Sept 12 - Summary of business headlines: Stocks inch higher ahead of Thursday Fed announcement; Apple unveils iPhone 5, stock climbs; U.S. poverty rate stable. Conway G. Gittens reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL A skittish day on Wall Street. Investors are waiting to find out if the Federal Reserve will announce new stimulative measures. Stocks nudged higher with a two-day meeting in progress. News on how average Americans are faring in this economy: The number of people living in poverty leveled off in 2011, after rising during the recent financial and economic crisis, new data from the Census Bureau shows. There were 46.2 million Americans living under the poverty line last year, of about $23,000 a year for a family of four. The poverty rate of 15 percent is a touch lower than 15.1 percent in 2010. But there's not too much to celebrate, the median household income was down 1.5 percent. In corporate news, Apple finally gave the world a look at the iPhone 5. Its frame: thinner; screen: bigger; battery life: longer; and speed: faster. Analysts expect the fifth version of the popular phone to sell between 10 million to 12 million units this month alone. So far Apple has sold more than 243 million iPhones since its debut back in 2007, but the competition is coming on hard and fast. The iPhone 5 alone is not enough to beat back the growing field of rivals, but the Apple eco-system with iTunes, apps, and the iPad can't be beat, says Scott Sutherland of Wedbush Securities, and that's why he likes the stock. SOUNDBITE: SCOTT SUTHERLAND, MANAGING DIRECTOR, WEDBUSH SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "That is an ecosystem that is still ripe to upsell additional devices, upgrade people's devices and continue the momentum for Apple and I think that's why I'd focus on those ecosystem metrics of iCloud and iTunes and how it's going to lead to additional device sales for phones, music players but also things like a mini iPad, or regular iPads or even an Apple TV that would be tied to this." No clues on a speculated iPad mini or Apple TV - but the stock climbed anyway. Europe focused on Germany's top court which gave the green light for the country to participate in a euro zone bailout fund. Shares were modestly higher in Germany and France, but down in the U.K. Conway Gittens, Reuters