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AP Financial News Summary at 4:28 p.m. EDT

September 23, 2004

Slow Economy, Oil Prices Send Stocks Down

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Investors extended their blue chip selloff Thursday as oil prices neared their all-time highs, renewing Wall Street’s concerns that high energy costs would deflate third-quarter earnings. Only the Nasdaq composite index managed a minimal gain.

Oil Prices Climb Despite Gov’t Statement

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Oil prices climbed toward $49 per barrel Thursday even as the Bush administration considered lending crude from the nation’s emergency stockpile to refiners experiencing supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Ivan.

Future Economic Activity Gauge Falls

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A closely watched gauge of future business activity fell in August for a third consecutive month, evidence that companies and consumers continue to navigate an uncertain economic climate. Meanwhile, more Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week following the hurricanes that hit Florida.

Fannie Mae Seeks to Fix Accounting Woes

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Federal regulators have raised the possibility of removing the management of mortgage giant Fannie Mae after finding serious accounting problems.

Ex-CA CEO Kumar Pleads Not Guilty

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The former CEO of Computer Associates International Inc. pleaded not guilty Thursday at his arraignment on federal securities fraud and other charges, the most senior official of the software maker to be charged in a multibillion-dollar accounting scandal.

Halliburton to Restructure Subsidiary

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HOUSTON (AP) _ Halliburton Co. said Thursday it is restructuring its troubled engineering and construction subsidiary, and would consider selling or spinning it off should the division’s stock performance fail to improve once costly asbestos litigation is resolved.

Ex-FDA Chief: Tobacco Cos. Fed Addiction

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The former head of the Food and Drug Administration came under cross- examination Thursday after testifying that cigarette makers manipulated nicotine to keep smokers addicted, a central allegation in the federal government’s $280 billion lawsuit against the industry.

SEC Says GE Violated Law Over Welch Perks

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ General Electric Co. violated the law by failing to fully disclose to investors substantial perks paid to its retired chief executive Jack Welch, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday.

Rite Aid Earns $9.8M in Second Quarter

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) _ Rite Aid Corp. reported a second-quarter profit of $9.8 million on Thursday, citing better cash flows and a reduction in inventory expenses.

American Airlines Seeks New Credit Line

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DALLAS (AP) _ The parent company of American Airlines, facing intense competition from low-cost-carriers and higher jet fuel costs, is hoping to refinance or replace an $834 million credit line, according to a newspaper report.

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