Feb 7 -Summary of business headlines: Stocks decline as ECB chief signals growth concerns; U.S. shoppers keep up despite smaller paychecks; BlackBerry says ''sayonara'' to Japan; Apple explores cash options after shareholder lawsuit; Dreamliner still grounded but one takes flight. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Europe is once again nagging Wall Street and that put the bulls on the run. The losses were not steep but enough to put the market's weekly winning streak in jeopardy. Ears were attuned to Europe where the head of the region's central bank hinted a stronger euro could put the zone's fragile recovery in a precarious condition. European jitters aside, investors bought the news coming out of the retail sector. U.S. chain store sales held up in January, even though the reinstating of the payroll tax means consumers had less money to spend. Oddly enough, credit-related companies like MasterCard, Equifax and Visa - some of the biggest losers on the Big Board. BlackBerry says it will not sell its new BlackBerry 10 devices in Japan - at all - saying the country is not a major market. But the device maker says it will continue to support older models. Shares of the company formerly known as Research in Motion - up nearly 6 percent. Apple responds to a lawsuit filed by activist shareholder David Einhorn, saying: "we remain committed to having an ongoing dialogue with our shareholders to get perspective around return of capital." In his lawsuit, Einhorn complained some of Apple's $137 billion cash stockpile should be given to shareholders. Shares of Apple rallied almost 3 percent. A Boeing 787 Dreamliner was back up in the air, but the fleet still on the ground. This flight was heading to a company facility near Seattle, as safety inspectors still try to figure out what's behind a series of safety issues last month. NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman: SOUNDBITE: DEBORAH HERSMAN, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Because the 787 battery is really a collection of eight individual cells packaged together in a box, we are looking at the total design of the battery." Turning back to Europe, stocks in France and the UK dropped at least one percent, basically flat in Germany.