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AP Financial News Summary at 2:10 p.m. EDT

October 18, 2004

Oil Prices Nosedive on Profit-Taking

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Oil prices fell sharply on Monday in what traders described as a wave of profit-taking sparked by a steep decline in gasoline futures.

3M’s Profits Rise, but Misses Estimates

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ 3M Co. reported a 17-percent increase in third-quarter profits on Monday, but the maker of Post-it notes and Scotch tape missed analyst expectations and said full-year earnings would also fall short of forecasts.

Stocks Rise As Oil Prices Drop Sharply

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A sharp drop in oil prices gave Wall Street a small relief rally Monday, with stocks regaining ground after falling earlier in the session.

Mattel’s 3Q Profits Drop on Weaker Sales

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Mattel Inc., the world’s biggest toy maker, said Monday its third-quarter profits fell 5.2 percent due to lower worldwide sales of its flagship Barbie doll line and its Hot Wheels and Matchbox toy car brands.

Harmony Gold Makes Offer for Gold Fields

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) _ Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd., the biggest miner of South African gold, made an $8.1 billion all-stock bid Monday to takeover competitor Gold Fields Ltd. _ on the condition that Gold Fields step away from its planned $2.1 billion acquisition of Iamgold Corp.

Delphi Posts $114M Loss, Maintains Outlook

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DETROIT (AP) _ Delphi Corp., the world’s largest automotive supplier, said Monday it lost $114 million in the third quarter, reflecting lower North American vehicle production and higher material costs. Its loss was in line with its forecast delivered earlier this month and the company reaffirmed its guidance for the fourth quarter.

Pfizer to Study Pain Medication Celebrex

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Pfizer Inc. said Monday it plans a major study to see if its pain medication Celebrex can help osteoarthritis patients at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Kmart Appoints Lewis As CEO, President

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DETROIT (AP) _ The retailing company Kmart Holding Corp. appointed Aylwin Lewis, formerly an executive at the restaurant operator Yum Brands Inc., as its new chief executive and president on Monday.

Hasbro Earnings Up but Toy Sales Drop

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Hasbro Inc., the nation’s second largest toy maker, reported higher earnings for the third quarter compared with results depressed by an accounting charge a year ago. But revenue fell as sales in its domestic toy and games segments slipped.

EU Leaves Option Open on Boeing Tariffs

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BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ The European Union left open Monday the option of levying punitive tariffs against Boeing Corp. _ the main beneficiary of U.S. tax breaks found to violate global trade rules. The move came despite a U.S. warning that it could aggravate a trans-Atlantic fight over subsidies to Boeing and its European rival, Airbus.

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