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Buffett’s Stake in Century-Old IBM Bolsters Berkshire’s Defense

Warren Buffett, who bought a railroad in his biggest acquisition, turned to a century-old technology company in the third quarter to help guard his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. against economic slumps.

Buffett spent more than $10 billion buying International Business Machines Corp. stock, his biggest investment in the period. The stake gives Berkshire 5.5 percent of a company that has moved from competition with Apple Inc. and Dell Inc. to focus on providing business clients with software and services. IBM sold its personal-computer business in 2005 and has beaten the Dow Jones Industrial Average each year since.