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With our investment news briefs, Money Morning provides investors with a quick overview of the most important investing news stories from all around the world.
Verizon Lays Off 8,000 as Profit Sinks 21%; Bulls Run in Monday Markets; SEC Seeks to Limit "Naked Shorting;" New Single-Family Home Sales Rise in June; Oil Rises 1.4%; Deutsche Bank: Windows 7 Could Trigger New Enterprise Tech Investments; Video Game Industry Takes Hit From Recession
- Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) will lay off 8,000 full-time and contract workers following a 21% profit drop in its second quarter, The Wall Street Journal reported. All of the job cuts will come from Verizon's wireline business, which was hit by 630,000 residential phone subscribers canceling their service. This was offset by a rise in its fledgling fiber-optic television and Internet service called FiOS, which saw subscriber gains of 300,000 and 303,000, respectively. For the quarter ended June 30, Verizon posted a net income of $1.48 billion, or 52 cents a share on revenue of $26.86 billion. That compares to a net income of $1.88 billion, or 66 cents a share on revenue of $24.12 billion in the same quarter last year. The company's wireless division, which is the No. 1 carrier in the United States, saw its revenue increase 28% thanks to its acquisition of Alltel Corp.
- The bulls were out in force on Wall Street yesterday (Monday) after all three markets posted gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15.27 points, or 0.2% to close at 9108.51, the Standard & Poor's 500 climbed 2.92 points, or 0.3% to close at 982.18 and the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index increased 1.93, or 0.1% to 1967.89. "The bottom line is that there are signs of life, and the market doesn't want to go down. Buying late in the day and closing near the high of the day is more proof that the bulls are in control," Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research told TheStreet.com.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission made permanent a temporary rule that seeks to limit "naked shorting" by requiring broker dealers to promptly purchase or borrow securities that they would use to deliver on a short sale, MarketWatch.com reported. "Until the SEC actually toughens its rules so that abusive short selling can be stopped effectively with enforceable standards, I am concerned that the abuses that took place last year that hastened the demise of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns could happen again," said Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del. "Instead of proposing action today to deal with the problem, the SEC apparently is content to let potential solutions sit on the shelf for another two months," he added.
- New single-family home sales rose 11% in June over the previous month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 384,000, the Commerce Department said yesterday (Monday). Still, year-over-year sales were down 21.3%. The Midwest saw 43% growth in the category, the sharpest increase in the category. Sales in the west were also strong, up 23%.
- Crude oil for September delivery rose 94 cents yesterday (Monday) to $68.99 a barrel in after-hours trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), thanks to expectations that gains in Asian equity markets will spur fuel demand, Bloomberg News reported. The rise was also spurred by investors seeking commodities as a hedge against inflation, as the dollar traded near a seven-week low against the euro. "Investors see the equity markets as a good lead for what you can expect oil demand to be going forward," Ben Westmore, an energy and minerals economist at National Australia Bank Ltd. told Bloomberg. "At times when you've got high inflation expectations, investors tend to move toward real assets such as commodities."
- Thirty-four percent of corporate chief information officers plan on upgrading their companies to Microsoft Corp.'s (NYSE: MSFT) Windows 7, and 75% also plan on refreshing their hardware investments according to MarketWatch.com, citing a Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB) survey. The investment bank says the Oct. 22 release of its new operating system "could trigger significant new investment across the technology value chain."
- A strong value proposition can't stop the video game industry from suffering the wrath of the worst recession in more than 60 years. Software sales fell 29% from a year earlier, while console sales dropped 38%, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing data from market research firm The NPD Group Inc. The decline of the industry, which until the market's March lows was thought of as recession-proof, has ripped to retailers such as Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), which blamed its weak quarterly results from its media business on falling game sales.