Briefcase

Murdoch

Briefcase

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks dropped Tuesday after Federal Reserve policymakers said they were worried about a slowdown in hiring and appeared to resist buying more bonds to help the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down as much as 133 points after the Fed released minutes of the March meeting of its committee that sets interest rates. It had been down 45 points before the minutes were released.

The minutes showed that policymakers fear hiring could slow if economic growth doesn’t improve. Only two of 10 voting members on the Fed committee said they would support another round of bond purchases, and only if the economy weakened significantly.

The Dow bounced back by the close to a decline of 64.94 points, or 0.5 percent, at 13,199.55.

The S&P 500 index fell 5.66 points to 1,413.38.

The Nasdaq composite index dropped 6.13 to 3,113.57.

CHARLOTTE — Bank of America Corp. said Tuesday that it is hiring about 90 small-business bankers in Georgia and the Carolinas, continuing a pledge it made in late 2010 to add staff to specialize in working with customers who operate small companies.

The bank said it intends to give more personalized attention to its 4 million small-business customers. It’s also a way for the bank to grow its revenue after its complicated mortgage products and other risky loans brought it quarterly losses and regulatory probes during the financial crisis. Four positions will be filled in the Charleston market.

The new hires in the South bring the total small-business hiring to nearly 800.

RALEIGH — North Carolina will be home to the nation’s largest private fuel-cell energy project, a nonpolluting, silent power plant that will generate electricity from hydrogen.

Apple Inc. filed plans with the N.C. Utilities Commission last week to build the 4.8-megawatt project in Maiden, about 40 miles northwest of Charlotte. That’s where Apple has built a data center.

The fuel-cell project, the nation’s largest such project not built by an electric utility, will be developed this year. It will be on the same data complex that will host a planned 20-megawatt solar farm – the biggest ever proposed in this state.

LONDON — Once his father’s heir apparent, James Murdoch stepped down Tuesday as chairman of British Sky Broadcasting, surrendering one of the biggest jobs in the Murdoch media empire.

Murdoch’s competence and credibility have come under severe questioning because of the telephone hacking and alleged bribery scandal at the defunct Sunday tabloid, News of the World, and other British newspapers where he was supposed to be in charge.

NEW YORK — Facebook is stepping up its patent dispute with Yahoo by filing its own lawsuit against the struggling Internet icon.

Facebook’s lawsuit Tuesday came just weeks after Yahoo Inc. claimed that Facebook violated 10 patents covering advertising, privacy controls and social networking. Facebook denied Yahoo’s allegations and accused Yahoo of violating 10 of its patents.

Staff and wire reports