US FINANCIAL MARKET
- Apple’s Cook met with China Mobile’s Chairman to discuss “matters of cooperation,” a China Mobile spokesman said. Apple has yet to strike a deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier by subscribers. China Mobile uses a different 3G network from the rest of the world and some experts say Apple might wait for the new network to be commercially viable before launching the iPhone with the carrier.
- KFC’s parent Yum Brands apologized to customers in China over its handling of a recent food scare that has hit the company’s sales in its biggest market. Yum has more than 5,100 restaurants in China and is the largest Western restaurant operator in China.
- McDonald’s believes recession-hit Italy will be one of its higher-growth areas in the coming decade and is opening more than 100 new restaurants to convert pizza-lovers to its burgers. McDonald’s plans to spend 350 million euros ($457 million) and hire a further 3,000 people by 2015 to boost its market share. McDonald’s has 450 stores in Italy.
- Tiffany & Co., the world’s second- largest luxury jewelry retailer, said full-year earnings will be at the low end of its forecast after holiday sales growth slowed in the Americas and Asia. The shares fell.
- China’s Lenovo Group, on track to become the world’s No.1 personal computer maker.
- Chrysler’s Jeep brand sold more than 700,000 vehicles worldwide for the first time in 2012, an increase of 19% from the previous year.
- Ford doubled its quarterly dividend to 10 cents per share, its highest in seven years.
- Three of the top U.S. cellphone carriers (Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile) signaled this week that they would support RIM’s BlackBerry 10 products.
- Boeing has “extreme confidence” in the 787 Dreamliner passenger jets, despite a series of mechanical incidents in recent days, the plane’s chief project engineer said.
- Pfizer, the world’s largest drugmaker, is weighing whether to ask U.S. regulators to expedite their review of a potential $5 billion-a-year treatment to slow a type of incurable breast cancer.
- BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, agreed to buy $17.6 billion of an exchange-traded funds unit from Credit Suisse to boost its presence in Switzerland.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 371,000, the Labor Department said. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, increased 6,750 to 365,750, still at a level consistent with steady job gains.
- The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid tumbled 127,000 to 3.11 million in the week ended December 29, the lowest level since July 2008.
- The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell in the seven days ended Jan. 6. Paychecks will shrink after Congress agreed last week to let the payroll tax that funds Social Security benefits revert to 6.2% from 4.2%
- U.S. retail sales rose 2.5% during the 2012 holiday season, according to ShopperTrak.
- The Commerce Department says wholesale business stockpiles rose 0.6% in November. Wholesale inventories grew to $498.9 billion.
- Obama plans to announce White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to be his next Treasury secretary to replace Timothy F. Geithner.
EUROPE & WORLD
- China’s export growth rebounded surprisingly sharply to a seven-month high in December, a strong finish to the year after seven straight quarters of slowdown. China’s exports grew 14.1% last month. For 2012, China likely ran a current account surplus worth 3% of GDP. China reports fourth quarter GDP numbers on January 18. Analysts are predicting economic growth of 7.7% for all of 2012.
- Brazilian officials say inflation hit 5.84% last year.
- Unemployment in Greece hits new high, reaching 26.8% in October.
- The Bank of England kept its key interest rate at a record-low level and maintained the amount of cash stimulus being pumped around Britain’s economy.
TODAY in HISTORY
- The first underground passenger railway, the Metropolitan, opened in London (1863)
- The first General Assembly of the United Nations convened in London (1946)
- The first African-American senator elected by popular vote, Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, took his seat (1967)
- The U.S. and the Vatican reestablished diplomatic relations after a 117-year break (1984)
- Time Inc. aquired Warner Communications for the tidy little sum of $14.1 billion (1990)
- North Korea announced that it was withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (2003)
Sources: Reuters, Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, Bloomberg, CNN Money.
This information has been prepared from sources believed to be reliable, but no representation is being made as to its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should be used only as general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The economic forecasts set forth in the material may not develop as predicted. All indices, such as the S & P 500, are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.