Toyota announced two safety recalls for its Prius hybrid, saying the steering intermediate extension shafts in 670,000 Prius cars from model years 2004-2009 sold in the U.S. need to be inspected and in some cases replaced. And 350,000 of those hybrids will have to have their electric water pumps replaced. Toyota will recall an additional 2 million vehicles worldwide, including the Prius and the Corolla, to fix the same problems.
BlackBerry users will be able to make free voice calls over a Wi-Fi network using the popular BBM messaging service. Research In Motion announced Wednesday that it's adding the feature to BBM. Users will be able to switch back and forth from a text chat to a voice call. A split-screen option will let them talk and text at the same time. The new feature is a free update for existing customers and comes months before RIM introduces its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
Abercrombie & Fitch delivered a pleasant pre-Christmas surprise to investors, as the teen retailer's third-quarter net income rose 41 percent to $71.5 million, beating Wall Street expectations. A&F said international, domestic and direct-to-consumer sales strengthened. The strong quarterly performance is welcome news for A&F, which announced in June it will close 180 U.S. stores over the next few years. The latest results show that its efforts to fix its merchandise are gaining traction.
Industry consultant Strategic Insight reported Wednesday that a net $15.2 billion was withdrawn from U.S. stock funds in October. Cash was pulled from stock funds for the eighth month in a row last month, while bond funds attracted cash for the 14th consecutive month. Last month's net withdrawal from U.S. stock funds was down from the $16.3 billion pulled out in September. Nevertheless, funds primarily investing in foreign stocks attracted cash last month, with $700 million in net deposits. Year to date, international stock funds have attracted $34 billion in new cash.
AMOUNT Starbucks is paying to acquire Teavana Holdings, which sells high-end loose leaf teas in 300 shopping mall locations, with a plan to grow Teavana's footprint beyond suburban malls with stand-alone shops
tHE BOTTOM LINE: Pinterest is allowing small businesses and corporations to create official accounts, a move that could be an early step toward profitability ... Computer chip maker Texas Instruments to eliminate 1,700 jobs, about 5 percent of its workforce, as it trims spending in its wireless business