Angioplasty Device Recalled

Medical device maker Boston Scientific recalled 40,000 implantable devices meant to treat blocked coronary arteries, saying it has received eight complaints that the end of the device became detached as it was removed from the patient and required more surgery in three cases. The recall affects all Flextome cutting angioplasty balloon devices that the Food and Drug Administration approved in September. The device differs from standard angioplasty balloons in that it is lined on the outside with lengthwise microsurgical blades that score the fibrous plaque as the balloon inflates.

On Friday, the company announced the recall of about 18,000 devices that filter and dissolve blood clots from entering the lungs. The recall was triggered by eight complaints that the capsule carrying the filter during implantation became detached from the delivery system, causing one patient death.


Continental Reaches Labor Deal

After an eight-month holdout, Continental Airlines' flight attendants reached a tentative contract agreement with the carrier that would let them keep their current pay longer than under contracts that other unions already accepted.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents Continental's flight attendants, said that the tentative four-year contract also has a no-furlough clause and includes language to allow the crews to rest more and to enhance participation in profit sharing and stock option plans.

The flight attendants will vote on the agreement Jan. 17-30. A separate strike vote also will be taken.


Chevron Boosts Capital Budget

Chevron increased its capital budget by 35 percent, to $14.8 billion, for 2006 from the $11 billion it expects to spend this year. More than three-fourths of the budget, or $11.3 billion, is earmarked for oil and gas exploration and development, the second-largest U.S. integrated oil company said. Another 19 percent, or $2.8 billion, is targeted for refining and marketing, $1 billion of which will be spent in the United States, Chevron said.

Court to Hear Calpine Appeal

The Delaware Supreme Court agreed to hear Calpine's appeal of a judge's order requiring it to restore $313 million to a bond collateral fund, a ruling the company says may force it into bankruptcy. A Delaware judge had given Calpine, owner of the most gas-fired power plants in the United States, until Jan. 22 to return the money.


Wal-Mart Tests Newspaper Ads

Wal-Mart Stores placed full-page advertisements in 336 Midwestern newspapers after publishers nationally complained that they are ignored by the retailer. The ads ran in papers in Missouri and Oklahoma between Nov. 30 and Tuesday.

Wal-Mart said it would look first at whether the new local ads increased sales and traffic at 218 stores in those newspapers' territories. "If there is a significant return, we would consider incorporating the local papers into our overall ad strategy," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Mona Williams said.

Williams said Wal-Mart had traditionally not advertised locally because it had strong customer traffic anyway. Its practice of "everyday low prices" also means it does not need to advertise sales and individual items like many other retailers do.

Estate to Sell Wal-Mart Stake

The estate of Wal-Mart Stores heir John T. Walton filed to sell 11.4 million shares, most of its holdings, according to a regulatory document provided by the Washington Service, a company that tracks insider sales and purchases.

Walton owned almost 12 million Wal-Mart shares as well as 1.68 billion shares with Walton family members, according to a company filing. He died June 27 after his home-made ultra-light plane crashed near his home in Wyoming's Jackson Hole area.

Costco Wholesale said its fiscal first-quarter profit rose 12 percent, to $215.8 million, helped by growth at its stores open at least one year. For the three months ended Nov. 20, the nation's largest wholesale-club operator reported revenue of $12.93 billion.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.

A full-page ad from Wal-Mart Stores ran in the Kansas City Star's Nov. 24 edition. The retailer is increasing its spending on newspaper ads.