Hiring day exceeds McDonald's expectations

McDonald's Corp., the world's biggest restaurant chain, said it hired 24 percent more people than planned during an employment event this month. McDonald's and its franchisees hired 62,000 people in the United States after receiving more than 1 million applications, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company said. Previously, it said it planned to hire 50,000. The April 19 national hiring day was the company's first, said Danya Proud, a McDonald's spokeswoman. She declined to disclose how many of the jobs were full- vs. part-time.

Slow BlackBerry sales lead RIM to cut forecast

Research In Motion Ltd., facing intensifying competition from Apple Inc. and Google Inc., cut its sales and profit forecasts for this quarter on slower-than-expected demand for BlackBerry smartphones. The stock plunged 11 percent in after-hours trading, to $50.43. Profit in the quarter ended May 28 will be $1.30 to $1.37 a share, RIM said, down from a forecast last month of $1.47 to $1.55. Sales will be "slightly below" the $5.2 billion to $5.6 billion the Canadian company had forecast, and BlackBerry shipments will be at the lower end of the range it projected.

Exelon to buy Baltimore utility Constellation

Exelon Corp., the largest operator of U.S. nuclear power plants, has agreed to buy Constellation Energy Group Inc. for about $7.9 billion in stock, adding stakes in five reactors and becoming the largest U.S. electricity marketer. Constellation shareholders will get 0.93 Exelon shares for each of their shares, the companies said. Based on Wednesday's closing stock prices, that values Baltimore-based Constellation at $38.59 a share, a 12.5 percent premium. If completed, it will be Chicago-based Exelon's largest transaction.

Chrysler outlines plan to pay off public loans

Chrysler Group said it intends to pay off its $7.5 billion in government loans with a new debt sale, an investment from Fiat SpA and a new loan agreement with institutional investors. The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based automaker said it plans to use the proceeds of the term loan and the debt offering, with the $1.27 billion that Fiat said it would invest in Chrysler last week to acquire an additional 16 percent in Chrysler, to pay off the government loans. Chrysler owes $5.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and $1.7 billion to the Canadian government.

Number of jobless declines in Germany

German unemployment fell below 3 million for the first time in almost 19 years in April in adjusted terms, increasing the likelihood that household spending will boost economic growth. The number of people out of work dropped a seasonally adjusted 37,000 to 2.97 million, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said, the lowest level since June 1992. The jobless rate was unchanged at 7.1 percent.

GE's Immelt steps down from N.Y. Fed board

General Electric Co. Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt resigned from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's board of directors, citing "increased demands" on his time. Immelt, 55, stepped down effective March 9, the New York Fed said. He noted in his resignation letter to New York Fed President William Dudley that his other commitments include the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which he has led since January.

FROM NEWS SERVICES