WALL STREET JOURNAL:
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal,Eduardo Castro-Wright, the CEO of Wal-Mart's (WMT) U.S. stores division, spoke about the discounter's current strategy: "Changes in merchandising, marketing and improved service in the stores…have vastly improved the shopping experience, and that will continue to drive sales after the economy rebounds…"…The Wall Street Journal also reported that executives at Liberty Media (LINTA) said they are open to discussing a deal to exchange its stake in Time Warner (TWX) for its AOL business. Executives also commented that they don't see a "favorable regulatory environment" for a merger between its DirecTV Group (DTV) and Dish (DISH)…FINANCIAL TIMES: The Financial Times reported that, in the fallout from the credit crunch, new research has shown that investors believe another big financial firm will collapse within the next six months…BLOOMBERG: Bernstein analyst Brad Hintz believes Lehman Brothers (LEH) may collect $7B by selling its asset management unit, Neuberger Berman, Bloomberg reported…
Asian Markets Wrap-Up for Tuesday, August 12
Asian stocks fell. The drop was spearheaded by commodity companies. JAPAN: Steel companies led a decline. The Nikkei 225 sank 0.95%, to 13,303.60. Steel companies fell after the government reported that steel imports from China surged 38% in July, compared with June. Steel company JFE Holdings (JFEEF) retreated 6.1%, Nippon Steel (NISTY) lost 4.6%, and Sumitomo Metal (SMMLF) also fell 4.6%. Japan Airlines (JALSF) gained 3.7%. Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (MSIGF) advanced 5.5%, after the company reported that its Q1 profits were significantly higher than expected. CHINA: Stocks declined, due to worries that the country's economic growth is slowing. The CSI 300 Index lost 0.52% to 2,444.16. Brokerage companies dropped on concerns that fewer shares are being traded on China's stock exchanges. Citic Securities sank 8%, while Haitong Securities tumbled 10%. A number of mining companies slid, after metal prices declined. Zhongjin Gold retreated 6.5%, and Jiangxi Copper fell 2.4%. Angang Steel (ANGGY) jumped 5%, after the company reported that its 1H08 profit surged 24%. AROUND ASIA: Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1%, while Taiwan's Taiex lost 0.43% and South Korea's KRX 100 inched down 0.04%.. India's industrial production growth increased to 5.4% in June, versus 4.1% in May.
New York may check every vehicle entering Manhattan-NY Times
New York City's police department is developing a plan to photograph and scan every vehicle entering Manhattan in an attempt to prevent a terrorist attack. Under the plan, the police would also use sensors to detect radioactive materials in the vehicles entering Manhattan. Some of the technologies behind the plan are still being perfected.
Banks are outsourcing more jobs to India-NY Times
U.S. banks are outsourcing high-level, data-intensive jobs to India. As a result, there are fewer jobs on Wall Street, while India is booming.
Citigroup: Bigger is not better-WSJ
Time to break up Citibank (C)? Its size has put it at the forefront of many of the financial crisis ills and some investors think it's time to make changes, according to the Wall Street Journal's "Comment from breakingviews" .That could mean separateing U.S. and global banking, wealth management and investment banking, as no one has been able to keep a handle on the sprawling corporation that is Citi.
U.S. equity futures continue to point to a lower open
U.S. equity futures are pointing to a slightly lower open on concerns over losses at some of the major banks. As previously reported, J.P. Morgan (JPM) and UBS (UBS) announced additional losses for the quarter and UBS said they do not expect to see any improvement this year. The losses are related to mortgage investments. Concerns are not limited to mortgage investments as Morgan Stanley (MS) announced they will repurchase $4.5B of auction-rate securities and New York's Attorney General is saying that move is too little too late and that the investigation into Morgan Stanley will continue.