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Top 4 Business Stories of the Day

Comcast Corp. is selling bonds Wednesday, testing investor appetite after the cable operator surprised Wall Street last week by setting plans to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. for about $45 billion in stock. A person familiar with the deal said the size of the sale could be in the $1.5 billion range, and that the sale is unrelated to the Time Warner Cable announcement. The size of Wednesday's bond deal hasn't yet been announced. U.S. labor market conditions are improving and the Federal Reserve should base future policy decisions on this view, a top Fed official said on Wednesday. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said despite a debate among economists about the drivers behind the recent fall in the U.S. jobless rate, he still saw the headline unemployment rate as a good indicator of overall labor market health. Bullard added "In particular, the recent, relatively rapid declines in unemployment can be understood as representing an improving labor market. This is the judgment that should inform monetary policy going forward." Nespresso is launching a new single-serve coffee brewer. The new product makes larger American-sized portions, putting Nespresso's Swiss parent, Nestle, in direct competition with U.S. market leader Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The $8 billion global single-serve coffee market is one of the fastest-growing areas of an otherwise tepid packaged-food industry. Nestle has about 35 percent of the market globally, but its presence in the U.S. is dwarfed by Green Mountain's Keurig system, which controls more than three quarters of the market. Ireland is the first euro zone country to emerge from a bailout brought on by unsustainable debt, but the long slog of cutting back what it owes is only just starting for its 4.6 million austerity-hit people. Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, said conditions in Ireland were bad. How its succeeds or fails in this will be a guide to how easily other heavily indebted states such as Portugal and Greece will be able to ease up on austerity as they strive to escape from their own bailout programs. Growth has returned in Ireland. Unemployment is falling and Irish debt is attracting bumper demand. But the recovery remains fragile, exposed to shocks elsewhere and needing more money to be taken from the economy this year to complete rebalancing.

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