Business Notebook

December 17, 2013 

Nation & World

Boeing trying to narrow search for 777X production site

A Boeing executive says the company is moving to narrow its search for a place to build its 777X passenger plane. Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner also told employees in a message Tuesday that the rejection of a new contract proposal by the machinists union was disappointing. The company is seeking concessions that could lower productions costs in the Puget Sound for the 777X. Local union leaders have said they didn’t see the point of bringing the latest offer to a vote because it was too similar to one that was previously rejected. Conner says Boeing has received 777X proposals from 22 states covering 54 sites. South Carolina reportedly is one of those states. Meanwhile, even as they try desperately to hang on to Boeing, officials in Washington state have been courting the main competitor of the aerospace giant. During the past several months, state officials have traveled to the U.S. headquarters of Airbus SAS in Virginia, moved to connect Airbus with Washington state suppliers, and signed a five-year confidentiality agreement with the company to allow further exploration of business opportunities, according to records obtained by The Associated Press under public disclosure laws. The governor’s top aerospace adviser said the talks with Airbus are an attempt to diversify the state’s aerospace industry.

Fed likely to slow aggressive stimulus policies soon

Is this week when the Federal Reserve finally slows its aggressive stimulus for the economy? Or does it want to await more evidence of a consistently improving economy? It’s a close call. Yet most economists think the Fed will maintain the pace of its monthly bond purchases to keep long-term loan rates low to spur spending and growth. The decision carries high stakes for individuals, businesses and global financial markets. A pullback in the Fed’s bond buying would likely send long-term rates up and stock and bond prices down. Many analysts think the Fed will signal that it expects to slow the pace of its bond purchases from $85 billion a month, perhaps early next year, if the economy strengthens further. The Fed will announce its decision after its latest policy meeting ends Wednesday, just before chairman Ben Bernanke, a Dillon native, holds his final quarterly news conference. Bernanke will step down Jan. 31 after eight years as chairman.

Can tor Fitzgerald settles with airline on 9/11 attacks

Financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, which lost 658 of its 1,000 employees in the Sept. 11 attacks, has revealed a $135 million settlement with American Airlines and insurance carriers, bringing to an end a major piece of litigation resulting from the attacks. The deal was announced Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan by Cantor Fitzgerald attorney John Stoviak. The settlement still must be approved by federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein.

The Associated Press contributed.

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