- - Wednesday, January 23, 2013

U.S. sales of previously occupied homes dipped in December from November, in part because of a limited supply of available homes. But for all of 2012, sales rose to their highest level in five years.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales declined in December to an annual rate of 4.94 million. That’s down from a rate of 4.99 million in November, which was revised lower but was still the highest in three years.

TECH

Reports: Microsoft may invest in buyout of Dell

NEW YORK — Microsoft has joined the negotiations to buy struggling computer-maker Dell, according to media reports.

Both CNBC and The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft Corp. may invest some of the money needed to take Dell Inc. private after 25 years as a publicly traded company. Tuesday’s stories cited unidentified people familiar with the negotiations.

PHONES

AT&T announces deal to buy Alltel for $780M

DALLAS — AT&T Inc. said Tuesday that it has reached a deal to buy remnants of the Alltel wireless network for about $780 million to boost its spectrum holdings in rural areas.

The Dallas-based phone company is buying the licenses, retail stores and network assets, along with about 585,000 subscribers, from Atlantic Tele-Network Inc.

AUTOS

Opel may move up end of production at plant

BERLIN — General Motors Co. says it could end Opel car production at a German plant at the beginning of 2015, two years earlier than planned, as it tries to turn around its European unit amid economic gloom in the region.

PHONES

IPhone tops in U.S. as Android rules the world

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