Aug 30 - Summary of business headlines: CEOs from Apple and Google talk as mobile patent war heats up -sources; Data dims hope Bernanke will offer stimulus hint on Friday, stocks retreat; Citigroup to pay $590 million in crisis settlement; Knight takes Nasdaq's Facebook offer. Conway G. Gittens reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Apple and Google are conducting behind-the-scenes talks about intellectual property matters, according to people familiar with the discussions. The heads of both companies held conversations last week and lower-level talks are ongoing, the sources said. Both companies declined comment. This revelation comes about a week after Apple scored a big legal victory against Samsung, which uses Google's Android mobile phone software, and before a busy September for mobile device launches. Shares of Apple and Google finished lower in a market that was down overall. That's because Wall Street found little reason to rally despite signs the consumer is spending. Sales at stores opened at least a year were mostly better than expected in August, bolstering hopes the back-to-school shopping season will be stronger than thought. Also, government data show the biggest jump in consumer spending in five months during the month of July. Meanwhile, claims for unemployment benefits were steady last week. With numbers like those, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke may not be ready to show his hand when he speaks Friday, says JPMorgan Chase Senior Economist James Glassman. SOUNDBITE: JAMES GLASSMAN, SENIOR ECONOMIST, JPMORGAN CHASE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "A couple of weeks ago there was a lot of anticipation of Ben Bernanke. I think now, with the information we are getting, I think most of the people think it really doesn't make sense for him to know what he wants to do and to give us a clear signal about it tomorrow." So with expectations of any hints of additional stimulus dimming, Wall Street had its biggest drop in a week. A few other things to note: Citigroup will pay $590 million to settle a shareholder lawsuit tied to the global financial crisis, but denied any wrongdoing. Knight Capital is going to take the $62 million offered by Nasdaq to cover losses tied to the botched Facebook IPO. Finally tough economic times in Spain-not enough to stop the annual tomato fight. 120 tons of ripe tomatoes were used for the festival. As for the European market, there was red all over, led by a 1.6 percent drop in Germany. Conway Gittens, Reuters