Today's Early Flood Of Good News/Bad News
There's a lot of earnings and economic news out already this morning, so The Ticker will tick down the two lists to give readers a handy-dandy handle on the day.
The Good News (such as it is):
- Drug king Merck reported a surprise fourth-quarter profit, beating estimates, despite a drop in sales. So that means profits came from cost-cutting, which always has a floor.
- UPS, the world's largest shipping carrier, swung to a fourth-quarter profit, but sales slid, leading the company to freeze management salaries and suspend employer contributions to 401(k). Hmm. Maybe this goes under the Bad News heading.
- Pending home sales jumped 6.3 percent in December, compared with November, according to the National Association of Realtors. But, of course, this good news is not unqualified: Buyers were scooping up houses being offered at fire-sale prices.
The Bad News:
- PNC Financial Services is cutting 5,800 jobs after swinging to a fourth-quarter loss while absorbing its purchase of National City Corp.
- Liz Claiborne, hammered like most retailers, surveyed its holiday damage and decided to cut 725 jobs, or about 8 percent of its workforce.
- Motorola reported a stunning $3.6 billion fourth-quarter loss, suspended its dividend and canned its chief financial officer, perhaps unsurprisingly.
- Dow Chemical lost $1.55 billion in the fourth quarter, the conclusion to a tough year that included a costly acquisition of competitor Rohm & Haas and the pullout by the Kuwaiti government of a $17.4 billion joint venture that would have given Dow about $7 billion.
February 3, 2009; 10:44 AM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: Dow, Liz Claiborne, Merck, Motorola, PNC, UPS, home sales
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Posted by: janwhite30 | February 3, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse
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