Bad reports drop stocks
NEW YORK - Wall Street retreated Monday on more signs of economic weakness and executive shake-ups at two major banks - reminders of the ongoing fallout from the credit crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 130 points.
Two key economic reports indicated that the economy is still struggling. As expected, the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for May showed its fourth straight monthly decline, while the Commerce Department said construction spending dipped in April for the sixth time in seven months due to a drop in home building.
The market drew no comfort from the ailing financial sector, either. As the financial system still contends with the aftermath of the nation's prolonged credit problems, Wachovia Corp. Chief Executive Ken Thompson was forced out Monday, and Washington Mutual Inc. is taking the chairman role away from chief executive Kerry Killinger. Thompson has become the third CEO of a major U.S. financial institution to lose the top job as a result of the credit crisis.
FedEx to drop Kinko's name
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - FedEx said Monday it plans to stop using the Kinko's name on its copy and office service stores and book an $891 million charge for the quarter that ended Saturday.
The charge relates to a decision about the use of the Kinko's name and a write-down of the value of its acquisition of the brand. The charge, which works out to $2.22 a share, was not part of FedEx's earnings forecast. The company reports its financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter June 18.
FedEx Corp. said it will change the name of its FedEx Kinko's stores to FedEx Office over the next several years.
CEO: Countrywide a good deal
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis says buying mortgage company Countrywide is still a good deal even though the housing market continues to falter.
Lewis has made his comments to investors in a conference call on Monday sponsored by Deutsche Bank.
The Charlotte-based bank is buying Countrywide Financial Corp. for about $4 billion. Experts say the deterioration of the mortgage market and Countrywide's loan portfolio could lead to costly write-downs and create a drag on Bank of America's earnings.
Real-time quotes online
NEW YORK - The average investor will no longer have to wait 15 or 20 minutes to find out what stocks are doing as multiple financial Web sites launch free real-time quote services.
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. on Monday began a six-month pilot program to provide real-time stock quotes for Nasdaq, New York Stock Exchange and American Exchange listings. CNBC, Google Inc., The Wall Street Journal Digital Network and Xignite are the four companies taking part in the pilot program.
Last Wednesday, Yahoo Inc. launched real-time quotes on its financial site for NYSE- and Nasdaq-listed companies as well.