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Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

July 19, 2012, 1:24 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

Strong earnings from IBM and other technology have helped tech shares to lead the market today. The key averages had logged two days of gains coming into today's session.

  • A possible merger was on the menu as the CEOs of American Airlines parent AMR Corp. and US Airways had breakfast in Washington this morning. US Airways has been pressing for a tie-up with American, which has been operating under bankruptcy protection.
  • Border guards at British airports plan to walk off the job just a week from now, a day before the London Olympics begin. That could create an Olympic-sized logistical headache for British officials. At issue are pay and job losses.
  • A trade group says sales of previously-owned homes dropped 5.4 percent last month. The median price rose because sales of more expensive homes were up, while there was less supply of cheaper homes on the market.
  • The Federal Reserve bank of Philadelphia says manufacturing in that region contracted for the third straight month in July. Some analysts caution against reading too much into the report, saying that the weakness is restricted to the Philly region.

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