People stroll past a shop in Madrid on Wednesday. Spain registered its fastest economic growth since before the financial crisis in the second quarter, becoming one of the brightest spots in the euro zone, although a sharp drop in consumer prices showed the economy faced risks. Wednesday’s preliminary reading of 0.6 percent was the strongest quarter-on-quarter rise since late 2007. (Juan Medina/Reuters)
Johnson & Johnson pulls surgical device

Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday that it plans to ask doctors to return its power morcellators, a controversial surgical device that may inadvertently spread cancer in women being treated for uterine growths called fibroids.

The company’s Ethicon unit in April suspended sales and distribution of the devices while their role in treating symptomatic fibroid disease is reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration and the medical community. The FDA had advised doctors not to use the devices, pending further review.

On Thursday, J&J will take the further step of reaching out to customers to ask them to return the devices they have already bought in what it is calling “a worldwide market withdrawal” of all Ethicon morcellation devices that remain on the market, an Ethicon spokesman said.

The morcellators are used to cut up the uterine growths so they can be more easily removed using noninvasive procedures. They are also used in hysterectomies. But the masses may sometimes be malignant, and the spinning blade of the morcellators could spread deadly cancer and worsen patient outcomes, the FDA had warned.

— Reuters

Carlyle Group cites robust 2nd quarter

The Carlyle Group turned a strong second-quarter profit, due in large part to its U.S. buyout funds and performance fees from its growing European activities, the company said Wednesday.

The Washington-based private-equity firm appears to be benefiting from a buoyant stock market and strong prices for the companies and other assets that it buys and sells around the globe.

Its economic net income, which is a popular method of measuring profitability at investment firms, more than doubled, to $318 million, from $156 million a year earlier. Revenue was $900 million.

“The big story is the strong performance of our European private-equity businesses,” co-chief executive William E. Conway Jr. said in a statement.

Carlyle earned $6.5 billion from the sale of companies in the second quarter, while at the same time it poured $3.4 billion of cash into new investments.

— Thomas Heath

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— From news services

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