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Business Briefs

Apple shares rise on word of iPhone-Verizon deal

Apple Inc. shares reached an all-time high Tuesday after a newspaper report said the iPhone could find a new U.S. sales outlet through Verizon Wireless. Since its 2007 launch, the iPhone has been available in the United States only to subscribers of AT&T Inc., which has thrived as the sole U.S. carrier despite paying a massive subsidy to Apple for exclusive rights to offer the phone. Apple, AT&T and Verizon declined to comment on the matter. Apple shares rose as high as $237.48 yesterday, an all-time peak, before closing at $235.85, a 1.5 percent gain for the day.

Jailed financier Stanford wants new legal team

Attorneys for jailed Texas financier R. Allen Stanford continue falling by the wayside as he awaits trial on charges he bilked investors out of $7 billion as part of a massive Ponzi scheme. In a motion filed Tuesday in federal court in Houston, Stanford is again asking for new attorneys, his fourth set of lawyers in less than a year. U.S. District Judge David Hittner has yet to make a ruling on the motion

High court: Judges can settle mutual fund fee fight

The Supreme Court Tuesday rejected a lower court standard that investors say would have made it almost impossible for them to sue over "excessive" fees on mutual funds, a popular investment vehicle for Americans. Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the court, said the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago should have made its decision using the widely used standard set by the courts in 1982 in the case Gartenbergv. Merrill Lynch Asset Management. The court sent the case back down for the courts to apply Gartenberg. Plaintiffs Jerry N. Jones, Mary F. Jones and Arline Winerman sued Harris Associates Lp, which advises on the Oakmark complex of mutual funds. The plaintiffs say Harris' fees violate the Investment Company Act, which is supposed to combat excessive investment adviser fees.

Stocks edge up, Dow has fourth straight gain

he stock market moved closer to closing out another strong quarter with a modest advance Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average logged its fourth straight gain following a rise in technology stocks. Analysts expect trading to be erratic today because of the end of the quarter. The Dow rose 11.56 points, or 0.1 percent, to 10,907.42. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.05, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,173.27, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 6.33, or 0.3 percent, to 2,410.69.

Troubles in China for Yahoo and Google

Yahoo e-mail accounts belonging to foreign journalists appeared to have been hacked, and Google's Chinese search engine was intermittently blocked because of an internal change Tuesday, the latest troubles in China's heavily censored Internet market. The Yahoo Inc. accounts of at least three journalists and an analyst became inaccessible over the last few weeks. Sensitivity about Internet security has run high since Google Inc. announced in January it might leave China after a series of cyber attacks and complaints about censorship. Last week, Google shut down its mainland-based search engine.

Three women sue Bank of America, allege discrimination

Three women who have worked as financial advisers for Bank of America Corp. and Merrill Lynch are accusing the companies of treating them like "second-class citizens." A gender discrimination lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn alleges that the bank and the brokerage, which is owned by Bank of America, purposely gave men greater opportunities to earn more money and win promotions. Two of the plaintiffs are former Bank of America employees - including Dianne Goedtel, who worked at Merrill Lynch's office in Melville in 2006 and 2007. The third woman still works for Merrill Lynch. The suit says the discrimination is "companywide" and "the result of unchecked gender bias that pervades the defendants' corporate culture." It seeks back pay and unspecified damages. There was no immediate response to a phone message left with a bank spokeswoman.

- John Riley

From staff and wire reports

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