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U.S. Housing Starts Hit Two-Year Record on NY Technicality

By Jennifer Yousfi Managing Editor Housing starts made a sizeable 11.6% jump in June, the Commerce Department announced yesterday (Thursday). However the surprising surge was explained by a change in New York City code law, rather than a true turnaround in the troubled housing market. "This report is much weaker than it looks," Ian Shepherdson, […]

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Escalating Inflation at Home and Abroad Puts Pressure on Central Bankers

By Jennifer YousfiManaging Editor Inflation is spreading like wildfire around the globe, and while not every country is hurting as bad as Zimbabwe with its mind-boggling 2.2 million percent inflation, the United States and Europe are definitely still getting scorched by rising prices. U.S. consumer prices, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased […]

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Cleveland-Cliffs Taps Into Emerging Market Steel Demand with $10 Billion Buyout of Alpha Natural Resources

By Jason Simpkins Associate Editor Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (CLF), a top producer of iron ore pellets and supplier of metallurgical coal in North America, will buy Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR) in an effort to bolster its coal reserves and exploit the soaring demand for steel among emerging markets worldwide. Cleveland-Cliffs is paying $10 billion for […]

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Whitney Slashes Wachovia Rating on “Bleak” Shareholder Prospects Highlighting Ongoing Banking Crisis

By Jennifer YousfiManaging Editor Meredith Whitney, the Oppenheimer & Co. (OPY) analyst famous for her prescient financial sector calls during the ongoing banking crisis, has downgraded Wachovia Corp. (WB) to “underperform,” saying prospects are “bleak” for shareholders of the Charlotte-based commercial bank. Whitney slashed her rating on Wachovia to ‘underperform’ from perform in a research […]

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GM Announces Second Round of Cost Cuts in Six Weeks as U.S. Economy Continues to Slump

By Jennifer Yousfi Managing Editor General Motors Corp. (GM) yesterday (Tuesday) announced a series of cost-saving measures aimed at fighting waning domestic sales fueled by a weak U.S. economy and the soaring cost of fuel. “We are responding aggressively to the challenges of today's U.S. auto market,” GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner […]

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Intel Surprises Wall Street With Record Second Quarter, Strong Global Outlook for Remainder of Year

From Staff Reports Thanks to soaring worldwide demand for PC chips, Intel Corp. (INTC) late yesterday (Tuesday) reported a 25% jump in second-quarter profits and provided a forecast for sales that exceeded analyst estimates. Intel – the world’s biggest chipmaker – said it earned $1.6 billion, or 28 cents a share, up from profit of […]

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As Treasury's Paulson Prescribes Bailout for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Guru Jim Rogers Predicts an "Unmitigated Disaster"

By Jason SimpkinsAssociate Editor Standing on the steps of the U.S. Treasury building across the street from the White House, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson asked Congress for the power to prop up Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE), the two failing mortgage giants involved with nearly half of the $12 trillion U.S. mortgage market. […]

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InBev Finally Woos Anheuser-Busch with Higher Offer, Top Billing

By Jennifer YousfiManaging Editor In a move that surprised investors, Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc.'s (BUD) board voted to end more than 150 years as a family-controlled company, accepting a $70-per-share bid from Belgium's InBev NV in a deal that puts a $52 billion price tag on the iconic American brewer. The St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch – which […]

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Gazprom Keeps the Heat on Europe by Pressing Libya

By Jason Simpkins Associate Editor OAO Gazprom, Russia's state- sponsored gas monopoly, is offering to buy all of Libya's oil and gas exports in a bid to increase its dominance over Europe's gas market and enhance Russia's political clout throughout the region. Alexei Miller, Gazprom's chief executive, made the offer on July 9th at a […]

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Possible Weekend Bailout for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

By Jennifer YousfiManaging Editor Speculation that the U.S. government would have to step in to bail out struggling mortgage-giants Freddie Mac (FRE) and Fannie Mae (FNM) escalated as the markets set to close for the weekend. Shares recovered slightly after Reuters reported U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke granted Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae […]

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