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UPI NewsTrack Business

March 25, 2013 at 7:34 PM   |   Comments

Market upswing erodes Monday

NEW YORK, March 25 (UPI) -- U.S. stock indexes dropped Monday after investors took a second glance at a bailout deal for Cyprus.

Stocks followed European markets higher in early trading. But the deal hamstrings Cyprus with tough provisions, including a levy on bank deposits of $130,000 or higher, temporary controls on money transfers and the closure of the country's second largest bank.

Wall Street quickly soured on the deal, as the details became known.

By close of trading Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 64.28 points, or 0.44 percent, to 14,447.75. The Nasdaq gave up 9.70 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,235.30. The Standard and Poor's 500 dropped 5.20 points, or 0.33 percent, to 1,551.69.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,241 stocks advanced and 1,788 declined on a volume of 3.1 billion shares traded.

Ten-year U.S. treasury bonds rose 2/32 to yield 1.924 percent.

Against the dollar, the euro was at $1.2852 from Friday's $1.2948. Against the yen, the dollar was lower at 94.16 yen from 94.41 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 207.93 points, 1.69 percent, 297.16 points, to 12,546.46.

In London, the FTSE 100 index dropped 0.22 percent, 14.38 points, to 6,378.38.


Rally in Chicago supports Saturday mail

CHICAGO, March 25 (UPI) -- Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill, said at a Chicago rally for U.S. postal workers that it was "un-American" to pare back Saturday mail deliveries.

"It is really bad policy to try to shrink to survive. I feel this is un-American," Schakowsky said, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.

The downtown rally Sunday at Chicago's Federal Plaza drew several hundred protesters, the newspaper said.

The Postal Service under Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has proposed cutting back on mail delivery for Saturdays. A congressional vote last week ensured Saturday mail service through Sept. 30 of this year.

But the issue is sure to resurface, the Sun-Times said.

Letter carrier union spokesman Michael Caref said that the bulk of the problem lay in a a congressional mandate for the Postal Service to pay more than $5 billion to a fund for healthcare benefits for future Postal Service retirees.

"Eighty-five percent of the losses the Post Office has incurred over the past five years," was due to the mandated payments, Caref said.


Russian military opens embezzlement probe

MOSCOW, March 25 (UPI) -- Military prosecutors in Russia say they've opened an investigation into a $1 million embezzlement scheme involving passing off used equipment as new.

The Space Defense Forces received shipments in late 2011 of equipment that was later found to have components that were 20 years old, although the equipment was sold as new, RIA Novosti reported Monday.

The investigation is the latest in a series of fraud cases involving the Space Defense Forces.

Earlier this month, military prosecutors said they were investigating the possible theft of $225,000 at a health resort owned by the Defense Ministry. Managers at the Slavyanka sanitarium are suspected of stealing funds by paying third parties for work that was never done.

The Russian Federal Defense Contracts Service said last week their records show about 1,500 cases of wrongdoing involving Russian defense spending were uncovered in 2012.


GM unveils 2014 LaCrosse

NEW YORK, March 25 (UPI) -- General Motors unveiled its 2014 Buick LaCrosse Monday, which marketing executive Tony DiSalle said has no drive train changes, but has more luxury features.

"We evolved the interior and exterior design, increased luxury amenities and materials, and enhanced the safety and personal technologies to give customers more reasons than ever to rediscover Buick," DiSalle said in a statement.

The new LaCrosse, unveiled just prior to the opening of the New York International Auto Show includes new front and rear fascia and a larger grille, The Detroit News reported Monday.

The big sedan also has a new interior look and upgraded seats, the News said.

As a safety feature, the LaCrosse includes a system that warns the driver of cars approaching fast from a neighboring lane. The system lets drivers know there if another vehicle is coming up fast from behind, starting at a distance of 230 feet. It is the first GM to include that feature, company spokesman Nick Richards said.

Additional amenities include an early alert system for forward collisions, added features to cruise control and an emergency braking system that applies the brakes for the driver.

The car is expected in U.S. showrooms sometime this summer and in Chinese showrooms by the end of the year.

It may have an uphill battle to regain market share, however.

"The large car segment that the LaCrosse is in is a tough one. We don't see a lot of growth in that segment," industry analyst Michelle Krebs at Edmunds.com said.

In February, large vehicles made up 3.9 percent of U.S. new car sales. In comparison, midsized cars made up 18 percent.

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