Business Briefs – January 26, 2016

After Setting iPhone Record, Apple Forecasts Rare Sales Drop

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Apple is bracing for its first sales decline in 13 years, despite selling a record 74.8 million iPhones in the final three months of 2015.

The giant tech company issued a sales forecast that says revenue could fall at least 8.6 percent during the January-March quarter, compared with a year earlier. Analysts say the latest iPhone models are selling reasonably well, but they’re not providing the boost Apple needs to match the massive sales growth it enjoyed last year.

Apple counts on the iPhone for two-thirds of its revenue.

Health Care Fines Press Millennials As Sign-Up Deadline Nears

WASHINGTON (AP) – Millions of young adults healthy enough to think they don’t need insurance face painful choices this year as the sign-up deadline approaches for President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Fines for being uninsured rise sharply in 2016 — averaging nearly $1,000 per household, according to an independent estimate. It’s forcing those in their 20s and 30s to take a hard look and see if they can squeeze in coverage to avoid penalties.

JPMorgan to Pay $1.42 Billion To Lehman Brothers

NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $1.42 billion to settle allegations that it withheld critical funds from Lehman Brothers in the final days leading up to Lehman’s collapse during the financial crisis.

Lehman’s failure is considered a critical moment in the financial crisis, one that helped deepen and extend the U.S. recession.

As Lehman’s clearing bank, JP Morgan provided the cash that Lehman used to do business every day. In the final days leading up to Lehman’s failure, JPMorgan executives began to worry that the collateral Lehman pledged was less valuable than Lehman said it was.

And JPMorgan required Lehman to pledge increasing amounts of collateral in order to keep Lehman’s operations open.

After Stimulus Hint, ECB Chief Under Pressure to Deliver

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, has a tricky six weeks ahead of him.

The head of the top monetary authority for the 19-country eurozone helped stem a global stock market slide last week by indicating the ECB could provide more stimulus at the next meeting in March.

That was a big deal for markets, but now Draghi has the challenge of backing up words with action. He must defuse a restless minority of stimulus skeptics on the bank’s governing council and come up with something convincing — or risk disappointing the already frazzled financial markets, triggering another drop in stocks.