In Brief


Wal-Mart cuts forecast for capital spending

Wal-Mart is reducing its capital spending forecast for fiscal 2009, as it slows construction of supercenters amid a weakening U.S economic environment.

The world’s largest retailer said Tuesday it expects to spend $13 billion to $14 billion during the fiscal year ending Jan. 31. Last October, the company said it expected to spend $13.5 billion to $15.2 billion.

Chief Financial Officer Tom Schoewe says the lower forecast “reflects Wal-Mart’s ability to grow more efficiently with reduced capital expenditures.” He says the Bentonville-based company plans moderating supercenter growth in the United States.


Goldman Sachs profit falls in second quarter

Goldman Sachs navigated yet another quarter of market turmoil and tight credit, with runaway prices of commodities such as oil and gold helping to drive profit.

The world’s biggest investment bank, parlayed skyrocketing prices in energy and other commodities into net income of more than $2 billion during the second quarter.

The company reported a profit of $2.05 billion, or $4.58 per share, for the three months ended May 30, compared with $2.29 billion, or $4.93 per share a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected earnings of $3.42 per share in the latest quarter.

Revenue fell 7 percent to $9.42 billion from $10.18 billion.


As traders consider supply, oil prices drop

Oil prices ended modestly lower Tuesday as investors mulled whether expected production increases would do enough to quench rising global demand.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery fell 60 cents to settle at $134.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Prices traded within a narrow range compared with recent sessions. With no major news to drive the markets higher or lower, traders eased up ahead of weekly U.S. inventory figures due out today.


Nevada agency aims to draw Californians

Wanted: 30-something and older professionals who are tired of their Bay Area commute and want a better quality of life with cheaper housing and access to outdoor recreation on the edge of the Sierra Nevada.

The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada and officials for 16 companies in the Reno-Lake Tahoe area are hitting the road for San Francisco next week on a recruiting trip aimed at bolstering a shrinking field of skilled workers in the Silver State.

The campaign starts June 26 at the Ferry Building in San Francisco with “Beers and Careers with Reno/Tahoe” from 6-9 p.m.


Kellogg will shrink boxes for some cereals

It’s a little less cereal for the same amount of money.

Kellogg Co. is using smaller packaging while charging the same prices for five of its cereals sold in the United States, effectively raising their prices for the second time this year. The company started shipping the new boxes to stores in early June.

Boxes were reduced by an average of 2.4 ounces for 14 items sold under the Apple Jacks, Cocoa Krispies, Corn Pops, Froot Loops and Honey Smacks brands, Kellogg spokeswoman Susanne Norwitz said.


New Firefox browser available for download

The new version of the Firefox Web browser became available as a free download Tuesday.

The release was delayed as visitors checking for the update overloaded Firefox’s Web servers.

The site was slow or unreachable for about two hours starting about 12:45 p.m. Eastern time, 15 minutes before the scheduled release time, according to AlertSite, an Internet performance monitoring company. Performance improved later in the day.

Firefox comes from Mozilla, an open-source community in which thousands of people, mostly volunteers, collectively develop free products.


Best Buy earnings dip 7 percent in quarter

Best Buy said its first-quarter profit dropped 7 percent, but what its executives didn’t say seemed to bother Wall Street more.

Officials at the nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer did not predict a larger-than-expected full-year profit or a turnaround in the economy. They did not forecast a big boost from the economic stimulus checks that went out just before the end of the quarter.

Net income dipped to $179 million, or 43 cents per share, in the quarter ended May 31, from $192 million, or 39 cents, a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected profit of 37 cents per share.

Revenue rose 13.4 percent to $8.99 billion from $7.93 billion.


Northwest Airlines plans to cut capacity

Northwest Airlines said on Tuesday it will cut its capacity later this year by 3 percent to 4 percent because of high fuel prices. The reductions were deeper than those announced in April, though they’re smaller than cuts announced by many other airlines.

The airline said it will try to shrink its staff through voluntary means, but layoffs are possible, too. Northwest said it has not yet finalized the number of positions it wants to eliminate.

Northwest Airlines Corp. said it expects to reduce its mainline flying by as much as 9.5 percent compared with a year ago.


After report, prices for Treasurys increase

Treasury prices rose modestly Tuesday after the government reported an increase in producer prices but also a decline in home construction.

The benchmark 10-year note rose 0.41 points to 97.22, and its yield fell to 4.22 percent from 4.27 percent late Monday. Yields move opposite from prices.

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