Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin sought more details from TD Ameritrade Holding Co. this week after the Nebraska online brokerage disclosed a breach of its database that may have compromised personal data of all its 6.3 million accounts. In a letter dated Sept. 17, Galvin's office asked TD Ameritrade for more description of the data breach and server vulnerabilities, and copies of all complaints by Massachusetts consumers, among other things. A TD Ameritrade spokeswoman said it would cooperate with the request. (Ross Kerber)
Home heating oil hits $2.67 per gallon in state
The average price of heating oil in Massachusetts hit $2.67 a gallon, according to a survey of full-service dealers by the state Division of Energy Resources. The price was 18 cents a gallon higher than it was a year ago at this time. Dealers polled in the survey were charging as low as $2.36 a gallon and as high as $2.95 a gallon. Heating oil prices are moving up in tandem with crude prices, which again hit a record high. Crude oil for October delivery rose 94 cents to $81.51 a barrel yesterday. (Bruce Mohl)
Judge in Howie Carr suit to issue ruling today
After a 45-minute hearing in Suffolk Superior Court, the judge in radio host Howie Carr's lawsuit against WRKO-FM said he would rule in the case today, according to Carr spokeswoman Nancy J. Sterling. Carr is looking to take his conservative morning talk show to rival WTKK-FM starting tomorrow. (Keith Reed)
Investor lawyer to plead guilty in kickback scheme
William Lerach, the securities lawyer who won more than $7 billion in settlements for Enron Corp.
investors, agreed to plead guilty to paying clients kickbacks in cases filed by his former firm, Milberg Weiss, federal prosecutors said. Lerach, 61, who left the New York law firm in 2004, will enter a plea to one count of conspiracy in the coming weeks, said Thomas Mrozek, a spokesman for the Los Angeles US Attorney George Cardona. Lerach agreed to accept a sentence of one to two years in prison, Mrozek said. Prosecutors said Lerach also will "acknowledge that he and others agreed to conceal from judges in federal courts Milberg Weiss's secret payment arrangements with named plaintiffs in class-action lawsuits." (Bloomberg)
FDA warns P&G over hand sanitizer marketed to kids
Federal health officials have warned Procter & Gamble Co. that it is unlawfully marketing a new hand sanitizer aimed for use by children. Company claims that Vicks Early Defense Foaming Hand Sanitizer prevents colds and provides up to three hours of antimicrobial activity are not allowed, the Food and Drug Administration warned in a letter. The FDA said it knows of no significant health risks associated with the product but that it's concerned because the product has not been proven safe and effective for the claims made by P&G. P&G spokesman David Bernens said the company will work with the FDA to clear up any misconceptions. (AP)
Lehman profit falls as firm mum on mortgage debt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
surprised investors with better-than-expected quarterly results, but the number four US investment bank left them mostly in the dark on its losses from bad mortgage-related debt. Whatever doubts they may have had, though, investors pushed the stock 10 percent higher. Tightening credit conditions in the third quarter cost Lehman $700 million, which the company said was a total number after factoring in gains on moves it made to hedge risky positions. Lehman said profit fell 3.2 percent to $887 million during the quarter, better than the near 11 percent decline analysts had projected. (AP)
set to ship newest chips in November
Intel Corp. fired a pair of technical salvos at smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
, announcing a November launch date for its next generation of chips and showing off its momentum in manufacturing technology. Chief executive Paul Otellini said in San Francisco the company's next cycle of microprocessors, code-named Penryn, will begin shipping Nov. 12. The new chips boast a 20 percent performance boost and increased energy efficiency, Intel said. AMD spokesman Gary Silcott said the company is on track to deliver its newest chips in mid-2008. (AP)
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