Business Highlights

AP News
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Posted: Apr 11, 2011 6:34 PM
Business Highlights

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IMF: Turmoil shouldn't derail economic recovery

The world is facing new threats from surging oil prices, Mideast turmoil, higher inflation in China and Europe's debt woes, but the troubles should not be severe enough to derail recovery from the worst global recession since World War II, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.

In a new economic forecast, the IMF said the global economy should grow 4.4 percent this year. That compares with global growth of 5 percent last year.

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Alcoa Inc. turns 1Q profit on stronger sales

Alcoa Inc. said Monday it turned a first-quarter profit on stronger sales at higher prices that were offset by a weaker dollar and higher costs for energy and raw materials.

Alcoa said business improved from a range of customers, including aerospace, automotive, commercial transportation and packaging industries. It marked the fourth consecutive quarterly profit for Alcoa as it pulled out of two difficult years hit by the recession.

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Level 3 to acquire Global Crossing for $2 billion

Level 3 Communications Inc. said Monday that it is buying Global Crossing Ltd. for $2 billion, joining two major long-distance telecommunications networks that carry massive amounts of Internet and other data traffic in the U.S. and internationally.

Both Level 3 and Global Crossing operate vast networks of optical fiber used by other telecom carriers, corporations and government agencies. The combined company's reach would extend to 70 countries on three continents.

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Endo Pharma buying American Medical for $2.6B

NEW YORK (AP) _ Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. said Monday that it is buying urology and pelvic health company American Medical Systems Inc. for about $2.6 billion, expanding its medical device business.

Endo is offering $30 a share in cash _ a premium of 34 percent to Friday's closing price of American Medical Systems shares. Endo will also assume $312 million in American Medical's debt.

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Toyota warns US dealers of summer car shortages

DETROIT (AP) _ Toyota Motor Corp. is telling U.S. dealers that new vehicles could be in short supply this summer because of production slowdowns in Japan and North America.

In a memo to dealers obtained Monday by The Associated Press, Toyota's U.S. general manager Bob Carter said Toyota is producing cars and trucks at significantly reduced levels in April and hasn't set its production schedule for May through July.

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UK panel urges banking reorganization

LONDON (AP) _ A British commission recommended Monday that banks should be reorganized so that firewalls protect retail operations from investment banking, an attempt to shield taxpayers from the sector's risk-taking without forcing the banks to split up.

The preliminary report from the Independent Commission on Banking aims to find ways to avoid another catastrophic failure of a financial system dominated by a few large banks too big to be allowed to fail.

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Tenet, Community Health fight gets nasty

Tenet Healthcare has charged rival hospital operator Community Health Systems with systematically bilking Medicare, and the burgeoning legal fight sent shares of the entire sector sliding Monday.

The charges come months after Community launched a $3 billion hostile takeover bid for Tenet. The Dallas company said it uncovered overbilling by Community Health while researching the offer, which Tenet has already rejected.

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Flowers Foods buying Tasty Baking for $34.4M

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A Georgia food company announced a $34.4 million cash deal Monday to acquire Tasty Baking Co., the iconic maker of Tastykakes and other packaged sweets that earlier this year was forced by financial difficulties to explore a merger or sale.

Thomasville, Ga.-based Flowers Foods Inc., which makes breads, buns, rolls, snack cakes, pastries, and tortillas, is paying $4 a share for Tasty Baking's 8.6 million shares outstanding. The price is more than double Tasty Baking's closing price Friday of $1.61 a share.

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Court: Harvard twins stuck with Facebook agreement

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A federal appeals court ruled Monday that former Harvard University schoolmates of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg can't undo their settlement over creation of the social networking site.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss were savvy enough to understand what they were agreeing to when they signed the agreement in 2008. The deal called for a $20 million cash payment and a partial ownership of Facebook. A third classmate, Divya Narendra, was part of the settlement with the twins but did not pursue the second lawsuit seeking to undo the agreement.

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By The Associated Press(equals)

The Dow Jones industrial average added 1.06 point, or less than 0.1 percent, to close at 12,381.11. The broader S&P 500 index fell 3.71, or 0.3 percent, to 1,324.46.

The Nasdaq composite lost 8.91, or 0.3 percent, to 2,771.51.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery lost $2.87 to settle at $109.92 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In other Nymex trading for May contracts, heating oil lost 6.72 cents to settle at $3.2525 per gallon and gasoline futures dropped 6.02 cents to settle at $3.2005 per gallon. Natural gas gained 6.7 cents to settle at $4.108 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, Brent crude gave up $2.70 to settle at $123.42 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.