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Business news in brief

Dow Chemical Chairman, CEO and President Andrew Liveris.  (AP Photo / Katsumi Kasahara, file)
Dow Chemical Chairman, CEO and President Andrew Liveris. (AP Photo / Katsumi Kasahara, file)Read more

In the Region

Dow gets $2.19B after canceled deal

Dow Chemical Co. said it received $2.19 billion in cash from Petrochemical Industries Co. (PIC) of Kuwait as compensation for the cancellation of a joint venture more than four years ago. The payment reflects the full damages awarded by the International Chamber of Commerce as well as recovery of Dow's costs, the Midland, Mich.-based company said in a regulatory filing. PIC, a unit of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp., canceled a contract forming K-Dow, a 50-50 venture with Dow's plastics unit, in December 2008. The failure of the venture deprived Dow of a $9 billion payment during the financial crisis, almost derailed its 2009 purchase of Philadelphia-based Rohm & Haas Co. and prompted the company's first dividend cut. - Bloomberg News

Teamsters call for US Airways vote

After more than 50 percent of US Airways mechanics signed authorization cards, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) has filed a petition for a union election with the National Mediation Board. In the pending merger between US Airways and American Airlines, the Teamsters are challenging the International Association of Machinists (IAM), which represents US Airways mechanics. The Transport Workers Union (TWU) represents aircraft mechanics at American. The Teamsters said in a statement that they "plan to file soon to represent mechanics" at American. US Airways employs 4,000 aircraft mechanics. American has 11,000. TWU air transport division director Garry Drummond called the Teamsters action "an unprincipled raid." - Linda Loyd

Endo swings to profit in quarter

Endo Health Solutions Inc. turned a first-quarter profit, reversing a loss at the start of 2012, when the drug developer absorbed a sizable pretax charge tied to a settlement and license agreement. The Malvern company said it earned $15.3 million, or 14 cents per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That compared with a loss of $87.3 million, or 75 cents per share, in last year's quarter. Adjusted earnings totaled $1.09 per share in the most recent quarter. Revenue climbed nearly 3 percent to $708.5 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, adjusted earnings of $1.07 per share on $738.6 million in revenue. - AP

Hertz moving to Florida

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. will move its headquarters from New Jersey to Florida, putting the company in the heart of a key travel market and trimming corporate expenses after its $2.3 billion buyout of one-time rival Dollar Thrifty. Up to 700 jobs will shift to Florida over a two-year period, the car-rental company said. More than 2,000 Hertz and Dollar Thrifty workers will stay in New Jersey, including about 150 employees from the current headquarters in Park Ridge. All other Park Ridge workers will keep their current positions at the new headquarters in Estero. - AP


Fewer jobs posted

U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in March compared with February and slowed overall hiring, underscoring a weak month of job growth. The Labor Department said job openings fell 1.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 million jobs. Total hiring declined 4.3 percent to 4.3 million. The unemployed faced heavy competition in March. There were 3.1 unemployed people, on average, for each job opening. That's above the ratio of 2-1 typical in a healthy economy. - AP

March home prices up 10.5%

A survey shows U.S. home prices rose 10.5 percent in March compared with a year ago, the biggest gain since March 2006. Core Logic, a real estate data provider, said annual home prices have increased for 13 straight months. Prices are rising in part because more buyers are bidding on a limited supply of homes. Prices increased in 46 states over the last year - 11 of them double-digit gains. - AP

Minivans under scrutiny for rust

U.S. auto safety regulators are monitoring about 100,000 Ford and Mercury minivans from the 2004 to 2007 model years that were not covered by a recall this year for rust problems. Ford recalled about 230,000 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans in March to fix rust in the wheel wells that can cause the third-row seats to come loose. - AP

Microsoft retooling Windows 8

Microsoft Corp. is retooling the latest version of its Windows operating system to address complaints and confusion blamed for deepening a slump in personal computer sales. The tune up announced Tuesday won't be released to consumers and businesses until later this year. The changes, part of a software package given the code name "Blue," are a tacit acknowledgment of the shortcomings in Windows 8, a radical overhaul of Microsoft's operating system. With the makeover it released last October, Microsoft hoped to play a more prominent role in the growing mobile device market while maintaining its dominance in PCs. But Windows 8's design, which emphasizes interactive tiles and touch controls, seems to have befuddled as many people as it impressed. One leading research firm, International Data Corp., says Windows 8 contributed to a 14 percent decline in worldwide PC sales during the first three months of the year - the biggest year-over-year drop ever. - AP