Some AT&T customers can roll over data
AT&T wireless customers who are on a Mobile Share Value plan will soon be able to roll over any unused mobile data into their next billing cycle, AT&T said. That's potentially a big boost for some subscribers. The change takes effect Jan. 25, and it covers everybody on a Mobile Share Value plan — new and existing customers. The data will only roll over for a month, though, meaning you can't stack up your unused data from February, March and April and hope to use it all in May. AT&T seems intent on attracting more Americans to its Mobile Share Value plans. In November, some customers on those plans started getting extra data for no additional charge; people on 2 GB plans were automatically upgraded to 3 GB, and those on 4 GB were automatically upgraded to 6 GB.
Oil pushed trade deficit down in November
The U.S. trade deficit fell in November to the lowest level in almost a year, thanks to the country's swiftly shrinking thirst for foreign oil. The deficit — imports minus exports — narrowed to $39 billion during the month, down 7.7 percent from a revised October deficit of $42.2 billion, the Commerce Department reported. U.S. exports slipped 1 percent to $196.4 billion amid lower sales of commercial airliners. Primarily due to oil, imports posted a steeper drop of 2.2 percent to $235.4 billion. The volume of crude imported in November hit its lowest level since 1994, while the average price hit a two-year low of $82.95 a barrel. A simultaneous boom in domestic oil production has also cut the country's reliance on imported oil. Economists predict that the oil market will continue to reduce the U.S. trade deficit and potentially bolster the overall economy.
Deal puts Barbie products in Hallmark stores
Expect to see Barbie Keepsake Ornaments in Hallmark Gold Crown stores in July — the exclusive headline product from a new licensing agreement between Hallmark Cards Inc. and Mattel. The new deal, which includes Mattel's Hot Wheels, Monster High and Ever After High brands, also gives Hallmark the right to make ornaments and plush products with wider distribution in the United States and Canada. Hallmark's planned Barbie products include a "Celebration Barbie Bonus Pack" with 2013 and 2014 Holiday Barbie Dolls and a tiny plush Barbie doll, to be sold only in the Gold Crown stores. Other products are under development.
Dunkin' Donuts plans expansion in China
Dunkin' Donuts said it struck a deal to open more than 1,400 locations in China over the next 20 years. The chain said in an e-mail there are currently 16 Dunkin' Donuts locations in the country. Parent company Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., which is based in Canton, Mass., and also owns Baskin Robbins, said it entered into a master franchise agreement with Golden Cup Pte. Ltd. The group is a joint venture between Jollibee Worldwide Pte Ltd., based in the Philippines, and Jasmine Asset Holding Ltd, a unit of RRJ Capital Master Fund II.
FROM NEWS SERVICES