AMR union: Lack of deal threatens merger
Traders focusing on Washington; Dow falls for fifth straight day.
DALLAS — An American Airlines merger with US Airways Group might not occur during the AMR Corp. unit’s bankruptcy unless pilot groups from the carriers agree on interim contract terms, American’s pilot union says.
If an accord isn’t reached “in the very near future, in all likelihood there will be no merger before American Airlines exits restructuring,” Keith Wilson, president of the Allied Pilots Association, said on the union’s website.
The agreement would set wages, working conditions and terms to protect seniority until a joint contract for pilots at Fort Worth, Texas-based American and their counterparts at the US Airline Pilots Association is negotiated, he said.
The pilot groups, joined by executives from both carriers, began negotiating the accord this month. American, which filed for bankruptcy in Nov. 2011, said it prefers to assess mergers after leaving court protection. US Airways, based in Arizona, has been pushing for a tie-up since January. NEW YORK — Stocks fell for a fifth day on concern that Washington lawmakers will fail to reach a budget deal before a self-imposed year-end deadline.
The five-day losing streak for the Dow Jones industrial average was the longest since July.
The Dow dropped 158 points to 12,938, with losses accelerating in the last 20 minutes of trading as reports circulated that President Barack Obama would not be making a new budget proposal in a meeting with congressional leaders.
The Standard & Poor 500 index fell 15 points to 1,402, its longest losing streak in three months, and the Nasdaq dropped 25 points to 2,960.
“The reality, late in the day, is that a deal is just not going to get done,” said Ryan Detrick, a senior technical strategist at Schaeffer Investment Research. “We could be greeted by a big sell-off at the start of January.”
Obama returned from a Christmas break in Hawaii to meet with congressional leaders at the White House to try to thrash out the terms of a deal that would prevent across-the-board tax increases for millions of Americans as