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Today in business: 5 things you need to know
Stocks drop as the Fed considers curbing its stimulus, The Boston Globe is for sale, and more in our roundup of the business stories that are making news and driving opinion
A trader monitors activity from his mobile workstation at the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 20.
A trader monitors activity from his mobile workstation at the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 20. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

1. FED'S SECOND-GUESSING OF ITS STIMULUS RATTLES MARKETS
Stocks dipped on Thursday after the Federal Reserve released minutes from a meeting suggesting that the central bank's policy makers were debating whether to curb their effort to stimulate the economy earlier than expected. The Fed has been buying up assets to pump money into the economy — but some members of the Fed's Open Market Committee said at the late-January meeting that the easy-money policies could lead to instability in financial markets, so it might be wise to backpedal a bit. Previously, the Fed had indicated that it might make no changes until the job market shows significant improvement. [Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal]
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2. NEW YORK TIMES MOVES TO SELL BOSTON GLOBE
The New York Times Co. is planning to sell the New England Media Group, including The Boston Globe, and has hired an investment bank, Evercore Group, to solicit buyers. The Times tried to sell the Globe in 2009, and had threatened to close the newspaper because it was losing money, but changed its mind after getting cost-saving concessions, including wage cuts, from Globe employees. Since then, the company has sold its newspapers in Florida and California, along with other properties, in a bid to focus on the Times brand and journalism. [Boston Globe]
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3. SONY ANNOUNCES PLAYSTATION 4
Sony introduced its PlayStation 4 on Wednesday evening, describing the first update of its iconic video-game console in seven years as being like a "supercharged PC." The first three generations of Playstation generated huge profits for the company and pushed the envelope for serious gamers. The Playstation 4 marks a bid to reclaim that past glory with enhanced graphics and a souped-up eight-core processor to juggle more complex tasks. Sony hasn't announced a launch date, but it's hoping that delivering the new Playstation to gamers this year will help revive its faltering electronics business by getting a jump on the next version of Microsoft's Xbox. [New York Times, Reuters]
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4. SHORTAGE OF HOMES LIMITS RISE IN SALES
Sales of previously owned homes inched higher in January, the National Association of Realtors reported on Thursday. The improvement would have been even greater, but a shortage of homes on the market put a lid on sales. Buyer traffic is up by 40 percent over a year ago, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the Realtors' association. There aren't enough homes for sale to meet the demand, though, he said, and that has created "a seller's market in much of the country." [USA Today]
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5. WALMART EXECUTIVES LAMENT SLOW FEBRUARY SALES
Walmart sales were worse in early February than at the start of any month in the last seven years, according to internal emails acquired by Bloomberg. "In case you haven't seen a sales report these days, February MTD [month-to-date] sales are a total disaster," Jerry Murray, the company's vice president of finance and logistics, said in a Feb. 12 email to colleagues. The news came after a disappointing January, as consumers found money tighter thanks to several factors, including the slow economy and the expiration of the payroll tax break. "Where are all the customers?" Murray wrote. "And where's their money?" [Bloomberg]

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