Global Investing Roundups

Southwest Feels the Love; Minimum Wage Bump; Qualcomm and Nokia Accord; Fertilizer Firm Reaps Rewards; Unemployment Claims Mount; Ford's Worst Quarter in History; Dow Unable to Recoup Losses; Gaming Taking Off in Macau

  • The number of people filing claims for unemployment benefits soared over 400,000 last week as companies trimmed their work forces to cope with a slowing economy. The Labor Department reported yesterday (Thursday) that the number of new applications filed for these benefits rose by a seasonally adjusted 34,000 to 406,000 for the week ending July 19.

  • Ford Motor Co. (F) posted the worst quarterly performance in its history yesterday (Thursday), with a second-quarter loss of $8.67 billion. The net loss included $8.03 billion worth of write-offs because the sharp decline in U.S. truck and SUV sales has reduced the value of Ford's North American truck plants and Ford Motor Credit Co.'s lease portfolio.

  • The Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) said yesterday (Thursday) that despite record sales and two double-digit price increases, second-quarter profit fell 27%, due to higher costs for energy and raw materials. The world's second-largest chemical company said its net income for the three-month period ended June 30 was $762 million, or 81 cents per share, compared with $1.04 billion, or $1.07 per share, in the same period last year. Revenue rose 23% to a company record $16.38 billion, MarketWatch reported.