Jet-maker's COO to become new CEO

NEW YORK - European jet-maker Airbus SAS's German chief operating officer has been approved to become the company's next chief executive officer, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed person close to the decision, on Sunday said Gustav Humbert, Airbus' COO and head of programs, will succeed Noel Forgeard to become the company's first non-French chief executive.

The decision was approved by both the Dutch aerospace company European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., or EADS, which owns 80 percent of Airbus, and co-owner BAE Systems PLC of Great Britain, the newspaper reported.

Forgeard and Thomas Enders, the German head of EADS's defense division, will become co-CEOs of EADS, according to the Journal.

Wall Street: U.S. a 'Goldilocks economy'

NEW YORK - The U.S. economy is growing at a moderate pace - fast enough to encourage investment and create jobs, but slow enough that inflation isn't a major risk.

It's what is known on Wall Street as a 'Goldilocks economy' - not too hot and not too cold, the same way the fairy tale character preferred her porridge.

The question, however, is whether investors are ready to take advantage of these benign conditions.

Last week's reading of the nation's first-quarter gross domestic product gave credence to the Federal Reserve's policy of steady but modest interest rate hikes. Inflation remains in check, but rates are still relatively low, which means corporate America has inexpensive access to capital for expansion.

''I think the GDP numbers gave people more comfort that the growth path for the economy is reasonable,'' said Kurt Wolfgruber, chief investment officer at Oppenheimer Funds. ''It gives me comfort that things are OK and the market can advance.''

Sales of more expensive wine up

WASHINGTON - Wine drinkers are developing more extravagant tastes. Wines priced $11 and higher are selling much more strongly than others, according to the marketing information company ACNielsen.

Sales of those wines have risen by 19 percent from last year, said Danny Brager, vice president of ACNielsen's alcohol beverage team. Research shows that a 6 percent increase in sales of wine costing $7 to $11 and a gain of 1.4 percent for wines costing less than $7.

He said there is excitement in the industry about new wines, new packaging and new contemporary-looking labels.

''Along with the economy improving over the last couple of years, it's helping to move the price up that consumers are willing to pay,'' Brager said.

Scrushy jury faces complex instructions

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The fraud case against fired HealthSouth Corp. CEO Richard Scrushy may come down to complicated documents, and not just the ones that witnesses talked about during his trial.

After months of testimony about complex financial reports and notebooks filled with numbers revealing a huge earnings overstatement, jurors deliberating the case are now faced with a verdict form and legal instructions that, by all appearances, left them confounded.

To reach a verdict on all 36 counts, the jury must fill out a form that includes 247 questions on 37 typed pages. To acquit Scrushy, jurors must make at least 36 unanimous decisions; a conviction on all counts would require at least 69.

That's not all. The judge's charge to jurors - the legal instructions about how to reach a verdict - runs another 78 pages.

Experts say much of the information on the forms is required by law, and both prosecutors and the defense helped U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre decide what to include.

Woman files suit against Dillard's Inc.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - An Alabama woman is seeking class-action status for a lawsuit against a Dillard's Inc. hair salon for allegedly charging black women more than white women.

Debbie Deavers Sturvisant alleges that a hair salon in a Tuscaloosa, Ala., Dillard's department store charged $35 to wash and set her hair, while white women paid $20 for the same service.

Sturvisant's lawsuit could bring a whole new level of attention to the general practice across the country of charging differently for hair care based on ethnicity.

''The stereotype is that all black hair is the same. But that's erroneous, just as all hair for Caucasians is not the same,'' said Patrick C. Cooper, a Birmingham, Ala., lawyer who plans to represent thousands of affected customers.

Israeli police crack espionage ring

JERUSALEM - Israeli authorities have cracked a large industrial-espionage ring in which top business executives and investigators allegedly used sophisticated software to infiltrate their competitors' computers, police said Sunday.

The probe implicated car importers, cell-phone providers and the nation's main satellite television company. Police said they were still sifting through documents and computer files to figure out the extent of the damage.

- From wire reports