Economists expects no interest change
WASHINGTON - With the economic recovery losing steam, Americans can expect to see short-term interest rates - now at 40-year lows - stay that way through the summer.
That might motivate consumers to spend and businesses to step up investment in new plants and equipment, which would bolster growth, economists said.
The notion that Federal Reserve policy-makers are likely to hold rates steady was reinforced by a report Tuesday showing consumer confidence fell in June to a four-month low.
"For the Fed, declining confidence is just another reason to stand pat, as if they were really looking for one," said economist Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors.
ImClone worries hit Stewart stock
NEW YORK - Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. tumbled nearly 24 percent Wednesday, fueled by reports that the decorating maven might be facing a wider probe of her sale of ImClone Systems Inc. shares, including possible charges of obstruction of justice and making false statements.
At the heart of the matter now is whether Ms. Stewart misled prosecutors in explaining why she sold almost 4,000 shares Dec. 27, a day before the Food and Drug Administration announced that it would not consider Erbitux, ImClone's experimental cancer drug.
OPEC will keep production steady
VIENNA, Austria - OPEC will hold its official crude production steady for an additional three months, the cartel decided Wednesday, agreeing that world oil supplies are sufficient to meet the modest growth in demand it has forecast for the year.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is satisfied with prices at current levels and has decided that it can best ensure they stay firm by not increasing output. OPEC plans to meet again in September to reassess market conditions and, if necessary, adjust its production then.
OPEC officials announced the decision after meeting at the group's headquarters in the Austrian capital.
Tyco exec pleads innocent of charges
NEW YORK - The former chief of Tyco International Ltd., charged earlier this month with evading sales taxes on pricey art, pleaded innocent Wednesday to a new indictment charging him with tampering with evidence.
Dennis Kozlowski, 55, was arraigned in Manhattan's State Supreme Court. Justice Michael Obus allowed him to remain free on $3 million bond and set his next court appearance for Aug. 14.
Wednesday's 14-count superseding indictment says Mr. Kozlowski removed a bill of lading from a document file at his office in Boca Raton, Fla., after the file was requested by the Manhattan district attorney's office.
That bill, dated Jan. 2, 2002, falsely showed that five paintings by Monet, Renoir and others, for which he paid some $13 million, were shipped from New York to New Hampshire, prosecutors say.