Procter & Gamble Co.'s sales fell 3% to $20.4 billion. "We expect the environment will remain difficult and highly volatile - at least in the near term," the company said. Procter & Gamble expects earnings of 78 to 86 cents for its third quarter, compared to the Wall Street target of 85 cents a share.
Honeywell still expects to report 2009 earnings of $3.20 to $3.55 a share. Honeywell International Inc.forecast first-quarter earnings in the range of 50 cents to 60 cents a share, with sales falling 10% to 17% to a range of $7.4 billion to $8 billion. "Our expectation is for a much weaker first half for both earnings and cash while the second half will benefit from much easier comps," said Honeywell Chairman and Chief Executive Dave Cote on a post-earnings call.
Euro-area unemployment hit 8% in December, up from 7.9% in November and 7.2% in Dec. 2007, the Eurostat statistics agency said. Unemployment was last at those levels in late 2006.
Roche Holdings cut its offer for Genentech and took it directly to shareholders after the South San Francisco biotech refused previous buyout approaches from its majority owner. The Swiss firm is now offering $86.50 a share, down from $89, for the 44% of Genentech it doesn't previously own. The new all-cash bid is worth roughly $42.5 billion.
Honda reduced its profit outlook for the full fiscal year ending March 31 to 80 billion yen, which would mark an 87% drop from the previous year's results.
Japan's NEC Corp said on Friday it would cut its groupwide workforce by 20,000 people, and look for ways to exit its industrial liquid-crystal display-related business.
Nippon Steel, the world’s second-largest steelmaker, slashed its full-year profit forecast by a third on Thursday to reflect plunging demand from the hard-hit Japanese motor industry.
The steelmaker’s revised outlook implies a Y50bn operating loss in its fourth quarter to March and marks a reversal for the company after a run of record profits.
Charles Schwab Corp. said Thursday it will eliminate 500 to 600 jobs to prepare for a possible decline in revenue of as much as 20 percent in 2009, due to the continuing market downturn.
The Fed on Thursday said commercial banks averaged nearly $65 billion in daily borrowing over the week ending Wednesday. That was up from $61.6 billion in average daily borrowing logged over the week that ended Jan. 21.
Investment firms drew $32 billion over the past week.
Hitachi forecasts loss of $7.7 billion and will cut 7,000 jobs.
The U.S. economy contracted at a 3.8% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department estimated Friday. This is the largest contraction since the first quarter of 1982. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were expecting a negative 5.5% growth rate in the fourth quarter. The weakness in the fourth quarter was masked by a buildup in inventories, which adds to output even if they are unwanted. Real final sales for domestic product, which excludes inventories, decreased 5.1% in the fourth quarter. This is the biggest drop since 1980. Inflation moderated in the fourth quarter. The core consumer prices increased as a 0.6% rate in the quarter, and rose 2.2% for the year. Headline PCE declined at a record 5.5% in the fourth quarter. For all of 2008, the economy grew at a 1.3% rate, the weakest since 2001.
George Ure: "Port or Tacoma (Washington) container cargo was down 12.3% compared with December a year ago. TEU container load was down 8.5% YTD in December at Portland, Oregon. Inbound container traffic at Long Beach was down 16.2% while outbound was down 22.1%. Across the viaduct, Los Angeles was down 12.83% inbound while outbound was down a shad under 26% Port of Seattle was down 13.6% for the year while December crashed down 27.6%." That sounds a good deal worse than the GDP drop.
Gold for February delivery was last up $15.80, or 1.8%, at $920.90 an ounce. Crude oil for March delivery rose 69 cents, or 1.6%, to $42.12 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex.
U.S. employment costs rose at the slowest pace in at least 26 years in 2008, the Labor Department reported Friday, a sign that rising unemployment was keeping a lid on wages and benefits. Employment costs increased 0.5% in the final three months of the year, down from 0.7% in the third quarter. For the entire year, employment costs increased 2.6%, the lowest since the government began tracking the data in 1982. In the third quarter, wages and salaries for civilian workers increased 0.5%, the slowest in four years. Benefit costs increased 0.4%. For the entire year, wages and salaries for civilian workers increased 2.7% and benefit costs rose 2.2%.
