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June 28, 2007 at 10:53 AM
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U.S. stocks weak as investors await Fed

NEW YORK, June 28 (UPI) -- While investors awaited word from the Federal Reserve about a possible interest rate increase, U.S. stocks started Thursday on an uncertain note.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell then recovered, gaining 3.57 points or 0.03 percent, at 13,431.30 in early trading. The Nasdaq composite was up 7.88 points or 0.30 percent, at 2,613.23 and the Standard and Poor's 500 was off then up 1.26 points, or 0.08 percent, at 1,507.60.

Overseas, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed up 0.5 percent at 17,932.

Bonds fell. The 10-year note fell 2/32, or 62.5 cents for every $1,000 invested, to yield 5.093 percent Thursday.

The dollar was mixed. The euro was at $1.3471 from $1.3449 late Wednesday, while the dollar was at 123.06 yen from 122.64 yen.


Oil prices climb near $70 a barrel

NEW YORK, June 28 (UPI) -- U.S. crude oil prices moved closer to the $70 a barrel plateau at the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday.

Crude futures rose 91 cents to $69.88 a barrel by late morning.

Heating oil was up 0.49 cents, or 0.24 percent, to $2.0295 a gallon while reformulated oil rose 0.76 cents, or 0.34 percent, to $2.2622 a gallon.

Natural gas was getting $7.10 per million British thermal units, up 0.02 cents or 0.21 percent.

Regular unleaded gasoline remained steady at an average of $2.975 a gallon for the third straight day, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.


Airline discount leader plans changes

DALLAS, June 28 (UPI) -- Southwest Airlines, the industry's discount flight leader, said it plans several major changes, including seating and schedule.

To extend its remarkable 34-year profitable run, Southwest Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said, the Dallas-based airline needs to generate $1 billion in additional revenue "over the next few years" to stay ahead in the competitive industry "low-cost" race, USA Today reported.

He said the airline would cut back its planned growth in capacity from 6 to 8 percent through 2008.

The airline's open seating system apparently is due for a change as well as its schedule structure. Kelly said Southwest, which has been experimenting with assigned seats, will announce its new boarding plan before year's end.

Southwest plans to eliminate 39 daily round-trip, non-stop flights by year's end with similar service added to 46 other key markets.


Credit card company trims 2,000 jobs

MCLEAN, Va., June 28 (UPI) -- Capital One said it will cut about 2,000 jobs, or about 6 percent of its work force, to trim $700 million in expenses in the next two years.

Capital One, a McLean, Va.-based credit card company that has diversified into retail banking, said about half of the job cuts have taken place. Additional savings are expected by not filling open positions, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The company said it will incur pretax charges of $300 million for the restructuring, cutting profit by 15 cents a share this quarter and by 33 cents a share for the year.

Capital One shares fell 1 cent to $78.80 Wednesday.

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