April 11 - Summary of business headlines: Alcoa helps Wall Street break losing streak; Fed report shows economic activity expanding; E-book legal trouble for Apple and two publishers; J&J ordered to pay $1.1 billion for fraudulent marketing. Bobbi Rebell reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL The bulls were back on Wall Street as a surprisingly good earnings report from Alcoa helped the major indexes break a five-day decline as investors swooped in looking for bargains. Alec Young of S&P Capital IQ: SOUNDBITE: ALEC YOUNG, GLOBAL EQUITY STRATEGIST, S&P CAPITAL IQ (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Well I think there has been concern that earnings growth is slowing pretty dramatically. The Capital IQ consensus is looking for only 1 percent earnings growth on a year over year basis for S&P 500 companies in the first quarter. And so to see a bellwether like Alcoa come out and beat I think gave people a little bit of a shot in the arm." A new report from the Federal Reserve showed U.S. economic activity kept expanding moderately in the late winter months. The report, known as the Beige Book, also showed rising energy prices were beginning to worry manufacturers and retailers across the country. Apple and two major book publishers are being charged with conspiring to prop up the price of e-books. The U.S. Justice Department is accusing them of conspiring two years ago to move to a business model where the publishers set the prices- and give Apple a cut. At the time, Amazon was paying publishers for the books, then discounting them to $9.99 to gain market share. Three other publishers agreed to settle the government's charges. Johnson and Johnson has been ordered to pay a $1.1 billion penalty by an Arkansas Judge. It was found guilty of using fraudulent tactics to sell its Risperdal anti-psychotic medicine. Turning to the markets: In the U.S., traders were happy at the sound of the closing bell: All three major indexes had a good day on Wednesday-snapping that five-day losing streak. In Europe: Nokia stock hit its lowest level since 1997 after it warned its phone business would post losses in the first two quarters of the year. But that weakness did not prevent major markets from finishing higher. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.