- Manufacturers’ confidence in France, Europe’s third-largest economy, unexpectedly dropped to a 19-month low in May amid concern about the worsening growth outlook.
- Seven European countries including France, Germany and Spain have signed a treaty today to improve cross-border cooperation to clamp down on terrorism, crime and illegal immigration.
- Crude oil is rising for a fifth day, heading for the biggest weekly gain in 5 weeks, as US refiners boost gasoline output before the summer holiday season.
Wall Street Journal:
- US buyout firm Ripplewood Holdings LLC took RHJ International public two months ago in a $178M IPO, and the results will help determine whether other private-equity firms tap the markets in a similar way.
- The US government is sending 15 F-117 stealth fighters to South Korea and drafting a plan of action should six-party nuclear talks with North Korea fail.
- Paul Smith Ltd., Warnaco Group, Berkshire Hathaway’s Fruit of the Loom unit and other companies are rushing to sign agreements in China to buy clothing before the US and other countries apply quotas.
- Taiwan-based Via Technologies is introducing computer chips that may challenge Intel in the mobile computer market.
- General Motors and Ford Motor officially lose their investment-grade status on June 1 and $85 billion of their debt will land in the junk-bond market.
- US movie box-office receipts have fallen for 13 straight weekends from a year earlier as DVDs, the Internet and advances in home entertainment systems keep consumers home.
- US prosecutors charged four Tennessee state lawmakers with extorting money from a company created by the FBI to entrap the legislators.
- The US Homeland Security’s Customs and Border unit will attempt to boost port security by forcing importers to verify improvements and ensure that more high-risk containers are inspected.
- The risks associated with weight reduction, or bariatric, surgery have led to many physicians to stop offering the procedures to avoid higher malpractice premiums and lawsuits.
- North Korea may face a famine on the scale of the country’s crisis in the mid 1990s, when millions died of hunger, citing a speech in Seoul by World Food Programme Asia Director Tony Banbury.
- China is maintaining US dollar holdings in the country’s foreign-currency reserves.