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Czech central bank cuts interest rates to 1.5 pct

May 7, 2009 4:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's central bank has cut its key interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 1.5 percent to help the economy combat reccession.It is the lowest rate since the country came into existence after the split of former Czechoslovakia in 1993.The anticipated move,...

European Central Bank cuts rates a quarter point

May 7, 2009 3:56 am | by GEORGE FREY - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — The European Central Bank cut interest rates a quarter point to 1 percent Thursday and said the reduction wasn't necessarily its last, while announcing still more measures to push money into the 16-country euro zone's financial system and support its economy.The Bank of England...

Sara Lee 3Q profit falls, adj. results top Street

May 7, 2009 3:56 am | by EMILY FREDRIX - AP Food Industry Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The rush of consumers to store-brand products keeps weighing on companies that make name-brand goods, as Sara Lee Corp. and Unilever both announced falling profits and sales volumes Thursday.As shoppers around the world trade down to less-expensive consumer products of all kinds,...

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Retailers report smaller sales declines in April

May 7, 2009 3:35 am | by ANNE D'INNOCENZIO - AP Retail Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — April retail sales figures offered more signs that consumers are starting to feel better about spending. But they are still keeping their budgets tight, sticking mostly to necessities such as groceries and health care products.In a glimmer of hope for the broader economy, some...

2nd Pepsi bottler rejects PepsiCo buyout offer

May 7, 2009 3:30 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — PepsiAmericas Inc. on Thursday joined the larger Pepsi Bottling Group in rejecting a PepsiCo proposal to buy its two biggest bottlers in North America.PepsiAmericas Inc., the second-biggest Pepsi bottler, said in a statement that the bid was "not acceptable and is not in the best...

Dynegy 1Q loss doubles; 2009 guidance cut again

May 7, 2009 3:30 am | by MARK WILLIAMS - AP Energy Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Dynegy said Thursday that its first-quarter loss more than doubled from a year ago as tumbling stock and power prices forced the company to write down its own market value. Dynegy also cut 2009 guidance for the third time.The Houston-based power company reported a loss of $335...

Nasdaq OMX Group 1Q profit slides 22 pct

May 7, 2009 3:25 am | by STEPHEN BERNARD - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. said Thursday its first-quarter profit fell 22 percent compared with a year-ago quarter where it booked hefty gains on foreign currency contracts.The global exchange operator earned $94 million, or 44 cents per share, during the quarter ended March 31, compared...

Bank of England increases asset purchase program

May 7, 2009 3:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — The Bank of England has kept official interest rates on hold at a record low of 0.5 percent — but has increased its program to buy back assets to increase the domestic money supply.At the end of its monthly rate-setting meeting on Thursday, the bank said it is increasing the size of...

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GM draws closer to bankruptcy in first quarter

May 7, 2009 3:10 am | by KIMBERLY S. JOHNSON - AP Auto Writers - Associated Press | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors drew closer to bankruptcy Thursday, acknowledging that its revenue fell by nearly half as car buyers worldwide steered away from showrooms for fear that the auto giant would not be around to honor its warranties.The company lost $6 billion in the first three months of...

Sanoma group's 1Q profit crashes 85 percent

May 7, 2009 2:54 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

HELSINKI (AP) — Newspaper and magazine publisher Sanoma Corp. saw first-quarter profit plunge 85 percent to euro8 million ($10.6 million) because of a rapid drop in advertising sales, the Nordic region's largest media group said Thursday.Revenue in January through March fell 7 percent to euro636...

Barclays bank says 1Q net profit up 12 pct

May 7, 2009 2:54 am | by ROBERT BARR - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — First-quarter net profit at Barclays PLC rose 12 percent from a year ago as investment banking profits surged from the acquisition of U.S. assets of bankrupt Lehman Brothers, though the bank posted a steep 79 percent increase in writeoffs on bad investments due to the financial...

Marchionne to head Chrysler

May 7, 2009 2:39 am | by COLLEEN BARRY - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

MILAN (AP) — Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne will become the chief executive of Chrysler after the U.S. automaker emerges from bankruptcy, a Fiat spokesman confirmed Thursday.Marchionne, the 56-year-old dual Canadian and Italian citizen, has been tipped for the job since the Italian automaker...

China's Geely denies planning bids for Saab, Volvo

May 7, 2009 1:58 am | by ELAINE KURTENBACH - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Chinese automaker Geely Automobile Holdings denied reports Thursday it is bidding for General Motors Corp.'s Saab brand or Ford Motor Co.'s Swedish unit Volvo — despite growing speculation that a move for either brand could be in the offing.Responding to a 13.6 percent jump in the...

Report: China car sales rise to fresh monthly high

May 7, 2009 1:53 am | by ELAINE KURTENBACH - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's passenger car sales likely rose to a record monthly high of 1.15 million units in April, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday, citing industry figures.Official figures from the government-affiliated China Association of Automobile Manufacturers are due within...

Dow Jones, SBI to start Japanese WSJ.com

May 7, 2009 1:48 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — The Wall Street Journal is going multilingual in Asia soon.Japanese financial services firm SBI Holdings Inc. said Thursday it will set up a joint venture with the financial daily's owner, Dow Jones & Co., to launch a Japanese edition of the newspaper's Web site.The new offering will...

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