CNN Money: Top business headlines for Jan. 16

    7:07 AM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
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    NEW YORK (CNN) -- CNN Money's Maribel Aber has your top business and financial news on this Thursday, January 16.

    Simmons First National Bank to close 27 branches
    Simmons First National Bank of Pine Bluff, which bought Metropolitan National Bank from its bankrupt holding company in November, has filed applications with its federal regulator to close 27 of its 88 Arkansas branches. Simmons, the flagship bank of Simmons First National Corp., has not announced the list of closures but filed the applications in December with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Simmons executives had said that between 14 and 35 branches would likely be closed. The branches on the list for closure are a mix of 16 offices that had previously been operated by Metropolitan, seven that have been branches of Simmons First National and its sister bank and four that were branches of Simmons First Bank of Northwest Arkansas.

    J.C. Penney cutting 2,000 jobs, closing 33 stores

    The bad news continues at J.C. Penney. The ailing retailer announced Wednesday that it was cutting 2,000 jobs and closing 33 "underperforming" stores in an effort to rein in expenses. The store closings are likely to be complete by early May. J.C. Penney said it expected the moves to generate $65 million in annual cost savings. "While it's always difficult to make a business decision that impacts our valued customers and associates, this important step addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores and position JCPenney for future success," J.C. Penney CEO Mike Ullman said in a statement.

    Apple to refund millions for kids' in-app purchases
    Apple will refund millions of dollars to consumers after allowing kids to make purchases in apps without their parents' consent. Apple will pay at least $32.5 million, after reaching a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission Wednesday. FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez said that Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) failed to notify parents that once they enter their Apple passwords for children to buy virtual items for games on their iPhones and iPads, they leave open a 15-minute window during which children can make additional and unlimited in-app purchases without additional parental authorization. These charges generally range from 99 cents to $99.99 per in-app charge.

    Budweiser Clydesdales get a puppy for the Super Bowl
    The Clydesdales will be getting a new addition to their team during Super Bowl 2014. Budweiser and Bud Light brewer Anheuser-Busch bought 3-1/2 minutes of ad time for five spots, including one featuring its Clydesdale horses and, yes, a puppy. The ads may be costing the brewer $28 million or more, according to ad trackers at Kantar Media, which estimated 30 seconds of ad time sold for upwards of $4 million, on average. Of the five spots Anheuser-Busch is debuting, two feature the Clydesdales and actor Don Jeanes, continuing a storyline from one of Budweiser's widely-talked about 2013 Super Bowl spots.



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