Business news briefs
Central bank cuts
key rate in Europe
The European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low but remained unwilling to deploy more powerful weapons that many economists say are needed to jolt the Continent out of recession. The central bank trimmed its main rate to 0.5 percent from 0.75 percent in a move seen to avoid the impression that it was sitting on its hands.
GM's Q1 profit
falls 14 percent
General Motors said its net income declined 14 percent in the first quarter, as it earned less money than a year ago in the surging North American car market. GM, the nation's largest automaker, said global revenue dropped 2 percent during the quarter, despite a concerted effort to introduce new models in the United States and Europe.
Intel's CEO pick
sticks to formula
Despite being battered by the slumping personal computer market, Intel signaled its commitment to its current course with the selection of chief operating officer Brian Krzanich as CEO and software head Renee James as president. In succeeding Paul Otellini, the two insiders are expected to follow the path the world's biggest chipmaker already has taken.
to friens to posts
President Barack Obama nominated two old friends with corporate experience for top posts on his economic team, longtime fundraiser Penny Pritzker as Commerce secretary and adviser Michael Froman as U.S. Trade Representative. Sure to come up is the Pritzker family's ties to Superior Bank, a thrift that failed in July 2001 after losing millions on risky loans.
Kraft's 1Q profit
Kraft Foods is reviving old brands such as Kool-Aid and betting on big new innovations as it begins finding its way as a smaller, independent company. The firm, which makes Miracle Whip among other staples, reported first-quarter results that beat Wall Street expectations. Kraft noted it managed to grow sales even in the challenging economy.
Ford adding 2,000
workers at truck plant
Ford said it's adding 2,000 workers to the Missouri plant that makes the F-150 pickup because of surging demand. The company plans to add a shift with 900 workers in the third quarter. That's in addition to the 1,100 workers Ford will hire to make the new Transit van. Those workers will start in the fourth quarter.
effort to block Yahoo
The French government has defended its veto over Yahoo Inc.'s attempted takeover of video sharing website Dailymotion, even as the move draws jeers for discouraging much needed foreign investment. Yahoo abandoned plans to take a 75 percent stake in Dailymotion, a deal sought by the managements of both companies.