APPROPRIATIONS

Amtrak Funds Clear Senate Panel

The Senate Appropriations transportation panel approved $1.4 billion for Amtrak for 2006, a 17 percent increase over 2005 and $200 million more than the $1.2 billion that passed in the House.

President Bush might veto the funding if it doesn't implement reforms, the transportation panel's chairman said.

CREDIT

Card Firms Drop Processor

Visa USA and American Express are cutting ties with the payment-processing company that left 40 million credit and debit card accounts vulnerable to hackers. CardSystems Solutions "cannot at this point correct, the failure to provide proper data security for Visa accounts," Visa USA Vice President Rosetta Jones said. MasterCard expects CardSystems to develop a plan for improving its security by Aug. 31, spokeswoman Sharon Gamsin said.

MILITARY

Boeing Lobbyist Investigated

The Pentagon's inspector general is investigating whether the former U.S. Air National Guard director, retired Maj. Gen. Paul A. Weaver, violated federal ethics law by accepting a job as a lobbyist with Boeing in May 2002, only three months after he retired from the military, officials and the former director said.

Weaver was part of a press for support for a now-defunct deal to lease aerial refueling tankers to the Air Force. He said he did nothing wrong in lobbying state adjutant generals for the tankers. The Senate Armed Services Committee and Justice Department are also looking into the matter.

LEGAL

DuPont Sued Over Chemical Use

DuPont was sued in federal courts over claims that it knew for two decades that a chemical used to make Teflon coating can sicken people.

The lawsuits seek class-action status. DuPont said that perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, is not harmful to human health and that the processing agent isn't found in finished products.

Dismissal of Fraud Charges Sought

U.S. Attorney Alice H. Martin has asked a judge to dismiss the indictment of former HealthSouth president James P. Bennett in connection with a $2.7 billion accounting fraud at the company, three weeks after losing a case against HealthSouth founder Richard M. Scrushy. Martin's court filing did not explain why she wanted to drop the charges.

FINANCIAL

Weill's Early Departure Discussed

Citigroup Chairman Sanford I. Weill should be allowed to depart before he becomes a distraction to the management team led by chief executive Charles O. Prince III, investors said. Weill, 72, had agreed to remain chairman until the 2005 annual shareholder meeting.

EARNINGS

Wachovia Profit Jumps 32 Percent

Wachovia said profit rose 32 percent, to a record of $1.65 billion from $1.25 billion in the comparable quarter a year ago, as its purchase of SouthTrust lifted deposits and fees. Revenue increased 16 percent, to $6.39 billion.

Wells Fargo Earnings Gain

Wells Fargo said profit rose 11.6 percent, to $1.91 billion from $1.71 billion, as it bucked an industry-wide compression in interest margins by selling off adjustable-rate mortgages and auto loans. Revenue rose 6 percent, to $7.87 billion.

Merrill Lynch Profit Up 6 Percent

Merrill Lynch reported a 6 percent increase in its second-quarter profit, to $1.14 billion from $1.07 billion, despite a sluggish bond market that sabotaged several of its competitors' results. Revenue climbed 20.4 percent, to $6.32 billion.

Ford Earnings Fall 19 Percent

Ford Motor's profit fell 19 percent in the second quarter, to $946 million from $1.17 billion, as its North American operations lost $907 million before taxes. Revenue grew 4 percent, to $44.55 billion.

Johnson & Johnson Profit Climbs

Johnson & Johnson's profit grew 8.9 percent, to $2.68 billion from $2.46 billion, as sales of medical devices and diagnostic tests jumped. Revenue increased 11.1 percent, to $12.76 billion.

Home Depot agreed to buy National Waterworks Holdings, a supplier of water-system products. Terms were not disclosed.

Wal-Mart applied to operate a bank in Utah to process debit, credit and electronic check transactions.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.

Northwest Airlines moved closer to a walkout by its mechanics and aircraft cleaners as it rejected a U.S. offer for arbitration and the workers voted to let union leaders call a strike.