TOKYO, Dec 12- Japanese government bond prices were steady to firmer on Thursday, helped by a fall in Tokyo share prices as well as structural support from the Bank of Japan's massive bond buying. The market is also bolstered by the BOJ's two-year asset purchase scheme, in which it buys more than 7 trillion yen of JGBs every month.» Read More
MADISON, N.J.-- Medical laboratory operator Quest Diagnostics Inc. said Thursday it will cut 400 to 600 management positions and reorganize its business. Quest expects to take $15 million to $20 million in charges associated with the restructuring and job cuts.
The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service said Thursday that it will raise postage rates on Jan. 27, including a 1- cent increase in the cost of first-class mail to 46 cents. Currently, the prices vary depending on the international destination, with letters to Canada and Mexico costing 85 cents.
FEDERAL WAY, Wash.-- Lumber and real estate company Weyerhaeuser Co. boosted its dividend on Thursday and said the housing market appears to be improving. The company will pay a dividend of 17 cents per share on Nov. 30 to shareholders of record Nov. 9.
SUNNYVALE, Calif.-- Shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. fell nearly 8 percent in after-hours trading Thursday after the chipmaker said third-quarter revenue will fall about 10 percent compared to the second quarter because of weaker-than-expected demand across all of its products.
Mutual fund performance was strong overall in the third quarter. The Federal Reserve and central banks in other nations approved additional economic stimulus measures. Listed are average returns in various fund categories, as tracked by Lipper Inc..
BOSTON-- There's not much good news for investors. Even so, the Standard& Poor's 500 index climbed 5.8 percent in the latest quarter, while U.S. stock mutual funds returned an average 5.3 percent, according to fund tracker Lipper Inc..
WILMINGTON, Del.-- Government attorneys are urging a Delaware bankruptcy judge to reject the proposed reorganization plan of failed solar power company Solyndra LLC. Internal Revenue Service attorneys filed papers this week saying the plan's principal purpose is tax avoidance.
SIGNS OF LIFE: After a string of disappointing debuts, the IPO market showed signs of life Thursday, with shares of four newly public companies each shooting up more than 20 percent in their first day of trading.
LOWELL, Ark.-- Trucking and logistics company J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. said Thursday that its third-quarter profit rose almost 14 percent, as a decline in its trucking business was offset by growth in other areas. The company earned $78.2 million, or 65 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30.
WASHINGTON-- Declining applications for unemployment benefits have typically pointed to stronger hiring. Since the U.S. recession officially ended in June 2009, fewer layoffs have meant fewer people seeking unemployment aid.
NEW ORLEANS-- Federal scientists and BP say oil appears to have leaked last month from the drilling wreckage lying at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico near where a BP well blew out in 2010, causing the nation's worst offshore spill.
NEW YORK-- A Jefferies& Co. analyst said Thursday that sales of diabetes drugs should keep growing at a strong clip for the rest of the decade, reaching $65 billion a year in 2020.. He said Eli Lilly and Co. should surpass France's Sanofi as the second-largest diabetes drug seller.
Delta Air Lines said Thursday that it rolled back an increase of $4 to $10 per round trip on many U.S. routes. Delta had raised prices to match an increase started by United Airlines. J.P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker says the increase is unraveling because it gained only limited support from a few other carriers _ American, Alaska and US Airways.
Oil prices rose Thursday as tension between Turkey and Syria raised concerns that crude oil supplies from the Middle East could be disrupted. On the New York Mercantile Exchange:. Benchmark crude rose 82 cents to finish at $92.07 per barrel.
THE CHARGE: Executives at some of the country's largest private equity firms reportedly told each other they wouldn't drive up prices for companies they were looking to buy, according to new court documents.
THE JOBS REPORT: The Labor Department reported that weekly unemployment claims fell to their lowest level since February 2008. Sprint Nextel said that a Japanese cell phone company, Softbank Corp., is in talks to invest in the company. Truck company Oshkosh Corp. rose after activist investor Carl Icahn offered to buy the company.
NEW YORK-- Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market:. Sprint Nextel Corp., up 72 cents at $5.76. Safeway Inc., down 58 cents at $15.71.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Prosecutors say a Florida man resealed and returned used enemas to pharmacies who resold them to unsuspecting customers. Thirty-four-year-old Ronald Eugene Robinson, of Jacksonville, faces federal charges of tampering with consumer products. There were two phone listings for a Ronald E. Robinson in Jacksonville.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose as much as 83 points, shrugging off a widening U.S. trade deficit, higher unemployment in Greece and a ratings cut for Spain. "There's not a lot to move the market today," said Erik Davidson, deputy chief investment officer of Wells Fargo Private Bank in San Francisco. "
PEORIA, Ill.-- Caterpillar said on Thursday that long-time executives Rich Lavin and Gerard Vittecoq are retiring, and the heavy-equipment maker named their replacements. Lavin was Caterpillar's group president for Construction Industries and Growth Markets.