Archive for November, 2009

Scuffling customers close S. California Wal-Mart (AP)

Friday, November 27th, 2009 | Finance News

UPLAND, Calif. – Police say a Wal-Mart store in Southern California closed its doors for several hours before dawn after some Black Friday shoppers began fighting over bargain merchandise.

Lt. Jim Etchason says officers in Upland, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles, were called to the store at about 2:44 a.m. and helped herd customers into the parking lot.

The store began allowing groups of customers back inside shortly before 6 a.m.

Etchason says by that time, everybody was getting along.

He says there were no injuries and no arrests.

Wal-Mart changed its procedures for Black Friday crowd control after a guard was asphyxiated last year when crowds broke down the doors of a store in New York state.


Wall Street stocks drop on Dubai debt crisis (AFP)

Friday, November 27th, 2009 | Finance News

US stocks dropped in an abbreviated session Friday on concerns that Dubai's debt crisis could stall the global economic recovery from recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 154.48 points (1.48 percent) to 10,309.92 as Wall Street returned from Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday.

All 30 Dow components ended in the red after the blue-chip index closed Wednesday at its highest level since October 2008.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite slid 37.61 points (1.73 percent) to 2,138.44 and the broad-market Standard & Poor's 500 retreated 19.14 points (1.72 percent) to 1,091.49.

"Dubai's request late Wednesday to delay debt payments rattled markets around the world and raised concerns that defaults may stall a global recovery," said Scott Marcouiller of Wells Fargo Advisors.

The Dow pared sharp opening losses of more than 200 points as investors digested news that Dubai World, the city state's flagship conglomerate, is seeking a six-month moratorium on repayment of 59 billion dollars in debts.

US financial markets had been closed Thursday as Asian and European markets tumbled on Dubai's debt announcement late Wednesday.

"Dubai World, the de facto sovereign fund for the desert nation, has essentially defaulted on a large part of its debt," said Douglas McIntyre of 24/7

The announcement "is sparking concerns about the financial health of the emerging markets and the impact on developed nations' exposure to the debt of Dubai, which surged as the region has gone through a massive construction boom in the past few years," Charles Schwab & Co. analysts said in a client note.

The Dubai grenade rocked Asian markets for a second day, with Hong Kong slumping almost five percent by the close. European markets rebounded in late trade from sharp opening losses as investors worldwide weighed the ripple effect of a possible debt default.

The dollar struck a 14-year low against the yen but was broadly higher against other currencies amid a flight from risk.

Wall Street volumes were light as many traders were absent for the session that closed at 1:00 pm (1800 GMT). No economic reports were released.

The banking sector took a hit, with the S&P banking index losing 2.57 percent.

Citigroup slid 2.64 percent to 4.06 dollars. Citi is reportedly the US bank most exposed to the United Arab Emirates, a federation of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and five other city states.

Bank of America fell 3.01 percent to 15.47 dollars, JPMorgan Chase slid 1.97 percent to 41.33 dollars and Goldman Sachs tumbled 2.82 percent to 164.16 dollars.

Oil heavyweights sank as oil prices shed more than two percent in New York. ExxonMobil fell 2.09 percent to 74.87 dollars and Chevron dropped 1.85 percent to 78.17 dollars.

The Dubai debt debacle overshadowed the typical post-Thanksgiving focus on the retail sector on Black Friday, the discount extravaganza that kicks off the year-end holiday shopping season.

Macy's fell 3.36 percent to 16.97 dollars, Wal-Mart slipped 0.60 percent to 54.63 dollars and lost 1.71 percent at 131.74 dollars.

MGM Mirage sank 4.09 percent to 10.56 dollars. The casino giant is opening CityCenter, a multi-billion-dollar joint venture with Dubai World, in December on the Las Vegas Strip.

Bonds firmed. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond dropped to 3.211 percent from 3.279 percent Wednesday and that on the 30-year bond fell to 4.209 percent from 4.238 percent.

Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.


MGM Mirage, HSBC, Satyam, ING are big movers (AP)

Friday, November 27th, 2009 | Finance News

NEW YORK – The following stocks were among those that moved substantially or traded heavily Friday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market:


MGM Mirage, down 45 cents to $10.56 The casino operator's joint venture partner Dubai requested a debt payment delay. MGM said it wouldn't affect the Vegas development.

HSBC Holdings PLC, down $3.61 to $58.46 Goldman Sachs analysts said the London bank could face losses of $611 million if Dubai World defaults on its debt.

Halliburton Co., down $1.12 to $29.09 The tumbling price of crude amid jitters over a Dubai investment fund's debt crisis hurt shares of the oilfield services provider.

Satyam Computer Services Ltd., down 35 cents to $4.30 Earlier this week, Indian investigators said fraud at the software services firm was at least $1 billion more than initially thought.

Macy's Inc., down 59 cents to $16.97 Shares of the department store dropped amid a broader market slump on "Black Friday," the traditional open to the holiday shopping season.

ING Groep NV, down $2.44 to $9.84 The Dutch bank priced a 1.8 million rights issue, set to raise $11.2 billion, at a 37.3 percent discount to its stock price.

Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., down 93 cents to $11.84

The gold miner's shares fell as the price of the precious metal slipped following a 10-day climb.


Activision Blizzard Inc., up 2 cents to $11.58 The video game maker said it had sold more than $3 billion worth, or 55 million units, of its "Call of Duty" franchise.