SEC charges former Countrywide CEO with fraud
The SEC charged today that former Countrywide Financial CEO Mozilo and two former officers hid the home lender’s deteriorating finances as the subprime mortgage crisis unfolded.
While publicly reassuring investors about the quality of his loans, Mozilo issued "dire" internal warnings and engaged in insider trading accelerating stock sales to reap about $140 million, the agency said.
Overall, department stores are expected to decline 8.6%.
Hopes for a consumer-driven economic recovery faded this morning, as many retailers posted declines in May sales.
Overall, sales at stores open at least one year are expected to fall 3.6% on average, according to a survey of 30 retailers by Thomson Reuters, an improvement from the average drop of 4.5% year to date, but far lower than the gain of 1.1% seen in May of 2008.
The Standard & Poor's Retail Index ($RLX.X) was down 1.2% to 335, as the majority of big-name stores posted weak May sales.
Stays the nation's biggest private-sector employer.
Wal-Mart may not report its sales anymore, but it is doing its part to help boost the economy.
Both stocks are up on the news.
Intel (INTC, news, msgs)said today that it will buy software maker Wind River Systems (WIND, news, msgs) for $884 million in an all-cash deal that will help the world's largest computer chip maker expand beyond the PC market.
Faces a $195 million breakup fee if deal fails.
Shares of British mining company Rio Tinto (RTP, news, msgs) fell 3.7% to $182.68 -- after falling as much as 9.8% during the day -- on reports that its $19.5 billion deal with Aluminum Corp. of China (Chinalco) won't go through.
Rio Tinto is reportedly considering plans to raise up to $15 billion in a stock sale instead of relying on the investment from the Chinese company.
Mixed bag of reports to digest.
Investors also have several economic reports to sort through today.
Weekly jobless claims fell by 4,000 to 621,000 last week, the Labor Department reported this morning. Economists expected claims to have risen to 630,000.
$10 billion in business up for grabs.
The airline sent a formal offer to the jet makers earlier this week, and the manufacturers have to make bids for the deal, which is expected to close by September.
The deal is estimated to be worth $10 billion, analysts say.
United will be replacing more than a third of its 400-jet fleet, despite the $579 million loss that its parent company, UAL, posted in the first quarter. United was down 3.2% to $5.12 this afternoon.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Equities ended on their lows with the S&P 500 down 1.4%.
The S&P entered today's session with a week-to-date gain of 1.5% as investors expected reassuring words from today's Federal Open Market Committee Statement.
Stocks traded with slim losses until this afternoon's FOMC Statement and subsequent comments from Chairman Bernanke sent equities and Treasuries to their lows while also providing a significant boost to the dollar.
Today's Statement was ... More
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