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Business Briefs: Stocks post slight gains as tech sector leads way

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NEW YORK -- A day of broad swings in the stock market ended with modest gains Tuesday, as investors balanced an increase in U.S. retail sales with Europe's lingering debt crisis.

Tech stocks had the top gains. Intel rose 2.9 percent a day after Warren Buffett revealed Berkshire Hathaway had bought a stake in the company. Hewlett-Packard Co. rose 3.4 percent.

But Europe's debt woes continued to weigh on markets. Higher interest rates on government debt issued by Italy, Spain and other countries rattled European stocks Tuesday.

--The Dow Jones industrial average rose 17.18 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,096.16.

--The S&P 500 gained 6.02, or 0.5 percent, to 1,257.81.

--The Nasdaq added 28.98, or 1.1 percent, to 2,686.20.

Genentech's chair to fill Jobs' Apple board seat

NEW YORK -- Apple on Tuesday named board member Arthur Levinson as its nonexecutive chairman to fill the vacancy left open when Steve Jobs died last month.

Levinson is chairman of Genentech, a pharmaceuticals firm he joined in 1980 and led as CEO from 1995 to 2009. He has been co-lead director on Apple's board since 2005.

Also, Robert Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Co., was tapped as a director.

Home Depot's net rises 12% on storm-related spending

ATLANTA -- Spending on home projects and storm-related repairs helped boost Home Depot's third-quarter net income 12 percent, the retailer said. The No. 1 U.S. home-improvement chain's net income rose to $934 million. Revenue rose 4 percent to $17.33 billion.

Home Depot's results beat expectations, and the company raised its 2011 earnings outlook and its dividend.

Federal pension agency has largest-ever deficit

WASHINGTON -- The federal agency that insures pensions for one in seven Americans ran the largest deficit last year in its 37-year history. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. ran a $26 billion imbalance for the budget year that ended Sept. 30.

The agency has been battered by the weak economy, which has brought more bankruptcies and failed pension plans.

Their pension obligations rose by $4.5 billion. The PBGC also earned less money in the stock market, which helps to fund pension plans.

The agency's director said taxpayers may have to bail out the agency "eventually" if Congress doesn't raise companies' insurance premiums.

Casino operator Caesars refloats stock-sale plans

NEW YORK -- Caesars Entertainment Corp., the world's biggest casino company, is restarting its plans to go public a year after it canceled its initial public offering. The Las Vegas company says in a filing it's looking to raise up to $50 million. Last November, it had hoped to raise as much as $532 million before it pulled its IPO, citing market conditions.

Swiss bank UBS names interim chief as its CEO

GENEVA -- UBS AG said Tuesday that its board has appointed interim chief Sergio P. Ermotti to become the new permanent CEO, ending uncertainty over the Swiss bank's leadership following a rogue trading scandal.

The announcement came ahead of an investors' meeting Thursday in New York, at which executives were expected to outline UBS's strategy for recovering from the $2.3 billion rogue trading loss.

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