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Swine flu casts shadow over economy

April 27, 2009 2:50 am | by JEREMIAH MARQUEZ - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — Uncertainty over the swine flu outbreak cast a shadow over the struggling global economy Monday, raising fears that that the spread of the virus could harm trade and tourism and undermine businesses just as they begin to rally.Airline stocks plummeted as major travel companies in...

Whirlpool 1Q profit drops on weakening demand

April 27, 2009 2:25 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Whirlpool Corp., the world's largest maker of stoves, refrigerators and other major home appliances, said Monday its first-quarter profit fell 28 percent on slumping sales, softening consumer demand and the stronger dollar.But its shares climbed as it beat Wall Street's...

Humana 1Q profit more than doubles

April 27, 2009 2:19 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Health insurer Humana Inc. said Monday its first-quarter profit more than doubled as its government business surged from higher membership in its Medicare Advantage plans and lower expenses in Medicare drug plans that sapped earnings a year ago.The company also raised its...

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Chinese bank ICBC says 1Q profit up 6 percent

April 27, 2009 1:59 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the country's biggest commercial lender by assets, said Monday its quarterly profit rose 6 percent from a year earlier despite a double-digit fall in interest income.Profit for the three months ending March 31 was 35.1 billion yuan ($5.1...

Source: Chapter 11 won't kill Fiat-Chrysler deal

April 27, 2009 1:54 am | by COLLEEN BARRY - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

MILAN (AP) — Fiat still wants to pursue an alliance with Chrysler if the U.S. automaker is forced to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors, a source close to the Turin-based automaker said Monday.Fiat Group SpA is continuing to talks to reach a deal by the Thursday deadline, the...

Sharp posts $1.3 bln loss as TV, gadget sales dive

April 27, 2009 1:19 am | by MARI YAMAGUCHI - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. suffered an annual net loss of 125.8 billion yen ($1.3 billion), its first yearly red ink in nearly six decades, due to declining demand and increasing competition amid a global economic slump.Sharp's loss, reported Monday, was worse than the 100...

Audi 1Q operating profit down 29 percent

April 27, 2009 1:03 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — German luxury carmaker Audi AG said Monday that its first-quarter operating profit fell by 29 percent as the global economic crisis ate into sales.Ingolstadt-based Audi said its operating, or pretax, profit was down to euro363 million ($479 million) in the January-March period from...

Polish jobless rate rises to 11.2 percent in March

April 27, 2009 12:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's jobless rate rose to 11.2 percent in March from 10.9 percent the previous month, according to government statistics released Monday.The Central Statistical Office said that almost 1.76 million people in the country of 38 million were unemployed at the end of March —...

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Sweden's Scania 1Q profit falls 93 percent

April 27, 2009 12:18 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish truck and bus maker Scania AB on Monday reported a 93 percent drop in first-quarter net profit, as the global financial crisis continued to weigh on demand and capacity utilization.Net profit for the first quarter was 179 million kronor ($22.1 million), down from 2.5...

Malaysia takes big step in finance liberalization

April 27, 2009 12:08 am | by EILEEN NG - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia announced Monday it will let foreigners hold a majority stake in insurance companies and investment banks, while five more foreign banks will be allowed to operate by 2011 in major steps toward financial liberalization.Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters he...

Merck 1Q net profit falls 76 percent

April 27, 2009 12:03 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — German pharmaceutical and chemical company Merck KGaA said Monday that its first-quarter net profit dropped by 76 percent as demand for chemicals in particular declined.Darmstadt-based Merck said net profit for the January-March quarter fell to euro57 million ($75 million) from...

Wash. grower has all-organic peaches, nectarines

April 26, 2009 11:53 pm | by SHANNON DININNY - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — One of the Pacific Northwest's largest fruit growers has had 100 percent of its peach and nectarine crops certified as organic, following a three-year transition period.Stemilt Growers Inc. is a smaller, niche player in the soft fruit industry compared to California growers,...

German consumer confidence stable

April 26, 2009 11:42 pm | by GEIR MOULSON - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

BERLIN (AP) — German consumer confidence remains steady, though lackluster, as low inflation and energy prices combine with tentative hopes that an economic turnaround may be in sight, according to a survey released Monday.The GfK research group said its forward-looking consumer climate index for...

US dollar up against euro amid flu worries

April 26, 2009 11:37 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — The euro was lower against the dollar on Monday as investors put funds into the U.S. currency, a traditional safe haven, amid worries over an outbreak of swine flu.The 16-nation euro bought $1.3138 in European morning trading, down from $1.3252 late Friday in New York. The British...

NEC Electronics, Renesas to merge chip businesses

April 26, 2009 10:56 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — NEC Electronics Corp. and Renesas Technology Corp. said Monday they have agreed to merge their operations and form the world's third-largest semiconductor maker.The companies aim to finalize negotiations in July and combine their businesses from April of next year, they said in a joint...

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