PRAGUE, March 8- Four central European countries have asked the U.S. Congress to make it easier for them to import natural gas from the United States and reduce their dependence on supplies from Russia, the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.» Read More
BOSTON-- Iron Mountain Inc. on Thursday declared a special dividend of $700 million as part of its planned conversion into a real estate investment trust. The dividend will be paid Nov. 21 to shareholders of record on Oct. 22, and shareholders can choose to receive payment in the form of stock or cash.
HOUSTON-- Defense contractor KBR Inc. said Thursday that it has been picked as one of the main contractors on a project that gets Army equipment ready for deployment. KBR said that as the prime contractor, it will be able to bid on individual task orders from the Army.
United Airlines said Thursday that it rolled back an increase of $4 to $10 per round trip on many U.S. routes. Delta Air Lines, which had matched the price hike that United started on Tuesday night, dropped prices back earlier Thursday.
LATE AGAIN: Among the five biggest U.S. airlines, American Airlines had the worst rating for on-time arrivals in September. FLIGHT NUMBERS: FlightStats Inc. says 59.1 percent of American's flights last month were within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival. Among the biggest carriers, Delta was tops at 88.8 percent and US Airways was next at 87.2 percent.
NEW YORK-- Is J.C. Penney breaking its promise to offer no more coupons? In its latest email to customers, the department store chain's CEO Ron Johnson not only offered an update on the recent changes at the chain, but also dangled an incentive to come back: $10 off customers' next purchase.
NEW YORK-- Shares of W.R. Grace& Co. hit an all-time high Thursday, a day after an analyst said that the specialty chemicals and materials company is building up its businesses as it prepares to emerge from bankruptcy protection.
Magistrate George Hanks Jr. in Houston ordered Alexander Fishenko and two other defendants to federal custody in Brooklyn, N.Y., where they face numerous charges. Fishenko, owner of Houston- based Arc Electronics Inc., and seven of his employees were arrested last week. Another man arrested in Houston, Shavkat Abdullaev, waived the bail request.
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.