AP Financial News Summary at 8:09 a.m. EDT
Ford’s Quarterly Loss Balloons to $254M
%mlink(STRY:v7903; PHOTO:NYOL994-0420061334; AUDIO:%)
NEW YORK (AP) _ Ford Motor Co.’s second-quarter loss more than doubled from what the No. 2 U.S. car maker previously reported because of higher-than-expected pension costs. In a second piece of weak news, the company said its luxury car division won’t be profitable this year.
Stock Futures Down Ahead of Sales Data
%mlink(STRY:v7957; PHOTO:NYRD105-0801061201; AUDIO:%)
LONDON (AP) _ U.S. stock market futures on Thursday pointed to a decline, with traders eyeing an expected modest rise in July same-store sales, European interest rate decisions and the continuation of earnings season.
European Central Bank Raises Key Rate
%mlink(STRY:v7999; PHOTO:FRA112-1130051812; AUDIO:%)
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ The European Central Bank raised its key interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 3 percent on Thursday, the fourth such increase in eight months as it tries to curb inflation.
IBM to Buy MRO Software for $740 Million
%mlink(STRY:v2889; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)
ARMONK, N.Y. (AP) _ International Business Machines said Wednesday it agreed to buy MRO Software Inc. for about $740 million in cash, expanding IBM’s consulting and computer-services businesses.
Puma 2Q Profit Falls on Marketing Costs
%mlink(STRY:v7963; PHOTO:FRA101-0210061458; AUDIO:%)
BERLIN (AP) _ Sports apparel maker Puma AG said Thursday that its second-quarter profit slipped 15 percent, pulled down by hefty World Cup-related marketing costs, despite a strong rise in sales.
Merck Not Liable for Man’s Health Woes
%mlink(STRY:v7940; PHOTO:LA118-0802061547; AUDIO:%)
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Vioxx-maker Merck & Co. faces thousands of lawsuits nationwide over the once-popular painkiller, but the pharmaceutical giant’s strategy to fight each lawsuit one at a time has paid off in the first case to go to trial in California.
Gas Prices Climb Amid Heat Wave in U.S.
%mlink(STRY:v7688; PHOTO:NYR105-0802061308; AUDIO:%)
NEW YORK (AP) _ Natural gas prices rose Wednesday as scorching temperatures that baked states in the Northeast and the Midwest put pressure on the nation’s electricity grids.
Warner Music 3Q Loss Narrows
%mlink(STRY:v7979; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)
NEW YORK (AP) _ Warner Music Group Corp., one of the nation’s largest recording companies, said Thursday its fiscal third-quarter loss narrowed thanks to higher revenue and shrinking costs.
Starbucks’ Sales Slide on Frozen Drinks
%mlink(STRY:v7854; PHOTO:OHAS101-0802061344; AUDIO:%)
SEATTLE (AP) _ Feverish summer demand for frozen drinks in the morning gummed up lines at Starbucks Corp. last month, slowing sales and presenting a rare operational snag for the world’s largest specialty coffee retailer.
OfficeMax Swings to Profit in 2Q
%mlink(STRY:v7993; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)
ITASCA, Ill. (AP) _ OfficeMax Inc. on Thursday posted a second-quarter profit compared with a year-ago loss, as the office supplies retailer cut operating expenses. It also forecast improved operating income margin for the full year.