Dish Network offering to buy wireless carrier

NEW YORK - Dish Network Corp. is trying to snag U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Nextel from a Japanese suitor. Dish offered $25.5 billion in cash and stock on Monday for Sprint, which Dish says beats an offer from Japan's Softbank Corp.

If the Dish deal goes through, it would create a unique combination of pay-TV and wireless operator. Dish hopes to lure customers with the promise of TV service that can go with them, out of the house and on their phones. It has already broken ranks with the pay-TV industry by providing a set-top box that can send recorded shows to iPads.

GM, Ford to team up on new transmissions

DETROIT - General Motors and Ford are putting aside their long-standing rivalry to work together to develop a new generation of fuel-efficient automatic transmissions.

The companies said Monday that their engineers will jointly design nine- and 10-speed transmissions that will go into many of new cars and trucks. When transmissions have more gears, engines don't have to work as hard. That saves fuel.

J.C. Penney job No. 1: Calming vendors

NEW YORK - As J.C. Penney Co. burns through its cash after a disastrous turnaround plan and taps almost half of its credit line, the struggling department store chain must calm investors and restore confidence among several hundred suppliers whose constant flow of merchandise must continue if the retailer is to survive.

Penney announced Monday that it will draw $850 million from its $1.85 billion revolving credit line to pay for replenishing inventory particularly for its overhauled home area. Penney is also looking for alternative sources of funding.

It comes at a critical time. Penney is wrapping up back-to-school orders and starting to order goods for the critical holiday shopping season at year's end.

Rising costs weigh on builder confidence

U.S. homebuilders are concerned that limited land and rising costs for building materials and labor will slow sales in the short term.

Still, their outlook for sales over the next six months climbed to the highest level in more than six years - suggesting the obstacles could be temporary.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday had a two-point drop to 42 from 44 in March.

Thermo Fisher Scientific to buy Life Technologies

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. of Waltham, Mass., plans to pay about $13.6 billion for Life Technologies Corp. The deal will position the scientific instrument maker to benefit from the expected growth of personalized medicine, which uses genetic analysis to tailor treatments to patients.

Life Technologies, based in Carlsbad, Calif., offers more than 50,000 products and delves into genetic analysis and engineering, stem cell therapies and chemicals used in forensics and food safety.

The Associated Press