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News In Brief

PODCAST: American Airlines expands fleet, Pound-packing restaurants

Katharine Crnko Jul 20, 2011

Here are today’s top headlines from the Marketplace Morning Report and from around the web.

American Airlines said this morning it’s buying more than 460 new planes. More than half of those planes are from Airbus, the rest from Boeing. American calls the $80 billion order the biggest in history.

The parent company of American Airlines says it expects to spin-off regional carrier American Eagle, but it still won’t completely rule out a sale.

The United Nations today formally declared a famine in parts of Somalia. Saying it needs hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming weeks. The last time the U.N. declared a famine? Thirty years ago in Ethiopia.

The Obama administration hopes to soon announce a deal with Republicans that would clear the way for votes on three long-delayed free trade agreements and a program to help workers who have lost their jobs because of trade.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will sign a two-year state budget into law that will end the nation’s longest state government shutdown in a decade.

Applications for home mortgages surged last week, racking up the biggest increase in four months on a flood of refinancing demand as interest rates remained low, an industry group said Wednesday.

Marlboro maker Altria says its net income fell about 57 percent in the second quarter — cigarettes sales fell, but prices were stable.

United Technologies posted an 18.9 percent rise in second-quarter earnings, citing growth across all its divisions, and the diversified manufacturer raised its full-year profit forecast for the third time.

Money manager BlackRock’s second-quarter earnings rose 43 percent, topping expectations, as assets under management increased, driving up fees.

U.S. Bancorp’s net income rose by 57 percent as the Midwestern regional bank set aside less money for bad loans and earned more in interest income.

Tomorrow marks one year to the day that President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill into law.

Ford Motor is recalling more than 20,000 pickup trucks and SUVs because a defective switch can cause the turn signal, tail lights and brake lights to fail.

Apple reported a record $7.3 billion profit for its latest quarter. Key sales numbers: 9.3 million iPads. 20.3 million iPhones.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has released its annual rankings of the worst-for-you menu items at chain restaurants, like Applebee’s Provolone-Stuffed Meatballs with Fettuccini. It clocks in at 1,520 calories and two days worth of saturated fat. Then there’s the Cheesecake Factory’s Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake, which is like eating a personal pan pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut, two quarter pounders with cheese, plus an additional day’s worth of saturated fat.

A new survey out this month says there’s a big trust gap in the workplace. Maritz Research found only 10 percent of all employees said they trust the management of their company in times of uncertainty. A slightly better 14 percent of those employees said they think their management is ethical and honest. The highest percentage of employees who trust the people for whom they work comes from the youngest age group polled — 18 to 24 year olds. So much for rebellious youth.

You can read the rest of today’s stories from the Marketplace Morning Report here.

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