Users of iTunes, app stores locked out for over 5 hours

Apple has restored service to its widely used iTunes and app stores after a rare breakdown Wednesday.

The outage vexed the iPhone and iPad maker for more than five hours, disrupting some of the world’s most widely used and profitable services and frustrating millions of music lovers and mobile device owners.

Access came back in the late afternoon, according to status updates posted by Apple Inc. While they were locked out, exasperated Apple users vented in social media and online forums.

FTC accuses DirecTV of deceptive advertising

The government is taking the nation’s biggest satellite TV provider to court, accusing DirecTV of misleading millions of consumers about the cost of its programming.

The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that its complaint charges DirecTV Inc. with deceptively advertising a discounted 12-month programming package. Consumers weren’t clearly told that the package requires a two-year contract, the commission said.

The advertising, the FTC said, did not make clear that the cost of the package would increase by up to $45 more per month in the second year and that hefty early cancellation fees – up to $480 – would apply.

Stock indexes stabilize a day after huge sell-off

U.S. stock indexes closed slightly lower Wednesday, stabilizing a day after their biggest sell-off in two months.

Indexes spent most of the day wavering between slight gains and losses. Investors are waiting for clues from a Federal Reserve meeting next Wednesday about when it may start increasing interest rates. The prospect of higher rates and a surge in the dollar have been weighing on markets since indexes hit record highs last week.

The Dow Jones lost 27.55 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 17,635.39. The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 3.92 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,040.24.

The Nasdaq fell 9.85 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,849.94.

– From news service reports