Chevron Corp.said fourth-quarter net income edged up to $4.90 billion, or $2.44 a share, from $4.88 billion, or $2.32 a share in the year-ago period. The latest period included a $600 million gain on an asset exchange transaction as well as a $478 million boost from currency exchange.
Exxon Mobil Corp's fourth-quarter net income fell 33 percent as a steep drop in crude oil prices hurt results.Net profit in the quarter was $7.8 billion, or $1.55 per share, compared with $11.7 billion, or $2.13 per share, in the same period a year earlier.
According to AMG Data Services, including ETF activity, Equity funds report net cash outflows totaling -$334 million in the week ended 1/28/09 with Domestic funds reporting net inflows of $1.433 billion and Non-domestic funds reporting net outflows of -$1.768 billion;
Excluding ETF activity, Equity funds report net cash outflows totaling -$847 million with Domestic funds reporting net outflows of -$880 million and Non-domestic funds reporting net inflows totaling $34 million;
Exchange Traded (Equity) funds report net inflows of $512 million with the largest flows:
$2.107 Bil to the SPDR Tr Series I fund;
-$1.169 Bil from the iShares MSCI EAFE Index fund;
$774 Mil to the SPDR Gold Shr fund;
-$655 Mil from the iShares MSCI Emerg Mkt Index fund;
Excluding ETF activity International Equity funds report net inflows of $181 million as Emerging Markets funds report net inflows of $49 Mil;
Excluding ETF activity Taxable Bond funds report net inflows totaling $613 million.
Morgan Stanley is considering laying off up to 5 percent of its 47,000 employees, while Goldman Sachs is also contemplating further cuts in staff after letting go about 10 percent of its employees late last year, the paper said.
Treasuries are moving into a “full- blown” bear market as global stimulus packages increase demand for capital, according to Citigroup Inc.
“This may sound a bit ridiculous, but we think we have begun a full-blown bear market in fixed income,” wrote
Tom Fitzpatrick, Citigroup’s New York-based chief technical analyst, and London-based strategist Shyam Devani. “The commodity that is going to be the most in demand as far as the eye can see is capital. As a consequence, the cost of capital can only go one way -- up.”
Arch Coal: "It is extremely difficult to forecast 2009 with any precision at this time due to the current state of flux in the economy and in global steam and metallurgical coal markets."
In NYC there will be a reduction of 23,000 jobs through layoffs and attrition. That's more than 7 percent of the city's employees.
Sources say expect fewer cops, firefighters and sanitation workers.
Caterpillar Inc. will cut about 2,110 production jobs at three of its manufacturing facilities in Illinois. The layoffs are in addition to those announced by the company on Jan. 26. At the $30 level, the shares are trading near a 5-year low.
Paccar Inc.said Friday that fourth-quarter earnings fell to $113 million, or 31 cents a share, from $261 million, or 71 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.
Gannett said publishing revenue fell 19% to $1.4 billion, reflecting among other factors a 37% plunge in classified advertising sales.
Allstate Corp.said it would cut 1,000 jobs in its financial services unit over the next two years.
Shelters across the country report that more people are seeking emergency shelter and more are being turned away. In a report published in December, 330 school districts identified the same number or more homeless students in the first few months of the school year than they identified in the entire previous year. Meantime, demand is sharply up at soup kitchens, an indication of deepening hardship and potential homelessness.
“Everything we are seeing is indicating an increase,” says Laurel Weir, policy director at the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. “And homelessness tends to lag the economy. So we’re probably seeing the tip of the iceberg here.”
In the foreclosure crisis, the people being displaced from homes won’t likely be on the street immediately, explains Michael Stoops, director of National Coalition for the Homeless.
The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago said today its business barometer decreased to 33.3, lower than forecast, from 35.1 the prior month.
