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Around the business world

Daily Staff Report

Exxon posts fifth highest public company quarterly profits: DALLAS – Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest oil company, reported the fifth highest quarterly profit for any public company in history, posting gains from higher oil prices that were likely to stoke the growing furor over outsized energy industry earnings. Despite the 7 percent gain in earnings to more than $8 billion in the first quarter, Exxon Mobil said its earnings came in below its record fourth-quarter.Gas-price anger sends Congress scrambling for answers: WASHINGTON – Congress scrambled to soothe growing anger over high gasoline prices, with Republicans proposing a $100 fuel-cost rebate to millions of people and Democrats calling for suspension of the federal gas tax. Imposing new taxes on oil companies also gained momentum as lawmakers sought to punish the cash-rich industry.Mileage doesn’t matter to auto buyers: NEW YORK – Rising gas prices haven’t stalled sales of luxury vehicles, which were up 15 percent at AutoNation Inc. retailers in the first quarter, and the head of the largest U.S. auto retailer doesn’t see a slowdown soon.Break in interest rates may be coming, Bernanke says: WASHINGTON – Keeping his options open, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled that after one more interest rate increase the Fed may take a break – perhaps only temporarily – from a rate-raising campaign aimed at keeping inflation at bay.China rate hike to slow racing economy has worldwide impact: BEIJING – China’s central bank raised interest rates in the government’s strongest move yet to cool an economy verging on overheating. The news sends resource stocks, oil and commodity prices lower around the world.Stocks gain ground as investors embrace Bernanke comments: NEW YORK – Stocks advanced as Wall Street brushed aside concerns about a Chinese interest rate hike to focus on comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that a pause in U.S. rate increases may be ahead.Ex-Enron CEO’s son sold company stock short months before Enron collapsed: HOUSTON – Piece by piece, a federal prosecutor picked away at Enron founder Kenneth Lay’s defense in his fraud trial – showing that alarm about the company was not limited to The Wall Street Journal in late 2001 and that Lay’s own son bet that Enron stock would fall months before the company went under. Exchanges between Lay and prosecutor John Hueston were more civil than on Wednesday.DaimlerChrysler says 1Q profit up 4 percent: DETROIT – DaimlerChrysler AG reported a 4 percent rise in its first-quarter profit, though sputtering at U.S. division Chrysler Group and continued problems at Mercedes appeared to trouble investors.Microsoft to report fiscal third-quarter results: SEATTLE – Microsoft Corp. reported fiscal third-quarter results. Analysts expect the company to earn, on average, 33 cents per share on $11.04 billion in revenue. In January, the company projected earnings of 32 cents to 33 cents per share, on $10.9 billion to $11.2 billion in revenue.EU judge asks Microsoft and regulators to explain value of software code: LUXEMBOURG – Microsoft Corp. sparred with rivals about how much information it should give them to make servers more compatible as judges questioned both sides about what code could be divulged without giving away trade secrets.Spain prepares to let in workers from new EU member states: MADRID, Spain – Gut-wrenching goodbye scenes are etched deep in the Spanish psyche. In the decades after its ruinous Civil War, Spain became a nation of emigres as people left in droves for other European countries or Latin America in search of work. Today, Spain has become wealthy enough to lure foreign workers rather than drive away its own jobless. And on Monday it will take a step that confirms that status: lifting restrictions on the entry of workers from eight poorer, new members of the European Union.Mongolia welcomes U.S. firm to build casino gateway to Gobi desert: SHANGHAI, China – Its proximity to a desert is about the only thing the Mongolian border town Zamyn Uud has in common with the gambling Mecca of Las Vegas. But Mongolian planners and American entrepreneurs hope the tiny town will one day become a major gambling and resort destination.Vail, Colorado


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