Alcoa Cuts 13% of Workforce; Best Buy to Sell Used iPhones; Jobs' Statement Earns Apple Upgrade; India Exports Slowing Dramatically; Europe Inflation at 2-Year Low; U.S. Still Innovation Leader; Belarus to Secure IMF Aid
- Alcoa Inc. (AA) said late yesterday (Tuesday) that it will cut 13% of its global workforce. The company will also sell four business units, cut output, freeze salaries and hiring efforts, MarketWatch reported. The measures will result in a fourth-quarter charge of $900 million to $950 million after tax, or $1.13 to $1.19 a share.
- Electronics retail Best Buy Co. (BBY) said it will sell used Apple Inc's (AAPL) iPhone 3G -returned 30 days of their purchase -at $149 for the 8-gigabyte version and $249 for the 16-gigabyte version, Reuters reported. Similarly, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) said last month it would begin selling the latest version of the iPhone.
- Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) stock got an upgrade from Oppenheimer & Co. after Steve Jobs made his health issues public and reassured customers and investors that he will remain at the company's chief executive. Oppenheimer & Co. upgraded Apple to "outperform," Reuters reported.
- As many as 10 million Indian exporters may lose their jobs by March, as the country faces a global slowdown caused by widespread recession. "The year 2009 is going to be the worst year in history. Exporters don't have orders beyond January," A. Sakthivel, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations, an industry lobby group, told Bloomberg.
- Europe's inflation rate hit a two-year low in December, falling to 1.6% from 2.1% in November. Slowing consumer demand and falling oil prices pushed down prices, Bloomberg reported. The European Central Bank may continue lowering interest rates to push inflation above its 2% target rate.
- Despite its current economic travails, the United States remains the world's most innovative economy, with unrivalled business sophistication and competitiveness, according to a new study by Paris-based business school INSEAD. The school's Global Innovation Index assessed institutions, policies, infrastructure, and business and market sophistication, as well as people's skills. It also factored in wealth, competitiveness and overall knowledge.
- Belarus is close to obtaining a $2.5 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) emergency loan to help it weather the global economic crisis, according to the Financial Times. The country would be the fifth former communist state to obtain IMF support in recent months, following Georgia, Hungary, Ukraine and Latvia.