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Week in review

The week in business.

By Times Staff
Published June 4, 2006


THE WEEK IN BUSINESS

Slower job growth eases pressure on Fed

U.S. employers added the fewest workers in seven months and wage growth cooled, increasing the chances that the Federal Reserve won't raise interest rates this month. May's 75,000 gain in payrolls followed a revised 126,000 April increase that was less than the government initially reported.

Goldman Sachs taps Blankfein as chairman

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. named president Lloyd Blankfein to succeed Henry Paulson as chairman and chief executive officer of the world's biggest securities firm by market value. The appointments will take effect once Paulson is confirmed as U.S. Treasury secretary, a job he was nominated for last week.

Frank Quattrone says NASD dropped IPO case

Frank Quattrone, the former Credit Suisse Group technology banker, said the NASD dropped its case accusing him of improperly awarding shares in initial public offerings during the Internet boom. The victory means he has prevailed in all three cases brought by NASD, Quattrone said. The end of the NASD cases eliminates the remaining legal barrier for a return to the securities industry by Quattrone, who was paid $120-million in 2000 as the top banker promoting Internet stocks.

Honda, Toyota sales soar; GM, Ford decline

Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. increased U.S. sales by more than 15 percent in May, and General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. posted their fourth decline in as many months as rising gasoline prices pushed buyers toward cars instead of trucks. GM, the world's biggest automaker, said its sales fell 12 percent.

OPEC to keep quotas at 28-million barrels a day

OPEC, producer of 40 percent of the world's oil, has decided to keep its production quotas unchanged at 28-million barrels a day, energy ministers from Libya and Qatar said. Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have said that oil prices above $70 a barrel and concern about supply disruptions in Iran and Nigeria have prompted OPEC to keep pumping at near-record levels.

NYSE buys Euronext in trans-Atlantic deal

NYSE Group Inc. agreed to buy Euronext NV for 7.78-billion euros ($9.96-billion), forming the first trans-Atlantic stock exchange and edging out a bid by Deutsche Boerse AG. Euronext is Europe's second-largest stock exchange. The 214-year-old New York Stock Exchange aims to unite with bourses in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon, and Europe's second-largest futures market.

Sun Microsystems to cut as many as 5,000 jobs

Sun Microsystems Inc., the world's fourth-largest maker of servers, said it will cut as many as many as 5,000 jobs, or 13 percent, of its work force, in the next six months to help end almost five years of losses. The moves will cost as much as $500-million, mostly in this quarter, and save as much as $590-million a year, Sun said.

Odds and ends

n Jet fuel has risen to 26 percent of airlines' costs from as little as 10 percent six years ago, undermining carriers' efforts to boost profit with cost cuts and higher ticket prices.

n H.J. Heinz Co., responding to pressure from billionaire investor Nelson Peltz, will eliminate 2,700 jobs and sell or close 15 factories.

n Profit at Man Group Plc, the world's largest hedge fund company, rose 15 percent to a record $1.01-billion for the past year.

n Ikea plans to double the number of U.S. stores in the next 10 years as demand for lower-price sofas and dining tables rises.

n Google Inc. said it won't build its own Web browser.

n Microsoft Corp. chief executive Steve Ballmer signaled he's unlikely to use the company's $34.8-billion in cash for bigger share buybacks.

- BLOOMBERG NEWS