US FINANCIAL MARKET
- Coca-Cola says it’s replacing Sprite in the country with a version that uses the sweetener stevia and has 30% fewer calories.
- EU has fined Microsoft $733 million for breaking a pledge to offer personal computer users a choice of Internet browsers when they install the company’s flagship Windows operating system.
- Verizon seeks full control of industry’s leading carrier. Verizon is eager to take over Vodafone unit. Vodafone’s 45% stake in the venture, called Verizon Wireless, could fetch $115 billion.
- The central bank tomorrow will release preliminary results of its stress tests on the 18 largest U.S. lenders. As of September 30, 2012, 19 large bank holding companies participate in the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) and Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) stress tests.
- The six largest U.S. banks may return almost $41 billion to investors in the next 12 months, the most since 2007. Lenders including Citigroup and Bank of America will buy back $26.4 billion in shares.
- Staples’ fiscal fourth-quarter net income dropped 72%. Its adjusted results topped Wall Street’s view, but its forecast for this year was below analysts’ estimates.
- Wal-Mart de Mexico sales fell 1.9% in February. The company opened eight new stores and restaurants in Mexico and Central America in February.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- President Barack Obama will make a rare trip to Capitol Hill next week to meet with Senate Republicans as he grapples for new ways to break through Washington’s partisan logjam.
- New orders for manufactured goods dropped 2.0%. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast orders falling 2.2% after a previously reported 1.8% increase in December.
- Applications for home mortgages rebounded last week after three straight weeks of declines as interest rates tumbled. The refinance share of total mortgage activity was unchanged from the previous week at 77% of applications.
- Employers added 198,000 jobs in February, according ADP. Gains were spread fairly evenly across small (+77k), medium (+65k), and large (+57k) establishments.
- January’s private payrolls were revised up to an increase of 215,000 from the previously reported 192,000. The median forecast of 41 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an advance of 170,000.
- A Labor Department report this week may show private payrolls rose by 167,000 last month, according to the Bloomberg survey median.
EUROPE & WORLD
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer.
- People’s Bank of China reiterated Beijing’s commitment to currency reform on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China’s parliament.
TODAY in HISTORY
- The Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that slaves were not citizens (1857)
- Queen Elizabeth II launched the first royal website (1997)
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.