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Losses, Layoffs Mount in US

Aerospace giant Boeing is adding to the growing list of U.S. companies that are slashing jobs as profits plummet.

The world's second largest maker of commercial airplanes said Wednesday it will cut 10,000 jobs this year - about six percent of its global work force.

Earlier, Boeing announced it lost $56 million over the last three months of 2008, because of a workers' strike and delays in the production of the company's new, highly touted 787 jetliner.

Bloomberg financial news service says U.S. companies have now announced more than a half-million job cuts since Barack Obama won the U.S. presidential election in November.

The third largest U.S. oil company - ConocoPhillips - says it lost almost $32 billion in the fourth quarter, due, in part, to sliding oil prices.

And one of America's leading banks is reporting a fourth quarter loss, but says it has no plans to ask for more bailout money from the government.

Wells Fargo says it lost almost $2.6 billion for the final three months of 2008. 

Bank officials say one reason for the loss was its acquisition of a rival bank, Wachovia, which had been on the verge of collapse.  They say Wachovia lost more than $11 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008 because of bad loans.

Wells Fargo received $25 billion in U.S. bailout funds last year.

Finally, telecommunications giant AT&T says profit fell by more than 23 percent in the fourth quarter, even though the company gained almost two million new subscribers for its Apple iPhone wireless service.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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