Posted: Jul 10, 2012 1:26 AM
Updated: Jul 10, 2012 1:26 AM
Stocks slide ahead of corporate earnings season
NEW YORK (AP) Stocks closed modestly lower in Monday trading as investors awaited corporate earnings and braced for the possibility of more downbeat news on global growth.
The Dow lost 36 points to close at 12,736. The S&P 500 index fell two points to 1,352. The Nasdaq dropped nearly six points to 2,932.
Investors were edgy ahead of corporate earnings season, which began as Alcoa reported results after last night's closing bell.
Jobs figures, EU finance ministers meeting on tap
WASHINGTON (AP) On today's economic calendar, the Labor Department releases figures on job opening for May.
In Brussels, finance ministers from the 27 European Union countries meet to discuss the region's debt crisis.
Asia stocks mixed after China trade growth shrinks
SINGAPORE (AP) Asian stocks are mixed after China reported trade growth slowed last month amid weakening global demand.
Stock markets in Asia were higher in early trading but lost momentum after China said the growth rate for its imports fell in June by half from the previous month's level to 6.3 percent while exports grew 11.3 percent, down from May's 15.3 percent.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent. South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.5 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.2 percent and China's Shanghai Composite shed 0.3 percent.
Oil drops to near $85 as China trade growth slows
SINGAPORE (AP) Oil prices are near $85 a barrel after weak Chinese trade figures suggested the economic slowdown in the world's second-largest crude consumer is deepening.
Benchmark oil for August delivery was down 98 cents at $85.01 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude rose $1.54 to settle at $85.99 on Monday in New York.
In London, Brent crude for August delivery was down $1.76 at $98.56 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
China's trade growth slows sharply in June
BEIJING (AP) Trade data shows China's trade growth decelerated sharply last month in a new sign of a deepening slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
The growth rate for imports fell by half from the previous month's level to 6.3 percent. Export growth also declined to 11.3 percent from May's 15.3 percent amid European and U.S. economic weakness.
China's economic growth has fallen to its lowest level since the 2008 global crisis. The country's premier warned last weekend it faces pressure to slow further despite interest rate cuts and other stimulus efforts.
Report: Some lose homes over as little as $400
WASHINGTON (AP) A consumer group says some people are losing their homes because they owe as little as $400 in back taxes.
The National Consumer Law Center says outdated state laws allow big banks and other investors to reap windfall profits by buying the houses for a pittance and reselling them.
The group says states should update laws so speculators can't profit from misinformed homeowners and people who have difficulty managing their finances.
The report says state governments should make it easier for homeowners to retake their homes after tax lien sales. It also calls on local governments to let people pay back taxes or fees on an installment plan, and to make sure homeowners understand their rights.
Euro finance ministers agree on bailout for Spain
BRUSSELS (AP) Euro area finance ministers have agreed on the terms of a bailout for Spain's troubled banks, saying that 30 billion euros can be ready by end of this month.
The finance ministers for the 17 countries that use the euro as their official currency will return to Brussels on July 20 to finalize the agreement, officials said early Tuesday morning
As part of the agreement with Spain, finance ministers from all 27 European Union countries are expected Tuesday to approve a one-year extension, until 2014, of Spain's deadline for achieving a budget deficit of 3 percent.
Alcoa posts loss, but tops forecasts on per share basis
UNDATED (AP) It's the first major corporate earnings report of the season, so Alcoa's results are always looked at closely for an indication how things will go in the coming weeks.
The aluminum manufacturing giant reported losing $2 million in the second-quarter as revenue dropped due to weaker prices and pockets of declining demand in the slowing global economy. Excluding one-time items, Alcoa earned 6 cents per share, topping forecasts by a penny.
The aluminum industry has faced challenges as some European countries slide into recession and growth slows in the U.S. and China.
Alcoa's performance reflects broader economic trends because aluminum is used in a wide range of products from automobiles to beverage cans. Alcoa shares were little changed in after-hours trading after rising slightly during the regular session.
Regulator: $220 million missing at Iowa brokerage
CHICAGO (AP) A regulatory group says it can't account for $220 million in customer funds at Iowa-based brokerage Peregrine Financial Group and has ordered the company's accounts frozen.
In a statement to clients, PFG explained the action being taken by the National Futures Association. It also said its founder and chairman, Russell Wasendorf Sr., attempted suicide earlier Monday.
PFG officials didn't return email and phone messages from The Associated Press.
The National Futures Association, which serves a self-regulatory role for the industry, says it has information that PFG may have falsified bank records and had about $5 million of $225 million it claimed.
Obama campaign wins partial victory in "O'' lawsuit
WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama's re-election campaign has won at least a partial victory against a website it said was selling counterfeit merchandise with the campaign's signature "O'' logo.
A judge in Washington has agreed to bar Washington-based Demstore.com from selling the T-shirts and buttons bearing the "O'' logo. But the judge wants more information from both sides on whether the website should also be barred from selling merchandise using the "O'' as part of the year 2012.
A lawyer for Demstore.com's owner argued the company shouldn't be barred from selling its goods, in part because of the campaign's delay in filing a lawsuit.
Surveillance requests to cellphone carriers surge
WASHINGTON (AP) A new report finds that law enforcement agencies in the U.S. made more than 1.3 million requests for customers' cellphone records last year.
It's an alarming surge over previous years, reflecting the increasingly gray area between privacy and technology.
Sprint says it received about 500,000 subpoenas in 2011. Requests are increasing annually at Verizon and T-Mobile. And AT&T has a dedicated team of more than 100 workers whose job it is to handle police requests.
Cellphone carriers say they usually require warrants to hand over information, but not in emergencies, such as when there's an immediate threat to someone's life.