New crash tests
Star news services
Subcompact cars fared poorly in new crash tests performed by an insurance industry group. None of the 12 minicars tested got the highest rating of good from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Chevrolet Spark was the only car that earned the second highest rating of acceptable. Six of the cars including the segments best-seller, the Nissan Versa got the lowest rating of poor. All the cars were from the 2013 or 2014 model years.
Pacifier holders recalled
Playtex is recalling 1.4 million pacifier holders because of concern that a small child could choke if a part of the clip broke off. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said the clips used to connect a pacifier to clothing, diaper bags or strollers can crack and a small part can break off. Playtex has received 99 reports of the holder cracking or breaking. No injuries have been reported. They were sold from 2010 through October 2013 for about $3 at major retailers such as Target, Walmart and Amazon.com. Consumers should stop using the pacifier holder and contact Playtex Products for a refund at 888-220-2075 or www.playtexproducts.com.
Streaming the Super Bowl
The Super Bowl will again be streamed live online. Fox said it will offer free access to all users on computers and tablets through its app for the NFL championship on Feb. 2. For other playoff games this season, only subscribers to certain cable companies could watch through Fox Sports Go. On smartphones, the game will be available through Verizons NFL Mobile app.
Amazon joins TV scramble
Amazon.com has approached U.S. media companies to acquire rights for an online pay television service, according to news reports. The service would expand on the Web retailers Prime Instant Video subscription service by offering live programming similar to traditional pay TV providers. Amazon is also developing a set-top box to stream video, much like a Roku player. We continue to build selection for Prime Instant Video and create original shows at Amazon Studios, said Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Amazon. We are not planning to license television channels or offer a pay TV service.
End of an era
Sears Holdings Corp. plans to close its money-losing namesake location in downtown Chicago, reducing its physical presence in the city as it shrinks its store network and divests assets amid a decline in sales. Sears will close the store at 2 N. State St. in Chicagos Loop business district in April. The closing will end Sears presence in Chicagos prominent shopping and business district as the retailer moves to cut expenses and raise cash.
Mortgage applications rise
Mortgage applications in the U.S. rose for a third consecutive week as a drop in mortgage rates spurred a pickup in refinancing. The Mortgage Bankers Associations index climbed 4.7 percent in the week ending Jan. 17, reaching the highest level in almost two months, the Washington-based trade group reported.