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    CNN Money: Top business headlines for April 3

    6:27 AM, Apr 3, 2013   |    comments
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    NEW YORK (CNN) -- CNN Money's Maribel Aber has your top business and financial news on this Wednesday, April 3.

    Fannie Mae posts record profit
    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Mortgage financing giant Fannie Mae Tuesday reported a record profit of $17.2 billion for 2012, a testament to how much the housing market has improved lately. Just four years ago, the government had to step in and take control of Fannie Mae, which was brought down to its knees by deep losses from foreclosures and plunging home prices after the real estate bubble had burst. It was the first full year profit reported by the company since 2006, and marked a significant turnaround from the $16.9 billion loss it posted for 2011.

    Gold slumps; silver falls to eight-month low
    NEW YORK-Gold prices fell to their lowest level in nearly four weeks, and silver slumped to an eight-month low, as investors set aside worries about Europe and sought higher returns in other assets. Silver also was pressured by signs of a stumbling industrial economy that cast doubt on demand prospects for the metal in electronics. The most actively traded gold contract, for June delivery, fell $25, or 1.6%, to $1,575.90 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, its lowest settlement in nearly four weeks. The drop was the largest for gold in dollar and percentage terms since Feb. 20.

    Apple to begin iPhone production this quarter
    Apple Inc. plans to begin production of a refreshed iPhone similar in size and shape to its current one in the second quarter of the year, according to people familiar with the device's production, teeing up a possible summer launch for the next version of its flagship device. At the same time, Apple continues to work with its manufacturing partners in Asia on a less expensive iPhone that could be launched as soon as the second half of this year, these people said. The four-inch device will likely use a different casing from the higher-end iPhone. Apple has been working on different color shells for the phone but its plans remain unclear. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

    Game of Thrones premiere sets piracy record
    HBO's mythical drama "Game of Thrones" set a record for modern-day piracy after its Sunday night premiere, as viewers around the globe scrambled to watch the season 3 debut episode that aired on the premium cable network. Piracy tracker TorrentFreak says that more than 1 million viewers downloaded the episode in the first day after it aired. At one point, more than 163,000 people were simultaneously sharing a single torrent -- a new record. The previous record, of just under 145,000 simultaneously file-swappers, was set by the "Heroes" season 3 debut in 2008, according to TorrentFreak's data.

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