Biz bits

Cash infusion to keep satellite radio solvent


NEW YORK --- Liberty Media Corp. will invest $530 million in Sirius XM Radio Inc., fending off a likely bankruptcy for the satellite radio company and blocking a bid by a rival, Dish Network Corp. CEO Charlie Ergen, to take control of Sirius.

The company had warned it could file for bankruptcy as early as Tuesday if it could not successfully negotiate with its debt holders.

Sirius XM Radio has 20 million subscribers who use the service to listen to sports, music and talk, including Howard Stern's show, which Sirius landed with a five-year, $500 million contract that could have been terminated in a bankruptcy.

Wal-Mart earnings are brightest spot in retail

NEW YORK --- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it's still pulling shoppers away from its main rivals and enjoying a rise in customer traffic as the world's largest retailer released better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday.

Still, the retailer issued a cautious earnings outlook as it feels the pinch from the stronger dollar in its important international business, a trend officials said could hurt profits over the next three quarters.

Wal-Mart's fourth-quarter profit fell 7.4 percent to $3.79 billion, or 96 cents per share, in the quarter ended Jan. 31, dragged down by the strong dollar and a charge from settling labor lawsuits. That compares with $4.096 billion, or $1.02 per share, a year earlier. Total sales rose to $109.12 billion from $107.34 billion.

Oil prices keep falling amid economic woes

HOUSTON --- Lousy economic news dragged oil prices down nearly 7 percent Tuesday, as signs from across the globe pointed to a prolonged recession.

Light, sweet crude for March delivery fell $2.58 to settle at $34.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Prices at the pump slipped 0.5 cents to $1.960 a gallon, according to AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express.

Prices are about 12 cents higher than a month ago and $1.054 lower than a year ago.