Trial to halt airline merger to start Nov. 25, judge says

A federal judge said Friday that the government’s lawsuit to block the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways will start Nov. 25, a timetable favored by the airlines.

The U.S. Justice Department had wanted the trial to start in March, saying it needed more time to prepare for the complex case. The airlines said that such a long delay would threaten their merger.

Apple Stores to give credit for working older iPhones

Apple announced, effective immediately, it would give customers credit for functioning older models of iPhones at Apple Stores. The credit can be used toward the purchase of a new iPhone, which will be activated in the store.

It didn’t say how much older phones would be worth. But other brokers such as Gazelle.com offer anywhere from $10 for a working iPhone 3G to $350 for an iPhone 5 that is in pristine condition.

BP wants decision tossed if its separate appeal fails

BP is trying to persuade a federal appeals court that it should throw out a judge’s approval of the company’s multibillion-dollar settlement related to the Gulf oil spill if a separate appeal is unsuccessful.

Last year, BP joined plaintiffs’ attorneys in urging U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to give his final approval to its settlement with Gulf Coast businesses and residents.

On Friday, however, the company’s lawyers argued in a court filing that Barbier’s more recent interpretation of settlement terms has allowed businesses to receive hundreds of millions of dollars for inflated or fictitious claims.

Consumer confidence dips from six-year high in July

A measure of U.S. consumer confidence slipped this month from a six-year high in July, as Americans expressed less optimism about the coming months.

The University of Michigan said that its final reading of consumer sentiment dropped to 82.1 in August from 85.1 in the previous month. Americans said they were less confident that the job market will improve but more confident that their income will rise.

Market’s worst month in a year ends quietly

Disappointing news on consumer spending and income helped give the stock market a nudge lower Friday, in a quiet end to the market’s worst month in more than a year.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed August with a loss of 3.1 percent at 1,632.97, while the Dow Jones industrial average lost 4.4 percent. Both had their biggest one-month drop since May 2012.

On Friday, the Dow fell 30.64 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 14,810.31, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 30.43 points, or 0.8 percent, to 3,589.87.