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Dow Jones News Top Stories Of The Day – January 25, 2007 January 25, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Economic News.
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STOCKS LOWER ON MIXED EARNINGS, DATA AND BOND SELLING

Stocks and bonds tumble, weighed down by mixed earnings results and a surprise decline in existing home sales, despite some bright spots in the tech sector, such as eBay and Nokia. A day after hitting a new record high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls about 126 points. Nasdaq Composite tumbles more than 1%.

FORD MOTOR 4Q LOSS WIDENS

Auto maker posts net loss of $5.8 billion, or $3.05 a share. Sales tumble 13% to $40.3 billion. Ford says operating results will likely deteriorate further this year as it continues losing U.S. market share and production is scaled back.

US EXISTING-HOME SALES FALL 0.8%

Sales edge down to a 6.22 million annual rate in December. Sales for all of 2006 drop 8.4% from 2005’s record to 6.48 million, third-best all time. Decline is the sharpest since 1989. Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims jump 36,000.

AT&T NET UP 17% AHEAD OF BELLSOUTH MERGER

Phone company earns $1.94 billion, or 50c a share, in 4Q, as revenue climbs 23% to $15.89 billion. AT&T, already reaping the benefits of its acquisition of BellSouth, boosts its forecast for merger cost savings. Shares edge higher.

NORTHROP, LOCKHEED REPORT BIG 4Q GAINS

Nation’s two largest defense contractors report strong earnings growth and forecast continued gains in 2007. Lockheed shares gain 1% as its income jumps 28%. Northrop slips 1% as earnings jump 37%.

BLACKSTONE UPS BID FOR EQUITY OFFICE

Equity Office agrees to an amended $22.3 billion takeover offer from Blackstone, boosting its original bid 11% and trumping a rival $21.5 billion offer from Vornado-led group. Shares gain 4%, topping latest offer price.

BRISTOL-MYERS SWINGS TO 4Q LOSS ON PLAVIX SALES

Firm posts loss of $134 million, or 7c a share, on $220 million charge and $353 million addition to a legal reserve. Revenue falls 16% to $4.21 billion as Plavix sales fall 53% to $496 million. Shares slip 2%.

CHEVRON, EXXON MAY BUILD $3B IRAQ PLANT

Iraq official says ‘one or the other’ U.S. oil major will get deal to build a new petrochemical facility, and he hopes a memorandum of understanding can be struck by July. Talks also are being held with other Western firms on industrial projects.

CARDINAL HEALTH TO SELL UNIT FOR $3.3B

Blackstone will buy Cardinal Health’s Pharmaceutical Technologies and Services segment. Meanwhile, chairman and four former officers and employees get Wells notices related to SEC accounting investigation. Shares rise 4%.

GM SPEEDING UP CUTS TO RENTAL COMPANIES

General Motors’ North American sales chief says auto maker will cut shipments to rental car operators by about 35,000 vehicles in January compared with last year, to boost residual value of its vehicles and focus on more-profitable retail sales.

BAXTER 4Q PROFIT SKYROCKETS 47%

Medical-products firm posts earnings from continuing operations of $433 million, or 66c a share. Net sales increase 11% to $2.76 billion. Analysts expected earnings of 61c on revenue of $2.72 billion. Shares gain 3%.

STRIKE TO GROUND BRITISH AIRWAYS FLIGHTS

Airline will cancel hundreds of flights next week due to a planned walkout by cabin crew in a dispute over sick leave and pay. Move follows breakdown of talks between the airline and the union. Shares lose 3%.

SPOKESWOMAN CHALLENGES LIBBY STORY

Cheney spokeswoman testifies she told her boss and Libby that Valerie Plame worked for CIA days before Libby said he learned it from a reporter. She notes Cheney’s personal eagerness to refute war criticism by Joseph Wilson.

LEAR 4Q LOSS WIDENS, SALES FALL

Auto-parts supplier posts loss of $645 million, or $8.90 a share, from $602.6 million a year ago. Excluding charges, income is $63.2 million. Sales fall 3% to $4.28 billion. Analysts expected loss of 19c a share. Shares jump 5%.

EUROPEAN SHARES END LOWER

European shares lose ground as gains from German industrial conglomerate Siemens and mobile-phone giant Nokia didn’t offset declines from auto companies and chemical firms. London finishes down 0.7%.

GM MULLS OPTIONS FOR TRANSMISSION OPS

Auto maker is mulling a possible sale of its Allison Transmission commercial and military operations, a move that comes as GM has been shoring up liquidity while it restructures its operations. Shares rise 1%.

LUKOIL PLANS TO DOUBLE CRUDE OUTPUT

Russia’s largest oil producer plans to double its crude production over the next nine years to 4 million barrels a day and increase gas production 10 times to 2.5 trillion cubic feet as part of an accelerated growth program.

TOYOTA NEAR DECISION ON NEW US PLANT

Auto maker is considering sites in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi for its eighth North American assembly plant. Decision could come in next few weeks, as Toyota tries to boost manufacturing capacity to meet own targets.

DOW JONES NET UP ON SALE OF NEWSPAPERS

Publisher earns $192.9 million, or $2.30 a share, on sale of local newspapers. Excluding gains, earnings rise to 47c a share. Revenue up 6% to $485.4 million. The Wall Street Journal’s December ad revenue rises 6.1%. Shares up over 3%.

TIME SELLS 18 MAGAZINES TO BONNIER

Bonnier will acquire the magazines for $225 million, according to source close to the deal. Time’s sale statement didn’t disclose financial terms. Separately, Time Warner says it added COO Jeffrey Bewkes and Ed Zander, CEO of Motorola to its board.

======= DOW JONES NEWSWIRES ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARIES =======

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CHARTING MONEY
Pounding A Point Home
The British pound moved up this week to $1.9920, which is a new high since September 1992, but also a high for the uptrend from the July 2001 low of $1.3880, says Stephen Cox.

============ U.S. MARKETS ACTION ===========
DJIA down 114.80 points to 12507.05
NASDAQ down 31.94 points to 2434.39
S&P 500 up 12.14 points to 1440.13
10-year T-note down 14/32 at 98 4/32 yield 4.810
NYMEX Spot Crude down $1.14 at $54.23/bbl at close
Dollar/Euro down 0.0032 at 1.2934

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