Business Briefly: Telemetry problems mar 777 flight

A data transmission problem during the first flight of the Boeing Co.’s 777 freighter Monday forced a change in plans. The new plane had been expected to fly for three hours before landing at Seattle’s Boeing Field. Instead, it was sent back to Everett’s Paine Field, the same airport from which it took off. Boeing spokeswoman Sandy Angers says the FAA requires a test flight to land at the same airport where it took off when there is an instrument transmission problem. Angers said other than the telemetry problem, the test flight went well. She said the plane is doing great and that its crew was never in any danger. The company needs to do further research to find out why the instrument data was not transmitting, she said.

Government aids mortgage giants

Now that the federal government has thrown a lifeline to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taxpayers could be on the hook for billions more if the crisis of confidence spreads. There were encouraging signs Monday for the rescue plan, but also signs of concern. Washington Mutual Inc.’s shares fell 35 percent, to a paltry $3.23 amid worries about whether it had enough cash to handle the mortgage market downturn.

Yahoo board target of investor Icahn

Apparently abandoning hopes for a truce with Yahoo Inc., investor Carl Icahn sharpened his focus on replacing the Internet company’s board Monday after his attempt to negotiate a deal with Microsoft Corp. was angrily rejected. Icahn filed the final nominating papers for a slate of candidates that will oppose Yahoo’s current nine directors in a showdown scheduled for an Aug. 1 shareholder vote. In separate letter to Yahoo shareholders, Icahn accused the incumbent board of just wanting to protecting its jobs.

Belgian brewer will buy Budweiser

The maker of the King of Beers has agreed to go to work for the Belgian brewer InBev SA. Anheuser-Busch Cos. said Monday it had agreed to a sweetened $52 billion takeover bid, creating the world’s largest brewer and heading off what was shaping up as an acrimonious fight for the maker of Budweiser and Bud Light. Inbev brands include Stella Artois, Beck’s and Bass. The combined company will be called Anheuser-Busch InBev. InBev said it would be the world’s third largest consumer products company after Procter &Gamble and Nestle SA of Switzerland.

T-bill rates fall in Monday auction

The Treasury Department auctioned three-month bills at a discount rate of 1.61 percent, down from 1.865 percent last week. Six-month bills were auctioned at a discount rate of 1.955 percent, down from 2.06 percent. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,959.30, while a six-month bill sold for $9,901.16. That would equal an annualized rate of 1.639 percent for the three-month bills and 2.002 percent for the six-month bills. The Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for changing adjustable-rate mortgages, fell to 2.25 percent last week from 2.35 percent.

From Herald staff and news services

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