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Sector Snap: Airline shares climb

April 28, 2009 6:54 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Airline shares rose in Tuesday morning trading, as investors set aside worries about swine flu crimping travel and took heart from better-than-expected consumer confidence numbers.The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index rose 12 points to 39.2, up from 26.9 in March....

Grocery chain Kroger backs '09 outlook

April 28, 2009 6:54 am | by DAN SEWELL - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

CINCINNATI (AP) — Kroger Co. leaders listed their company's ability to target customers and its broad portfolio of corporate brands among its competitive advantages in luring spending by today's cautious consumers.The Cincinnati-based company, the nation's largest traditional grocery chain,...

Fortis shareholders vote for BNP Paribas sale

April 28, 2009 6:44 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

GHENT, Belgium (AP) — Fortis Holding shareholders have voted in favor of selling Belgium's largest bank to France's BNP Paribas.Some 73 percent of shareholders voted "yes" just minutes after hundreds of rebel small shareholders walked out in protest against recent investors taking part in the key...

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'Harry Potter' among those missing from e-library

April 28, 2009 6:24 am | by HILLEL ITALIE - AP National Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest J.R.R. Tolkien project lasted six years, more than half as long as the author needed to complete his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.Getting permission to release a book in electronic form can be as hard — or harder — than writing it."The Tolkien estate wanted to be...

IBM boosts dividend 10 pct, adds $3B for buyback

April 28, 2009 6:24 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — IBM Corp. boosted its quarterly dividend by 10 percent Tuesday, a sign of the company's health when others are cutting their payments to shareholders, and announced plans for a handful of "analytics centers" that could employ up to 4,000 people.The stock gained $1.99, or 2...

Federal Reserve takes fresh stock of economy, US

April 28, 2009 6:08 am | by JEANNINE AVERSA - AP Economics Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Taking fresh stock of economic and financial conditions, Federal Reserve policymakers are considering whether they need to take additional measures to ease the recession.Most economists are betting there won't be any major announcements Wednesday at the end of a two-day meeting...

Consumer confidence soars in April

April 28, 2009 6:03 am | by ANNE D'INNOCENZIO - AP Retail Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Hopeful signs that the worst may be over for the economy boosted Americans' moods in April, sending a closely watched barometer of sentiment to the highest level since November.The New York-based Conference Board said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose more than 12...

Amer Sports 1Q loss doubles to euro10.8 million

April 28, 2009 5:53 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

HELSINKI (AP) — Global sports equipment maker Amer Sports Corp., whose brands include Atomic, Salomon and Wilson, reported Tuesday a doubling of net loss to euro10.8 million ($14.2 million) and cautioned that the remainder of the year was "clouded by uncertainty."Poor consumer demand and cautious...

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Home prices post 18.6 percent annual drop in Feb.

April 28, 2009 5:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — In another sign the housing crisis could be reaching the bottom, home prices dropped sharply in February but for the first time in 25 months the decline was not a record.The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index released Tuesday showed home prices in 20 major cities tumbled by 18.6...

WPP shares fall on revenue drop

April 28, 2009 4:27 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — Shares in Britain's WPP Group PLC, the world's largest advertising company by revenue, dropped 5 percent on Tuesday after the company reported a fall in first quarter revenue and said it would not meet its full year forecasts.WPP, which owns Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam and Hill &...

Nokia to lay off 450 employees

April 28, 2009 4:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia Corp. said Tuesday it will lay off up to 450 workers worldwide and streamline operations, in a move to further cut costs.The world's largest handset maker said it also will begin cooperation with third parties and outsource some mobile services. The redundancies will be in...

Valero 1Q profit jumps 18 pct but revenue tumbles

April 28, 2009 4:12 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

HOUSTON (AP) — Valero Energy Corp. said Tuesday its first-quarter profit rose more than 18 percent, easily beating Wall Street expectations as higher margins for turning crude into gasoline offset weak demand for a variety of refined products.Still, because of the uncertain economy, the nation's...

Airline SAS posts 1Q loss amid falling demand

April 28, 2009 3:56 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Scandinavian airline group SAS AB on Tuesday posted a smaller first-quarter net loss as the slump in the global economy continued to weaken demand for air travel.The Stockholm-based company said net loss for the quarter narrowed to 748 million kronor ($91.5 million) from 1.2...

Schering-Plough CEO's pay falls 34 percent in 2008

April 28, 2009 3:51 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Schering-Plough Corp. Chief Executive Fred Hassan's compensation slipped 34 percent in 2008, mainly due to a decline in stock-based awards as the company's share price fell, according to an Associated Press analysis of data filed with regulators Monday.Schering-Plough, which is...

Qatar eyes stake in Germany's Porsche

April 28, 2009 3:51 am | by TAREK EL-TABLAWY - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

CAIRO (AP) — Qatar is in discussions about the possibility of buying a stake in Germany automaker Porsche AG, the country's prime minister said in the latest indication the energy rich Persian Gulf nation is pushing ahead with its growth and investment plans despite the global recession.Sheik Hamad...

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