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Sirius stocks soar as radio merger nears

The proposed merger of the Sirius and XM satellite radio companies appeared close to final approval Wednesday, with the sole undecided member of the Federal Communications Commission poised to support the deal if the companies settle past rules violations.

Commissioners are at a 2-2 tie over whether to approve the proposed takeover of XM by Sirius. The value of the pending deal soared to $3.9 billion as shares of Sirius rose Wednesday by nearly 13 percent.


Toyota takes lead in sales over GM

General Motors Corp., pummeled by falling U.S. sales and high gas prices, lost the global sales lead to Toyota Motor Corp. in the first half of this year, but the churning market makes it difficult to predict which automaker will end the year on top.

Toyota sold 4,817,941 vehicles globally during the first six months of the year, beating GM by 277,532 vehicles, company spokesman Hideaki Homma said Wednesday.

Toyota said its global sales rose 2 percent from the same period the year before, while GM’s sales fell 3 percent.


Chrysler announces 1,000 salaried job cuts

Chrysler LLC said Wednesday it will cut 1,000 salaried jobs worldwide by Sept. 30 as it tries to return to profitability amid a severe downturn in U.S. sales.

The automaker announced the cuts in a letter to employees.

Chrysler spokesman David Elshoff said the company hopes most of the cuts will be accomplished through early retirements, attrition and voluntary separation programs, but he said involuntary layoffs will be considered if the company fails to meet its targets.


McDonald’s cautious, but back in black

Consumers helped bring McDonald’s Corp. back to profitability in the second quarter by spending on breakfast biscuits, chicken sandwiches and drinks despite the tough economy in the U.S.

But the nation’s No. 1 hamburger chain also warned Wednesday that it expects beef and chicken costs to rise substantially in the U.S. and Europe through the rest of this year, and is testing several options that may change the makeup of its popular dollar menu.

From wire reports