Google to buy travel tech firm ITA Software

Google Inc. plans to buy travel technology company ITA Software Inc. in a $700 million deal that would enable the Internet search leader to steer more of the airline reservations booked on the Web. The all-cash deal signals Google's intention to challenge flight-comparison services that are ITA customers, including Kayak, FareCompare and Hotwire. The deal is likely to face a rigorous review by federal antitrust regulators. "This is going to raise a lot of eyebrows," said Ted Henneberry, an antitrust lawyer in Washington.

Amazon to sell new Kindle DX at lower price

Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. is introducing a new version of its higher-end Kindle at a lower price as competition among electronic-book readers intensifies. The new version of its Kindle DX has a better screen that will display sharper images. The large-screen reader has free wireless over 3G cellular networks. It will be sold for $379, about 23 percent less than the $489 Amazon charged for the previous generation of the larger Kindle DX.

Spanish bond sale sends reassuring signal

Spain successfully raised 3.5 billion euros ($4.3 billion) in an oversubscribed bond sale, a reassuring sign for markets a day after ratings agency Moody's warned it may join others in downgrading the country's debt. The average interest rate for the five-year bonds was 3.65 percent, up from 3.53 percent at the last such auction in May, and the sale was 1.7 times oversubscribed, the Treasury Department said. The government had hoped to sell between 2.5 billion and 3.5 billion euros of the bonds.

30-year mortgage rates drop to another low

Mortgage rates have sunk to the lowest level in more than five decades, but consumers aren't rushing to refinance their loans or buy homes. Mortgage company Freddie Mac said the average rate for 30-year fixed loans sank to 4.58 percent this week. That's down from the previous record of 4.69 percent set last week and the lowest since the mortgage company began keeping records in 1971. The last time they were cheaper was the 1950s, when most long-term home loans lasted just 20 or 25 years.

U.S. Treasury sells Citigroup shares at profit

The Treasury Department said it has raised $10.5 billion from the sale of a total of 2.6 billion shares of Citigroup stock it received as part of the government's rescue of the bank. The government sold the shares at a profit as it seeks to recoup the costs of the $700 billion financial bailout in 2008. Treasury says the latest sale of 1.1 billion shares, which figures into the total, completes its second phase of selling operations.

Investor could take BJ's Wholesale private

A private equity firm has bought a large stake in BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. and says it plans to talk with the warehouse club's executives about the potential for taking the company private. Green Equity Investors bought 5.1 million shares of BJ's stock and said the shares are undervalued, according to a regulatory document. That represents about 9.5 percent of the company's shares.

GE says Immelt's quotes were out of context

General Electric Co. said that reported comments by Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt were taken out of context after the Financial Times quoted him knocking President Obama and criticizing China during a private discussion. According to the Financial Times, during a speech to Italian executives in Rome, Immelt lamented a "terrible" national mood and expressed concern that overregulation in response to the global financial crisis would dampen a "tepid" U.S. economic recovery.

FROM NEWS SERVICES