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Energy Firms Urge End to Subsidies

Wall Street Journal Online - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 9:01am
The chief executives of 10 energy companies called for an end to European subsidies to wind and solar power, saying the mechanisms have led to whopping bills and could cause continentwide blackouts.
Categories: Financial News

Wells Fargo’s Profit Up 13 Percent; Revenue Slips

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 8:55am
Third-quarter profit for Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, jumped 13 percent as a decline in revenue from mortgage lending was offset by reduced expenses and fewer soured loans. THE RESULTS: Net income increased to $5.6 billion in the July-September period from $4.9 billion a year earlier. On a per-share basis, earnings were 99 cents, beating the 97 cents forecast by Wall Street. Third-quarter revenue dipped to $20.5 billion from $21.2 billion, coming in below the analysts’ forecast of $21.1 billion. The bank’s stock fell 87 cents, or 2 percent, to $40.58 in early trading. HOW IT HAPPENED: Interest rates on U.S. mortgages rose sharply in the spring and summer. That had a negative impact on Wells Fargo’s mortgage business. The San Francisco-based bank controls nearly a third of the U.S. mortgage market. Much of its lending business has been coming from mortgage refinancing, which was reduced by the spike in interest rates. Wells Fargo funded $80 billion worth of mortgages in the third quarter, down from $139 billion a year earlier. Fewer bad loans in an improving housing market cut Wells Fargo’s lending losses to $975 million from $2.4 billion in the third quarter of 2012. The bank reduced expenses to $12.1 billion, down $153 million from the second quarter. The savings were mainly due to reduced employee bonuses and legal costs. WHAT’S NEXT? The bank had said back in July that higher interest rates would impact its mortgage business. Now, Wells Fargo says it will be in a strong position with its variety of businesses to weather the economy’s move to higher interest rates. Strong revenue growth is coming from credit cards, personal credit management and retirement services, the bank says.  
Categories: Financial News

Gold Slumps to Three-Month Low

Wall Street Journal Online - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 8:36am
Gold futures extended losses, slumping to the lowest price in three months as investors shed the precious metal amid hopes for a debt deal in Washington.
Categories: Financial News

Nestlé Loses Nespresso Patent

Wall Street Journal Online - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 8:12am
A European regulator revoked a Nestlé patent covering its Nespresso coffee system, the latest blow to the Swiss food giant's efforts to protect its lucrative brand.
Categories: Financial News

JPMorgan Blames Third Quarter Loss On Legal Costs

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 7:53am
JPMorgan Chase reported a third quarter net loss of $380 million Friday, resulting in a net loss of 17 cents a share. “While we had strong underlying performance across business, unfortunately, the quarter was marred by large legal expense,” which added up to $9.2 billion, chief executive Jamie Dimon said in a statement. The bank is negotiating with the Justice Department regarding a mortgage practices investigation and also paid $1 billion in September to resolve investigations from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau into its credit cards business and a multi-billion dollar May trading loss. [New York Times]
Categories: Financial News

Stock Futures Rise on Stalemate Hopes

Wall Street Journal Online - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 7:28am
U.S. stock futures edged higher, adding to the previous session's sharp gains, as increasing hopes for a debt-ceiling deal and J.P. Morgan Chase results helped keep investors upbeat.
Categories: Financial News

Ways to Save: Educate your kids and get a deal

USA Today Money News Feed - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 6:35am
Get deals on reading, vocabulary and children's educational books and tools.
Categories: Financial News

Relief rally aside, don't take eyes off D.C.

USA Today Money News Feed - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 5:52am
Relief rally aside, all eyes on Wall Street remain focused on Washington, D.C.
Categories: Financial News

Tycoons to Buy Stake in Tele2 Russia

Wall Street Journal Online - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 5:50am
Russia's No. 2 lender VTB Bank has agreed to sell a 50% stake in wireless operator Tele2 Russia to a group of three Russian tycoons for over $1.8 billion, the deputy head of VTB's investment arm said Thursday.
Categories: Financial News

Tech stocks: eBay shares jump after retailer deal

USA Today Money News Feed - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 4:54am
EBay offering two-day shipping for select retailers.
Categories: Financial News

The Key to Fixing America’s Savings Crisis

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 4:45am
If we’re ever going to solve the retirement savings crisis in America, something must be done to beef up tax-advantaged savings plans at small employers. Companies with fewer than 500 people on their payroll employ 55 million workers—filling about half of all private-sector jobs, according to Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. Yet the savings plans at these companies rarely measure up to those offered by big employers. Small companies are less likely to offer a 401(k) or similar plan—just 79%, vs. 95% of large companies. Those that do offer a 401(k) plan tend to have fewer plan features, according to findings in the center’s 14th annual retirement survey. For example: Matching contributions This is a key feature in terms of attracting plan participation. Just 70% of small companies with a plan offer a company match while 86% of large employers offer one. Automatic enrollment Plans that automatically enroll eligible employees (while giving them the option to opt out) have been widely credited with boosting participation rates. Small companies are far less likely to have this feature as a part of their plan—just 19% vs. 43% of large companies. Hybrid funds “One decision” Target-date funds and strategic allocation funds have become popular options in the retirement plans that offer them. These funds give you professional management that is tailored to your retirement date and risk profile. Just 47% of small companies offer hybrid funds in their plans, vs. 79% of large company plans. The result is predictable. Workers at small companies generally have saved less for retirement. The median nest egg for boomers working at a small company is $92,000, vs. $113,000 for those at large companies, Transamerica found. Another gap is the relatively few part-time workers who are eligible for a 401(k)-type plan. At small companies, only 36% of part-time workers are offered a plan, vs. 68% of full-time workers. This gap exists at large companies too. “A key to expanding coverage among workers of all company sizes is encouraging existing plan sponsors to extend eligibility to their part-time workers,”
Categories: Financial News

