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Briefs

HP expects upper-end job losses

Personal computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co. has confirmed that it expects layoffs at the upper end of a range that it outlined in 2013, with 5,000 more workers than originally planned expected to lose jobs by October.

The company said in a securities filing Monday that “continued market and business pressures” were behind the move. The additional cuts, on top of the 29,000 positions it planned to cut in a May 2012 restructuring plan, will likely boost the accumulated restructuring charges to $4.1 billion from $3.6 billion, it said.

Hewlett-Packard said in March that its estimated cutbacks could vary by as much as 15 percent from its original estimate. At an October meeting with analysts, Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak said the company planned to end up “near the high end” of that range.

Cost cuts have helped HP weather revenue declines in PCs, printing and enterprise services. In the fiscal year through Oct. 31, revenue fell 7 percent to $112.3 billion.

Home price gains slow in October

U.S. home prices rose in October from the previous year at the fastest pace in almost eight years. But price gains slowed in most U.S. cities from September to October, suggesting the increases are leveling off.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 0.2 percent from September to October, down from a 0.7 percent increase from August to September.

Monthly price gains slowed in 18 of the 20 cities tracked by the index.

And prices declined in nine cities, including Chicago, Denver and Washington, D.C.

Prices have risen 13.6 percent over the past 12 months, the fastest since February 2006.

Apple rebuffs reports it worked with NSA

Apple Inc. says it played no role in the National Security Agency’s alleged efforts to hack the iPhone, explaining that it was unaware of a recently revealed program apparently aimed at turning the best-selling smartphone into an improvised listening device.

The company said Tuesday it had never worked with the NSA to deliberately weaken its products, promising that it would “defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.”

Apple’s statement follows the disclosure by privacy advocate Jacob Appelbaum of a leaked document describing an NSA-designed software implant intended to turn an iPhone into a pocket-sized informer, secretly recording audio, stealing files, and harvesting contact information.

The revelation was one of series of disclosures that have rattled the NSA in the past six months.

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