US FINANCIAL MARKET
- GE reported a better-than-expected 7.5% rise in fourth quarter profit and a sharp increase in its backlog of equipment orders such as jet engines and equipment used in oil and gas production. Revenue rose 3.6% to $39.33 billion from $37.97 billion a year earlier.
- Intel is girding for a third straight quarter of falling sales. Intel fourth-quarter profit is down 27% on slow PC sales, but beats Street estimates. Revenue fell 3% to $13.5 billion, matching analyst expectations.
- American Express fourth-quarter net income fell 47%, due to restructuring charges and other one-time expenses. But adjusted results beat Wall Street expectations. Revenue for 2012 grew 5% to $31.6 billion from about $30 billion and net income fell 9% to $4.48 billion. The company is cutting some 5,400 jobs, mostly from the company’s travel business.
- AT&T warned that it will take a $10 billion non-cash charge in its fourth-quarter related to its pension plan and benefits. The company also said that the quarter’s results would suffer from higher smartphone costs and damage from Superstorm Sandy. The company sold 10.2 million smartphones in the fourth quarter.
- Morgan Stanley’s earnings is more than doubled and the firm reached profit-margin targets six months ahead of schedule.
- Boeing plans to keep building its flagship jetliner while engineers try to solve battery problems that have grounded most of the 787 fleet. U.S. and Japanese aviation safety officials wrapped up their initial investigation of a badly damaged battery, saying further checks would be held in Tokyo and could take a week to complete.
- Japan’s transportation ministry said a fuel leak on a Japan Airlines-operated Boeing 787 jet last week was due to a malfunction in a driving mechanism that controls a valve. The British company that makes the valve for the jet was investigating the matter, the ministry said.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment dropped to 71.3, the lowest since December 2011, from 72.9 the prior month.
- The measure of current conditions, which reflects Americans’ perceptions of their financial situation and whether it is a good time to buy big-ticket items like cars, decreased to a six-month low of 84.8, from 87 in December.
EUROPE & WORLD
- China’s economy grew 7.9% in the fourth quarter. Full year growth was 7.8%, better than expected, yet the weakest since 1999. Real estate investment accounted for 13.8% of China’s GDP in 2012. Exports generate about a third of economic activity and sinking demand from foreign customers in struggling EU and US economies dragged on growth in 2012. Net exports made a negative 2.2% contribution.
TODAY in HISTORY
- The first polar bear was exhibited in America, in Boston (1733)
- Captain James Cook became the first European to visit the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) (1778)
- The First Fleet, carrying convicts and sheep, arrived in Australia’s Botany Bay (1788)
- The first, non-stop, ’round-the-world jet flight came to an end at Riverside, CA (1957)
- All 50 states joined in the observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday (1993)
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.