BUS BRIEFS Analysts: May income weakness temporary
WASHINGTON -- Personal income growth slowed sharply in May and people's spending didn't increase at all, but analysts viewed the weakness as temporary and not a signal of a serious slowdown of the economy.
The Commerce Department said that personal incomes rose a slight 0.2 percent last month, far below the 0.6 percent increase in April. It was the weakest showing since an outright decline of 2.5 percent in January. The slowdown was attributed to the weak increase in jobs last month.
Consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of total economic activity, was unchanged in May after having risen by 0.6 percent in April. The slowdown in spending was attributed to unusually cold weather in May which caused retail sales to decline for the first time since last August.
SBC Communication Inc. to acquire AT&T
; DENVER -- A bid to create one of the world's largest phone companies vaulted another hurdle Thursday as AT&T; Corp. investors approved SBC Communication Inc.'s $16 billion acquisition at what will likely be the legendary company's final annual shareholder meeting.
Nearly all the shares cast as votes approved the deal, though investors holding nearly 30 percent of AT&T's; stock did not vote at all.
The merger still requires regulatory approvals at the federal and state level, though the companies expect to complete the transaction by late 2005 or early 2006.
SBC shareholders are not required to vote on the acquisition since the number of SBC shares being issued as payment for AT&T's; stock amounts to less than a 20 percent increase in SBC's outstanding shares.
Boeing gets help with government relations
CHICAGO -- Boeing Co. turned to an aerospace veteran to help repair the company's strained government relations and lead its market-share battle with rival Airbus SAS, naming 3M Co. Chief Executive W. James McNerney Jr. its new CEO Thursday.
McNerney, 55, on Friday becomes the third chief executive of the airplane maker since December 2003, when former CEO Phil Condit resigned in the wake of a defense contracting scandal. His successor, Harry Stonecipher, was forced from his post in March after admitting he had an affair with a female Boeing executive.
Investors sent Boeing's share price up $4.29, or 7 percent, to close at a four-year high of $65.96 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.
The appointment of McNerney -- a Boeing director since 2001 who once ran General Electric Co.'s airplane engine business -- bypassed two internal candidates who head Boeing's largest business units.
Financial veteran returns to Morgan Stanley
NEW YORK -- John Mack returned to Morgan Stanley as its chairman and chief executive Thursday, bringing the stability of a Wall Street veteran to an embattled firm and promising to seek the return of top employees who left the company under former chairman and chief executive Phil Purcell.
The company's board of directors voted unanimously to name Mack chairman and CEO, a long-rumored appointment thought to appeal to the company's investment bankers and promote internal unity. The company said Mack will take over immediately from Purcell, who announced his retirement June 13 under pressure from investors and his own board of directors over his leadership style and management of the company.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Mack said he would reach out to employees who left the firm during Purcell's watch. His return comes four years after he resigned from the firm in a bitter power struggle with Purcell. The 29-year Morgan Stanley veteran was greeted with cheers at an employee meeting and a standing ovation as he toured Morgan Stanley's trading floor.