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Roundup: 22,000 vie for 300 Delta jobs; consumers earn, spend more; more

| Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

22,000 apply for 300 jobs at Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines Inc., the world's second-largest carrier, received 22,000 applications for about 300 flight attendant jobs in the first week after posting the positions outside the company. The applications arrived at a rate of two per minute, CEO Richard Anderson told workers in a weekly recorded message. Applicants will be interviewed in January, and those hired will begin flying in June for the peak travel season. “We're hunting for foreign-language speakers as we continue to expand to all points around the globe,” Anderson said. “We are experiencing a phenomenal response to the job posting.”

Durable goods orders up, signal investment plans

Companies increased their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in November, with a second consecutive monthly gain in a key category that reflects businesses' investment plans. The Commerce Department said on Friday that orders for durable goods rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in November, compared with October, when orders had risen 1.1 percent. Orders for core capital goods — considered a proxy for business investment — rose 2.7 percent in November after a revised 3.2 percent gain in October, which was the biggest increase in 10 months. The two big gains came after a period of weakness raised concerns about flagging business investment, a driving force in the recovery.

Consumers spend, earn more in November

Consumers spent and earned more in November, reflecting a rebound from the disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy. The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.4 percent compared with October. Personal income jumped 0.6 percent, the biggest gain in 11 months. Wages and salaries rose $41.1 billion in November. Sandy had reduced wages at an annual rate of $18.2 billion in October. Spending had fallen 0.1 percent in October compared with September.

GE to buy aviation unit of Italy's Avio for $4.3B

Industrial conglomerate General Electric Co. plans to buy the aviation business of Italian manufacturer Avio for $4.3 billion to expand its jet propulsion business and strengthen its supply chain. The Fairfield, Conn., company said on Friday that it wants to build its supply chain as it ramps up engine production. The deal also gives GE a chance to offer Avio products outside the aviation industry — in power generation, oil and marine products.


• Walgreen said fiscal first-quarter earnings fell nearly 26 percent as the nation's largest drugstore chain filled fewer prescriptions and absorbed costs tied to recent acquisitions and Hurricane Sandy. The Deerfield, Ill., company earned $413 million, or 43 cents per share, in the three months ended Nov. 30. That compares with net income of $554 million, or 63 cents per share, a year ago. Walgreen said this month that revenue fell nearly 5 percent in the quarter to $17.34 billion.

Other business news

• Drilling rigs targeting oil dropped by the most in a single week in 20 years as a 10 percent decline in crude prices this year prompted energy producers to scale back exploration. Oil rigs slid by 41 to 1,340, the lowest level since April, data posted on Baker Hughes Inc.'s website show. They fell by 44 in the week of Dec. 18, 1992. It was the fifth consecutive decline, the oilfield-services company based in Houston said. Natural gas rigs rose by 13 to 429, an 11-week high. The gas rig count has shrunken to less than a third of its peak in August 2008 because of a switch from dry gas to more profitable crude and natural gas liquids drilling.

• FirstEnergy Corp., the parent company of West Penn Power and Penn Power, said its Jersey Central Power & Light unit is expected to have $680 million in costs associated with Hurricane Sandy. The company's total cost estimate from the storm is $900 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

• Mylan Inc. said it settled patent litigation over its copy of a drug used to treat Parkinson's disease. Cecil-based Mylan said it settled with Orion Corp., a Finland-based company that makes the Parkinson's drug Comtan. The deal allows Mylan to begin selling generic Comtan, known as Entacapone, on April 1, 2013. No other details of the settlement, which is subject to review by federal authorities, were released. Entacapone had U.S. sales of $104.9 million in the 12 months ended Sept. 30.

— Staff and wire reports

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