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Orders rise for equipment, machinery
Companies ordered more machinery, computers and communication equipment in August, a positive sign for the slumping U.S. economy.
An increase in demand for those kind of longer-lasting factory goods suggests businesses are sticking with their investment plans, despite slow growth and weak consumer spending.
Overall orders for durable goods slipped 0.1 percent last month. The modest decline was largely due to an 8.5 percent drop in orders for autos and auto parts. In July, demand for those goods surged 10.2 percent — the biggest increase in eight years.
$199 Kindle Fire tablet unveiled by Amazon
NEW YORK — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Wednesday showed off the Kindle Fire, a $199 tablet computer, challenging Apple’s iPad by extending its Kindle brand into the world of full-color, multipurpose devices.
Mr. Bezos also took the opportunity at a New York press event to introduce a new line of Kindle e-readers with black-and-white screens and lower prices, further pressuring competitors like Barnes & Noble Inc. that are trying to break Amazon.com Inc.’s dominance in electronic book sales.
The Kindle Fire will go on sale Nov. 15. It’s about half the size of the iPad, making it a close match with Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color tablet, which came out last year. But while Barnes & Noble sees the Nook Color as jazzed-up e-reader, Amazon has broader goals for the Fire, as a platform for games, movies, music and other applications.
Reebok to pay consumers over dispute
Reebok will pay $25 million to customers to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that it made deceptive claims in ads that its toning shoes would strengthen and tone the legs and buttocks of those who wear them.
The athletic shoe and apparel company is also barred from making any claims of the strengthening effects of the shoes unless it is backed by scientific evidence.
A spokesman for Reebok International Ltd., based in Canton, Mass., was not available to comment. The company is owned by German shoe company Adidas.
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