Business Highlights


NEW YORK — The stock market finished with a sharp loss Thursday after bleak readings on the economy heightened investors' fears of recession. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 140 points.

Wall Street was disappointed when the Philadelphia Federal Reserve reported that regional manufacturing fell more than predicted. Another piece of bad news was the Conference Board's January index of leading economic indicators, which posted its fourth straight drop.


SALEM — Labor statistics show Oregon's private sector lost more jobs in the second quarter of 2007 than it gained.

The state reported Thursday that the private sector lost 104,666 jobs in businesses that closed or contracted and gained 101,225 jobs in businesses that opened or expanded.

The net loss of 3,441 jobs was the first quarterly loss since the end of the recession in 2003.

The picture was bleak; both businesses that were job gainers and job losers showed weakness.

REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft Corp. said Thursday it will share more information about its products and technology in an effort to make it work better with rivals' software and meet the demands of antitrust regulators in Europe.

European Union regulators, however, expressed skepticism, saying the software maker did not address monopoly abuse in the past or allegations it seeks to undercut rivals by bundling Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system.

SEATTLE — Starbucks Corp. said Thursday it has laid off about 220 support staff who worked at the coffee retailer's headquarters and in field operations, and will leave about 380 open jobs unfilled.

Chairman and Chief Executive Howard Schultz announced the 600 job cuts in an e-mail to Starbucks' more than 170,000 employees, calling it a difficult decision aimed at sharpening the company's focus on customers.

Compiled from wire reports

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