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FedEx Announces Profit, Cost Cuts; Report: Wal-Mart to Sell iPhones; GM Denies Chrysler Merger Talks; Discovery Applying for Bank Status; Initial Jobless Claims Down; Goldman Sells Sanyo Stake to Panasonic; IMF Sees 2009 U.S. Rebound; Carnival Cruises to 4Q Profit
- FedEx Corp. (FDX) mixed bad news with good in its latest quarterly report. After posting a profit for its second fiscal quarter, the package delivery giant also said it’s suspending pension contributions, freezing new hires, cutting its CEO’s pay by 20% in order to cut $800 million by the end of its fiscal 2010, Reuters reported.
- Wal-Mart Inc. (WMT) store representatives told Bloomberg that the world’s largest retailer would begin selling Apple Inc.’s (APPL) iPhones by the end of the year. The move is seen as positive for both companies, as it gives Wal-Mart a hot new item and Apple a gigantic new sales outlook.
- General Motors Corp. (GM) denied a report yesterday (Thursday) that the company reopened merger talks with Chrysler LLC. The report first appeared in The Wall Street Journal. "We have had no talks with them since we announced during our third-quarter earnings call that the talks had been suspended," GM spokesman Tony Cervone said, Reuters reported.
- Credit card firm Discovery Financial Services (DFS) added itself to the list of companies applying to become a bank holding company, thus making it eligible for federal TARP money. The company also reported a $432 million profit in its fiscal fourth-quarter, up from a $56 million loss the previous year, MarketWatch reported.
- The Labor Department said yesterday (Thursday) that the number of filings for initial jobless benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 554,000 from an upwardly revised figure of 575,000 the previous week. Still, claims remain near the highest level since 1982.
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) has agreed to share its 29% in Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. (OTC: SANYY) to Panasonic Corp. (ADR: PC) for at least $6.4 billion, Reuters reported. The purchase will make Panasonic Japan's No. 2 electronics manufacturer after Hitachi Ltd with $120 billion in annual sales. Goldman had previously rejected two other offers from Panasonic.
- The U.S. economy will begin to rebound late next year or early in 2010, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told Spanish newspaper Expansion. He based this view on the likelihood that the housing market will soon bottom and demand will follow the recent wave of fiscal stimuli. Though he added: "We recognize, however that the possibility of a recovery is plagued with uncertainty."
- Carnival Corp. (CCL), the world's largest cruise operator, reported a 4% rise in fourth-quarter earnings yesterday (Thursday), but lowered its 2009 outlook as consumers will likely cancel or delay vacations for the next year. The company’s quarterly revenue rose 6% to $3.3 billion.