Oil Comes Down
Oil prices retreated from record highs after Saudi Arabia vowed to increase production by 8 percent and called on OPEC to boost output by 2 million barrels a day. Although the move dampened speculation on the futures market, analysts warned that any increase in crude production will have limited impact on supplies of gasoline and fuel oil, which are mostly constrained by lack of transport and refining capacity. President Bush rejected calls to temporarily halt purchases for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Verdict Undercut by a Lie?
The convictions of Martha Stewart and her stockbroker were called into question after the government's lab expert was charged with lying at their trial. Larry Stewart, chief forensic scientist at the Secret Service, testified that broker Peter E. Bacanovic doctored a worksheet to make it look less incriminating. But the government now says Stewart never examined the worksheet. Prosecutors, however, noted that another examiner concluded it was altered and that Bacanovic was acquitted of a false-document charge.
Cheap Flights From Dulles
Atlantic Coast Airlines said its new discount carrier, Independence Air, will provide service from Dulles to 35 cities. Regional jets will fly to Chicago, Newark, Boston, Atlanta and Raleigh/Durham beginning June 16. Other service, including 13 flights a day to New York's Kennedy Airport, will phase in over the summer. Competitors rushed to match many of Independence's fares. Independence will sell tickets only through its own Web site, kiosks and call center, avoiding commissions to agents and online services.
Strong Capital and its founder, Richard S. Strong, agreed to pay $140 million to settle state and federal allegations that they defrauded customers by allowing rapid in-and-out trading in their mutual funds by favored customers, including Strong himself. Strong, who racked up profits of up to $1.8 million from the improper trading even after promising an in-house lawyer he would stop, was barred for life from the financial services industry. The Wisconsin company also agreed to cut management fees by 6 percent.
For two generations, Duron has been synonymous with house paint in the Washington area. Pros liked the service at its convenient retail outlets, while weekend amateurs liked its reasonable prices and ease of application. But last week, Duron owner Robert Feinberg, 64, sold the firm his father founded in 1949 to Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams Co. for $235 million in cash and assumption of other liabilities. Sherwin-Williams said it will continue the Duron line and has no plans to close any stores or plants.