US FINANCIAL MARKET
- Britain joins the United States and France in having lost its triple-A rating from at least one major agency, after holding a top-notch rating from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s since 1978, and from Fitch Ratings since 1994. Moody’s said weak prospects for British economic growth and cut the rating by one notch to Aa1 from Aaa.
- Lowe’s net income fell 11% from last year’s quarter and its earnings forecast for the year was below expectations but its revenue projection beat the current consensus. Lowe’s operates 1,754 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
- MasterCard said its MasterPass service, effectively an app, would let customers pay for their goods without approaching a cashier by instead scanning a bar code and creating a digital receipt on their phone or tablet that can be shown as they exit the store. MasterCard.
- HP is making a tablet computer that uses Google’s Android operating system, steering clear of Microsoft’s latest tablet-oriented version of Windows. The HP Slate 7 will have a 7-inch screen, making it similar in size to the Amazon Kindle Fire. It will cost $169.
- Samsung announced that the Galaxy Note 8.0 will have an 8-inch screen, putting it very close in size to the Apple’s tablet. Samsung will start selling the new tablet in the April to June period, at an as yet undetermined price.
- AT&T is announcing a tentative agreement on wages, pensions and other benefits for more than 20,000 of its unionized workers.
- GM has chosen AT&T to provide high-speed wireless service, dropping its long-term provider Verizon. OnStar – best known for connecting drivers to live operators who provide directions or summon emergency help after an accident – will start using AT&T in its 2015 models
- Apple signals emerging-market rethink with India push. The result: iPhone shipments to India between October and December nearly tripled to 250,000 units from 90,000 in the previous quarter. Samsung dominates Indian smartphone sales with a 40% share.
- Hertz reported a quarterly loss due to costs related to its acquisition of Dollar Thrifty, but adjusted profit beat analysts’ expectations and the car rental company forecast strong results for 2013 on higher pricing.
- Federal prosecutors investigating Johnson & Johnson’s marketing of DePuy hip implants recalled in 2010.
- Sweden’s IKEA halted sales of its trademark Swedish meatballs in 13 European countries after tests in the Czech Republic showed the product contained horsemeat.
- The average loan-to-deposit ratio for the top eight commercial banks fell to 84% in the fourth quarter from 87% a year earlier and 101% in 2007. Consumers and companies are reluctant to take on risk until they see more signs that business is improving, even as the Fed maintains near-record low interest rates.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- Economists expect 2013 will be another year of sub-par growth for the U.S. economy, reflecting uncertainty stemming from the budget battles in Washington and Europe’s on-going debt problems. In its latest survey of top forecasters, the NABE said it expected the economy to expand at an annual rate of 2% this year, slightly worse than last year’s lackluster 2.2% growth.
EUROPE & WORLD
- Nicos Anastasiades defeated opponent Stavros Malas by the biggest margin in 30 years to become Cyprus’s seventh president and begin the process of steering the country away from economic ruin.
- Growth in China manufacturing sector in February withdrew from the highest point in nearly two years despite a fourth consecutive month of expansion.
TODAY in HISTORY
- Elizabeth I, queen of England, was excommunicated by Pope Pius V (1570)
- Hiram Revels became the first black United States senator, taking over the term of Jefferson Davis (1870)
- J.P. Morgan formed U.S. Steel Corporation, the first billion-dollar corporation in the world (1901)
- Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) became world heavyweight boxing champion for the first time by knocking out Sonny Liston in Miami Beach (1964)
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.