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Today in business: 5 things you need to know
The jobless rate ticks up, Apple surpasses Samsung in smartphone sales, and more in our roundup of the business stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Apple beat out its smartphone rivals in the fourth quarter.
Apple beat out its smartphone rivals in the fourth quarter. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

1. ECONOMY ADDS 157,000 JOBS
U.S. employers added 157,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department reported on Friday. The gains, a hair shy of what economists expected, was enough to signal continued slow improvement of the employment picture but not enough to keep the unemployment rate from inching higher, to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent the month before, as more unemployed Americas went back out to hunt for work. Encouragingly, government data also showed that the economy added 150,000 more jobs than first estimated in the final quarter of 2012 — and 335,000 more over the whole year. That brought 2012's job growth to 2.2 million. [New York Times]
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2. APPLE TAKES U.S. QUARTERLY SMARTPHONE CROWN
Apple surged past all rivals to become the largest U.S. mobile phone maker in the fourth quarter of 2012, a first, according to Strategy Analytics. The iPhone maker took a 34 percent share of the market by shipping an estimated 17.7 million devices. Samsung came in second, selling 16.8 million smartphones for a 32.3 percent slice of the market. LG was way back in third, shipping 4.7 million units, or 9 percent. Samsung still managed to hang on to its lead with the biggest share of the market for the entire year. [TechCrunch]
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3. U.S. MANUFACTURING GATHERS STEAM
U.S. manufacturing surged in January at its fastest pace in 11 months, according to surveys released Friday by financial information firm Markit and the Institute for Supply Management. The ISM index rose to 53.1 percent in January from 50.2 percent in December, which beat a MarketWatch forecast, thanks to rising domestic demand. The data "suggests the underlying health of the industrial sector continues to improve and rising production will help the economy return to growth in the first quarter, providing there are no setbacks in coming months" said Markit chief economist Chris Williamson. [Reuters, MarketWatch]
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4. STRUGGLING EUROZONE CHEERED BY GOOD DATA
Europe's battered economy got a triple dose of encouraging news on Friday. Unemployment proved lower than feared in December across the 17 countries that use the euro (although it's still high, at 11.7 percent). Also, manufacturing showed signs of growth, and inflation fell. But despite the good news, the eurozone remains stuck in a recession. "It's not as bad as it was and that's probably the best one can say..." says market strategist Marc Ostwald of Monument Securities. "It doesn't mean happy days are near." [Associated Press]
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5. DETROIT STARTS 2013 WITH STRONG SALES
Ford, GM, and Chrysler all started the year with solid January sales increases, the Detroit automakers reported Friday. Ford sold 166,501 vehicles, a 22 percent monthly jump. GM sold 194,699, an increase of 16 percent. And Chrysler posted its 34th consecutive monthly sales gain with a 16 percent increase. Analysts attributed the improvement to the release of pent-up demand, as Americans who had been putting off purchases were encouraged by the gradual economic recovery to finally visit dealer showrooms. [Detroit Free Press]

 

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