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AP Financial News Summary at 5:25 a.m. EDT

October 24, 2006

Skilling Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison

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HOUSTON (AP) _ Expressing no emotion, ex-Enron Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling watched former employees and investors of what was once the nation’s seventh-largest company get up, one by one, at his sentencing and call him everything from greedy, to a liar, to a drunk.

Judge Blocks Threatened Strike at Mesaba

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ A bankruptcy judge on Monday blocked a strike by unions at Mesaba Aviation Inc., clearing the way for the feeder for Northwest Airlines Corp. to impose pay cuts later this week.

BP Says 3Q Profit Fell 3.6 Percent

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LONDON (AP) _ BP PLC, Europe’s biggest oil company, said Tuesday third-quarter profit fell 3.6 percent after a partial shutdown of its Alaska operations and higher taxes in Britain.

Mercedes GL450 Named SUV of Year for ’07

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DETROIT (AP) _ Motor Trend magazine has named the Mercedes-Benz GL450 as its sport utility vehicle of the year for 2007.

Wal-Mart, GE Launch Chinese Credit Card

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BEIJING (AP) _ Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and General Electric Co.’s finance arm are joining the race for a share of China’s growing consumer credit market by launching their own credit card this week, a Wal-Mart spokesman said Tuesday.

Sony Apologizes for Global Battery Recall

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TOKYO (AP) _ Sony executives apologized Tuesday for a global recall in laptop batteries, acknowledging that the troubles had caused worries and inconvenience to consumers.

Reports: Shanghai Officials Face Probe

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SHANGHAI, China (AP) _ Two senior officials in charge of managing Shanghai’s government-owned assets are under investigation, the government said Tuesday, in a corruption scandal that has already brought down the city’s top leader and appears to be spreading.

Crude Oil Futures Edge Lower

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SINGAPORE (AP) _ Crude futures edged lower Tuesday in electronic trading, as bargain-hunting trimmed earlier losses triggered by easing supply concerns.

Dow Hits New High on Earnings Optimism

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Wall Street extended its October rally Monday as investors grew more confident about upcoming earnings reports and as a decline in oil bolstered hopes for higher consumer spending. The Dow Jones industrials crossed 12,100 for the first time and reached a new record high close.

Ford Loses $5.8B in 3Q on Sagging Sales

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DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) _ Ford Motor Co.’s blue oval continued to bleed red ink in the third quarter, with the company posting a $5.8 billion loss Monday due to sagging North American sales and huge costs associated with a massive restructuring plan.

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