The consulting company raises its full-year forecast.

By Elizabeth Strott Jun 26, 2009 8:10AM

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

 

Troubles at other companies meant business for consulting giant Accenture (ACN).

 

The company late Thursday said its fiscal-third-quarter profit came in at $444 million, or 68 cents per share, ahead of the consensus estimate of 65 cents per share. Still, the recession did take a toll: Accenture's results were down a little more than 5% from the $469 million it earned in the same period a year ago.

 

Total revenue fell 16% to $5.15 billion, partly due to a stronger dollar.

 

A new survey says 1.5 million people can no longer claim the title.

By Elizabeth Strott Jun 26, 2009 7:59AM

Rich © Goodshoot/JupiterimagesThere aren't as many millionaires in the world these days, thanks to the financial market meltdown that has plagued the global economy.

 

A new survey by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini said the number of high-net-worth individuals -- those with assets of $1 million or more -- plunged a record 19.5% in 2008 to 8.6 million. In 2007, there were 10.1 million millionaires out there.

 

Investors are bracing for income and spending data that are expected to show slight gains.

By TheStreet Staff Jun 26, 2009 7:50AM

By Elizabeth Trotta, TheStreet.com

 

Premarket futures suggest a lower open for stocks in New York ahead of the latest data on personal income and spending, and the University of Michigan’s final reading on consumer sentiment for June.

 

Futures for the S&P 500 were down 2.5 points at 914.1, and were 2.06 points below fair value. Futures on the Nasdaq were falling 4.25 points to 1468.75, and were 5.9 points below fair value.

 

The major indices put in their largest gains of the week on Thursday, offsetting steep losses from Monday and bringing them near neutral for the week. Ahead of Friday’s open, the Dow is down 0.8% and the S&P 500 is off by 0.1%, while the Nasdaq is up 0.1% for the week.

 

Treasury yields fall, and Bed Bath & Beyond boosts retailers. Oil tops $70. Fed chief Ben Bernanke denies pressuring Bank of America.

By Charley Blaine Jun 25, 2009 3:47PM

Charley BlaineUpdated at 7:40 p.m. ET

 

Stocks enjoyed their biggest rally since June 1 today as higher oil prices boosted energy shares and retailers caught a strong updraft from better-than-expected results from Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY).

 

Adding to the strength of the rally was a perception that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke more than held his own against critics of the government's moves last fall in the merger of Bank of America (BAC) and brokerage giant Merrill Lynch.

 

In addition, a successful auction of 7-year Treasury bills pushed interest rates lower.

 

The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) closed up 173 points, or 2.1%, to 8,472. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) jumped 37 points, or 2.1%, to 1,830, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) rose 19 points, or 2.1%, to 920.

 

Higher oil prices squeeze refiners; a rising dollar trips up producers.

By Charley Blaine Jun 25, 2009 3:17PM

Charley BlaineThe stock market rally that erupted in March ran out of gas this month. 

 

And energy stocks have been among the biggest casualties.

 

Market Dispatches tracks 28 energy stocks. All but three -- Diamond Offshore (DO), Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) -- are lower this month.

 

Exxon is up 0.6% this month; Chevron is up 0.3%. That's better than the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU), which is down 3.7% this month, or the Amex Oil Index ($XOI.X), down 7.2%, or the Philadelphia Oil Service Sector Index ($OSX), down 8.1%.     

 

The homebuilder says housing still faces challenges, but investors see signs of a bottom.

By Elizabeth Strott Jun 25, 2009 11:10AM

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

 

House for sell © MSN MoneyThe housing market has been in focus all week, with reports on existing-home sales and new-home sales.

 

This morning, homebuilder Lennar (LEN) reported a larger-than-expected loss, but investor bid the stock up sharply. Lennar closed up 17.5% to $9.19.

 

Reason: The company reported that second-quarter sales were better than sales in the first quarter. 

 

The Oracle of Omaha says the worst is yet to come.

By Andy Katkin Jun 25, 2009 10:04AM

Warren Buffett doesn't see the "green shoots" Ben Bernanke and other bullish investors have spoken of in recent months. In fact, the billionaire investor believes the economic picture will grow darker before things improve.

 

"Everything I see about the economy is that we have had no bounce," Buffett told CNBC anchor Becky Quick in a televised interview Wednesday. "There were a lot of excesses to be wrung out and that process is still under way, and it looks to me that it will be under way for quite awhile. In the annual report, I said that the economy would be in shambles this year and probably well beyond, and I think that is true."

 

Unemployment, said Buffett, will continue to drag the economy down. He told Bloomberg news that unemployment is "very likely to go above 10%." About 9.4% of the population -- about 14.5 million people -- was unemployed in May, the last month for which statistics are available. High unemployment will continue to depress consumer demand for everything from energy to cars and homes, Buffett said.

 

But a trade association says that could signal a bottom in travel slump.

By Elizabeth Strott Jun 25, 2009 8:52AM

Air travel deals  © Brand X / Jupiter ImagesFewer people flew in May, according to the International Air Transport Association. The IATA said air travel fell 9.3%, after a 3.1% drop in April, due to weaker demand.

 

But May's decline was an improvement from the 11.1% plunge seen in March, the group said, which indicates that the weak global air travel industry might just be starting to improve.

 

"We may have hit bottom, but we are a long way from recovery," IATA Chief Executive Giovanni Bisignani said in a statement. "The crisis is the worst we have even seen."

 

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