1. Tourism ranks diminish
Tampa Bay & Co., Hillsborough County's tourism promoter, reports the largest drop in existing members since 2002.
What it means: Most of the group's members are small businesses, which are hard-pressed to pay membership dues when the economy slows.
2. Rice rationing
reaches bay area
Wholesalers like Costco and Sam's Club begin restricting purchases of bulk rice.
What it means: Amid soaring rice prices and a global shortage, wholesalers want to fend off stockpiling by customers.
3. Owner of Arby's buys
Wendy's for $2.3-billion
The fast-food chains will be controlled by Triarc Cos.
What it means: Wendy's had cut staff, sold and spun off
some operations, but succumbed to Triarc's third attempt to
buy the company.
4. Delta and Northwest report combined $10.5-billion loss
The two would-be partners highlight their fiscal weakness as they make their merger pitch to Congress.
What it means: A merger won't stop the effect of surging fuel costs. Delta's CEO predicts fares will rise 15 to 20 percent.
5. Toyota overtakes GM
After inching closer for years, Toyota posts higher auto sales than General Motors in the first quarter, aiming to take the 2008 title.
What it means: Bragging rights are nice, but both automakers face the reality of a drop in U.S. sales.
Compiled by Jeff Harrington, Times deputy business editor