Stocks lower...Economy shrinks...Chrysler profits jump

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Associated Press

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 30 at 11:02 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are drifting lower in early trading on Wall Street, after the government reported that the economy shrank unexpectedly in the fourth quarter. Helping to offset that news are some encouraging earnings reports from companies including Amazon and Boeing. Later today, the Fed is expected to announce that it intends to keep short-term interest rates near zero.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank from October through December for the first time since 2009, despite stronger consumer spending and business investment. The Commerce Department says the gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with a 3.1 percent growth rate in previous quarter. Economists say it's mostly because of one-time factors, such as a big cut in defense spending. The White House says Superstorm Sandy bears some of the blame.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A private survey shows U.S. businesses increased hiring in January compared with a revised December reading. Payroll processor ADP says employers added 192,000 jobs in January. December's number, initially reported at 215,000, was revised lower to 185,000.

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler says its profit jumped to $1.7 billion in 2012 as sales rose 18 percent. That's nine times higher than the profit it recorded in 2011. The No. 3 U.S. automaker, just three years out of bankruptcy, says it expects to earn more than $2 billion this year. Chrysler is now majority owned by Italian automaker Fiat, which reports today that its fourth-quarter earnings more than doubled thanks to strong North American sales.

NEW YORK (AP) — After several delays, Research In Motion is unveiling its first phones with the new BlackBerry 10 system today at events in New York and other cities. The new design embraces the multimedia, apps and touch-screen that have propelled BlackBerry competitors Apple and Google to prominence.

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