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Business briefs

Lackluster session for stocks

Stocks closed little changed yesterday on another disappointing jobs report and growing concern over an investigation of banks' foreclosure practices. But the market made up earlier losses as investors anticipated that the Federal Reserve will take steps soon to strengthen the economy. Bank and other financial stocks were pummeled as more companies suspended foreclosures on homes while taking steps to confirm that they have fully complied with the law. Shares of Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. fell between 2 percent and 5 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.51 points, or about 0.01 percent, at 1,1094.57, after falling as much as 70 in the morning. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 4.29, or 0.36 percent, to 1,173.81. The Nasdaq composite index fell 5.85, or 0.2 percent, to 2,435.38.

Google's 3Q earnings up 32%

Google Inc.'s third-quarter earnings climbed 32 percent to beat Wall Street's expectations as companies spent more to advertise to Web surfers. The Web search leader clocked an impressive performance despite adding 1,500 workers in the quarter, for a total of 3,500 new employees so far this year. Google also spent more than four times as much on data centers and other equipment than it did a year ago. Investors sent shares of Google jumping more than 9 percent, to $590.60, in extended trading after the release of results Thursday. For July through September, the Web search leader's net income rose to $2.2 billion, or $6.72 per share, from $1.6 billion, or $5.13 per share, a year earlier.

CVS to pay $75M to settle

meth ingredient sales probe

CVS Pharmacy Inc. has agreed to pay $75 million in fines for allowing repeated purchases of a key ingredient in the making of methamphetamine in at least five states that also led to a spike in Southern California drug trafficking, authorities said yesterday. The nation's largest operator of retail pharmacies will pay what federal prosecutors said is the largest civil penalty under the Controlled Substances Act. The company also will forfeit about $2.6 million in profits earned from the sales of pseudoephedrine, which can often be found in cold medicine and is used to make meth. Authorities said CVS didn't provide enough safeguards to monitor how much pseudoephedrine someone was buying, and the company violated federal drug regulations in Arizona, Georgia, California, Nevada, South Carolina and possibly 20 other states. Thomas Ryan, chairman and CEO of parent company CVS Caremark, said the company unacceptably breached its policies and has worked to fix the problem. From wire reports

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