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Oil Bounces Back; Hungary Gets $25 Billion in Aid; P&G Boosted by Emerging Markets; Qwest Cuts Workforce; Airline Merger Cleared for Takeoff; Domestic Airfares Soar to Record High; Consumer Crunch Hits Comcast; Biotech Firm Plunges
- Oil prices rallied off a 17-month low yesterday (Wednesday), soaring $5.12, or 8.16% to settle at $67.85 a barrel. Earlier in the day, crude jumped 9% to a session high $68.91 a barrel. Part of the reason for the oil’s rebound was the Energy Information Administration's weekly report, which showed inventories rose 500,000 barrels last week, less than many analysts expected. Oil prices have fallen by 55% since peaking at $147 a barrel in mid-July.
- Hungary yesterday (Wednesday) , The Associated Press reported. According to the terms of the deal The IMF will provide a 17-month standby loan of $15.7 billion, the European Union will make $8.1 billion available, and World Bank will give $1.3 billion in an effort to keep Hungary's economy from collapsing under the weight of the global financial crisis.
- Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) yesterday (Wednesday . Net income rose to $3.3 billion, or $1.03 per share, up from $3.1 billion, or 92 cents a share, a year earlier, after double digit growth in emerging markets boosted total revenue to $22 billion.
- Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q) yesterday (Wednesday) that it would to $3.38 billion. The cuts will come before the end of the year and leave the company with 33,500 employees. Qwest earned $151 million, or 9 cents per share, in the quarter, down 93% from $2.06 billion, or $1.08 per share, a year ago. Though, the 2007 results were bolstered by a $2.1 billion tax benefit.
- The merger between Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) and Northwest Airlines Corp. (NWA) received antitrust clearance yesterday (Wednesday) from the U.S. Department of Justice. The approval paves the way for the merger, which will create the largest airline based on traffic, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- Average airfare for U.S. domestic flights increased 8.1% in the second quarter, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics announced yesterday (Wednesday). The average fare price of $352 is the highest in the 13-years the agency has been tracking the data, surpassing the previous record of $348 set in the first quarter of 2001, Bloomberg News reported.
- Shares of Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) slumped almost 9% yesterday (Wednesday) as the company announced it lost 147,000 cable subscribers in the third quarter due to weak economic conditions, Reuters reported. Comcast shares lost $1.68 each to close at $15.28.
- Shares of biotech firm Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) plunged more than 11% in after hours trading yesterday (Wednesday) after the company announced a participant in a drug trial for its multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri had been diagnosed with a life-threatening brain illness. The patient had received 14 infusions of the MS drug and was diagnosed with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML, Biogen said today in a regulatory filing, Bloomberg News reported.