Oil Prices Draw Closer to $50 a Barrel

%mlink(STRY:v8119; PHOTO:NYR101-0819041644; AUDIO:%)

SINGAPORE (AP) _ Oil prices neared the $50-per-barrel threshold Friday after striking a fresh record levels amid heightened concern about supplies in strife-torn Iraq, and doubts over how much extra crude could be pumped anytime soon to ease the price surge.

Google Shares Hit $100.34 in Market Debut

%mlink(STRY:v8085; PHOTO:NYKW101-0819040833; AUDIO:04198206%)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ In a debut vaguely reminiscent of the dot-com boom, shares of Internet search giant Google Inc. surged in their first day of public trading Thursday as investors who avoided the company's auction-based offering readily jumped into the familiar territory of the stock market.

Stocks to Open Lower on Oil Concerns

%mlink(STRY:v8124; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)

NEW YORK (AP) _ U.S. stocks are seen slightly lower at the open Friday as oil's latest push into record territory continues to unnerve investors.

United Likely to Terminate Pension Plans

%mlink(STRY:v8077; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)

CHICAGO (AP) _ Citing ``stark'' financial conditions, United Airlines warned it will likely have to terminate its employee pension funds so it can emerge from bankruptcy.

Tokyo Stock Index Ends Lower, Dollar Down

%mlink(STRY:v8113; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)

TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo's main stock index ended lower Friday amid profit-taking of technology issues and concerns about soaring oil prices. The U.S. dollar was down against the Japanese yen.

Leading Indicators, Jobless Claims Fall

%mlink(STRY:v7965; PHOTO:NYET257-0819041215; AUDIO:%)

NEW YORK (AP) _ Offering more evidence that the nation's economic recovery is losing steam, a closely watched gauge of future business activity fell in July for the second consecutive month.

Nortel Networks to Eliminate 3,500 Jobs

%mlink(STRY:v7886; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)

TORONTO (AP) _ Nortel Networks said on Thursday it will slash its work force by 3,500, or 10 percent, as it struggles to recover from an accounting scandal that toppled three top executives and led to a criminal investigation and lawsuits.

Parmalat Sues Credit Suisse First Boston

%mlink(STRY:v7833; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)

ROME (AP) _ Insolvent dairy company Parmalat said Thursday it was suing Credit Suisse First Boston to get back 248 million euros ($306 million) that the Italian conglomerate's former executives paid the investment bank as part of a 2002 deal.

Delta Restructuring Plan Raises Concern

%mlink(STRY:v7892; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)

ATLANTA (AP) _ Delta Air Lines Inc.'s plan to restructure some of its debt outside of bankruptcy has raised concerns among credit analysts who believe the move could be tantamount to defaulting on the money the struggling carrier owes.

Airline Moves Lower on Oil, Labor Worries

%mlink(STRY:v7863; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)

NEW YORK (AP) _ Shares of airline stocks moved sharply lower Thursday as investors pulled out of the industry due to both a surge in oil prices and concerns about a fresh round of labor issues facing a number of big players in the sector.