studio's shares slid 6 percent, or 45 cents, to $7.07 in aftermarket trading.
Courtyard Airport opens
Buffalo Lodging Associates unveiled its fifth hotel in Cheektowaga on Tuesday, the Courtyard by Marriott Buffalo Airport, across the street from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
It is the first local Courtyard with the "refreshing business" redesign of rooms and a redesigned lobby with a home theater and a library. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, an indoor pool and whirlpool, plus a meeting room accommodating up to 70 people. There will be 139 rooms starting at $184 a night.