Business briefs | Analysts: Apple expected to launch mini iPad

October 16, 2012 

Gas costs drive up consumer index

Higher gas costs drove up U.S. consumer prices in September for the second straight month. Outside energy, there was little sign of inflation.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent last month, matching the August increase. In the past 12 months, prices have increased 2 percent. That’s in line with the Federal Reserve’s inflation target.

Excluding volatile food and energy costs, prices rose 0.1 percent. In the past year, so-called core prices have increased 2 percent.

Analysts: Apple expected to launch mini iPad

Apple Inc. has sent out invites for an event next Tuesday, where it’s expected to announce the release of a smaller iPad.

The invite, sent to reporters Tuesday, doesn’t hint at what will be revealed, beyond saying that “We’ve got a little more to show you.”

Analysts have said for months that Apple has an “iPad mini” in the works. The tablet is thought to be about half the size of the regular iPad and to start at $249 or $299. The regular iPad starts at $499 for the most recent models.

Apple founder Steve Jobs derided the idea of a smaller tablet two years ago, but Amazon.com Inc. has had some success with its Kindle Fire, which is about half the size of the iPad and starts at $159. Analysts believe Apple wants to tackle that competition.

Target adopts online price match program

Target Corp. says that for the first time it will match prices that customers find on identical products at select online competitors this holiday season.

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel told reporters at a conference Tuesday that the retailers include Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Bestbuy.com, Toysrus.com and babiesrus.com.

The price match program will cover the period from Nov 1 through Dec. 16.

The retailer says it will extend the time period for its price match policy with items from brick and mortar stores. It will also include prices offered by Target.com for the first time.

So if a shopper buys a product at Target stores between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 and then finds it for less at Target’s online store, or in a local rival’s printed ad, the discounter will match the price.

Citigroup CEO abruptly resigns

Vikram Pandit, who steered Citigroup through the 2008 financial crisis and the choppy years that followed, abruptly left the bank on Tuesday, stepping down as CEO and as a director.

The move shocked Wall Street, and Citigroup offered no explanation.

From wire reports

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