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AP Financial News Summary at 12:58 p.m. EST

January 26, 2006

General Motors Posts Big Loss, Shares Dip

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DETROIT (AP) _ General Motors Corp., which is planning big job cuts and plant closings as it fights to avoid bankruptcy, said Thursday it lost $4.8 billion in the fourth quarter and $8.6 billion in all of 2005, dragged down by losses in its North American division.

FTC Fines ChoicePoint Over Data Breach

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ATLANTA (AP) _ The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday that data warehouser ChoicePoint Inc. will pay $15 million to settle charges that its security and record-handling procedures violated consumers’ privacy rights and federal laws.

Dow Gains 108 Points on Earnings News

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A jump in orders for the nation’s factories and strong earnings from Caterpillar Inc. sent stocks sharply higher Thursday as the market shook off a steep loss posted by General Motors Corp. The Dow Jones industrials gained more than 108 points in midday trading.

Chipotle Stock More Than Doubles in Debut

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DENVER (AP) _ Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., the restaurant chain owned by McDonald’s Corp., more than doubled in price by midday Thursday in their trading debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

Caterpillar Posts Strongest Quarter Ever

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PEORIA, Ill. (AP) _ Caterpillar Inc. posted its strongest quarter ever Thursday, yielding record annual profits and revenues that the leading heavy equipment maker says will continue to rise in 2006.

Big-Ticket Factory Orders Hit All-Time High

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Orders to American factories for big-ticket manufactured goods posted a third consecutive increase in December, closing out a record year for the nation’s factories.

Drive-Thrus Look for Ways to Stand Out

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ When Pam Farber, the daughter of Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, worked at one of her father’s fast-food stores in the 1970s, customers were unfamiliar with the drive-through concept.

Lockheed Martin 4Q Earnings Up on Gains

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BETHESDA, Md. (AP) _ Lockheed Martin Corp., the largest U.S. defense contractor, said Thursday fourth-quarter net income grew 53 percent, boosted by one-time gains and higher sales of information technology services and space systems.

Greenspan Wants Banking Exemption Halted

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is urging Congress to close a regulatory loophole that lets companies own a certain breed of banks, which includes a bank Wal-Mart Stores Inc. wants to operate in Utah.

AT&T 4Q Income Beats Street Expectations

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ AT&T Inc., the nation’s largest telecommunications provider, on Thursday reported fourth-quarter net income that beat Wall Street expectations, reflecting growth in wireless, broadband and business services.

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