Business News

U.S. small business optimism fell in January amid worries over the near-term outlook, but a strengthening labor market should keep the economy on solid ground early in the year. The National Federation of Independent Business said its Small Business Optimism Index fell 2.5 points to 97.9 last month, reversing December's gains, which had taken the index over the 100 threshold for the first time in eight years. (Reuters)

Portland-based aviation services firm Erickson Inc. will lay off 150 employees as it moves to restructure. The layoffs will affect field, factory and office locations. Most layoffs will affect the Oregon manufacturing operations in Medford. (Portland Business Journal)

Apple has become the first U.S. company to have its stock close with a market value above $700 billion. Apple’s share price has risen 23,639% from its first trading day on December 12, 1980. It is more than double the size of rival Microsoft, the second-biggest US company. (Market Watch)

US job openings climbed to more than 5 million in December, up 181,000 from November, in a further sign that job creation is quickening. The quits rate, a measure of the number of people who leave their current employer and often viewed as an indicator of optimism of available jobs, was unchanged at 1.9%. (Financial Times)

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