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Capital One will buy online bank ING Direct

NEW YORK --- Capital One Financial Corp. said Thursday that it will buy ING's U.S. online banking unit for $9 billion, making it the fifth-largest bank in the country.

Under the terms of the agreement, Netherlands-based ING will receive $6.2 billion in cash and $2.8 billion in the form of about 56 million shares in Capital One, based on a share price of $50.07. With its 9.9 percent stake, ING will become the largest single shareholder in Capital One.

The deal, expected to close late this year or in early 2012, is still subject to regulatory approvals in the United States and the Netherlands.

ING Direct was launched in the United States in 2000 and is now the largest online bank in the country.

Chrysler recall affects 11 of 20 2011 models

DETROIT --- Chrysler Group LLC is recalling 11,351 cars, minivans and other models because a manufacturing problem can cause the steering wheel to collapse improperly in a collision.

Chrysler told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it doesn't know of any crashes or injuries caused by the problem. The recall affects 11 of the 20 models Chrysler has on sale for the 2011 model year.

Recalled vehicles include the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan and convertible and Town and Country minivan; the Dodge Avenger midsize sedan, Caliber compact car, Caravan minivan, Journey crossover vehicle and Nitro SUV; and the Jeep Compass wagon and Patriot, Liberty and Wrangler SUVs.

Vehicle owners who have questions can call Chrysler at (800) 853-1403 or NHTSA at (888) 327-4236.

Fewer notices go out for late mortgage bills

LOS ANGELES --- The number of U.S. homeowners who were put on notice for being behind on their mortgage payments fell in May to the lowest level since 2006, the result of a slowing housing market and lingering delays in banks' foreclosure process.

Mortgage lenders also took back fewer properties in May, the second monthly decline in a row, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

In all, 214,927 properties received a notice of default, scheduled home auction or home repossession in May, down 2 percent from April and down 33 percent from May last year, RealtyTrac said.

That represents one in every 605 U.S. households. The notices can lead up to a home eventually being lost to foreclosure.

The average rate on the 30-year loan ticked up from a yearly low of 4.49 percent to 4.50 percent, Freddie Mac said Thursday. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.67 percent from 3.68 percent. That's a low for the year.

Oil stays near 4-month low at $94.95 a barrel

NEW YORK --- Oil stayed near a four-month low Thursday as investors continued to worry about the European financial crisis.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose 14 cents to settle at $94.95 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oil dropped more than 4 percent Wednesday as Greece's financial troubles deepened. Also, worries about Europe's economy continued Thursday.

Gasoline pump prices dropped less than a penny to a national average of $3.685 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. Gasoline has gotten cheaper since hitting three-year highs in early May.

Maker of BlackBerry reports earnings drop

TORONTO --- The BlackBerry's inability to compete with the iPhone and smartphones running Google's Android system shone through Thursday as Research In Motion Ltd. said its earnings and revenue fell.

The Canadian maker of the BlackBerry said it has been hurt by product delays. Its stock fell 13 percent in extended trading after the release of results for the latest quarter.

For the three months that ended May 28, RIM earned $695 million, or $1.33 per share. That's down from $769 million, or $1.38 per share, a year ago.

Kroger revenue rises with gas, food prices

CINCINNATI --- Kroger Co. rang up double-digit jumps in first-quarter revenue and net income, as the grocery chain's fuel stations and loyalty discounts helped draw more frequent shoppers when gas and grocery prices rose.

The nation's largest traditional grocery operator now expects better results for the full year than earlier projected.

Kroger said net income rose to $432.3 million, or 70 cents a share, up nearly 16 percent from $373.3 million, or 58 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 11 percent to $27.5 billion.

Higher prices help Smithfield post profit

ST. LOUIS --- Smithfield Foods posted its first profitable year since 2008 and announced record fourth-quarter profits as the world's largest hog producer was able to command higher prices.

Smithfield earned $98.4 million, or 59 cents per share, for the three months ended May 1. That compares with a loss of $4.6 million, or 3 cents per share, a year ago.


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