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Pulte, Centex narrow quarterly losses

May 5, 2009 3:27 pm | by ALEX VEIGA - AP Real Estate Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

The nation's top three homebuilders this week reported financial results that gave little hope the spring selling season will be strong enough to stop the red ink.Pulte Homes Inc. and Centex Corp., which agreed to combine this year to become the largest U.S. homebuilder, said Tuesday that their...

FirstEnergy 1Q profit falls 59 percent

May 5, 2009 3:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — FirstEnergy Corp., a regional electric utility, said Tuesday its first-quarter profit fell 59 percent on higher costs, including regulatory charges in Ohio.The Akron, Ohio-based company said its quarterly earnings declined to $115 million, or 39 cents per share, compared with...

Banks returning bailouts will face conditions

May 5, 2009 2:41 pm | by JIM KUHNHENN - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Banks that want to pay back their federal bailout funds and free themselves from government restrictions on compensation and dividends will have to sever their ties to another financial assistance program.Financial firms eager to return infusions from the $700 billion Troubled...

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EW Scripps CEO says company focus on content

May 5, 2009 2:10 pm | by LISA CORNWELL - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

CINCINNATI (AP) — The head of E.W. Scripps Co. said Tuesday that content remains a major focus for the media company as it moves through the tough economic times facing the industry.The comments came a day after the owner of newspapers and television stations reported a first-quarter loss of $220...

Beazer Homes settles securities class-action suit

May 5, 2009 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

ATLANTA (AP) — Beazer Homes USA Inc. said Tuesday that it has agreed to settle a securities class-action lawsuit for $30.5 million.Under the terms of the proposed settlement, the lawsuit will be dismissed without an admission of liability. And in exchange for the money, which will be paid by...

Hog prices rise as swine flu worries abate

May 5, 2009 2:05 pm | by EMILY FREDRIX - AP Food Industry Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Prices for U.S. hogs and shares of the nation's largest hog and pork producer all soared Tuesday as concern about the international swine flu outbreak seemed to abate, relieving investors' fears that pork consumption would slump.The trade group representing the nation's pork...

Las Vegas casino cos. report weak 1st quarter

May 5, 2009 1:55 pm | by KRISTEN A. LEE - AP Business Writers - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Casino companies, slammed hard by the recession, said their revenue suffered and profit plunged in the first quarter.Wynn Resorts, which opened the casino Encore Las Vegas in December just before the quarter began, reported Tuesday that — with a 27-cent-per-share adjusted loss — it...

Treasurys dip after Bernanke remarks

May 5, 2009 1:50 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Treasurys dipped Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the economy should start growing again later this year.Bernanke's testimony Congress was not a major surprise to investors but it did provide them with more reassurance that the worst of the economy's slide...

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How the major stock indexes fared Tuesday, US

May 5, 2009 1:49 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Stocks surged Tuesday, posting their first big win in a week, after a research group said consumer sentiment rose in May to the highest level since September. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index vaulted to 54.9 from 40.8, soaring past the 42.3 that economists surveyed by Thomson...

GM: Some parts of Chrysler deal could help GM

May 5, 2009 1:44 pm | by KEN THOMAS - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson says some elements of a labor agreement between the United Auto Workers and Chrysler could benefit GM as it tries to stave off bankruptcy.Henderson told reporters Tuesday he was ready to resume bargaining with the union. The concessions sought by...

Meltdown 101: ISM index turning from red to amber?

May 5, 2009 1:44 pm | by MARTIN CRUTSINGER - AP Economics Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key index that measures business activity in the service sector is still flashing a recession signal. But in the latest hint of better days ahead, the reading for April was not as dire as it has been.The Institute for Supply Management reported on Tuesday that its index for...

Amazon seeks more paths for sales with new Kindle

May 5, 2009 1:44 pm | by RACHEL METZ - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon.com Inc. hopes a bigger version of its Kindle electronic reading device can be a hit, even if it's more expensive, and the company is aiming it in part at college students who are eager to save money on their textbooks.Since the Kindle debuted in late 2007, it has jazzed many...

Dow Chemical to offer $1.63B in common stock

May 5, 2009 1:39 pm | by ERNEST SCHEYDER - AP Energy Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Dow Chemical Co. said Tuesday it hopes to sell about $1.63 billion in common stock to pay down debt related to its recent acquisition of Rohm & Haas Co.The nation's largest chemicals maker, based in Midland, Mich., will issue $1 billion in common stock and convert $625 million of...

Review: 'Patapon 2' leads parade of rhythm games

May 5, 2009 1:34 pm | by LOU KESTEN - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Thanks to "Dance Dance Revolution," ''Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band," music games have become an increasingly popular part of the video-game universe. But you don't need a plastic floor mat or a phony guitar to get your groove on.In Nintendo's excellent "Rhythm Heaven," you use a DS stylus to match...

Canada to talk trade despite EU seal product ban

May 5, 2009 1:29 pm | by ROB GILLIES - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

TORONTO (AP) — Canada's trade minister says a European Parliament ban of Canadian seal products won't prevent Canada and the EU from agreeing on a wide-ranging free-trade agreement.The European Parliament voted Tuesday to ban imports of seal products in an effort to force Canada to end its annual...

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