Global Investment News Briefs

JPMorgan Cuts 2,800 WaMu Jobs; GM Post $30-Billion Loss; Hong Kong Exports Sink; IGM Retains 2009 Outlook; Jobless Claims Spike; Oil Rises for Second Day in a Row

  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) will eliminate 2,800 jobs at Washington Mutual through attrition, Bloomberg reported. In December, the company slashed 9,200 jobs at WaMu, which it bought for $1.9 billion last year.
  • General Motors Corp. (GM) posted a loss of almost $31 billion in the fourth quarter, and said its auditors will likely doubt its viability. The company burned through $5 billion during the quarter, and warned that its pension plans were underfunded by $12.4 billion, Reuters reported.
  • Hong Kong’s January exports sunk 21.8% from a year earlier, the biggest decline in 50 years. “It’s not just Hong Kong, the financial crisis is dragging down the whole of Asia,” Wang Qian, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg. “The trade environment is going to get worse.”
  • Tech giant IBM (IBM) retained its full-year earnings outlook, saying that service contracts are grew in January. "Recognizing that it is still early in the quarter, the company expects double-digit growth in long term signings, and growth in total signings in first quarter 2009,” IBM said in a regulatory filing, Reuters reported.
  • The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment insurance spiked the week ended Feb. 21, as 667,000 Americans filed initial jobless claims, up 36,000 from a revised 631,000 the previous week, the Labor Department reported.
  • Oil prices jumped for a second straight day yesterday (Thursday) with light, sweet crude for April delivery jumping $2.72, or 6.4%, to settle at $45.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.