PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - Jan 27

martes 27 de enero de 2009 06:54 CET

Jan 27 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in the New York Times business pages on Tuesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Home Depot (HD.N: Cotización), Caterpillar (CAT.N: Cotización), Sprint Nextel (S.N: Cotización) and at least eight other companies announced they would cut more than 75,000 jobs in the United States and around the world -- a gloomy start to the workweek for employees anxious about holding their own as the economy sinks.

* Medicare, with little public debate, has expanded its coverage of drugs for cancer treatments not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

* Pfizer's (PFE.N: Cotización) move to buy Wyeth WYE.N dims the hopes of struggling small biotechnology companies that wanted to sell themselves or their products to larger businesses.

* Timothy F. Geithner was sworn in as secretary of the Treasury, confirmed by a Senate majority that concluded that his experience in government and finance outweighed concerns about recent disclosures of some $34,000 in past tax delinquencies.

* Automakers said that rapid installation of stricter emissions standards could force them to drastically cut production of larger, more profitable vehicles in a time of severe financial duress.

* John Thain, the former chief executive of Merrill Lynch, defended his decisions on several fronts as he made his exit from Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: Cotización). But Thain sounded a bit contrite about that $35,000 commode.

* December sales of existing homes beat expectations but also closed out the worst year for the real estate market in more than a decade.

* After investors punished its stock last week, Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Cotización) attempted to restore trust in its earnings, saying it did not need fresh capital. It also announced that it would write down an additional 8 billion pounds ($11 billion) for 2008.

* The Senate voted to delay next month's transition to digital television until June 12 because some viewers would not be ready for the switch.