Consumer Confidence Rises
U.S. consumers turned upbeat in June, helped by brief relief in gasoline prices and a rising stock market. The University of Michigan's measure of consumer sentiment surged to 94.8, from 86.9 in May, the highest since January.
Current Account Deficit Increases
Commerce Department data showed the current account deficit hit a record high in the first quarter, at $195.1 billion. It was largely driven by a growing merchandise trade gap and an increase in unilateral transfers, such as U.S. aid for tsunami victims. The first-quarter deficit was a record 6.4 percent of gross domestic product.
Spitzer Delaying Bank Subpoenas
New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer agreed to hold off on filing subpoenas in his mortgage-lending investigation after he was sued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and a group of banks the agency oversees. A lawyer for Spitzer said the attorney general would not take action before lawyers reconvene in court, which is scheduled for Monday afternoon.
Spitzer's office later issued a statement decrying the suits, which say he has no legal authority to investigate the banks' mortgage lending.
United Gets Filing Extension
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Eugene R. Wedoff agreed to give United Airlines two more months to submit a reorganization plan without competition from outside investors, despite objections from some creditors.
Wedoff said he hopes United will file its plan before the new Sept. 1 deadline. United finance chief Jake Brace declined to say whether the company would submit a plan by then but said he still anticipates United exiting bankruptcy protection sometime this fall.
Justice Probes Nasdaq Deal
The Nasdaq Stock Market said the Justice Department has again requested information and documents concerning its pending $1.88 billion cash acquisition of Instinet Group. Both Nasdaq and Instinet said they expected to receive the request and intend to respond promptly.
Scrushy Jury Ends 16th Day
Jurors in HealthSouth founder Richard M. Scrushy's federal fraud trial ended their 16th day of deliberations without reaching a verdict. Scrushy is accused of inflating profit by $2.7 billion to prop up the Birmingham rehabilitation hospital company's shares and enrich himself.
Former Enron Executive Testifies
The former strategy chief of Enron Broadband Services testified in his fraud and conspiracy trial that he said virtually nothing at a 2000 analysts' conference where prosecutors claim company executives lied about their division's prospects. "I was in the audience. I made no statements. I was asked one question," said Scott Yeager, who is one of five former Enron Broadband executives accused of exaggerating the Enron division's technological capabilities and financial prospects to fool investors.
Enron Reaches Deal With Bank
Enron struck its first deal with one of 10 financial institutions it claims could have prevented the energy trader's collapse. Enron reported that Royal Bank of Scotland agreed to make a $41.8 million cash payment and forfeited rights to claims in the Enron bankruptcy.
In addition, Enron will pay $20 million cash to the Edinburgh-based bank, in exchange for some $329 million in claims that RBS said Enron owed in back fees. Once the agreement is approved by a bankruptcy judge, Enron will have received a total of $21.8 million from Royal Bank of Scotland to resolve its portion of the litigation.
U.S. Investigates Toyota Seat Belts
The Toyota Sienna minivan is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because seat-belt webbing can get stuck and may raise the risk of children being injured. The investigation, which could result in a recall, covers 297,792 2004 and 2005 Siennas.
Circuit City's Loss Widens
Circuit City Stores reported a first-quarter loss of $13.1 million, compared with a loss of $5.9 million in the first quarter last year. Sales at the Richmond-based consumer electronics retailer rose 6 percent to $2.23 billion.
BlackBerry Service Interrupted
Research In Motion's BlackBerry e-mail service was interrupted from about 8:15 a.m. until noon yesterday, said spokesmen for Cingular Wireless and T-Mobile, which carry the service over their wireless networks.
U.S., E.U. Open to Airline Talks
The United States and European Union said they are committed to resolving the debate about subsidies to aircraft makers Airbus and Boeing. Trade representatives from both sides said they would like to negotiate a settlement.
Compiled from staff and news service reports.