United Parcel Service cut its 2013 earnings forecast, saying a slowing U.S. economy hurt second-quarter profit and revenue. Its shares fell sharply.
San Francisco-based Wells Fargo reported earnings that were 19 percent better than a year ago. Revenue increased to $21.4 billion, and expenses were reduced, the bank reported.
The International Monetary Fund revised downward its forecasts for global economic growth, in an update of its World Economic Outlook. The IMF expects the world economy to grow 3.1 percent this year, 0.2 percentage points less than it had predicted in April. It envisions slower growth than originally forecast in the United States, Europe and China.
New minutes of the last Federal Reserve policy meeting showed that there were major divisions on the Federal Open Market Committee over the course of monetary policy in the years ahead.
Standard & Poor’s lowered Italy’s credit rating, saying the country’s economic prospects are getting weaker. The nation was assigned a BBB rating, down from BBB+.
The Bank of Japan showed hints of optimism that its policies of aggressive monetary intervention are boosting economic growth in the nation. “Japan’s economy is starting to recover moderately,” the bank said in a statement released after a two-day policy meeting.
The Securities and Exchange Commission voted to allow hedge funds and other private firms to raise money by advertising to the public for the first time in decades, a dramatic loosening of the rules governing the investing landscape.
A bipartisan group of senators including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) proposed legislation that would separate commercial and investment banking activity, returning some key aspects of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act that were reversed in the 1990s. “Despite the progress we’ve made since 2008,” the biggest banks continue to threaten the economy,” Warren said Thursday.
House Republicans on Thursday released details of legislation that would shutter mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and nearly eliminate the government’s role in backing the nation’s mortgage market. The bill goes further than a bipartisan bill in the Senate that would preserve a federal role in housing finance.
Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth A. Duke said she will step down on or around Aug. 31. Duke, a former banker who has focused on bank regulation for the Fed, has been a governor since 2008.
Royal Dutch Shell unexpectedly named refining boss Ben van Beurden to succeed chief executive Peter Voser.
— From news services and staff reports