BlackBerry Posted Surprise Quarterly Profit

BlackBerry Inc. reported a surprise operating profit for its fourth fiscal quarter on Thursday morning, thanks to on-going cost reductions and shipments of its new Z10 handset hitting the 1 million mark.  BlackBerry said net income in the fourth quarter was $98 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $125 million, or 24 cents a share.

U.S. stocks were little changed at the open on Thursday after data showed initial jobless claims rose more than expected last week and the economy expanded at a sluggish pace in the fourth quarter. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 22.35 points, or 0.15 percent, to 14,548.51. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index  added 1.13 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,563.98. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 2.53 points, or 0.08 percent, to 3,259.05.

The economy expanded at a sluggish pace in the fourth quarter although a big gain in business investmen and higher exports of services led the government to push up its previous estimate for growth. Gross domestic product expanded at a 0.4 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, just below the 0.5 percent gain forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Cypriots queued calmly at banks as they reopened on Thursday under tight controls imposed on transactions to prevent a run on deposits after the government was forced to accept a stringent EU rescue package to avert bankruptcy.

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