- The Washington Times - Monday, April 6, 2009

The top business news from The Associated Press for the morning of Monday, April 6, 2009:

World markets advance as global rally continues

HONG KONG (AP) _ World stock markets posted more solid gains Monday, with Hong Kong’s index up more than 3 percent, as a global rally entered its fifth straight week amid hopes the worst of the economic crisis is over. The advance came after Wall Street ended higher Friday to log its fourth consecutive week of gains. Most sectors climbed across Asia, with select Japanese exporters like Panasonic and Mazda especially strong after the dollar headed above 101 yen for the first time in months. European banking giant HSBC jumped after raising billions in capital.

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Oil rises above $53 as investors eye earnings

SINGAPORE (AP) _ Oil prices rose above $53 a barrel Monday in Asia as investors looked to U.S. corporate earnings reports this week for signs of economic recovery that could sustain crude’s two-month rally. Benchmark crude for May delivery rose 66 cents to $53.17 a barrel by midafternoon in Singapore in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 13 cents on Friday to settle at $52.51.

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AP sources: Sun deal cloudy after IBM pulls offer

BOSTON (AP) _ IBM Corp. withdrew its offer to buy Sun Microsystems Inc. for about $7 billion this weekend, clouding the prospects for a deal that would shake up the computing industry, The Associated Press has learned. Talks were in their final stages in recent days, but IBM took its offer off the table after Sun terminated IBM’s status as its exclusive negotiating partner, according to two people familiar with the situation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the negotiations.

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AT&T; and union talks continue past deadline

AT&T; and unions for its landline workers were working past a strike deadline Sunday to try to reach agreement on a new contract. Core wireline contracts across the country expired at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, but union-represented employees covered by those contracts continued to work under the old agreements, the two parties said.

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GM CEO softens company’s opposition to bankruptcy

DETROIT (AP) _ General Motors Corp. is softening its opposition to bankruptcy reorganization a little more. “If it’s required, that’s what we’ll do,” new Chief Executive Fritz Henderson said in an interview broadcast Sunday, but noted that GM still would prefer to avoid bankruptcy protection while restructuring.

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Gridlock on ground keep vintage tankers in the air

WASHINGTON (AP) _ After more than 50 years as the military’s gas station in the sky _ and a decade of attempts to replace it _ the KC-135 is showing its age. At a base outside the nation’s capital, the cockpit of a 1957 aerial refueling plane still has a quarter-sized hole in the ceiling which crews once used to navigate by the stars. Pilot hands have worn away much of the black paint from the yokes used to guide the jet. Large patches of silver tape hold up tubing in the cabin. And the oldest member of the crew on a recent training mission was still seven years younger than the plane.

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`Fast & Furious’ accelerates to $72.5M opening

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ “Fast & Furious” left the competition in the dust with a $72.5 million opening weekend, the best so far this year. That topped last weekend’s $59.3 million debut for DreamWorks Animation’s “Monsters vs. Aliens,” which slipped to second place with $33.5 million, raising its 10-day total to $105.7 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

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Recession erodes conveniences shoppers got used to

CHICAGO (AP) _ First came the housing bust, followed by eroding job security and dwindling retirement accounts. Now, the worst downturn in decades is nibbling away at something so entrenched that people took it for granted: simple, everyday convenience.

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To sustain rally, market looks to earnings

NEW YORK (AP) _ Enthusiasm over government programs aimed at breaking a logjam in bank lending has become the key driver of the market’s recent surge. But that could take a back seat in coming weeks as investors return to their bread-and-butter indicator: quarterly earnings data. Coming off a nearly 12-year low in early March, the Dow Jones industrial average just wrapped up its best four-week run since 1933. A shift from fear to hope has largely been propelled by policy initiatives and some corporate news, such as bank executives saying their businesses were profitable in January and February.

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Recession outlasts even extended jobless benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) _ In the coming weeks and months, hundreds of thousands of jobless Americans will exhaust their unemployment benefits, just when it’s never been harder to find a job. Congress extended unemployment aid twice last year, allowing people to draw a total of up to 59 weeks of benefits. Now, as the recession drags on, a rolling wave of people who were laid off early last year will lose them.

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Threat to shut Boston Globe shows no paper is safe

NEW YORK (AP) _ When it bought the Boston Globe for a record $1.1 billion in 1993, the New York Times Co. added one of the nation’s most acclaimed and profitable newspapers to its empire. But analysts say the 137-year-old Globe has been a money-loser in recent years, and the Times, now $1.1 billion in debt, is threatening to shut down Boston’s pre-eminent paper unless it gets $20 million in union concessions.

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$1T hit to pensions could cost taxpayers, workers

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) _ Massive investment losses sustained by public pension funds are pressuring state lawmakers from New Mexico to New York to spend more taxpayer money to shore up their programs, boost the retirement age for newly hired government workers and seek more from employee paychecks. Pensions need $270 billion in additional contributions over the next four years, and more than $100 billion annually for two decades hence, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

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Prices for world’s cheapest gas may be going up

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) _ Venezuela has the planet’s cheapest gasoline: At 12 cents a gallon (3 cents a liter), it costs about 30 times less than bottled water. But falling oil income and sagging crude output could soon mean a pinch at the pump in oil producing countries like Venezuela, where hefty government subsidies have for decades guaranteed cheap fuel.

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ALL BUSINESS: Bank creditors still sitting pretty

NEW YORK (AP) _ American taxpayers and stock owners have taken it on the chin in this financial crisis. The same can’t be said of bondholders who lent money to the most troubled banks. The Obama administration is now ordering General Motors Corp.’s creditors to make sacrifices to save the ailing automaker. Yet bondholders of financial companies such as Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. so far have been mostly left off the hook, even though the government has given the banks billions of dollars in bailout money.

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Republicans: More restrained budget needed

WASHINGTON (AP) _ American families are having to sacrifice, and Republicans say the federal government should follow their example. Budget plans offered by Republicans hold down deficits while addressing the struggling economy, health care and retirement security, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said Saturday in the Republican radio and Internet address.

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Gold Prices

LONDON (AP) _ Gold traded in London at $879.50 per troy ounce, down from $905.00 late Friday.

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Japan Markets

TOKYO (AP) _ The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average increased 108.09 points, or 1.24 percent, to 8,857.93.

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Dollar-Yen

TOKYO (AP) _ The yen was quoted at 100.84 to the dollar on Monday, little moved from 100.29 in New York late Friday.

A service of The Associated Press. Copyright 2009 All rights reserved.

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