US FINANCIAL MARKET
- Corning, the maker of glass for Apple iPhones, said it will probably take at least three years before companies start making flexible displays using its new Willow material. Companies are yet to come up with products that can take full advantage of Willow glass. Corning sent out samples of the flexible glass to makers of phones, tablets and TVs in June.
- Surging global sales of smartphones have helped boost earnings for 161-year-old Corning. Gorilla Glass, which was introduced in 2007, is used in more than 1 billion devices worldwide. Corning has sold the glass to 33 electronics makers, including Samsung and Sony, for use in more than 900 models.
- Google has been working on eyeglass-embedded computers and plans to introduce them in 2014. Apple has a team of about 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad.
- Barnes & Noble posted a surprise loss of $6.1 million in its fiscal third quarter. The company blamed the loss in part on charges stemming from weaker-than-expected sales of Nook e-readers.
- Caterpillar plans to cut 1,400 of the 3,400 jobs in Belgium, it blames high labor costs and sluggish growth.
- Wendy’s is standing by its outlook for the year as it pushes ahead with restaurant remodeling plans intended to boost its image.
- Sears posted a smaller loss in the fourth quarter as it reduced its inventory and expenses while sales at its namesake stores rose slightly. Revenue fell 2% to $12.26 billion.
- Limited Brands fourth-quarter net income rose 14% as sales grew.
- J.C. Penney widened its loss to $552 million. Total revenue dropped 28.4% to $3.88 billion.
- Groupon lost a quarter of its market value after the company revealed it began to take a smaller cut of revenue on daily deals during the holidays.
- Monster Beverage’s net income rose 5% in the fourth quarter as it expanded energy drink sales into new markets. In recent months the Corona, Calif., company has faced increased government scrutiny and the FDA has disclosed that it is investigating reports of five deaths and a non-fatal heart attack in people who consumed its highly caffeinated Monster Energy Drink.
- Boeing CEO explains 787 battery fix plan to Japanese airlines’ regulators.
- China’s cabinet may soon approve an aircraft engine development program that will require investment of at least $16 billion. China is determined to reduce its dependency on foreign companies like Boeing, EADS-owned Airbus, GE, and Rolls Royce for the country’s soaring demand for planes and engines.
- Japanese PM said that the government will issue a statement on the export of Japanese-made parts for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet, suggesting Japan will make an exception to its ban on arms exports.
- Australia’s conservative opposition, which is expected to win elections in September, said that it supported Lockheed Martin’s troubled F-35 to be the country’s next frontline warplane, despite problems and huge cost blowouts.
- Deutsche Telekom saw net profit recover to €793 million ($1.04 billion) in the fourth quarter as the telecoms group declared it was “on the offensive” with new investments in higher-speed networks. Despite the improved net profit global sales declined 1.4% to €14.71 billion.
- The U.S. Justice Department said that it has won a $1 billion tax shelter case against Dow Chemical.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- Business activity in the U.S. unexpectedly expanded in February at the fastest pace in almost a year, a sign the manufacturing industry is poised for growth. The MNI Chicago Report business barometer rose to 56.8. Numbers greater than 50 signal expansion. The median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 54.
- The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index climbed for a fourth straight week.
- Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by more than expected last week to 344k (vs. consensus 360k), a drop of 22k from last week’s upwardly revised figure of 366k. The 4-week moving average decreased to 355k.
- Continuing claims were also below expectations at 3,074k (vs. consensus 3,143k). The previous week’s continuing claims were revised up 17k to 3,165k.
- The U.S. economy barely grew in the fourth quarter although a slightly better performance in exports and fewer imports led the government to scratch an earlier estimate that showed an economic contraction. Q4 real GDP growth was revised to +0.1% (vs. consensus +0.5%), an increase from the initial estimate of -0.1%.
- Accounting for the upward revision, business investment in nonresidential structures rose +5.8% (vs. -1.1% initial estimate), residential structures investment improved to +17.5% (vs. +15.3% initial estimate) and net exports were revised up to -$388bn at an annual rate (vs. -$404bn initial estimate).
- In contrast, growth in personal consumption expenditures was revised down by one tenth to 2.1% (vs. consensus +2.3%). The government spending and business inventories components, which were large drags on Q4 growth according to the initial estimate, were revised down further. Real final sales growth was revised up to +1.7% (vs. +1.1% initial estimate). Taken together, the Q4 GDP revisions paint a slightly more positive picture of final demand than that seen in last month’s initial estimate, but less so than the consensus was expecting.
EUROPE & WORLD
- Germany’s unemployment rate held steady at 7.4% in February and that the job market remains “robust.” A total of 3.156 million people were registered as jobless.
- Japanese manufacturing showed signs of recovery in January, with industrial production up 1% from the month before but down 5.1% from a year earlier.
TODAY in HISTORY
- The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad became the first railroad incorporated for the commercial transportation of people and freight (1827)
- James Watson and Francis Crick described their theory that two DNA strands were coiled in a double helix (1953)
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.