Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Morning Brief: Stock markets rally as Congress passes 'Fiscal Cliff' tax bill; CBS Interactive issues updates to its CBS News iOS apps to fix Facebook sharing bug

In the end the 'Fiscal Cliff' was about as anti-climatic as the Orange Bowl, with the predicted results occurring, and no one really left satisfied. The House late on New Year's Day passed the bill sent over by the Senate which will raise taxes on households earning over $450,000, reinstating the payroll tax to 6.2 percent, and leaving more than enough contentious issues left to occupy the cable news networks for much of 2013.

But investors liked the idea of less Wolf Blitzer and Grover Norquist on their TV screens and as a result stock futures in the U.S. rose, with companies like Apple up sharply in pre-market trading.

In Europe stocks were up with the FTSE rising above the 6,000 mark for the first time since the summer of 2011.

The New Year means it will be back to business for most digital media pros, with Apple's iTunes Connect again available. Apps released just before the holiday in need of an update can now be fixed, and developers will once again be able to check their sales statistics.

A trickle of app updates have already been seen, with doubtless many more to be released later today and throughout the week.

CBS Interactive News updated both its CBS News iPhone and iPad apps this morning, fixing a bug that was effecting Facebook sharing.

So far at least Apple has made no additional changes to its App Store design, with the same holiday section appearing in the Newsstand category. That will most likely be replaced this week and the question is whether the ability to see the most recently released apps will be restored or whether Apple will continue to only let its own selected apps be seen by iTunes users.