Ex-bank worker barred from jobs with lenders
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has released an order prohibiting Mary Nancy Schultz, formerly an employee of Bank of Nevada, from working for a bank in the future.
The FDIC order, disclosed on Friday, said Schultz agreed to the order without admitting or denying any violations.
Schultz pleaded guilty to bank fraud and was ordered to serve five months in home confinement with electronic monitoring. U.S. District Judge Philip Pro in July ordered her to pay $331,000 in restitution.
Nokia unveils new touch-screen handset
Nokia Oyj, the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones, unveiled a new handset featuring a touch-screen and full physical keyboard to challenge Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry devices.
The N97 will begin shipping in the first half of 2009 at a retail price of about 550 euros ($692) before taxes and operator subsidies, the Espoo, Finland-based company said in a statement.
The N97 has 32 gigabytes of memory, which is expandable to 48 gigabytes, a 5-megapixel camera, DVD-quality video recording and a 3.5-inch screen that tilts.
Report of possible buyout boosts Yahoo
Yahoo Inc.’s stock rallied Tuesday on a report that AOL’s former chief executive believes he can raise enough money in a worsening recession to buy the struggling Internet company for as much as $30 billion.
The Wall Street Journal raised investor hopes with a story that said Jonathan Miller, who stepped down as AOL’s top executive two years ago, is trying to secure financing to make a bid for Yahoo at $20 to $22 per share, or $28 billion to $30 billion.
The story, posted on the Journal’s Web site, cited unnamed sources.
Branding the report a “rumor,” Yahoo spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler declined to comment. Miller didn’t respond to interview requests.
Yahoo shares rose 76 cents, or 7.08 percent, to close at $11.50 on the Nasdaq National Market.
GE foresees profits at low end of forecasts
General Electric Co. said Tuesday it expects fourth-quarter earnings to be near the low end of its guidance and will take a charge of up to $1.4 billion as it starts to shrink its struggling GE Capital finance arm next year because of the ongoing credit crisis.
The industrial, finance and media conglomerate said it expects 2009 to be difficult for GE Capital, which provides commercial and consumer loans and has been battered by the global economic downturn. GE laid out plans to reduce the finance unit’s exposure to the turbulent debt markets as it restructures next year.
GE Chief Financial Officer Keith Sherin said the company is also weighing job cuts in its financial and industrial divisions to cut costs, but didn’t give details.
GE now expects to earn between 50 cents and 52 cents per share in the fourth quarter, at the bottom of its previous guidance of 50 cents to 65 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predict earnings of 51 cents per share.
Store-closure costs hurt profits for Sears
Sears Holdings Corp. posted its biggest quarterly loss since financier Edward Lampert combined Sears and Kmart into one retail company, due mainly to hefty charges related to store closures and disappointing U.S. sales.
The company also withdrew its operating profit outlook because of the country’s economic woes. Its stock soared nearly 17 percent, however, amid broader market gains after the retailer announced it was closing more underperforming stores and hiring a trio of new executives.
Sears Holding, formed after Lampert acquired Kmart in 2003 and Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 2005, posted a loss of $1.16 per share for the three months ending Nov. 1. That compares with a profit of $4 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 8.3 percent, to $10.66 billion from $11.62 billion.
National gasoline prices fall to three-year low
Retail gasoline fell to a new three-year low Tuesday and in an unprecedented decline, crude oil costs $100 less per barrel than it did four months ago, with a U.S. recession cutting energy demand.
Auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express said average prices fell 0.8 cents overnight to $1.812, down 62.4 cents in the past month and $1.249 in the past year.
In Las Vegas, a gallon of regular self-serve unleaded gasoline averaged $1.940 on Tuesday, AAA said in its Daily Fuel Gauge report.
The price is down 27 percent from $2.657 a year ago and down 38.3 percent from $3.142 a year earlier, AAA said.
Treasury yields plunge as traders seek safety
Yields on U.S. government debt touched fresh lows again Tuesday as investors, worried about the economy and volatility in stocks, again sought safe investments.
The 10-year note rose 0.25 points to 109.1 3 and yielded 2.69 percent, down from 2.71 percent.
The 30-year bond rose 0.22 points to 124.91 and yielded 3.19 percent.