- - Monday, December 19, 2011


EU falls short of bailout pledge, pulls down bank shares

NEW YORK — The stock markets took a late-afternoon fall Monday after European Union finance ministers failed to come up with the full amount of money pledged for a bailout fund.

Banks led the way downward. Morgan Stanley dropped 5.5 percent and Bank of America Corp. sank 4 percent, the biggest fall in the Dow Jones industrial average. The worry looming over bank stocks is that if Europe’s debt crisis spins out of control, European banks would fail and damage U.S. banks. Big banks in Europe and the U.S. are linked through the web of global financial markets.

The Dow lost 100.13 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 11,766.26. The average lost 55 points in the last hour of trading as reports emerged that the EU finance ministers couldn’t drum up the full $261 billion they planned to give to the International Monetary Fund. European leaders had pledged the money for a special IMF fund to help struggling European countries at a summit meeting less than two weeks ago.

Cautious comments from the head of the European Central Bank also helped push stocks lower. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 14.31 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,205.35. The Nasdaq composite index fell 32.19 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,523.14.


Patent ruling delayed for cash-strapped Kodak

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A U.S. arbiter for trade disputes is delaying a ruling on Eastman Kodak Co.’s high-stakes patent-infringement claim against smartphone makers Apple Inc. and Research in Motion Ltd.

The photography pioneer is trying to negotiate a licensing deal it estimates could be worth up to $1 billion.

An administrative judge overseeing the two-year dispute at the U.S. International Trade Commission set a new target date of Sept. 21. The commission in Washington, D.C., had expected to issue a final decision by Dec. 30.

Kodak has been pummeled by Wall Street over its dwindling cash reserves and its stumbling attempts to reinvent itself as a profitable player in digital imaging and printing. Since July, Kodak has been hawking 1,100 digital-imaging patents that many financial analysts think might fetch $2 billion to $3 billion.


Boeing tries to allay fears about end to tanker plant

WICHITA — Fears about the closure of Boeing Co.’s Wichita plant resurfaced Monday after a lawmaker’s comments that he had been told that modification work on Air Force refueling tankers will be performed in Washington state, but Boeing says its study of all programs at the Kansas site is continuing.

Boeing won a decade-long fight for Pentagon approval to build 179 refueling tankers worth at least $35 billion. The project has been touted as a way to create 7,500 direct and indirect jobs in Kansas with an overall economic impact of $388 million.

“We now know that Boeing intends to walk away from that promise - which severely jeopardizes the future of over 2,000 aviation jobs right here in our community,” Rep. Mike Pompeo, Kansas Republican, told reporters Monday.


Hot dog diner made famous by ‘M.A.S.H’ approved for sale

TOLEDO — An Ohio hot dog eatery made famous on the TV series “M.A.S.H” is getting a new owner.

A judge has signed off on a deal transferring ownership of Tony Packo’s Inc. to a private restaurant group in Toledo.

The decision was announced Monday, days after the founder’s grandson was charged with stealing from the family business, where he’s poised to play a major role in the new ownership.

An attorney for the new owner says the accusations won’t affect its plan.

Actor Jamie Farr made Packo’s famous in the 1970s when he portrayed a homesick U.S. soldier in the Korean War who longed for its hot dogs.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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