American Airlines increased prices on international flights by as much as $25 each way because of rising jet fuel prices. Jet fuel prices for immediate delivery in New York have increased 86 percent in the past year.

Senator Seeks Probe of Snow's Bonds

Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.), ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, asked the Justice Department to review Treasury Secretary John W. Snow's ownership of $10.87 million of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds when Snow was lobbying Congress to make his department the companies' regulator. Snow said in May that he discovered he owned the bonds 15 months after their purchase by an investment adviser he had hired. The bonds were sold at a loss on May 14.


ATA Airlines flight attendants voted to take a 10 percent pay cut to help keep the carrier in business. On Thursday, ATA announced that it would lay off 150 flight attendants on Oct. 31 because of a seasonal slowdown.

Bear Stearns's municipal bond business in Chicago is under formal investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and has received subpoenas from a U.S. attorney's office, the company disclosed in a filing.

PlanetOut, a San Francisco-based Internet company that runs several gay- and lesbian-themed Web sites, made an initial public stock offering of 4.65 million shares at $9 a share on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The shares gained 17.5 percent on the first day of trading, closing at $10.58. The company adopted "LGBT" -- an abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender -- as its ticker symbol.

The Treasury Department missed a deadline to report to Congress whether China or other nations get unfair trade benefits by manipulating exchange rates. The Treasury is required by Congress to investigate and report on foreign currency policies each year by Oct. 15, a deadline often missed.


Royal Dutch/Shell Group was asked to help formulate a plan for developing Iraq's natural gas industry. While Shell is doing the work free, it gives the company access to the oil ministry and could help it win lucrative contracts in the Iraqi oil industry -- including a prized role in developing the Ratawi oil field near Basra.

General Motors workers in Germany continued a strike while the company's European president attempted to reassure employees that GM had not fixed how many jobs it would cut in Germany. GM Europe earlier said it planned to eliminate 12,000 jobs by the end of 2006, most in Germany.

A British judge ruled that three bankers could be extradited to stand trial in Texas on Enron-linked fraud charges. David J. Bermingham, Giles R.H. Darby and Gary S. Mulgrew, who formerly worked for National Westminster Bank, were charged in 2002 with bilking the bank of $7.3 million in a scheme allegedly engineered by former Enron finance chief Andrew S. Fastow. Home Secretary David Blunkett will decide whether the men will be extradited.


Media General said third-quarter profit more than quadrupled from the comparable quarter last year, in part due to spending on broadcast political advertising and gains in newspaper help-wanted ads. The company said profit was $15.7 million, up from $3.7 million. Sales increased to $217.6 million from $205.1 million.

Wachovia said its third-quarter earnings rose 14 percent, to $1.26 billion, on gains in its wealth management and investment banking businesses. Wachovia has assets of $437 billion and operates in 11 Eastern states and the District.

Charles Schwab Corp. reported a $41 million third-quarter loss, compared with a $127 million profit in the comparable quarter last year. Revenue rose slightly, to $1 billion.

Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers.