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Hedge fund cuts investments

East Setauket-based Renaissance Technologies, the world's biggest quantitative hedge fund, with $23.5 billion in holdings, has disclosed it reduced its investments in Apple, Google and other major companies. The fund, which uses computer models to make automated trades, also sold all of its holdings of ExxonMobil, Verizon, General Electric, AT&T, PepsiCo, and Comcast, it said Monday in a quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission. It invests in shares of about 2,600 companies. Renaissance Technologies was founded by James Simon, a former Stony Brook math professor and code breaker for the National Security Agency. Apple was still the hedge fund's top holding as of Sept. 30, with about 1 million shares, a 282,000 reduction since its last public report. The fund report also showed it owns 107,000 shares in Google, a reduction of 446,000 shares. -- Joseph Mallia

Profit soars at nanotech firm

CVD Equipment Corp., a Ronkonkoma maker of nanotechnology tools, reports sales doubled and profit increased nearly tenfold in the quarter ended Sept. 30. An intensive effort to turn its backlog into completed orders drove the company to record levels of sales and income, said chief executive Leonard Rosenbaum. It could do even better in the near future as it expands into a new headquarters building in Central Islip, he said. For the third quarter of its fiscal year, CVD made $1.2 million on sales of $8.84 million, compared to $143,000 profit on sales of $4.03 million in the same quarter last year. CVD makes the chemical vapor deposition tools used to create atomic-level layers of conductive materials on computer chips and solar cells. -- Joseph Mallia

Arrow HQ now in Colorado

The headquarters of Long Island's largest publicly traded company is gone. On Tuesday Arrow Electronics Inc. became a Colorado corporation. Its Melville building, with 550 employees, is intact, but the seat of power has moved to a Denver suburb. The $18-billion company disclosed last month it was shifting the corporate offices to Englewood, Colo. Spokesman John Hourigan did not immediately respond to a request for comment. -- Joseph Mallia


AmEx prepaid cards at Target

American Express cards are now available in the aisles of Target. American Express Tuesday announced the official launch of its prepaid cards available exclusively at the discount retailer's stores. Prepaid cards, which work like debit cards and can be reloaded with cash, are usually marketed to lower-income consumers who don't have credit cards or checking accounts. Although American Express has been known for catering to a more affluent clientele, the company this summer moved to muscle in on the rapidly growing prepaid industry by introducing a prepaid card available online. The new card being sold at Target has just two fees: $3 to load money on the card and $3 per ATM withdrawal, after the first free withdrawal each month. There is no fee to reload money onto the card by phone or online. -- AP

Apple fills Jobs' seat on board

Apple has named board member Arthur Levinson as its nonexecutive chairman to fill the vacancy left open when co-founder Steve Jobs died last month. Levinson is chairman of Genentech Inc., a biotech company he joined as a research scientist in 1980 and led as chief executive from 1995 to 2009. Levinson has been co-lead director on Apple Inc.'s board since 2005. Robert Iger, president and chief executive of The Walt Disney Co., was tapped as a director. After taking the reins at Disney in 2005, Iger repaired frayed relations between Jobs and Disney by making ABC shows available on iTunes and leading Disney's acquisition of computer-animated movie studio Pixar for $7.4 billion. The Pixar deal made Jobs Disney's largest shareholder. -- AP

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