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Wet spring slowing farmers, raising corn prices

May 13, 2009 11:44 pm | by DAVID MERCER - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — In an average year, southwestern Illinois farmer Richard Borgsmiller would have his 300-acre corn crop in the ground. This isn't an average year.Like many farmers across the eastern Corn Belt, Borgsmiller has not even started planting because of a wet spring. He's stuck...

Credit Agricole 1Q net profit falls 77 percent

May 13, 2009 11:18 pm | by GREG KELLER - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

PARIS (AP) — French bank Credit Agricole SA said Thursday its net profit fell 77 percent in the first quarter as the global financial crisis continued to weigh on its asset management, insurance and private banking activities.France's largest retail bank by clients reported net profit of euro202...

Sony reports $1 bln annual loss, first in 14 years

May 13, 2009 10:28 pm | by YURI KAGEYAMA - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Sony Corp. reported its first annual net loss in 14 years and forecast a bigger loss this year, saying the pressure from sliding sales, competition in gadget prices and a strong yen was expected to continue.The Japanese electronics and entertainment company said Thursday it lost 165...

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Oil rises despite dismal demand numbers

May 13, 2009 8:32 pm | by CHRIS KAHN - AP Energy Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices hopped above $58 a barrel Thursday even though U.S. unemployment continued to rise and a new report predicted the world's petroleum appetite will shrink even more than expected this year.Benchmark crude for June delivery climbed 60 cents to settle at $58.62 a barrel on...

European stocks regain ground after perky US open

May 13, 2009 7:56 pm | by PAN PYLAS - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — A stronger than anticipated opening on Wall Street helped Europe's main stock markets recoup losses Thursday despite big selling in Asia earlier.In Europe, Germany's DAX was down 3.33 points, or 0.1 percent, at 4,724.28 while France's CAC-40 declined 19.74 points, or 0.3 percent, to...

Gov't expands housing plan, off to slow start

May 13, 2009 7:21 pm | by ALAN ZIBEL - AP Real Estate Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

With less than 24 hours on the clock, Rose Inman's foreclosure was postponed Thursday for 60 days. But after spending hundreds of dollars she couldn't afford to find an apartment and pack her things, the last-minute gesture comes too late — she is moving out of her house overlooking Seattle's Puget...

Report: SEC may charge Angelo Mozilo with fraud

May 13, 2009 5:05 pm | by MARCY GORDON - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission has decided to recommend that the agency bring civil fraud charges against Angelo Mozilo, the former chief executive of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp., according to a published report Wednesday.The SEC staff sent a...

PG & E signs solar deal to light 530,000 homes

May 13, 2009 4:29 pm | by JASON DEAREN - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has signed new solar contracts that are expected to produce enough electricity to power about 530,000 homes during peak hours.PG&E said Wednesday its partnership with Oakland-based BrightSource Energy is the nation's largest solar...

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FDA approves UCB drug for rheumatoid arthritis

May 13, 2009 3:44 pm | by MATTHEW PERRONE - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Belgian drugmaker UCB said Wednesday it received federal approval for an injectable drug to treat arthritis, entering a competitive market dominated by some of the largest U.S. pharmaceutical companies.The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Cimzia for patients with...

Report: Banks sue MBIA over split of businesses

May 13, 2009 3:34 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — MBIA Inc. is the target of a lawsuit by a group of 18 financial institutions claiming that the bond insurer's separation of its businesses early this year was fraudulent, The Wall Street Journal said Wednesday.The paper said the lawsuit was filed in New York state court on Wednesday...

IBM backs full-year profit forecast

May 13, 2009 2:53 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — IBM Corp. is again backing its forecast for profit of $9.20 per share this year.The Armonk, N.Y.-based technology company is standing by its bullish forecast because it says it's making better profit margins in its services and software divisions as it continues to cut costs...

Chinese imports could bring GM political troubles

May 13, 2009 2:43 pm | by TOM KRISHER - AP Auto Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — As thousands of General Motors workers await word on more U.S. plant closures, reports that the company plans to import Chinese-made vehicles to the U.S. have created a political problem for the automaker and the White House.The reports, which GM will neither confirm nor deny, could...

Gates: weapons projects cuts were 'no brainers'

May 13, 2009 2:33 pm | by DONNA BORAK - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday said his decisions to scrap multibillion-dollar defense projects, like a new White House helicopter, were "no brainers."But some lawmakers expressed concerns over certain planned cuts and about the secrecy surrounding them.Gates told the...

Bed Bath & Beyond chief earns $8.5M in 2008

May 13, 2009 2:02 pm | by ASHLEY M. HEHER - AP Retail Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

CHICAGO (AP) — Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. CEO Steven Temares received compensation the company valued at $8.5 million during the past fiscal year, an increase of 32 percent as the company's sales inched up slightly but profit fell and its largest competitor liquidated, according to a regulatory...

Investors jump into Treasurys as retail sales fall

May 13, 2009 1:52 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Unexpected weakness at the nation's retailers fanned concerns about the health of the economy and boosted demand for the safety of government debt Wednesday.Treasury prices jumped as stock market investors worried that the optimism that fed a two-month surge in stocks off of 12-year...

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