Dec 6th

JC Penny Reveals SEC Probe into Finances

By Frank Galvano
JC Penny Reveals SEC Probe into Finances


Struggling Plano, Texas-based retailer JC Penney revealed Friday that it is currently under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is looking into its finances.  In a regulatory filing, the company said the SEC had contacted it in October, asking for documents related to Penney's liquidity, debt and equity financing, assets and a stock offering announced in September.  A spokesman for the retailer said that the company is cooperating fully with the investigation and has handed over the requested documents, though he declined to offer any further comment.  The SEC has not responded to requests for more details either.

Dec 6th

Consumer Sentiment Highest Since July

By Betty
Consumer Sentiment Highest Since July


The American economy is continuing to improve, at least in the eyes of the American people, according to a report on consumer attitudes, issued Friday by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan.  The group's initial reading on December consumer sentiment surged to 82.5 from a final reading of 75.1 for November.  The latest figure topped Wall Street's consensus estimate of 76, and is the highest consumer confidence reading since July.

Nov 19th

Home Depot Raises Guidance After Posting 6th Straight Earnings Beat

By Mike Goldman

Home Depot Raises Guidance After Posting 6th Straight Earnings Beat

 

The world's largest home improvement retailer raised its fiscal 2013 guidance for the third time this year on Tuesday after posting quarterly numbers that beat Wall Street predictions. Home Depot has benefited strongly from the housing recovery as rising home values have encouraged Americans to invest in their homes with improvements. The company enjoyed its sixth consecutive quarter with better-than-expected earnings, prompting an upward revision to expectations for the current fiscal year.

Nov 14th

Jobless Claims Drop for 5th Straight Week

By Dave Simmons

Jobless Claims Drop for 5th Straight Week

 

The US Labor Department reported Thursday that initial claims for jobless benefits fell by 2,000 last week, marking a fifth straight week in which claims declined. According to the report, 339,000 Americans filed for unemployment insurance in the week ended November 9th, down 2,000 from the week prior. Of course, economists in a recent Bloomberg survey were expecting a decline of 9,000, but a fifth straight dip in claims is a positive development nonetheless. Economists have been encouraged in recent months by strength in the job market as well as several other economic indicators that have been trending in the right direction.

Nov 5th

AOL Posts Solid Third Quarter Despite Writedowns Related to Patch Business

By Ronnie

AOL Posts Solid Third Quarter Despite Writedowns Related to Patch Business

 

AOL Inc issued its third quarter results Tuesday, posting a solid, 6 percent surge in revenue that CEO Tim Armstrong said underscores an emerging “mega-trend” within the online advertising space. The company benefited from an increase of over 13 percent in ad revenues, which helped offset a series of writedowns and restructuring costs related to its struggling Patch local news service, where earnings declined a staggering 90 percent since 2012's third quarter. Advertising sales, meanwhile, rose 13.5 percent year-over-year to $386 million, accounting for more than two-thirds of AOL's total third-quarter revenue of $561 million.

Nov 5th

SAC Capital Assessed Largest-Ever Insider Trading Fine

By Mike Goldman
SAC Capital Assessed Largest-Ever Insider Trading Fine
 
Hedge fund operator SAC Capital this week was assessed the largest fine ever levied for an insider trading case in the US, agreeing to pay a $1.8 billion penalty and shutter its investment advisory business.  The fine is the largest ever assessed in a US insider trading case, and will require government approval before proceeding.  Interestingly, SAC Capital will be required to plead guilty to all charges filed against it, marking a departure from most federal settlements with large firms.  The proposed settlement does not include limits on how SAC chief Stephen Cohen may manage his personal fortune, estimated at just under $9.5 billion by a recent Forbes Magazine article.
 
Oct 17th

American Airlines Posts Largest Adjusted Quarterly Profit Ever

By Mike Goldman
American Airlines Posts Largest Adjusted Quarterly Profit Ever
 
AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, issued its third-quarter results Thursday, posting a profit for the second quarter in a row.  The airline has had success in recent months with various cost-cutting moves even as it awaits the conclusion of a federal lawsuit threatening to block its merger with US Airways.   In the three months ended September 30th, AMR earned $289 million, an improvement of over $500 million over a net loss posted by the company in last year's third quarter.  The company noted that excluding costs associated with reorganization and other one-time items, its profit would have earned $530 million, the biggest adjusted quarterly earnings in the airline's 83-year history.
 
Oct 10th

JP Morgan Chase Looking to Sell Off Commodity Businesses

By Frank Galvano
JP Morgan Chase Looking to Sell Off Commodity Businesses

US banking titan JP Morgan Chase has begun shopping its stable of commodities businesses, according to a report published Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.  The entire unit, according to the story, produces annual revenue of about $750 million before taking out compensation costs, which the bank says run about half of incoming revenue.  The bank has made its intention to sell the businesses known to potential suitors, according to the report, and is expecting offers to begin rolling in before the end of the month.
Oct 10th

Jobless Claims Reach 6-Month High

By Dave Simmons
Jobless Claims Reach 6-Month High

The US Labor Department reported Thursday that US jobless claims reached a 6-month high last week, though the spike was largely due to a computer backlog in claims data that was processed in last week's total.  The partial government shutdown also had an impact, as the furlough of federal workers began to force state and municipal governments to send some of their workers home until the shutdown comes to an end.  If the impacts of the shutdown and the backlog of claims were taken out, a Labor spokesman said, claims would have dropped, and continued an overall recent trend of declining unemployment.
Oct 2nd

Boston Fed Pres.: "Too Early to Taper Bond Purchasing"

By Frank Galvano
Boston Fed Pres.:  "Too Early to Taper Bond Purchasing"
Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren answered questions on Wednesday about the Fed's decision to maintain its economic stimulus program.  Citing slowing growth and continued struggles in the labor market, Rosengren indicated that he believes the US economy will need support from accommodative monetary policy for years to come.  The central bank began boosting the economy in December 2008, at the height of the nation's worst economic downturn since the 1930s.  Its latest program involves the monthly purchase of $85 billion worth of Treasury bonds in an attempt to keep long term interest rates low.  The program works by keeping yields down on the Treasury bonds, including the 10-year note which has a direct impact on interest rates.  The goal of the program, known as quantitative easing, is to encourage economic growth by getting businesses to borrow money for capital investment and hiring.

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