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Interest rates mixed in Treasury auction

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were mixed in Tuesday's auction.

The Treasury Department auctioned $17 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 3.905 percent, up from 3.895 last week. Another $15 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 4.200 percent, down from 4.220 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since three-month bills averaged 3.930 percent on Dec. 5. The six-month rate was the lowest since 4.180 percent on Dec. 12.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the price for a three-month bill was $9,901.29 while a six-month bill sold for $9,787.67.

Delta pilots voting on pay cuts today

ATLANTA, Ga. - Delta Air Lines Inc. pilots have until today to approve a tentative agreement on temporary pay cuts their union worked out with management to help the bankrupt carrier deal with an expected cash crunch.

If the pilots don't approve the measure, a court hearing would resume around Jan. 2 on Delta's effort to reject the pilot contract so the company can impose $325 million in permanent pay and benefit cuts unilaterally. A decision by a judge could be issued within seven days of that point.

Before the agreement was reached earlier this month, the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents Atlanta-based Delta's 6,000 pilots, had threatened to call a strike if the pilot contract was thrown out.

Sirius radio tops 3 million subscribers

NEW YORK - Satellite radio provider Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. said Tuesday it recently topped more than 3 million subscribers to its service and expects a strong finish for the year.

Sirius sells more than 120 channels of commercial-free music, talk shows and other programming to subscribers. The company, which recently launched a Martha Stewart channel and agreed to a multimillion deal with Howard Stern, didn't provide additional information about its subscriber count or expectations for the year in its statement Tuesday.

Rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. has more than 5 million U.S. subscribers.

The tentative agreement includes a 14 percent across-the-board wage cut for pilots and reductions in other pilot pay and cost items equal to an additional 1 percent hourly wage reduction.

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