Stores Post Bigger Gains in June

U.S. retailers posted their biggest sales gain in 13 months in June as warmer weather and job growth spurred purchases of air conditioners and summer clothing. Sales at stores open at least a year jumped 5.3 percent from June 2004, the International Council of Shopping Centers said.

Department store sales rose 5.5 percent, while teen and luxury retailers, which have led sales gains this year, also beat expectations. Saks's sales climbed 6 percent, Nordstrom's 8.1 percent and Neiman Marcus Group's 9.2 percent. Sales at American Eagle Outfitters jumped 28 percent.

Wal-Mart recorded a 4.5 percent sales increase, its biggest gain in more than a year, and Target's sales rose 9 percent.


Purcell to Get $43.9 Million

Former Morgan Stanley chairman and chief executive Philip J. Purcell will receive $43.9 million in bonus money, $250,000 per year for life, health benefits and even office help as part of his severance with the company he led for eight years.

Purcell, 61, will receive half his bonus on Jan. 15, 2006, and the rest exactly one year later, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The awards and perks are contingent on Purcell not taking a similar job with a Morgan Stanley competitor.


Report Lists Animal Deaths

Ten animals were killed, injured or lost on flights by six U.S. airlines in May, the first month that carriers were required to report such data to the government. The government will disclose the data monthly.

A large dog escaped his kennel in the cargo hold of an Alaska Airlines flight and killed an Abyssinian cat in one of the four deaths reported by the Transportation Department. Five animals were injured, and one was lost, the report said.


Moody's Reviews GM Debt

General Motors' debt and that of its finance subsidiary is under review and may be downgraded to non-investment grade by Moody's Investors Service, the rating company said.

Moody's said in a statement that it is considering cutting about $175 billion in GM's debt from "Baa3," the last investment grade, because of concerns about incentive costs, U.S. competition and the falling popularity of sport-utility vehicles.

New Leaders at Collins & Aikman

Collins & Aikman named Frank Macher as chief executive and Stephen F. Cooper as chairman, picking permanent replacements for David Stockman, who left in May five days before the auto-parts maker filed for bankruptcy protection. Macher is former chief executive of Federal-Mogul and general manager of Visteon. Cooper is interim chief executive of Enron and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts as well as chairman of turnaround firm Kroll Zolfo Cooper.

The company said Charles Becker, who was interim chief executive after Stockman left, resigned.


Volkswagen Recalls 40,000 Jettas

Volkswagen recalled about 40,000 of its 2005 Jetta sedans sold in the United States because a fuel-line clamp may fail and result in a gasoline leak that could cause a fire.

The clamp may not have been installed properly when the cars were built plant in Mexico, the automaker told the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a letter. The recall covers all Jettas with 2.5-liter gasoline engines sold in the United States since the redesigned 2005 model debuted in March.

Alcoa said its second-quarter profit rose 14 percent, to $460 million, from the comparable period a year earlier. Sales rose 13 percent, to $6.76 billion. Alcoa said sales growth was driven by higher volumes and its acquisition of fabricating facilities in Russia.

Accenture said third-quarter profit increased 45 percent, to $305.3 million, after sales rose to a record and the company reported a one-time gain. Sales before certain reimbursements from clients gained 11 percent, to $4.08 billion, in the quarter ended May 31.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.

Wal-Mart recorded its biggest gain in more than a year, and department store sales also rose.