Countrywide Deal Closes; Expanding Manufacturing; Conduct Trouble at Moody's; Hong Kong Holiday; Construction Spending Down for 11th Straight Month; Constellation Toasts to Profit; AT&T Drops iPhone Contract; BP Employees Ridden Out of Russia
- Bank of America Corp. (BAC) announced yesterday (Tuesday) that it had completed its purchase of Countrywide Financial Corp. (CFC). The all-stock deal was initially announced in January. Bank of America expects to eliminate 7,500 jobs now that the acquisition is complete, MarketWatch reported.
- The Institute for Supply Management's index of manufacturing activity had a 0.6 gain to 50.2 in June, the first measurement since January that showed the manufacturing sector was expanding. "While it may be too soon to say that manufacturing has begun to start growing again, it is possible that a bottom is being reached," Joel Naroff, president and chief economist of Naroff Economic Advisors, said in a note to clients yesterday (Tuesday).
- Moody's Corp. (MCO) announced yesterday (Tuesday) that staff in its Moody's Investor Service unit, which assigns credit ratings to various types of investment vehicles, had breached certain rules in assigning ratings to European constant proportion debt obligations (CPDO), Bloomberg News reported. A computer glitch was initially responsible for assigning the highest rating to CPDO debt in May, however, certain staff did engage in "conduct contrary to Moody's code of professional conduct," the ratings company said.
- Hong Kong's stock, forex and debt markets were closed yesterday (Tuesday) to mark the anniversary of the July 1 handover of the territory to China from Britain, Reuters reported. Hong Kong's markets will reopen today (Wednesday).
- , the Commerce Department reported yesterday (Tuesday). It was the 11th decline in the past year, as a lack of demand in residential areas continued to offset relative strength elsewhere. Residential construction dropped 1.6% in May, the 25th decline out of the past 26 months, The Associated Press reported.
- Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) said yesterday (Tuesday) that , The Associated Press reported. The results beat Wall Street expectations, and its shares rose nearly 6%.
- Beginning July 11, iPhones will go on sale for $199 for the model with 8 gigabytes of storage and $299 for the 16-gigabyte version. These prices apply to customers signing up for a two-year AT&T contract. However, those who don't want to be locked into such a contract will be able to buy the iPhone for $599 or $699 as long as they sign up for some kind of AT&T wireless subscription, Reuters reported.
- The foreign staff of BP PLC's joint venture in Russia will be required to leave the country this month, some of them permanently, because their work permits were not renewed, the International Herald Tribune reported. BP is struggling to maintain control over TNK-BP, which is unraveling under pressure from its Russian partners and the Russian government, who are seeking to usurp complete control over the project.