Boeing to aim for another $2 billion in cuts

Boeing Co.'s defense unit, the second-largest military contractor in the U.S., said it needs to almost double the $2.2 billion in cost cuts identified since 2010 amid the Pentagon's budget constraints. The company aims for about another $2 billion in savings through 2015, Todd Blecher, a spokesman, said in a telephone interview Wednesday. Chief Executive Jim McNerney and the Chicago-based company's executive council approved the decision Nov. 5, and it's not a response to Tuesday's U.S. presidential elections, he said. Employees were informed Wednesday.

Sprint to buy U.S. Cellular Midwest business

Sprint Nextel Corp., the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, agreed to buy Midwestern airwaves and customers from U.S. Cellular Corp. for $480 million. The spectrum is in the so-called PCS band and spans parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, Sprint said. The Overland Park, Kan., company plans to use the airwaves to bolster its wireless coverage as it rolls out a new network based on a technology called long-term evolution, or LTE. Sprint, which received $3.1 billion in cash last month as part of a $20 billion investment from Softbank Corp., is putting some of that money to work in a network expansion race.

ING plans to cut more than 2,300 jobs

ING Group NV, the Dutch financial services company, will cut 2,350 jobs as it lowers costs and prepares to meet pledges to sell units. Net income dropped 64 percent to 609 million euros ($784 million) from 1.69 billion euros a year earlier, the Amsterdam-based lender said. That missed the 846 million-euro median estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Profit fell after losses on hedges protecting the insurer's capital, a charge related to its U.S. annuity unit, and measures to cut risks from investments, ING said.

Europe expects economy to stall next year

The European Commission said the eurozone economy will virtually grind to a halt next year as the debt crisis ravages southern Europe and gnaws at the economic performance of export-driven Germany. The 17-nation euro economy will expand 0.1 percent in 2013, down from a May forecast of 1 percent, the commission said. It cut the forecast for Germany, Europe's largest economy, to 0.8 percent from 1.7 percent. Technically, the euro area will avert a recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction, though the overall economy will still shrink 0.4 percent in 2012, ending a two-year expansion, the commission said.

AT&T plans $14B investment in networks

AT&T Inc., the top U.S. telephone company, said it will invest $14 billion over three years to improve the networks that deliver wireless communications, high-speed Internet access and television services. The company is devoting $8 billion to the network that handles mobile data and calling and $6 billion to wireline equipment, Dallas-based AT&T said. It also forecast that per-share earnings will rise at a mid-single digit percentage rate in the coming three years, while lifting its quarterly dividend by 2.3 percent to 45 cents a share.