AVIATION

Boeing to Sell 26 More 787s

Boeing announced deals for 26 787 Dreamliners from two leasing companies. The list price for both orders is $3.4 billion, but big customers normally get a discount.

ILFC, a unit of American International Group, became the first leasing company to buy the Dreamliners, ordering 20, followed by Low-Cost Aircraft Leasing, which announced an order for six Boeing 787s several hours later.

Boeing touts the 787, which is scheduled to enter service in 2008, as up to 20 percent more fuel-efficient than any similar plane on the market. Boeing's plane is competing with rival Airbus's planned A350, which is due to enter into service with airlines in 2010.

MUTUAL FUNDS

Charges Dropped in Trading Case

New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer dropped criminal charges against Paul Flynn, a former managing director of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce who was indicted after a probe into late trading of mutual funds.

Spitzer asked New York state Judge James Yates to dismiss the charges because Flynn's employer agreed to pay $125 million to settle the case in July and Flynn's two co-defendants pleaded guilty in August. Yates granted the request, Spitzer spokesman Brad Maione said. Flynn's trial on five felony charges was scheduled to start yesterday.

BANKING

Fund Urges Vote in Sovereign Deal

The California State Teachers' Retirement System sent a letter Friday to Richard Ketchum, the New York Stock Exchange's chief regulatory officer, objecting to Sovereign's plans to sell a 19.8 percent stake to Spain's Banco Santander Central Hispano for $2.4 billion and then acquire Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Independence Community Bank for $3.6 billion in cash.

The three-way deal has been criticized by other large investors, including the investment council that oversees New Jersey's pension funds and Sovereign's largest shareholder, Relational Investors.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Mentor Sweetens Medicis Bid

Cosmetic-surgery products company Mentor, whose $2.2 billion bid to acquire Medicis Pharmaceutical was rebuffed, said it may sweeten its bid by offering substantially more cash than stock. The board of Medicis, a maker of acne medicine, said in rejecting Mentor's offer that it is committed to completing its proposed acquisition of Inamed. Both Mentor and Inamed are awaiting a decision from the Food and Drug Administration on whether to allow silicone-gel breast implants to return to the market.

ECONOMY

Leading U.S. Indicators Rise

The index of leading economic indicators in the United States rose in October for the first time in four months as the labor market improved and companies in the South rebounded after three hurricanes. The Conference Board's gauge, which assesses the likely performance of the U.S. economy in the next three to six months, rose 0.9 percent after September's 0.8 percent decline.

Job growth and a pickup in manufacturing pushed the economy ahead in October and will keep it growing in the coming months, economists said. A drop in new claims for unemployment benefits led the index higher as job losses related to the hurricanes faded.

Campbell Soup said first-quarter profit climbed 31 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, to $302 million. Sales edged up 1 percent, to $2.11 billion. The soupmaker also said its board of directors authorized it to spend up to $600 million to buy back its own shares until the end of fiscal 2008.

T-bill rates were mixed. The discount rate on three-month Treasury bills auctioned yesterday increased to 3.94 percent from 3.91 percent last week. Rates on six-month bills fell to 4.155 percent from 4.195 percent. The annualized return to investors is 4.034 percent for three-month bills, with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,901.50, and 4.303 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,791.10. Separately, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, rose to 4.36 percent last week from 4.35 percent the previous week.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.