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Business news briefs — Feb. 4


Forum on Canadian energy

Oil reserves in the “oil sands” of Alberta, Canada, will take center stage at a Northeast Ohio business forum today. Called Fueling the Buckeye Economy: Canada-U.S. Energy Summit, the conference will feature six major Canadian energy companies, including the company that wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States.

The event, at the Holiday Inn at Inter­state 77 and Rockside Road in Independence. also will include remarks from Roy Norton, consul general of Canada to Ohio, as well as David Manning, Alberta’s representative to the United States, and David Mustine, the JobsOhio senior managing director. JobsOhio is the state’s private economic development arm.

The Canadian energy companies are scheduled to meet with about 100 Ohio companies seeking to supply goods and services to exploration and production ventures involving the Alberta oil sands.

These meetings already have been arranged, but space remains available for those wanting to attend the morning discussions about opportunities for companies in Canada’s energy sector. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. and remarks and discussions will run from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. For more information, go online to and click on the “Find an Event” tab.

— Katie Byard


Microsoft names CEO

Microsoft named Satya Nadella, an executive in charge of the company’s small but growing business of delivering software and services over the Internet, as its new CEO. Company founder Bill Gates announced he is leaving the chairman role for a new role as technology adviser. Nadella, 46, replaces Steve Ballmer and becomes only the third leader in the software company’s 38-year history.

Nadella, a 22-year Microsoft veteran, has been an executive in some of the company’s fastest-growing and most-profitable businesses, including Office and its server and tools business. The company says Gates’ new role will be as a technology adviser on the board and that he will devote more time to the company. John Thomson will be the company’s new chairman.


U.S. home prices decrease

Home prices slipped from November to December, and the year-over-year increase slowed, likely a result of weaker sales at the end of last year. Real estate data provider CoreLogic said prices dipped 0.1 percent in December. It was the third straight month-to-month drop. Home prices had risen for eight straight months through September.

For all of 2013, prices rose a healthy 11 percent. That was roughly equal to the 11.4 percent price increase for the 12 months that ended in November. CoreLogic’s price figures aren’t adjusted for seasonal patterns, such as cold winter weather, which typically slows sales.


Wendy’s lauded for rules

Wendy’s is being applauded by the Humane Society of the United States for requiring quarterly progress reports from its hog suppliers as they gradually move away from use of gestation stalls. The industry practice confines pregnant and nursing sows to stalls that, the society says, prevent them from turning around or taking a step backward or forward.

“We appreciate that Wendy’s and other food companies are walking the walk when it comes to their commitments to eliminate a cruel system that’s simply out of step with how people think animals ought to be treated,” Josh Balk, the society’s director of food policy, said in a statement.

In 2007, Wendy’s started giving preferential buying to suppliers that adopted plans to phase out gestation stalls.


Dow Jones rises 72 points

Stocks ended slightly higher, lifting the Dow Jones industrial average up 72 points a day after it suffered its biggest loss in more than seven months. Markets were coming off a 326-point drop in the Dow on Monday prompted by disappointing news about U.S. manufacturing.

The Dow rose 72.44 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,445.24. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 13.31 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 1,755.20. The Nasdaq composite gained 34.56 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,031.52.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.


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