Business Highlights

By The Associated Press


FTC study says 1 in 4 consumers had error in a credit report from major agency

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ One in four consumers has had an error in a credit report issued by a major agency, according to a government study released Monday.

The Federal Trade Commission reported also said that 5 percent of the consumers identified errors in their reports that could lead to them paying more for mortgages, auto loans or other financial products.

The study looked at reports for 1,001 consumers issued by the three major agencies â¿¿ Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The FTC hired researchers to help consumers identify potential errors. It closely matches the results of a yearlong investigation by The Columbus Dispatch. The Ohio newspaper's report last year said that thousands of consumers were denied loans because of errors on their credit reports.

The FTC says the findings underline the importance of consumers checking their credit reports.


Tug boats to reach disabled cruise ship Monday

HOUSTON (AP) â¿¿ Passengers aboard a cruise vessel stranded in the Gulf of Mexico had limited access to bathrooms, food and hot coffee as they waited for two tugboats to arrive later today to tow them to Mexico by Wednesday, Carnival Cruise Lines said in a statement.

The Carnival Triumph has been floating aimlessly about 150 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula since a fire erupted in the aft engine room early Sunday, knocking out the ship's propulsion system. No one was injured and the fire was extinguished. The ship has been operating on backup generator power since the incident, the statement said.


Small Business Administrator Mills leaving Obama administration

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Karen Mills is leaving her post as head of the Small Business Administration, opening yet another Cabinet-rank job for President Barack Obama to fill at the start of his second term.

Obama says Mills played a leading role supporting start-up businesses and entrepreneurs.


Boeing wraps up 787 test flights for now

Boeing conducted a second test flight of its 787 on Monday as it looks for the cause of battery problems that have grounded the planes. It said no more tests are currently planned.

Boeing said Monday's flight lasted one hour and 29 minutes and was uneventful. Flight-tracking service FlightAware showed that the plane flew from Boeing Field in Seattle, east over Washington State, and back.

Federal officials grounded the 787 on Jan. 16 because of battery problems that caused one fire and forced another plane to make an emergency landing. Boeing won permission from the Federal Aviation Administration last week to conduct test flights under special conditions, including that the planes fly over unpopulated areas.


Novo Nordisk tumbles as US regulators seek more data on potential diabetes drugs

Shares of Novo Nordisk tumbled Monday after the Danish drugmaker said U.S. regulators want to see a new study before they can finish their review of two diabetes treatments with a long-acting insulin.

The company said Sunday that the Food and Drug Administration requested information from a study that looks at cardiovascular health before it makes a decision on Tresiba and Ryzodeg, which both use the insulin degludec.

Novo Nordisk said it was surprised and disappointed by the decision. The company plans to provide the requested data, but it probably will not be able to do so this year.


Greeks snatch urban metal to get through crisis

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) â¿¿ When Greece adopted the euro, it poured billions into modernizing its infrastructure, building spectacular bridges, highways, and a brand new rail transit network for Athens.

Now, locked in recession and crushed by debt, Greeks are targeting many of those projects, gouging out the metal and selling it for scrap to feed ravenous demand driven by China and India.

Police say they now arrest an average of four metal thieves every day, compared to a few cases every month before the crisis started in late 2009. They are accused of stealing industrial cable, power-line transformers and other metal objects â¿¿ triggering blackouts and massive train delays. The profile of the metal thief is also changing, authorities say, from gypsies and immigrants living on the margins of society to mainstream Greeks who have fallen on hard times.


Romania defends slaughterhouses in horsemeat scandal, as Sweden, Netherlands launch probes

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) â¿¿ A maze of trading between meat wholesalers has made it increasingly difficult to trace the origins of food â¿¿ enabling horsemeat disguised as beef to be sold in frozen meals across Europe.

Finger-pointing has grown by the day, involving more countries and more companies. On Monday, Romanian officials scrambled to defend two plants implicated in the scandal, saying the meat was properly declared and any fraud was committed elsewhere. France says Romanian butchers and Dutch and Cypriot traders were part of a supply chain that resulted in horsemeat being labeled as beef before it was included in frozen dinners including lasagna, moussaka and the French equivalent of Shepherd's Pie.


By The Associated Press(equals)

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 21.73 points to 13,971.24. The Nasdaq composite fell 1.87 points to 3,192.00. The S&P 500 slipped 0.92 of a point to close at 1,517.01.

Benchmark crude for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained $1.31 to finish at $97.03 a barrel. In London, Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, fell 77 cents to end at $118.13 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Wholesale gasoline fell 4 cents to finish at $3.02 a gallon. Natural gas rose less than a cent to end at $3.28 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil gave up less than a penny to finish at $3.23 a gallon.

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