Business digest: Jury selection starts in case tied to Madoff

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Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 12:00 am

Five grim-faced ex-employees of imprisoned financier Bernard Madoff were introduced to 200 prospective jurors Tuesday in New York City as jury selection began in their fraud trial. U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain is presiding over a trial expected to last five months.The trial is the first to result from the 2008 collapse of Madoff's private investment business, which cost thousands of investors nearly $20 billion in a multidecade scam. Among those on trial is Madoff's longtime secretary, Annette Bongiorno.

Google is introducing a new $279 laptop based on its Internet-centric Chrome operating system, borrowing many of the high-end features found in a model that costs about $1,000 more. Hewlett-Packard Co. is making the new HP Chromebook 11. Unlike Windows and Mac laptops, Chromebooks rely heavily on having a continuous Internet connection to run Gmail, Google Docs and other online services. Many apps don't run directly on the device but over the Internet. The devices also have relatively little storage, as documents, photos and other files are supposed to be stored online instead.

Tweeter is not Twitter. And it's changing its stock symbol to avoid any confusion. The bankrupt electronics retailer's new ticker symbol is “THEGQ.” Its old symbol was “TWTRQ.” That was apparently too similar to “TWTR,” the symbol proposed by Twitter on Thursday when it filed plans for an initial public offering. Some confused investors sent Tweeter's stock up as much as 1,400 percent on Friday. Twitter's stock won't be available for trading until the company actually goes public.

The U.S. Treasury Department isn't planning to provide assistance to Puerto Rico and continues to monitor the situation after the commonwealth's bond yields rose to records, according to a Treasury spokeswoman. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla, 42, is struggling to revive a shrinking economy and keep Puerto Rico's debt above junk. The U.S. territory and its agencies, whose bonds are tax-exempt nationwide, plan to borrow as much as $1.2 billion by Dec. 31 to balance budgets.

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