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AP Financial News Summary at 2:06 p.m. EST

March 9, 2006

Dubai Firm to Give Up Stake in U.S. Ports

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ A Dubai-owned company said Thursday that it was prepared to give up its management stake in some U.S. ports, a move made as congressional leaders warned President Bush that both the House and Senate appeared ready to block the takeover.

Fastow: No Record of Talks With Skilling

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HOUSTON (AP) _ The former chief financial officer of Enron Corp. conceded Thursday he had no record of conversations in which he says he and former chief executive Jeffrey Skilling made secret side deals that helped the company manipulate its earnings.

Intuit Ups Outlook, TurboTax Sales Soar

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Intuit Inc. predicted its quarterly profit will be better than expected, primarily because more people are buying the online version of its market-leading tax preparation software. The news lifted the company’s stock price by more than 6 percent.

GM Shares Up on Word of Delphi, UAW Deal

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DETROIT (AP) _ General Motors Corp. shares rose Thursday on word the automaker was close to a deal with Delphi Corp. and the United Auto Workers to help Delphi’s hourly workers, but the UAW cast some doubt by hotly denying an agreement is imminent.

Canada’s Imax Is Up for Sale

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TORONTO (AP) _ Canadian big-screen movie company Imax Corp. is on the auction block after several unsolicited inquiries prompted its management to look at strategic alternatives, the company announced Thursday as it reported a 54 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit.

Record-High Trade Deficit Weighs on Market

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks edged lower in afternoon trading Thursday as early enthusiasm over a change in policy at the Bank of Japan waned in the face of a higher U.S. trade deficit and questions about the nation’s labor market.

30-Year Mortgage Rates Jump to 2-Year High

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Rates on 30-year mortgages jumped to the highest level in 2 1/2 years this week, driven higher by inflation worries in financial markets.

Blockbuster Profit Leaps in Fourth Quarter

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DALLAS (AP) _ Blockbuster Inc. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit increased significantly as the video rental company cut costs, offsetting a revenue decline amid a drop-off in rentals and elimination of late fees.

Japan Joins Stride of Global Economy

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TOKYO (AP) _ The Bank of Japan on Thursday ditched a five-year policy that has kept domestic borrowing costs next to nothing, marking a historic milestone in the country’s economic comeback and joining a global trend away from easy money.

Trade Deficit Reaches Record $68.5 Billion

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The U.S. trade deficit surged to another record as the country’s foreign oil bill climbed sharply, auto imports rose and Americans’ taste for imported wines helped increase the deficit in food products.

Deutsche Bank Cuts 2005 Profit by $298M

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BERLIN (AP) _ Deutsche Bank AG said Thursday it was reducing its 2005 net profit by 250 million euros ($298 million) to cover newly discovered legal risks dating back nearly a decade.

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