Posted tagged ‘Dow Jones’

Stock Market Takes a Beating…

May 6, 2010

At one point, the Dow Jones was down nearly 1,000 points today.

Luckily for investors, the market has gained back nearly 2/3 of what it at one time had lost today.

Pretty crazy!

From the New York Times:

The market decline on Thursday turned into a freefall, with major indexes tumbling more than 8 percent in afternoon trading. And the euro declined more than 2 percent.

In afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 8.8 percent, or 996 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was down 90 points or 7.73 percent, and the Nasdaq was down 175 points, or 7.2 percent.

Investors took in the latest reports in the United States on jobless filings, retail sales and productivity, and then turned their attention back to Europe and the concerns that Greece’s debt problems might spread.

From the Associated Press:

Stocks are plunging as investors give in to fears that Greece’s debt problems will spread and halt the global economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average is down more than 870 points and Treasury prices are soaring. Computer program selling is intensifying the selling.

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Wall Street Journal Closes Boston Office

October 29, 2009

The Wall Street Journal has announced that it will close its Boston bureau to save money and that the publication will shift its coverage of the mutual fund industry to its money and investing reporting team.

From Reuters:

“The economic background is painfully obvious to us all,” Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson told the paper’s employees in a memo. “That there has been truly great reporting… out of Boston over many, many years is not in doubt. But we remain in the midst of a profound downturn in advertising revenue and thus must think the unthinkable.”

News Corp, which owns the Journal, will keep sister news organizations Dow Jones Newswires and MarketWatch in Boston, the memo said. An investigative reporting operation for the Journal will remain too, Thomson said.

Nine bureau reporters at the Journal would have to apply for other jobs, the memo said.

A Journal spokesman declined to say how much money the closure will save. There are no plans to close other U.S. or international bureaus, Thomson wrote.

Government Optimistic on State of Economy

August 13, 2009

The Federal Reserve said yesterday that it appears that the economy in the US has halted the longest period of decline since the Great Depression, although it has cautioned that economic activity is likely to remain weak in the near term.

From CNN:

The central bank left its key overnight interest rate at a 0% to 0.25% range, as expected. Its statement at the conclusion of its two-day meeting said “economic activity is leveling out.”

That is the Fed’s most bullish assessment of the economy in more than a year, and suggests that a recovery may have started.

It said it still expects “inflation will remain subdued for some time” and said that it expects rates to remain near zero percent “for an extended period.”

The Fed cut interest rates to the record low range at its December meeting in an effort to spur the struggling U.S. economy at that time.

It also pumped about $1 trillion of cash into the economy during the last year through a number of extraordinary programs, including the purchase of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities, as well as new programs to get banks and other lenders to extend credit to consumers.

General Motors to Cut Jobs, Discontinue Pontiac Brand

April 27, 2009

General Motors has announced this morning that it will cut 21,000 U.S. factory jobs by next year and phase out its storied Pontiac brand.

The company will also ask the government to take more than half its stock in exchange for half of GM’s government debt as part of a major restructuring plan.

From the Associated Press:

The struggling automaker said it will offer 225 shares of common stock for every $1,000 in notes held by bondholders as part of a debt-for-equity swap that aims to retire most of GM’s $27 billion in unsecured debt.

The announcements came in a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

GM is living on $15.4 billion in government loans and faces a June 1 deadline to restructure and get more government money. If the restructuring doesn’t satisfy the government, the company could go into bankruptcy protection.

GM said in a news release that it will ask the government to take 50 percent of its common stock in exchange for canceling half the government loans to the company as of June 1.

In addition, GM is offering the United Auto Workers stock for at least 50 percent of the $20 billion the company must pay into a union run trust that will take over retiree health care expenses starting next year.

Police Find Freddie Mac CFO Dead

April 22, 2009

David Kellermann, the acting chief financial officer of money-losing mortgage giant Freddie Mac was found dead at his home this morning in an apparent suicide.

From the Associated Press:

Mary Ann Jennings, director of public information for the Fairfax County, Va., Police Department, said Kellermann was found dead in his suburban Virginia home. The police would not say if a suicide note was found.

Kellermann, 41, lived in Hunter Mill Estates, a well-off neighborhood of large single-family homes with manicured lawns. County records show Kellermann’s home is worth about $900,000.

He worked for Freddie Mac for the past 16 years and was named acting chief financial officer last September when the government seized control of the company to keep it from failing. Freddie Mac lost more than $50 billion last year, and the government has pumped in $45 billion to keep the company afloat.

Freddie Mac, which owns or guarantees about 13 million mortgages, has been criticized for financing risky mortgage loans that fueled the real estate bubble.

News of Kellermann’s death came as a shock to employees of the McLean, Va.-based company, with those who knew Kellermann tearing up on Wednesday morning and a quiet mood prevailing.

Early Wednesday, Sharon McHale, a Freddie Mac spokeswoman, said senior executives at the company heard the news on local radio before going to work. “It’s just so awful,” she said.

Chicago Sun-Times Files For Chapter 11

March 31, 2009

The Sun-Times Media Group, which publishes the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, said this morning that it had filed for bankruptcy protection.

From Dow Jones:

Sun-Times Media Group Inc. (SUTM) has filed for bankruptcy protection, the latest casualty of an extended advertising slump that is reshaping the newspaper industry.

It joins other media companies such as Tribune Co. (TRBCQ), the Chicago-based publisher of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, which filed under Chapter 11 late last year after it was unable to cover interest on bank debt it picked up as part of Sam Zell’s takeover of the company.

The newspaper industry has seen bankruptcy filings, asset sales, layoffs and other cost-cutting moves this year as the economic downturn worsened already-declining ad sales. The ad slump has deepened since late last year, spreading to television broadcasters and Internet media sites.

Sun-Times Media operates 59 newspapers and related Web sites, including the Chicago Sun-Times.

Jon Stewart Wins Showdown With Jim Cramer

March 13, 2009

Great television last night on Comedy Central!

Comedian Jon Stewart and financial commentator Jim Cramer squared off over the CNBC  network’s reporting of Wall Street ahead of the market meltdown. It was amazing to sit and watch as Cramer, who usually has plenty to say, just sat there and took it. I read somewhere that he was like a kid trying to behave in class so that the teacher would pass them.

I love this analysis of CNN before the showdown last night:

From Reuters:

In recent days on his mock news program “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” the funnyman has taken Cramer, host of CNBC’s “Mad Money,” to task by saying he and CNBC reporters befriended Wall Street executives and former government officials instead of questioning them as journalists should.

Cramer, who offers advice and stock market tips on his CNBC show, has fought back, saying Stewart chose only examples of bad advice Cramer had given.

“I think everyone could come in under criticism. We all should have seen it before,” Cramer said. “Everybody got it wrong. I got a lot of things wrong.”

Average people trusted financial advisors who told them to pour money into market-oriented accounts for the long term, Stewart said, and those people lost their money when Wall Street used those savings to generate short-term profits.

Stewart said financial reporters like Cramer and others on CNBC should have taken the time to uncover financial shenanigans and not have been so quick to trust business executives and government officials.

“The financial news industry is not just guilty of a sin of omission but a sin of commission,” Stewart said.

With financial markets headed upward almost daily in recent years, Cramer said it was hard to believe the march skyward would not continue. “The market was going up for a long time and our real sin, I think, was to think it could continue to go up a lot,” Cramer said.

In the end, the two agreed the financial press corps should refocus on asking hard questions of top executives.

“Maybe we can … start getting back to fundamentals on the reporting, and I can go back to making fart noises and funny faces,” Stewart said.

“I think we can make a deal right here,” Cramer said, and the two shook hands.