Dismal Results at Barnes & Noble

Morning Business Memo…

Barnes & Noble is pulling back on its big bet to compete against Apple and Amazon in the tablet wars. The country's largest bookseller, which spent heavily on the Nook, says it will stop making its own color touch screen tablets, farming out the manufacturing to a third party. Barnes & Noble will continue to make the less-expensive black-and-white Nook e-readers.

After announcing dismal quarterly results Tuesday, the firm's stock price plunged more than 17 percent. Sales plunged at Barnes & Noble bookstores and losses more than doubled compared with a year ago. According to research firm IDC, Barnes & Noble's tablet shipments fell to 1 million in the fourth quarter, down from 1.4 million a year earlier. At the same time, sales of Amazon's Kindle e-readers have kept growing.

More than ever job candidates' social media profiles are being used by employers to decide if they should be hired. The jobs firm CareerBuilder says more than two in five employers found information on social media that caused them not to hire job applicants. "Provocative or inappropriate photos or information: that was the number one thing that employers found," says Career Builder's Michael Erwin. "I think that your social media pages do say a lot about you and unfortunately it shows we may not be the best communicators." On the plus side the survey finds a positive social media profile and professional image can help you get hired. In a highly competitive job market, Erwin says if employers "look you up on social media and they see this great portfolio, you've just bounced ahead of your competition."

For the first time in 12 years the US has been rated the best country for foreign direct investment. The findings come as more overseas companies boost their US investment plans. Cheaper sources of energy are one of the factors driving the change. The annual survey by the consulting firm A.T. Kearney polled executives at more than 300 firms worldwide. China had occupied the top spot since 2001. Emerging nations continued to move up in the rankings, accounting for 16 out of the top 25 countries in the index.

President Obama's new plan to fight climate change could have a big impact on the energy industry. Manufacturers are concerned the crackdown on carbon emissions could lead to higher electricity costs. Nuclear and renewable energy companies may benefit if greenhouse gas emissions are restricted.

After the recent declines, stock market sentiment might be improving. The Dow Jones Industrial index rose 100 points yesterday as investors reacted to reports suggesting improvements for housing, durable goods orders, and consumer confidence. Stock futures rose again this morning.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesabc

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