Brent crude is $47 a barrel versus WTI crude at $43.
Finance ministers from Japan, China, South Korea and 10 Southeast Asian nations plan an unscheduled meeting next month to forge a pact to pool $120 billion of foreign exchange reserves to help defend their currencies.
India, the world’s biggest consumer of sugar, permitted duty free imports of the sweetener for sale domestically to prevent an increase in prices as output slumps.
Abdalla el-Badri, OPEC secretary- general, said $70 to $90 a barrel is a “reasonable” oil price to support investment in new production.
Ford plans to access its entire $10.1-billion line of credit. Ford expects to receive that money Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Ford said it would continue to examine restructuring opportunities and that it wouldn't rule out additional job cuts.
The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its final index reading of confidence for January rose to 61.2 from December's 60.1.
At the $14+ level, Pfizer is trading at a 12-year low.
Freddie Mac, the second-largest provider of funding for U.S. home mortgages, on Friday said it would offer leases to borrowers who lose their homes under foreclosure.
Tenants of borrowers will also be offered leases, a feature of a new plan implemented this month by Fannie Mae, according to statements from the two government-controlled companies.
Both extended their suspensions of evictions of borrowers or renters due to foreclosure through Feb. 28.
James “Jes” Staley, head of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s investment unit, said the $4 trillion money-market fund industry is the “greatest systemic risk” to the financial system that hasn’t been adequately addressed.
“What keeps me up at night most of anything we do at JPMorgan Asset Management is the money-market fund space,” Staley said at a lunch discussion hosted today by Credit Suisse Group AG in Davos, Switzerland. “One of the things that has to come out and get a lot more attention and discussion is how do we take the systemic risk posed by money funds out of the system?”
JPMorgan Asset Management oversees about $500 billion of money-market funds, Staley said. The funds aren’t allowed to set aside capital to protect for investment losses, leaving no “margin for error” against a potential collapse, he said.
“If you’re running a money-fund and all of a sudden you think there may be a slight run or a problem in the credit markets you have to liquefy your portfolio as fast as you possibly can,” he said. “Your margin of error is zero because there’s no shock absorber or capital insurance protecting that.”
March crude ends up 24 cents, or 0.6%, at $41.68 a barrel. Gold for February delivery closed up $22.20, or 2.4%, at $927.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the loftiest closing level for a front-month contract since July. Natural gas dipped to $4.40 and is having a difficult time finding traction.
Last year China overtook Japan as the largest foreign holder of U.S. government debt and held $681.9 billion in U.S. Treasuries as of November.
Russia's economic growth would be close to zero in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Friday.
"Our economic growth will most likely be close to zero, and the situation to a great extent will depend on our own measures," Kudrin was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.
Russia's budgetary revenues in 2009 could decline from 10.9 trillion rubles (321 billion U.S. dollars) to 6.5 trillion (191.5 billion U.S. dollars) amid the financial meltdown, Kudrin said.
Igor Shuvalov, Russia's first deputy prime minister, said Friday in the State Duma that the country's economic situation will be "fairly harsh" in 2009.
U.S. bank regulators closed small banks in Utah, Florida and Maryland on Friday, bringing the total of U.S. bank failures this year to six.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 148 points, or 1.8%, at 8,000. For January, the blue-chip index fell 8.8%. The S&P 500 index fell 19 points, or 2.3%, to 825. For the month, the broad index fell 8.6%, its worst performance on record. The Nasdaq Composite lost 31 points, or 2%, to 1,476. The technology heavy index fell 6.4% during the month.
Sears Holdings , which operates Kmart and Sears department stores, laid off 300 corporate workers on Friday.
Dow Chemical shares are trading at $11+ and that's back to where they were in March 1986. Meanwhile, in October and November there was inside buying at twice the present price. One might take a look at this on a risk/reward basis.
Wal-Mart traded at a new 52-week low on Friday. Costco is about 1 1/2 points from the 52-week low. The best retailers are in the dog house.