All of Chrysler's factories have been closed since May 1.

By MSN Money Jun 16, 2009 4:31PM

GM @ CorbisGeneral Motors (GMGMQ, news, msgs) this morning said it reached a preliminary deal to sell its Saab unit to Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg.

 

The sale, expected to close by the end of the third quarter of this year, includes an expected $600 million funding commitment from the European Investment Bank guaranteed by the Swedish government, the companies said in a statement.

 

Saab was put up for sale by the now-bankrupt GM earlier this year as part of its effort to avoid bankruptcy. Saab sold fewer than 100,000 cars last year, making up only about 1% of GM's total sales in 2008.

 

GM recently announced a deal to sell its Hummer brand to a Chinese manufacturing company.

 

In related news, Chrysler, which is also in bankruptcy, said late Monday that it will restart one of its factories -- one that makes the Dodge Viper sports car. The plant employs 115 people.

 

All of Chrysler's factories have been closed since May 1, the day after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

Viper has been up for sale since last August. The car has a 600 horsepower V-10 engine and a price tag that starts at about $91,000.

 

Same-store sales drop at Best Buy, and investors slam the shares. La-Z-Boy's profit rebounds.

By Charley Blaine Jun 16, 2009 1:50PM

Updated 7:40 p.m. ET

 

Investors were not impressed by fiscal-first quarter results from electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY, news, msgs).

 

The company said today that its first-quarter profit fell to $153 million, or 36 cents per share, down from $179 million, or 43 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

 

Excluding charges, Best Buy posted earnings of 42 cents per share -- 8 cents higher than Street expectations.

 

That wasn't good enough for investors, who looked at declining same-store sales as a problem. Shares fell 7.3% to $35.84.

 

Stocks suffer their worst losses in at least a month as a rising dollar pushes metals and related stocks lower.

By Charley Blaine Jun 15, 2009 6:18PM

Charley BlaineSo much for the Dow Jones industrials' ($INDU) march into the black for 2009.

 

One trading day after the blue-chip index finally regained all of its losses from March, the market was sharply lower with the major indexes suffering their worst losses in at least a month.

 

But it did not appear that the sell-off was the start of something prolonged. The overall trend of the stock market right now is higher, and the forces that could send stocks sharply lower -- interest rates, commodity prices and the economic outlook -- were looking fairly benign today.

 

If anything, the sell-off came about because the market had moved up so far and so fast, a pullback was inevitable. The Dow had finished Friday up 34.4% from its March 9 bottom.

 

Pundits have been calling for a pullback for roughly two weeks.

 

International holdings of long-term U.S. financial assets rose at a slower pace in April, the government says.

By Charley Blaine Jun 15, 2009 6:02PM

In recent weeks, there's been lots of talk that the U.S. dollar is about to lose its position as the world's reserve currency -- the one currency that everyone depends on.

 

With the talk has been intimations that foreign governments are about to unload their assets denominated in dollars.

 

Is that true?

 

A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York offers a glimpse of how weak the economy is. One expert sees hope.

By Charley Blaine Jun 15, 2009 5:57PM

Adding pressure to the markets today was a disappointing report on the manufacturing sector in the New York region.

 

The Empire State manufacturing index fell to a reading of negative 9.4 in June from negative 4.6 in May. Economists had expected a reading of negative 3. Readings below zero indicate contraction in the sector.

 

The price at the pump tops $2.67 nationally. There are some fears prices could hit $3. The best place to fill up? Tucson.

By Charley Blaine Jun 15, 2009 5:52PM

Summer may not officially be here, but drivers are already feeling the pain of higher prices at the pump.

 

The price of gasoline rose an average of 17 cents per gallon over the past two weeks, according to the Lundberg Survey, with the price of regular gasoline averaging $2.67 a gallon on Monday.

 

Drivers in Tucson, Ariz., found the cheapest gas -- $2.41 a gallon -- while San Francisco drivers faced $2.99-a-gallon prices.

 

Officials from the top industrial nations see stimulus programs coming to an end. But one observer warns against moving too fast.

By Charley Blaine Jun 15, 2009 5:29PM

The global rescue plans that have been in effect to combat the recession may not be around much longer.

 

The Group of Eight "discussed the need to prepare appropriate strategies for unwinding the extraordinary policy measures taken to respond to the crisis once the recovery is assured," finance ministers said in a statement after a weekend meeting in Lecce, Italy.

 

But there were warnings that a premature halt to stimulus programs could actually prolong the global slump.

 

The Federal Reserve will be the dominant player in regulating financial institutions. Closer regulation is likely.

By Charley Blaine Jun 15, 2009 5:20PM
President Barack Obama plans to announce a massive reorganization of financial market regulations on Wednesday.

 

The new regulations would give the Federal Reserve the power to oversee financial institutions.

 

The rules would give the government the ability to unwind other big companies that are key players in the marketplace, published reports said today.

 

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