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Delta II launch successful

A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket launched successfully Wednesday morning, carrying a global positioning satellite.

The sole production facility for the Delta II is in Decatur.

The launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., was at 7:23 a.m., and the satellite separated from the rocket 68 minutes later.

The satellite, built for the U.S. Air Force, will enter an orbit 11,000 miles above the earth. Within two weeks, the satellite should be operational. It will provide improved signals to military and civilian GPS units.

The Delta II had nine strap-on solid rocket boosters.

Eric Fleischauer

Fed: Economy logs slow growth

WASHINGTON — The economy logged slower growth in the early fall as troubles in the housing and credit markets weighed on companies and individuals alike, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.

The Fed’s fresh snapshot showed that business activity around the country was more subdued, but the report didn’t suggest that such activity is in danger of collapsing.

Spending by individuals was uneven and suggests growth was slower in the early fall, the Fed said.

To keep the economy expanding, it is vital that companies and people spend and invest at a sufficient pace. The big worry has been that they’ll cut back sharply, sending the economy into a tailspin.

The Fed report detected that businesses feel unsure about the economy’s prospects.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials dropped 20.40 points.

Market ends a volatile session

NEW YORK — Wall Street ended a volatile session mixed Wednesday as investors’ concerns about sluggish housing and tight credit intensified their uneasiness over a motley batch of corporate profits. Rising oil prices only added to the market’s malaise.

Earnings reports from Yahoo Inc. and Intel Corp. were upbeat and incited some buying in the technology sector, which drove the Nasdaq composite index sharply higher.

But the Dow Jones industrial average dipped, with investors uncertain about how well corporate America overall will fare going forward — particularly after International Business Machines Corp. reported modest software sales and United Technologies Group Inc. said 2008 will be challenging.

The Dow and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index both hit records last week, but Wall Street has pulled back cautiously since then, exhibiting nervousness about the slowing economy. Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book that growth cooled in the third quarter.

GMAC Financial to cut jobs

MINNEAPOLIS — GMAC Financial Services said Wednesday it would cut about 3,000 jobs, or 25 percent of the work force at its Residential Capital LLC mortgage operation.

It blamed the cuts on “sharp downturns in the U.S. residential real estate markets and the global dislocation of the mortgage finance and credit markets.”

ResCap employs about 12,000 people after cutting 2,000 jobs earlier this year.

The company said the largest job cuts would happen in business units most affected by the drop-off in mortgage originations.

Spokeswoman Gina Proia said approximately 460 jobs would be eliminated in Minneapolis, where ResCap is based and employs 1,550 people. That would be the largest job loss in any one city.

JP Morgan beats expectations

NEW YORK — Despite losses from souring home loans and tough-to-sell corporate debt, JPMorgan Chase & Co. managed to beat Wall Street’s expectations and eke out a 2 percent profit rise in the third quarter.

The nation’s third-largest bank sees a rocky road ahead for the lending business, and gave few details about how it’s going to weather the fourth quarter. But executives said they have the pieces in place to navigate it properly — and investors appeared confident, too, sending the bank’s shares up more than 2 percent.

The New York-headquartered bank reported a profit despite marking down $1.3 billion on leveraged loans; $339 million in debt obligations backed by collateral, including subprime mortgages; and $186 million in mortgages it has issued and that are in the pipeline. It also padded its provisions — essentially, its emergency fund for loan losses — by about $2 billion.

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
AP contributed to this report.

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