Report: Fox exec may become next Hulu CEO

USA Today Money News Feed - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 4:24am
Announcement on new Hulu CEO reportedly expected soon.
Categories: Financial News

Royal Mail Shares Soar

Wall Street Journal Online - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 4:19am
Shares in U.K. postal service Royal Mail soared on their first day of trading, rising nearly 40% above the government's original offer price. The rise will likely fuel criticism the U.K. government undervalued the company.
Categories: Financial News

UK's Royal Mail soars on stock market debut

USA Today Money News Feed - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 4:07am
Jump bolsters criticism that the company was undervalued by the British government.
Categories: Financial News

Wells Fargo earnings per share jump 13%

USA Today Money News Feed - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 3:45am
Fewer bad loans helped boost profits at Wells Fargo last quarter.
Categories: Financial News

Report: U.S. to be top energy producer this year

USA Today Money News Feed - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 3:36am
U.S. to pass Russia, Saudi Arabia in energy production this year
Categories: Financial News

Estranged father mum on Amazon CEO

USA Today Money News Feed - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 3:18am
The Arizona man hasn't seen Jeff Bezos in more than four decades.
Categories: Financial News

U.S. Optimism Lifts Europe Stocks

Wall Street Journal Online - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 3:18am
European stocks extended their rally, boosted by further signs of progress toward resolving the U.S. political deadlock that has frayed investor nerves over the past two weeks.
Categories: Financial News

Global Finance Officials Watching U.S. Debt Talks

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 3:16am
(WASHINGTON) — The threat posed by the U.S. debt standoff is sure to be a prime topic of discussion when finance officials from major nations gather for their latest stock-taking of the global economy. Finance ministers and central bank officials from the Group of 20 nations are in Washington ahead of weekend meetings of the 188-nation International Monetary Fund and its sister lending organization, the World Bank. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will represent the United States at the discussions. Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen will also participate in some of the meetings over the weekend. The sessions will be something of a farewell appearance for Bernanke, who will be attending his last G-20 session, and a coming-out for Yellen, who was tapped this week by President Barack Obama to succeed Bernanke as head of the Fed. The G-20 session is scheduled to wrap up in early afternoon Friday with a news conference by Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. Russia is chairing the G-20 this year. The G-20 represents around 85 percent of the global economy. It includes established industrial nations such as the United States, Germany and France and rapidly growing emerging market economies such as China, Brazil and India. (MORE: Asian Markets Perk Up as U.S. Nears Possible Debt Deal) The finance officials are meeting at a time when growth in emerging market economies has cooled and some of them have struggled to contain the fall-out from worries over rising interest rates if the Federal Reserve begins trimming its bond purchases. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Thursday warned that a failure by the United States to increase its borrowing limit could do deep damage to both the American and global economies. Lagarde told reporters at a news conference that the U.S. needs to put its fiscal house in order, referring to the current budget deadlock in Congress that has forced a partial shutdown of the government and the impending deadline to raise the country’s $16.7 trillion borrowing limit. “Obviously, we know,
Categories: Financial News

Jury: Toyota Not Liable for Death of Calif. Woman

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Fri, 10/11/2013 - 3:15am
(LOS ANGELES) — A verdict clearing Toyota Motor Corp. in the death of a California woman whose 2006 Camry apparently accelerated despite her efforts to stop could bode well for the Japanese automaker as it faces similar cases. Jurors deliberated for about five days before reaching their decision and concluding the vehicle’s design didn’t contribute to the death of 66-year-old Noriko Uno, who was killed in August 2009 when she was struck by another motorist, sending her vehicle into a telephone pole and tree. The outcome of the so-called “bellwether” case could influence whether Toyota should be held responsible for sudden unintended acceleration as part of a larger group of lawsuits filed in state courts. Another case began in Oklahoma this week and there are more than 80 similar lawsuits filed in state courts. Uno’s family was seeking $20 million in damages, claiming that the crash could have been avoided if Toyota had installed a brake override system. The jury found the motorist, now 90 years old, who ran a stop sign and hit Uno should pay the family $10 million, plaintiffs’ attorney Garo Mardirossian said. Toyota blamed driver error for the crash. The company recalled millions of vehicles worldwide after drivers reported some Toyota vehicles were surging unexpectedly. It already has agreed to pay $1 billion in lawsuits filed in federal courts. “As an important bellwether in these consolidated state proceedings, we believe this verdict sets a significant benchmark by helping further confirm that Toyota vehicles are safe with or without brake override,” Toyota spokeswoman Carly Schaffner said. Mardirossian argued Toyota made safety an option instead of a standard by not installing a mechanism to override the accelerator. He added the automaker also failed to warn customers what to do if an accelerator became stuck. Toyota defended its vehicles, saying it had a state of the art braking system and argued an override component would not have prevented the crash. The company’s lawyers said Uno likely mistook the gas pedal for the brake. Toyota has blamed the driver, stuck
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