Marriott cuts outlook

Marriott International said second-quarter earnings dropped 24 percent as the deteriorating economy dragged down demand, a trend the company expects will extend into next year. The company on Thursday also cut its outlook for the year, and its shares fell more than 7 percent.

Marriott earned $157 million, or 42 cents per share, in the 12-week quarter that ended June 13. That was down from the $207 million, or 51 cents per share, a year ago.

Marriott and other lodging companies have suffered as business and leisure travelers pull back on trips because of factors such as higher gas prices, troubles with airlines and skittishness over the economy. Associated Press


The major studios have told the Screen Actors Guild that if the union does not accept its final contract offer by Aug. 15, any proposed wage increases would not be retroactive, the studios said Wednesday.

The producers alliance threw down that gauntlet in its final offer, which it said included $250 million in additional compensation over three years. If the deadline passes before the union ratifies a contract, that means the actors could lose more than $200,000 a day in increases dating to July 1.

The studios, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, planned to meet with the guild Thursday afternoon to discuss the offer. Associated Press


Drugs used to treat epileptic seizures can raise suicide risks, but not enough to deserve the strongest warning labels available, a government panel of experts said.

Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted 14-4 Thursday against adding a “black box” warning about the risks of suicidal tendencies to all anti-seizure drugs.

The FDA this week announced plans to add boxed warnings to epilepsy drugs, in light of an analysis of suicidal tendencies of more than 43,000 patients enrolled in 200 studies. The panel vote makes it less likely that blockbuster drugs from GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co. Inc. and others, will be forced to carry the FDA's sternest warning. Associated Press