Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Europe closes lower - Bad Credit Loans

NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Europe's major bourses closed lower Tuesday, lacking inspiration from a modest rate cut by the Bank of England and some stabilization in the U.S. markets.

London's FTSE 100 lost 50 points to close 1 percent lower at 4,848.70, having earlier fallen over 2.2 percent to 4,772.2 as banks and drugs pulled blue chips into the red. France's CAC 40 closed 1.13 percent lower at 3,970.18 after recovering from an earlier session low of 3,891.32.
In late trading, Frankfurt's electronically traded Xetra Dax lost 1.06 percent to 4,189.85.
Britain's leading shares fell Tuesday but bounced off session lows after Wall Street put the brakes on a slide and turned higher.
"Markets in Europe moved down after a turnaround in the U.S. markets. The good news was that the Bank of England cut interest rates at the same time other European bourses and the Bank of Japan joined in," said Khuram Chaudhry, equity strategist with Merrill Lynch in London.

Bad Credit Loans - UK cuts key interest rate

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LONDON (CNN) - The Bank of England has cut its key repurchase rate by one-quarter percentage point to 4.75 percent.

The move came Tuesday after the European Central Bank, U.S. Federal Reserve and other banks around the world reduced their rates in a bid to bolster the world economy following last week's terrorist attacks on the U.S.
Ryan Shea, of Bank One, told Reuters: "I'm pleased to see they've decided to move in line with everyone else.

"Twenty five basis points is a little bit disappointing and that could highlight the fact that they are still a little bit concerned about domestic growth with

consumer spending remaining so strong."

The BoE said it had called a special meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee to vote on the reduction after considering the reaction of financial markets and other central banks to the tragic events in the U.S.
The BoE said in a statement that falls in stock markets around the world, and the likely impact on confidence, suggested a weaker outlook for global activity than had appeared likely at the Committee's meeting earlier in September.

It is too early to make an informed judgment about the scale of the impact on the UK economy. But the direction of that impact and the associated risks are clear, the Committee said.

"The MPC's move clears up the uncertainty about the Bank of England's intentions and should be very much welcomed in that regard," Philip Shaw, of Investec, London, told Reuters.

"The accompanying statement clearly sets out the risk to activity and inflation... given the recent attacks on America. We may well see the committee bringing rates down by a further 25 basis points at its scheduled meeting in October," he added.

The Bank had previously trimmed rates four times this year in quarter-point steps to 5 percent as the global economic slowdown pushed companies to cut jobs in the UK and internationally.
But the situation in the U.S. has forced Britain, along with other countries, to act rapidly to stave off the threat of recession.

Bad Credit Loans: Sales plummet after attack

NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Retail sales fell 1.4 percent last week as stores closed and customers stayed home in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a report said Tuesday.

The decline represents the largest weekly drop in sales since the week of March 31.
Sales plummeted 50 to 55 percent immediately after the attacks last Tuesday as malls and stores closed in response to the tragedy, with customer traffic dropping about 65 percent. Consumers stayed at home to monitor news coverage of the attacks, according to the weekly chain store sales report from Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd. and UBS Warburg.
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However, customer traffic revived Wednesday and by the weekend, sales had returned to a more normal pace. But the effect of the attack combined with Hurricane Gabrielle, which slammed Florida during the week, hurt sales.

As a result, early-September sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, which began on a soft note, now are expected to increase 1.5 to 2 percent compared with previous expectations of a 3 percent increase, the report said.
The BTM/UBSW Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot is compiled from seven major discount, department and chain stores across the country that report their weekly results. They include J.C. Penney, Sears, Target, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Federated Department Stores Inc. and May Department Stores Co.
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The index measures sales growth with the year 1977 equaling 100.
Meanwhile, the weekly Redbook Retail Sales Average compiled by Instinet Research fell 3.2 percent for the week at discount, chain and department stores. That's considerably lower than the previous week's 0.7 percent loss and compared with a target of 0.0 percent, Redbook said.
On a year-to-year basis, the index fell 3.5 percent, compared with a 1.7 percent rise one week earlier.
The average is compiled from a sample of general merchandise retailers representing about 9,000 stores.

Bad Credit Loans - Best Buy tops estimates

NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Inc. reported higher fiscal second-quarter earnings Tuesday, a penny ahead of Wall Street expectations, on strong sales of high-margin items such as DVD players and other digital products.
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Second-quarter sales rose 31 percent to $4.2 billion from $3.2 billion. The company attributed much of the sales gain to the addition of 66 stores in the past 12 months as well as sales from the Musicland group.

The company also reported above-plan sales at Musicland, the troubled retail chain that Best Buy acquired earlier this year.
Best Buy said sales in the entertainment software and consumer electronics product categories increased faster than sales in the home office category, which is principally made up of lower-margin personal computers.
Selling and general administrative expenses increased to 19.2 percent of sales in the quarter compared with 16.8 percent in the year-earlier quarter, primarily reflecting the addition of Musicland, the company said.

Bad Credit Loans - Honeywell cuts target, jobs

NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Honeywell International Inc. warned it would miss third quarter and full-year earnings forecasts, and said it would cut more jobs than previously announced.

The diversified manufacturer, whose products include aircraft engines and parts, said that it expects to earn 43 to 45 cents a share, missing the current EPS forecast of 53 cents by analysts surveyed by earnings tracker First Call, as well as the 76 cents a share it earned a year earlier.
The company also said it is looking at full-year earnings of $2.00 to $2.10, below the $2.20 forecast and the $2.83 it earned in 2000.
The company said it is looking at an overall cut of more than 12,000 positions this year. The company had previously announced up to 8,200 job cuts.

Tom Crane, spokesman for the company, said about three-quarters of the jobs being eliminated have already been eliminated or the affected employees had been notified of the cut.

The company said that it does expect a drop in products used by commercial jets, but that segment only accounts for about 15 percent of its business overall.

Lawrence Bossidy, who returned as CEO of the company once known as Allied Signal after regulators blocked the purchase of Honeywell by General Electric Co., suggested anticipated military action could help its defense portion of the business and that it could also gain if private jet travel gets a boost from wealthy travelers concerned about commercial jets.

"We expect strong defense aftermarket revenues combined with some renewed interest in business jet travel to partially offset softness in commercial air transport markets," said Bossidy.? "These factors plus accelerated cost productivity gains are expected to help offset income lost from the commercial air transport business."