Business & Finance

Boeing said it will end production of its 757-model passenger jets next year and take a pretax charge of $184 million in related layoff and shutdown costs. The aerospace giant has delivered more than 1,000 of the 757s since their introduction in 1981. But in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, marketplace changes have favored less-expensive 737 models. Hours before last Thursday's announcement, Continental Airlines signaled it would convert an order for six 757s to 737s.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. agreed to a $236 million settlement Friday in a class-action lawsuit filed by Colorado and New Mexico residents over leaky fuel hoses in home-heating systems. But the deal is conditional on enough claimants participating, the company said. In its defense, Goodyear had argued that the distributor, who went bankrupt three years ago, should have stressed to customers the need to mix an anticorrosive with the heating fluid the hoses carried behind the walls of their houses. The deal awaits judicial review and does not include 34 Coloradans who were awarded $10 million last month by a federal court in Denver. Goodyear, which also contends the hoses were not properly installed and maintained, is appealing that decision.

To try to win back the high credit rating it lost over the summer, the world's largest reinsurance company announced a campaign to raise $4.4 billion in new capital. Munich Re said it will offer investors two shares for every seven they own. The subscription period will run from Oct. 28 through Nov. 10, the Financial Times reported. Standard & Poor's dropped the company's AA- rating to A+ in August after it reported a steep second-quarter loss, blamed largely on changes in Germany's tax rates. Reinsurers underwrite insurance companies.

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