AP Financial News Summary at 11:36 a.m. EDT
May. 04, 2006
April Best Month for Retailers in 2 Years
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NEW YORK (AP) _ Consumers seemingly unfazed by rising gasoline prices spent enthusiastically during April, giving retailers their best performance in two years.
Kodak Posts 6th Straight Quarterly Loss
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ Eastman Kodak Co., undergoing a rough transition to digital photography, lost $298 million in the first quarter _ its sixth quarterly loss in a row _ and said Thursday it is considering selling its fabled health-imaging business. Its shares fell more than 5 percent.
Defense Expert: Enron Did Not Break Rules
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HOUSTON (AP) _ Enron Corp. did not break rules or regulations when it shifted part of one business unit to another in what prosecutors insist was a ploy to hide losses, an accounting expert testified Thursday.
Productivity Rebounds in 1st Quarter
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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The efficiency of American workers rebounded in the opening quarter of this year, growing at an annual rate of 3.2 percent. Wages rose at a brisk pace.
Stocks Lift on Retail Sales, Economic Data
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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks climbed Thursday as positive data on worker productivity and solid April retail sales tempered investors' reaction to a greater-than-forecast jump in labor costs.
ECB Holds Key Interest Rate at 2.5 Percent
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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ The European Central Bank held its key interest rate steady at 2.5 percent on Thursday, but speculation intensified that an increase is coming next month as President Jean-Claude Trichet said conditions remain in place for growth.
Unilever 1Q Profit Rises 6 Percent
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LONDON (AP) _ Unilever PLC, the maker of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Dove soap and Lipton tea, said Thursday its profit rose 6 percent in the first quarter but its sales growth disappointed the market.
Tyco Says 2Q Profit Up Fivefold
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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ Tyco International Ltd. on Thursday reported fiscal second-quarter earnings shot up fivefold from year-ago results that included a hefty charge. The manufacturing conglomerate also lowered its full-year forecast.
Oil Prices Drop Below $72 a Barrel
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LONDON (AP) _ Oil prices sank more than $1 a barrel Thursday, keeping momentum after a big drop the previous day that was caused by U.S. government data showing gasoline supplies growing last week, reversing two months of declines.
High Oil Prices Lift Shell Profit 3.1 Pct.
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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Thursday its first-quarter profit rose 3.1 percent, boosted by the high price of oil, but the company said it may not meet earlier targets in restoring its proven oil reserves after its 2004 accounting scandal.