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Business news in brief

In the Region

Corzine denies ordering fund 'misuse'

Questioned by senators he once served with, Jon S. Corzine told a panel he never told anyone to "misuse" customer money that vanished when MF Global collapsed this fall. An estimated $1.2 billion in client funds is missing. Senators demanded that Corzine and two other executives from the securities firm explain who authorized the transfer of money in the days before the firm became the eighth-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. "I never gave any instruction to anyone at MF Global to misuse customer funds," Corzine testified at a hearing of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Corzine, a former Democratic New Jersey senator and governor, resigned as CEO of the securities firm last month. - AP

Kwasnik jailed on $1M bail

Philadelphia lawyer and accused swindler Michael Kwasnik was turned over to New Jersey authorities Tuesday by federal marshals in Philadelphia and taken to the Camden County Jail, where he was being held on $1 million bail. Kwasnik was arrested in Dothan, Ala., last month after his indictment by a New Jersey grand jury on charges of stealing $1 million from an elderly Cherry Hill widow. Law enforcement authorities said they considered Kwasnik a flight risk and have asked that his bail be raised to $5 million. - Chris Mondics

Penn Virginia shares fall on outlook

Shares of Penn Virginia Corp. fell 14 percent Tuesday after the Radnor oil and gas producer cut its fourth-quarter production outlook because of delays in completing wells in Texas. The oil and gas producer now expects production of 10.7 billion to 11.0 billion cubic feet (Bcfe) of natural gas equivalent for the quarter, down about 13 percent from 12.2 Bcfe to 12.7 Bcfe. Penn Virginia stock, which has lost 71 percent of its value this year, closed at $5.07, down 84 cents. - Andrew Maykuth

UniTek contract worth $150M

UniTek Global Services Inc., of Blue Bell, said it won a three-year contract to provide infrastructure services in the Northeast to a major wireless telecommunications company. The contract, slated to begin next year, is expected to generate at least $150 million in revenue for UniTek over the three years. UniTek said it expected revenue for the year ending Dec. 31 to be about $440 million. - Harold Brubaker

Offshore wind farm not on horizon

New Jersey-based NRG Energy says it is putting on hold a project that would have created a wind farm off Delaware's coast. NRG says its Bluewater Wind subsidiary has been unable to find an investment partner. NRG president David Crane said the company was "not giving up" but would not move forward with the project at this time. NRG acquired Bluewater Wind in 2009. NRG said that since then federal officials have eliminated tax credits and other support for renewable energy, hurting the project's viability. The proposed wind farm would have put 49 to 150 turbines about 13 miles off the Delaware coast. - AP

DuPont forecasts profit increase

DuPont Co., the Wilmington chemical giant, forecast that profit would rise 7 to 12 percent in 2012, compared with what it expects to earn this year, as international sales increase. The company predicted 2012 profit of $4.20 to $4.40 per share on revenue of $40 billion to $42 billion. Analysts estimate 2012 profit of $4.30 per share on sales of $41.5 billion, according to FactSet. Shares rose in early trading but closed down 42 cents, about 1 percent, at $34.49. - AP


Closing arguments in antitrust case

Novell Inc. and Microsoft Corp. made closing arguments in Novell's case claiming Microsoft unfairly used its monopoly on personal computer operating systems to suppress WordPerfect, a rival word-processing program. Microsoft called chairman Bill Gates as a witness in the case last month in Salt Lake City. Novell is seeking as much as $1.3 billion in damages, which would be tripled under antitrust law. - Bloomberg News

Agreement on air-passenger privacy

European Union governments endorsed a new agreement with the United States on the sharing of air passengers' data for flights from Europe to America. The EU said the accord addressed European privacy concerns. It sets limits to what the data can be used for by U.S. authorities, and contains stronger data-protection guarantees, it said. If endorsed by the European Parliament next year, the accord will replace an agreement from 2007. - AP

Southwest placing huge Boeing order

Southwest Airlines is placing a huge order for a redesigned and more fuel-efficient version of Boeing Co.'s most popular plane, the 737. It's the biggest firm order in Boeing's history by number of planes - 208 - and by list-price value, at nearly $19 billion. Last month Boeing announced a deal with Indonesia's Lion Air for 230 planes worth $21.7 billion, but that agreement has not been finished. - AP

US Airways, Delta in gate-swap deal

US Airways Group Inc. and Delta Air Lines said they closed a deal to swap some takeoff and landing rights at New York's LaGuardia Airport and Washington's Reagan National Airport. At Reagan, US Airways, the dominant carrier in Philadelphia, acquired 42 Delta slots, which translate into round-trip flights, along with international rights to fly to Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2015. Delta will also pay $66.5 million to US Airways. In return, Delta acquired 132 slots at LaGuardia. - Linda Loyd

WaMu execs settle with FDIC

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has reached a settlement worth $64 million with three former executives who ran Washington Mutual, the largest bank to fail in U.S. history. FDIC had sued the bank's three top executives: former CEO Kerry Killinger, former chief operating officer Stephen Rotella, and former chief of home loans David Schneider. The settlement amount is mostly made up of the executives' giving up claims to golden parachutes, bonuses, and retirement funds. Washington Mutual was seized by federal regulators in September 2008 . - AP

Bankrupt Lee approved for loan

The newspaper company Lee Enterprises Inc. has won approval to borrow up to $40 million as it works through its prepackaged bankruptcy case. Lee, publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and more than 40 other daily newspapers, filed for bankruptcy protection Monday with the support of major lenders and note-holders. The case is designed to force other lenders to go along. - AP