Saturday, September 22, 2007

BP explosion trial ends in settlement

GALVESTON, Texas -- BP PLC announced a settlement Tuesday with four workers who had sued the oil company over injuries in the deadly Texas City refinery explosion, abruptly ending the first civil trial stemming from the blast. The trial over the 2005 accident, which killed 15 people and injured 170, began Sept. 5. It was the only one of hundreds of lawsuits from the blast to reach the courtroom. Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

Lehman net falls less than expected

NEW YORK -- Lehman Brothers Holdings said Tuesday quarterly earnings fell 3.2 percent as it wrote down mortgage and high-yield loan assets, but its shares surged as results beat expectations and the investment bank said the worst of the credit correction was over. Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley also post earnings later this week.

J&J's Prezista challenges Abbott

NEW YORK -- Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday its drug Prezista was at least as effective in a late-stage trial as Abbott Laboratories' Kaletra in cutting HIV to undetectable levels among patients not previously treated with HIV drugs. J&J said HIV levels dropped to undetectable levels after 48 weeks among 84 percent of patients taking experimental 800-milligram doses of Prezista, compared with undetectable virus levels in 78 percent of those receiving Kaletra.

Oil prices rise to new records

NEW YORK -- Oil futures rose to new records Tuesday after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates, raising market hopes that economic growth will accelerate and lift demand even as crude oil and gasoline inventories are tight. A barrel of crude surged to a new trading high of $81.90 on the New York Mercantile Exchange in the moments immediately after the Fed's decision. While light, sweet crude for October delivery settled at $81.51 a barrel, up 94 cents, prices continued to rise after the exchange closed, hitting $82.38 in afternoon electronic trading.

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