Compiled from MartketWatch, Bloomberg News and The Associated Press ...

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FedEx in Memphis, Tenn., said today will be its busiest day of the year, with 8.5 million packages to be shipped.

Both the U.S. Postal Service and DHL International expect their peak day will be Dec. 19. United Parcel Service said the 20th will be its biggest.


Oil giant reportedly wants Burlington

ConocoPhillips is in advanced talks to buy oil and gas producer Burlington Resources for more than $30 billion, both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported online Sunday night.

Neither company would comment.

Conoco, the No. 3 U.S. oil company, would become the nation’s second-largest natural-gas producer if it acquires Burlington. A purchase would boost ConocoPhillips’ U.S. gas reserves, excluding Alaska, by 88 percent.

A deal would dwarf the oil industry’s other major deal of 2005, the more than $17 billion purchase of Unocal by Chevron.

The price of natural gas, the most widely used U.S. heating fuel, more than doubled this year as rising demand stretched supplies

Delta Air Lines

Tentative pact with pilots union

Delta Air Lines said Sunday night it had reached a tentative agreement on wage reductions with its pilots union.

The agreement, subject to ratification no later than Dec. 28, provides for a 14 percent hourly wage reduction and cuts in other pilot pay and cost items equivalent to about an additional 1 percent hourly wage reduction.

The interim reductions with the 6,000 Air Line Pilots Association members at Delta would take effect Thursday and remain in place while both sides try to reach a comprehensive agreement by March.

The airline and the union will ask a bankruptcy court Tuesday to suspend a hearing on the company’s motion to reject the existing collective-bargaining agreement.

“This agreement reflects the resolve of Delta people to work together to help save the company,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief financial officer.

Union spokesman John Culp called the agreement “a positive step in the right direction.”

Atlanta-based Delta sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September.


Pay, pensions rise in tentative contract

AT&T, created when SBC Communications bought AT&T Corp., said Sunday night it had reached a tentative agreement with unions that represent about 11,000 workers.

The agreement with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers would run to April 2009 and contain four pay increases totaling 11 percent and a 6 percent increase in pension benefits.

As part of the agreement, San Antonio, Texas-based AT&T would bring back some jobs outsourced to the Philippines, CWA spokeswoman Candice Johnson.


China Southern to lease 5 jets

China Southern Airlines, the country’s second-largest carrier, will lease five new Airbus A320 planes to renew its fleet as China’s economic growth increases travel demand.

The planes will be delivered between February and May 2006, China Southern said today. The airline, based in southern China’s Guangzhou city, will lease the A320s from Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise, it said without giving financial details.

The A320s, which can each seat 150 passengers, will replace five McDonnell Douglas MD-82 planes, the airline said.

The MD-82, which can carry as many as 172 people, is no longer in production.

Compiled from MartketWatch, Bloomberg News, Reuters and The Associated Press