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AP Financial News Summary at 9:42 a.m. EDT

June 17, 2004

Stocks Open Lower on New Economic Data

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stock prices are lower in early trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 18 points in today’s early going. Losing issues on the New York Stock Exchange hold a 3-2 lead over advancers.

Jobless Claims Dip, Wholesale Prices Jump

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The number of new people signing up for jobless benefits dropped last week and wholesale prices rose in May at the fastest pace in 14 months, according to two reports that sent mixed messages about the strength of the economic resurgence.

Tokyo Stocks End Lower; Dollar Flat

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TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo stocks slipped Thursday after a big advance in the previous session. The U.S. dollar was nearly flat against the Japanese yen.

OPEC Pledges to Increase Oil Production

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LONDON (AP) _ OPEC signaled it would boost oil production and said it would ask other major oil producers outside the group such as Mexico to do so as well to make up for lost crude exports from sabotaged pipelines in Iraq.

MGM-Mandalay Deal Has Major Implications

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LAS VEGAS (AP) _ The $4.8 billion buyout of Mandalay Resort Group Inc. by MGM Mirage will have global implications for the gambling and convention markets, according to company executives who on Wednesday previewed an aggressive growth plan stretching from Las Vegas to Singapore.

Adelphia Prosecutor Gives Final Arguments

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Four former executives ravaged Adelphia Communications Corp. ``like their own ATM machine,″ driving it into bankruptcy and covering their tracks with lies, a prosecutor said Wednesday in closing arguments.

Volkswagen Cutting Car Prices in China

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SHANGHAI, China (AP) _ Volkswagen is cutting its car prices in China amid growing competition, the carmaker said Thursday.

Sony, BMG Execs Said to Meet With EU Head

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BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ The European Union’s antitrust chief was scheduled to meet Thursday with executives from Sony Music, including chief executive Andrew Lack, and Bertelsmann AG’s BMG to discuss their proposed joint-venture, sources familiar with the case said on condition of anonymity.

Andersen Loses Appeal of Enron Conviction

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HOUSTON (AP) _ Arthur Andersen LLP learned Wednesday that it lost its appeal, nearly two years to the day that the former Big Five accounting firm was convicted of destroying and altering Enron Corp.-related documents.

Deutsche Post Says It’s Sticking With IPO

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Germany’s Deutsche Post said Thursday it is pressing ahead with its initial public offering of shares in its Postbank banking subsidiary despite speculation the company is asking too high a price.

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