EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Illinois is facing growing concerns among business leaders that its policies hurt the companies that drive its economy, the head of Caterpillar Inc. warned Tuesday as he met with Gov. Pat Quinn. The meeting was prompted by a letter that Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman sent to the governor about other states trying to lure his company after Illinois hiked its income tax.
NEW YORK (AP) — In a note to investors Monday, Barclay's Capital analyst Brian Johnson suggested that Detroit automakers could gain some sales in the coming months because of earthquake-related supply shortages at their Japanese rivals. THE OPINION: Johnson said Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Diamond Foods Inc. is buying Procter & Gamble Co.'s Pringles chips business in a $1.5 billion deal, the biggest in a string that have given the maker of Pop Secret popcorn and Kettle chips a steadily growing share of the snack aisle. The deal also completes P&G's exit from all its major food businesses.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island may enlist some high-tech help in the fight against texting while driving: a device that jams most cell phone capabilities when a vehicle's engine is running. A state lawmaker has proposed legislation to require those caught texting while driving to install such a device.
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is rewarding its top executive with shares currently worth more than $1.3 million. In a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, GM said it gave Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson 42,360 stock units on March 31 as part of his compensation package.
COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — Cummins Inc. says it plans to hire 2,500 workers in the U.S. this year. The Columbus-based engine manufacturer says it is hiring across the board to meet strong demand worldwide and in anticipation of an economic recovery. A company spokesman tells The Columbus Republic that it's too soon to know how many of the 2,500 jobs will be added in Columbus.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Texas Instruments Inc. is buying National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in a marriage of two of the world's premier makers of analog chips, which are widely used in electronics to transform signals such as sound into digital form that computers can understand. In scooping up National Semiconductor, TI is getting a storied Silicon Valley company whose history stretches back more than 50 years and is known for its power-management chips.
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana commercial developer says it has bought more than 1 million square feet of a former Whirlpool Corp. plant. The Evansville Courier & Press reports Friday that The Kunkel Group Inc. has finalized the sale of about 1.2 million square feet of the 1.
BEIJING (AP) — Nearly half of all dairies in China are being shut down after having their licenses revoked, the government's quality inspection agency said Saturday, in the latest attempt to clean up the scandal-plagued dairy industry. The agency said 533 of the country's 1,176 dairy producers have been ordered to cease operations.
LUNENBERG, Mass. (AP) — Duane Shooltz walks into the room dressed in black and wearing a big smile on his face. It's late morning Thursday, and the production lines at S&E Specialty Polymers are shutting down for the weekend. Over in the laboratory, Ilia Charlat, the vice president of research and development, and technician Greici Freitas continue to work.
DETROIT (AP) — The President and CEO of Ford Motor Co. received a pay package valued at $26.5 million in 2010, up 48 percent from 2009, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. Alan Mulally, 65, who was hired away from Boeing Co. in 2006 to rescue Ford, received a base salary of $1.
DETROIT (AP) — Americans bought smaller cars and sport utility vehicles in March, as higher gas prices made fuel efficiency a top priority and rising employment meant more first-time buyers bought a vehicle. The trends lifted U.S. sales of new vehicles by 17 percent from a year earlier to 1.
FOREST CITY, Ill. (AP) — A 25-year-old male employee of a central Illinois popcorn plant is in fair condition after being impaled on some rebar. Douglas Herrman of the Forman Fire Protection District says the man "fell from a height" and was impaled at about 9 a.m. Friday. Herrman tells the Pekin Daily Times that it took crews about 15-20 minutes to remove the rebar using a hand-held saw.
BEIJING (AP) — China said Thursday it will increase this year's production quota for rare earths but gave no sign it might reverse plans to cut exports of the exotic metals needed by high-tech industry. China accounts for most rare earths production and has alarmed global manufactures by reducing exports of the ores as it tries to develop its own producers of lightweight magnets and other high-tech goods that use the metals.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing activity probably increased in March for the 20th straight month, though at a slightly slower pace than the previous month. Economists forecast that the Institute for Supply Management's index of manufacturing activity will edge down to 61.
GENEVA (AP) — The European Union is appealing its own victory in a trade ruling against U.S. planemaker Boeing Co. by asking the World Trade Organization to toughen its condemnation of American subsidies for Boeing-made aircraft. The ruling published Thursday based on EU complaints concluded Boeing received at least $5 billion in subsidies between 1989 and 2006 that were prohibited under international trade rules.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March and companies added workers at the fastest two-month pace since before the recession began. The Labor Department reported Friday that the economy added 216,000 new jobs last month, offsetting layoffs by local governments.
DETROIT (AP) — U.S. sales of cars and trucks are expected to rise at a double-digit rate in March as worries about higher gas prices and supplies of Japanese cars prompted some shoppers to buy new, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The number of new vehicles sold likely rose 17 percent to 1.24 million, compared with a year earlier, according to Edmunds.
PORT ARTHUR, Texas (AP) — One person is dead and three others are hurt after an explosion and flash fire at a Southeast Texas chemical plant. The incident happened about 2:15 p.m. Thursday at the KMTEX plant near Port Arthur. A statement issued by Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy Rod Carroll says witnesses report a worker was welding on a pipeline containing coal tar solvent when it exploded.
MAUMEE, Ohio (AP) — Auto supplier Dana Holding Corp. said Tuesday it has reached new three-year labor agreements covering 4,000 workers. The agreements, with the United Auto Workers and United Steelworkers unions, are effective June 1. They include Dana's first-ever profit-sharing payments to workers based on the company's performance.