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Hecla Mining blames loss on several one-time expenses

Hecla Mining Co. reported a second quarter loss of $44.4 million, or 35 cents per share.

Officials attributed the loss to several one-time occurrences, including a $30.7 million loss on the sale of Venezuelan gold properties. Hecla also took a $17 million charge related to its recent purchase of the Greens Creek Mine in Alaska and put $20.3 million into capital expenditures at Greens Creek and the Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho.

A decrease in zinc prices and higher energy and steel costs also contributed to the second quarter loss, company officials said.


Fed leaves key rate unchanged

The Federal Reserve, confronted with the perils of a slumping economy and rising inflation, has decided for a second straight meeting to leave its key rate alone at 2 percent.

In turn, the prime lending rate for millions of consumers and businesses remained at 5 percent. The prime rate applies to certain credit cards, home equity lines of credit and other lines.

Wall Street seemed pleased with the decision. Share prices had been higher most of the day after oil dropped to about $118 a barrel.


Service sector shrank in July

The U.S. service sector contracted in July – though less than expected – as new orders decreased and prices rose, stifling growth for truckers, retailers and insurers.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said Tuesday its reading of the service sector was 49.5 in July, up from 48.2 in June. It beat economists’ prediction of a reading of 49.0, according to the consensus estimate of Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson/IFR.


Delta adding broadband to fleet

Delta Air Lines Inc. said Tuesday it will offer broadband wireless Internet access on its entire domestic mainline fleet by the middle of next year.

Several other airlines either offer similar service or plan to, though on a much more limited number of flights than the plans by Delta and Continental.

Delta said Wi-Fi service will be offered for a fee to customers traveling throughout the continental U.S.

From staff and wire reports

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