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Homebuilders' faith in recovery declining

WASHINGTON --- Homebuilders are feeling increasingly pessimistic about their industry.

The National Association of Home Builders said Monday that its monthly reading of builders' sentiment about the housing market sank to 14 -- the lowest level since March 2009. Readings below 50 indicate negative sentiment about the market.

The weak job market and an increasing number of foreclosed properties have led builders to limit construction of new homes. A modest revival in sales over the past year ended in May after federal tax credits expired at the end of April.

Nokia Siemens to buy Motorola wireless unit

NEW YORK --- The long-planned breakup of Motorola Inc., one of the founders of the U.S. electronics industry, came a step closer Monday with a deal to sell most of its wireless networks division.

The deal to sell the division for $1.2 billion to Nokia Siemens Networks, a Finnish-German joint venture, sets Motorola up to separate its cell phone manufacturing operations from the police radio business early next year.

The parts are aimed at different types of customers. The division that is being sold supplies wireless carriers such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp. with the equipment they need to connect to cell phones.

Delta's big gains fail to impress investors

Delta Air Lines Inc. reported its largest quarterly profit in a decade Monday, but investors dumped its shares because sales didn't meet expectations and the carrier gave a cautious outlook amid economic uncertainty.

The world's largest airline said its second-quarter net income was $467 million, or 55 cents per share. That reversed a loss of $257 million, or 31 cents a share, in the same quarter last year, when the airline industry was still reeling from the recession.

Delta's revenue rose 17 percent to $8.17 billion from $7 billion a year earlier. But that figure was below analysts' revenue estimate of $8.25 billion.

IBM's outlook up, but revenue disappoints

SAN FRANCISCO --- IBM Corp. jacked up its 2010 guidance Monday on the technology company's belief that it can wring more profit from its workhorse services and software divisions.

The numbers dovetail with other encouraging signs about the health of the technology sector, but uncertainties about the stability of world markets have weighed on the results.

IBM's second-quarter profit topped Wall Street's forecasts, but revenue fell short. IBM shares fell nearly 4 percent in extended trading. IBM blamed the revenue discrepancy on currency fluctuations that many analysts didn't include in their estimates.

In other news

HALLIBURTON CO. said Monday that its land-based drilling business will make up for a suspension of deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The Houston petroleum services company reported an 83 percent surge in second-quarter profits. The results beat Wall Street expectations.


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