Mid-East Violence Drives Crude Higher; IndyMac to be Sold by Year’s end; Retailers in for Tough Start to 2009; Six-month Treasury Rate Hits Record Low; Commercial Banks Report $6 Billion in 3Q Revenue
- Crude prices rose back above $40 a barrel yesterday (Monday), as Israel and Palestinian forces exchanged fire and casualties mounted in the region. Light, sweet crude for February delivery rose $2.31 cents to settle at $40.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
- A group of investment firms that includes J.C. Flowers & Co., Dune Capital Management, and Paulson & Co., is set to purchase IndyMac Bank, one of the nation's largest failed banks, from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) according to CNNMoney. Neither the FDIC nor any of the potential buyers have commented, but the agency has said it expects the deal to be announced by yearend.
- Retailers may close 73,000 stores in the first half of 2009, the International Council of Shopping Centers said yesterday (Monday). More than a dozen retailers, including Circuit City Stores Inc., Linens ‘n Things Inc., Sharper Image Corp. and Steve & Barry’s LLC, have already sought bankruptcy protection this year, Bloomberg News reported.
- The interest rate on six-month U.S. Treasury bills fell to its lowest level ever at this week’s government auction. The Treasury Department yesterday (Monday) said it auctioned $27 billion in six-month bills at a yield of 0.25%, down from a rate of 0.285% last week, and an all-time low. The department also auctioned $26 billion in three-month bills at a yield of 0.05%, a slight increase from last week's 0.04%.
- Commercial banks in the United States reported $6 billion in third-quarter revenue from trading foreign exchange, interest-rate and other derivative instruments, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said yesterday (Monday). That is significantly more than the $1.6 billion of trading revenue banks reported in the second quarter.