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AP Financial News Summary at 2:06 p.m. EST

January 26, 2006

General Motors Posts Big Loss, Shares Fall

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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 and charges in its North American division.

ChoicePoint to Pay $15M 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.

Stocks Climb on Factory Data, Caterpillar

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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.

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.

CBO Projects $337 Billion Deficit in 2006

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The deficit will reach at least $337 billion for the current budget year, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, and the deficit is likely to go higher because of tax cuts and new additional spending for hurricane relief and the war in Iraq.

Big-Ticket Factory Orders Up on Autos

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Orders to American factories for big-ticket goods posted a solid gain in December, propelled by strong demand for autos and machinery, as manufacturers closed out a record year.

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.

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, including 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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