US FINANCIAL MARKET
- DuPont’s fourth-quarter profit beat Wall Street expectations, mainly because of strong sales of food and plastics. However, demand fell most for DuPont’s titanium dioxide pigment, which is found in products ranging from car paint to sunscreen. DuPont said it expected to earn $3.85 to $4.05 per share in 2013, while Wall Street expects $3.84.
- Johnson & Johnson reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday, but took another big special charge for its recalled artificial hips and forecast 2013 earnings below Wall Street forecasts. The company forecast full-year 2013 earnings, excluding special items, of $5.35 to $5.45 per share. Analysts, on average, expected $5.49 per share.
- Verizon fourth-quarter loss widened, dragged down by restructuring, pension and Superstorm Sandy costs. The carrier lost $4.23 billion in fourth quarter. Operating revenue rose 6% to $30.05 billion. Verizon activated a record number of 2.1 million net new devices on contract-based plans, helped by the iPhone 5′s launch and by data plans rolled out over the summer.
- AT&T has reached a deal to buy the Alltel U.S. wireless operations for about $780 million to boost its spectrum in rural areas. Alltel has 585,000 subscribers. Its network covers about 4.6 million people in mainly rural areas across six states — Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. It generated revenue of about $350 million for the first nine months of 2012.
- Caterpillar uncovered “deliberate, multi-year, coordinated accounting misconduct” at a subsidiary of a Chinese company it acquired last summer, leading it to write off most of the value of the deal ($580 million) and wiping out more than half its expected earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012.
- Thousands of Coca-Cola employees in Germany are staging short-term warning strikes this week in a dispute over wages. Warning strikes typically last several hours and are a common tactic used by German unions. The NGG union is looking for a six% raise over the next year for Coca-Cola’s 10,600 employees in Germany. Coca-Cola has offered 2.5% this year and 2% next year.
- Time Warner Cable has struck a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers to broadcast the Major League Baseball team’s games.
- For $40, Southwest will let customers pay to jump into its “A” boarding group and get onto the aircraft ahead of others.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- Sales of U.S. existing homes rose 9.2% in 2012, to their highest level in five year.
- Republican leaders in the House of Representatives said they aim to pass on Wednesday a nearly four-month extension of the U.S. debt limit, to May 19. Deadlines include a March 1 launch of automatic spending cuts and a March 27 expiration of funding for government agencies and programs.
EUROPE & WORLD
- The Bank of Japan announced on Tuesday its most determined effort yet to end years of economic stagnation, saying it would switch to an open-ended commitment to buying assets next year and double its inflation target to 2%.
- Chinese steel demand is expected to rise by 3.1% in 2013, 0.6 percentage points higher than last year as the economy recovers.
- The global jobless queue will stretch to more than 200 million people this year, the International Labor Organization said. The U.N. jobs watchdog estimates unemployment will rise by 5.1 million this year.
- International investors are the most bullish on stocks in at least 3 1/2 years. 53% of respondents to the Bloomberg Global Poll also say equities will offer the highest return in the next year.
TODAY in HISTORY
- James Shields was the first Senator to serve three states: Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri (1879)
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was established by U.S. President Harry S Truman (1946)
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.