AP Business NewsBrief at 8:01 a.m. EDT
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) 3M beats 1Q profit expectationsMINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ 3M Co. says net income rose 4 percent in the first quarter as strong sales to automotive and aerospace customers offset a continuing decline in sales to the consumer electronics industry. The company earned $1.13 billion, or $1.59 per share. That was well ahead of the $1.48 per share expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet. 3M's revenue of $7.49 billion matched analyst expectations.
James Murdoch grilled over phone hacking failuresLONDON (AP) _ James Murdoch defended his record at the head of his father's scandal-tarred British newspaper arm Tuesday, saying that subordinates prevented him from making a clean sweep at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid. Speaking under oath at Lord Justice Brian Leveson's inquiry into media ethics, Murdoch repeated allegations that the tabloid's then-editor Colin Myler and the company's former in-house lawyer Tom Crone misled him about the scale of illegal behavior at the newspaper.
New wireless subscribers down sharply at AT&TNEW YORK (AP) _ AT&T is gaining new wireless subscribers at the lowest rate in eight years, as the number of people joining the network through resellers and non-phone devices like the Kindle is dropping sharply. The largest telecommunications company in the U.S. says it gained a net total of 726,000 wireless subscribers in the first quarter, less than a third of the figure in the same period last year.
Higher prices boost Hershey 1Q resultsHERSHEY, Pa. (AP) _ The Hershey Co. says its first-quarter profit rose 24 percent as higher prices and cost cutting helped offset higher ingredient costs. Its shares rose almost 2 percent in premarket trading. Most food makers have been increasing prices to offset rising ingredient costs. Hershey said higher prices spurred a 11 percent gain in revenue, offset by slightly lower volume. The Hershey, Pa.-based company has also been boosting advertising spending in the U.S. and abroad.
Stocks rise, eurozone crisis stalks bond auctionsFRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Stocks in Europe and Asia rebounded modestly Tuesday after sharp losses the day before on fears about Europe's debt crisis, helped by a late rebound on Wall Street. But rising borrowing costs at bond auctions for Spain and Italy showed that debt fears still stalk the eurozone. The Stoxx 50 index of European blue chips traded up 0.41 percent at 2387.40, while Germany's DAX added 0.8 percent to 6573.92, France's CAC-40 rose 1.1 percent to 3131.89 and the London FTSE climbed 0.4 percent to 5691.26. The euro was little changed, up 0.01 percent at $1.3155.
United Tech's 1Q profit up minus business salesHARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ United Technologies Corp. says net income from continuing operations rose more than 19 percent during the first quarter, factoring out the businesses that the manufacturer put up for sale. That would equate to earnings of $1.26 billion, or $1.31 per share, compared with earnings from those same operations last year of $1.05 billion, or $1.06 per share.
Germany's Merkel defends budget discipline driveBERLIN (AP) _ Germany mounted a spirited defense of its pro-austerity stance on Tuesday, with both Chancellor Angela Merkel and her foreign minister calling for a continued drive for fiscal discipline across Europe in spite of the latest bout of political uncertainty. Investors took fright of the 17 countries that use the euro Monday on concerns that the so-called fiscal compact of strict austerity and deficit controls agreed by European leaders earlier this year was beginning to unravel.
Toyota shows innovations in production methodsTOYOTA, Japan (AP) _ Toyota says it is putting renewed focus on innovation in production methods and design after getting a wake-up call from its massive recalls. A highly flexible assembly line that can grow or shrink over a weekend to adjust to demand was among the innovations Toyota Motor Corp. showed Tuesday in production technology.
Fed likely to keep stance on rates and bond buysWASHINGTON (AP) _ The Federal Reserve will have plenty to say about the economy Wednesday, when its two-day policy meeting ends with a statement, updated forecasts and Chairman Ben Bernanke's latest news conference. Whether all that information will signal any shift in its outlook or the prospect of further steps to boost the economy is far from clear.
Democrats' latest tax target: Private corporationsWASHINGTON (AP) _ First it was people earning at least $1 million a year. Now Democrats seeking their next election-year target for tax increases on better-off Americans may have found it: the owners of many privately held corporations. Democrats are considering trying to make it harder for owners of so-called S corporations to avoid paying Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes on some of their earnings, said a Senate Democratic aide speaking on condition of anonymity to reveal an emerging party strategy.
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