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Continental's Cost Cuts; Possible Eurozone Telecom Merger; Rising Tide of Foreclosures; Jobless Claims Drop; Inflation Controls Threaten China Stocks; Honeywell Shot Full of Holes; Dupont's Bumper Crop; Novartis on the Guard Against Influenza
- Continental Airlines Inc. (CAL) became the latest airline to announce reduced flight service and jobs cuts yesterday (Thursday). Continental will eliminate 3,000 jobs and 16% of its flight capacity, The New York Times reported. The cost cutting efforts follow similar moves from UAL Corp.'s (UAUA) United Airlines, Northwest Airlines Corp. (NWA) and Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL).
- France Telecom SA (ADR: FTE) announced yesterday (Thursday) that it was pursuing a $42 billion bid for Sweden's TeliaSonera AB (PINK: TLSNF), The Associated Press reported. , but France Telecom reported it has the backing of the French government and could up its bid.
- The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced yesterday (Thursday) that both the percentage of loans in foreclosures, as well as the number of foreclosure starts, climbed to levels not seen since 1979, MarketWatch reported. For one- to four-unit properties, 2.47% of all mortgages outstanding were in foreclosure, up from 2.04% in the fourth quarter, according to the MBA's latest National Delinquency Survey. At the end of first quarter 2007, only 1.28% of such homes were in foreclosure.
- The number of U.S. citizens filing first time unemployment claims fell last week, the Department of Labor said yesterday (Thursday). Initial jobless claims decreased by 18,000 to 357,000 in the week that ended May 31, the lowest level in more than a month, due in part to the Memorial Day holiday, Bloomberg News reported.
- Stocks in China fell to a six-week low Thursday (yesterday) on speculation that the government would tighten prices to curb inflation. The move that would shave profits from the country's commodity titans. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks 300 stocks traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 1 percent to close at 3,512.14, the lowest since April 23, Bloomberg reported.
- The U.S. government announced yesterday (Thursday), via the Department of Justice, that it is suing Honeywell International Inc. (HON) for selling material used in bulletproof vests that it alleges was defective, The Associated Press reported. According to the DOJ, " leaving the vests unfit for use. The department also alleges that Honeywell failed to notify the government or the vest manufacturer, Armor Holdings Inc., of the defect.
- E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co. (DD), commonly known as DuPont, said yesterday (Thursday) that it is , according to Thomson Financial. The company expects DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition segment sales to grow by 6% to 8% and earnings by more than 15% on average between 2007 and 2010.
- Swiss pharmaceutical maker Novartis AG (ADR: NVS) spent nearly $1.3 million lobbying the U.S. government in the first quarter on drug and health care issues, according to a recent disclosure form, The Associated Press reported. .