Global Investing Roundups

Oil Bounces Back; Hungary Gets $25 Billion in Aid; P&G Boosted by Emerging Markets; Qwest Cuts Workforce; Airline Merger Cleared for Takeoff; Domestic Airfares Soar to Record High; Consumer Crunch Hits Comcast; Biotech Firm Plunges

  • Oil prices rallied off a 17-month low yesterday (Wednesday), soaring $5.12, or 8.16% to settle at $67.85 a barrel. Earlier in the day, crude jumped 9% to a session high $68.91 a barrel. Part of the reason for the oil’s rebound was the Energy Information Administration's weekly report, which showed inventories rose 500,000 barrels last week, less than many analysts expected. Oil prices have fallen by 55% since peaking at $147 a barrel in mid-July.
  • Hungary yesterday (Wednesday) secured a $25 billion aid package from the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the World Bank, The Associated Press reported. According to the terms of the deal The IMF will provide a 17-month standby loan of $15.7 billion, the European Union will make $8.1 billion available, and World Bank will give $1.3 billion in an effort to keep Hungary's economy from collapsing under the weight of the global financial crisis.
  • Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) yesterday (Wednesday) announced a 9% increase in its fiscal first quarter sales. Net income rose to $3.3 billion, or $1.03 per share, up from $3.1 billion, or 92 cents a share, a year earlier, after double digit growth in emerging markets boosted total revenue to $22 billion.
  • Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q) yesterday (Wednesday) that it would cut 1,200 jobs or 3% of its work force after third-quarter revenue fell 2% to $3.38 billion. The cuts will come before the end of the year and leave the company with 33,500 employees. Qwest earned $151 million, or 9 cents per share, in the quarter, down 93% from $2.06 billion, or $1.08 per share, a year ago. Though, the 2007 results were bolstered by a $2.1 billion tax benefit.
  • Shares of Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) slumped almost 9% yesterday (Wednesday) as the company announced it lost 147,000 cable subscribers in the third quarter due to weak economic conditions, Reuters reported. Comcast shares lost $1.68 each to close at $15.28.