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Wells Fargo Jumps 32% on Dividend Hike; Crude Falls $10 in Two Days; Home Building Collapses; Gazprom Threatens to Take Belarus to Court; Gannett's 2nd Quarter Tumble; SK Telecom Eyes up Sprint?; Time Warner Travels to Seattle; Delta's $1 Billion Loss Turns to Gains
- Wells Fargo Co. (WFC) stock jumped 32% after the nation's fifth largest bank raised its dividend by 10%, from 31 cents a share to 34 cents. The company reported second-quarter profit fell 22% as more customers defaulted on loans, but the dividend hike was enough to answer any questions concerning the company's stability.
- Light, sweet crude for August delivery fell $4.14 to settle at $134.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday (Wednesday) after sinking as low as $132 earlier in the day. Over the past two days crude prices have dropped $10 a barrel.
- , the Associated Press reported. The index has been on a downward trajectory since May, as tighter lending standards, rising mortgage defaults and fear about the housing market's future have sidelined buyers.
- Russian energy giant OAO Gazprom , Thomson Financial reported. "If the Belarussian side continues to fail to honour its obligations to pay in full for Russian gas, Gazprom reserves the right to start court proceedings," Gazprom said in a statement.
- Shares of Gannett Co. Inc. (GCI), the largest U.S. newspaper publisher, tumbled yesterday (Wednesday) after the publisher announced a 36% decline in second-quarter profits from the same period the year prior, Bloomberg News reported. Shares shed 78 cents, a decline of 4.5%, to close at $16.57.
- Struggling Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) is an attractive takeover target for Korea-based SK Telecom Co. Ltd. (ADR: SKM). The two mobile carriers are a good technological fit and Sprint is hurting for cash, while SK Telecom is looking to expand its presence in the United States, BusinessWeek reported.
- Executives from Time Warner Inc.'s (TWX) AOL unit met with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) yesterday (Wednesday) to discuss a possible merger. Microsoft is seeking alternatives after Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) shunned its buyout bid. While the two firms have been in ongoing discussions for some time now, the chances of reaching a deal remain less than certain, MarketWatch reported.
- Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) stock jumped over 25% yesterday (Wednesday) despite announcing a $1 billion quarterly loss. The Atlanta-based carrier was profitable before special charges, Reuters reported, causing shares to gain $1.24 to close at $5.91.