Daily Briefing

DAILY BRIEFING

July 25, 2009

Stocks edge mostly higher; Microsoft drags Nasdaq

NEW YORK - Major stock indicators climbed 11 percent in the past two weeks to their best levels since last fall as hopes for an economic recovery take hold. A series of strong earnings reports has many traders more optimistic about business conditions, while some are simply afraid to miss another rally. Over the past 10 days the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 947 points and broke through the 9,000 barrier for the first time since January. Investors who had been cautious after a powerful three-month rally fizzled last month are scrambling to keep up with the market's latest upward momentum. Disappointing results from Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. hit technology shares, however, and dragged the Nasdaq composite index lower. The Dow rose 23.95, or 0.3 percent, to 9,093.24 on Friday. For the week, the Dow is up 349.30, or 4.0 percent; the S&P is up 38.88, or 4.1 percent; and the Nasdaq is up 79.35, or 4.2 percent.

- Associated Press

Regulators shut 6 Ga. banks, 1 in New York state

WASHINGTON - Regulators have shut six banks in Georgia and a small bank in New York state, boosting to 64 the number of federally insured banks to fail this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of the banks: Six subsidiaries of Security Bank Corp., based in Macon, Ga., and Waterford Village Bank of Clarence, N.Y. The six Security banks had total assets of $2.8 billion and deposits of $2.4 billion as of March 31. State Bank and Trust Co., based in Pinehurst, Ga., has agreed to assume all of the deposits and $2.4 billion of the assets, the FDIC said Friday. Evans Bank, based in Angola, N.Y., will assume all of the assets and deposits of Waterford Village Bank.

- Associated Press

Treasury's Geithner defends financial oversight reform

WASHINGTON - Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said Friday that a new agency focused on protecting consumers is needed because the mission is too scattered among various regulators. The administration's plan to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency has bumped up against opposition from Republicans, industry and federal regulators. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has argued that the Fed is best suited for the role. Monitoring risk and protecting consumers are "closely related, and thus entail both informational advantages and resource savings," Bernanke said in prepared testimony.

-Associated Press

ATK Space Systems to lay off 450 engineers, others

OGDEN, Utah - The phase-out of the space shuttle for a new generation of space vehicles means hundreds of layoffs in Utah. ATK Space Systems, a business unit of Minneapolis-based Alliant Techsystems Inc., told employees in a memo Thursday that as many as 450 engineers and factory workers will lose jobs in October. The company also blames the layoffs on the expected end of production for the government's Minuteman III ballistic missile program. The jobs will be lost at ATK headquarters in Magna and at manufacturing operations at Clearfield and Promontory. It's the second round of layoffs this year. The company let about 300 Utah workers go in March. The company also is seeking more defense or NASA contract work that could bring back some workers.

- Associated Press

Microsoft to let users pick rival Web browsers

BRUSSELS - Microsoft Corp. will offer computer users a choice of rival Web browsers to ward off new European Union antitrust fines, EU regulators and Microsoft said Friday. Microsoft said its proposal, if accepted by the European Commission, would "fully address" antitrust worries over its browser and "would mark a big step forward in addressing a decade of legal issues." The EU has charged the company with monopoly abuse for tying the Internet Explorer browser to the Windows operating system installed on most of the world's desktop computers. It welcomed Microsoft's suggestions and said it will evaluate the proposal and seek input from other browser makers and computer companies before making a decision. If approved, the proposal could be legally binding for five years. On the browser case, Microsoft is suggesting that users of Windows XP, Vista or its latest release Windows 7 who have Internet Explorer set as the default browser would see a Web page prompting them to pick from five of the most popular browsers in Europe. Existing Windows users would get the choice from a software update.

- Associated Press

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.