Nook product sinking
Barnes & Noble Inc. said it expects losses from its Nook e-reader business to be larger in 2013 than the year before.
The book seller has invested heavily in its Nook business as consumers increasingly shop online and read e-books. But the Nook faces tough competition from other devices like Apple’s iPad Mini, Amazon’s Kindle and Google’s Nexus tablet.
Barnes & Noble said it expects Nook media revenue of less than $3 billion. It also anticipates a loss for the unit from earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to exceed the $262 million loss recorded in its 2012 fiscal year.
Mortgage rates unchanged
The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was unchanged for a second week, remaining near historic lows. The average rate on the 15-year mortgage also stayed the same. Low mortgage rates are helping to strengthen the housing recovery.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year low stayed at 3.53 percent. That’s near the 3.31 percent reached in November, which was the lowest on record going back to 1971.
The rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage stayed at 2.77 percent for a second week. The record low is 2.63 percent.
Dow falls nine points
While both the Nasdaq composite index and the S&P 500 index closed up fractionally at multiyear high levels, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 9.52 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to close at 13,973.39 on Thursday. It was the second day of losses for the Dow since it closed up above 14,000 on Tuesday.
Cisco Systems Inc. shares finished down 0.7 percent. Cisco late Wednesday reported a small gain in earnings for its fiscal second quarter.
The S&P 500 index rose 1.05 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to finish at 1,521.38, its highest close since Oct. 31, 2007. The Nasdaq composite index advanced 1.78 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to close at 3,198.66, its highest close since Nov. 9, 2000.
Sports betting debated
State sovereignty, not point spreads, took center stage as lawyers for New Jersey and the Department of Justice sparred over the constitutionality of a 21-year-old federal law prohibiting all but four states from allowing legal sports betting.
At stake is New Jersey’s attempt to revive its casino and horse racing industries by grabbing a piece of what is considered a multibillion-dollar sports wagering pie — not to mention stanching the flow of gamblers and dollars to Nevada casinos where sports betting is legal.
Arguments before U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp likely are far from the last in the lawsuit filed last year by the four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA to stop New Jersey from allowing sports betting. Shipp said he would rule within two weeks, but it is almost a certainty the case will go to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and possibly to the Supreme Court.
Pepsi profits higher
For the period that ended Dec. 29, PepsiCo Inc. earned $1.66 billion, or $1.06 per share. That’s compared with $1.42 billion, or 89 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding a pension charge and other items, earnings were $1.09 per share. Analysts surveyed by research firm FactSet expected $1.05 per share.
Revenue dipped 1 percent to $20 billion from $20.2 billion, hurt in part by the stronger dollar, the refranchising of businesses in China and Mexico and an extra week in last year’s quarter. Still, the performance topped Wall Street’s estimate of $19.8 billion.
Compiled from staff and wire reports