Stocks Step Off on a Weaker Note

U.S. stocks began modestly lower on Tuesday,  freighted by FedEx’s results and downwardly revised outlook. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 18.18 points, or 0.13%, to 13,534.92. The S&P 500 index shed 4.20 points, or 0.29%, to 1,456.99. The Nasdaq Composite declined 4.11 points, or 0.13%, to 3,174.56.

FedEx Corp.(FDX) says the global economy is worsening and it’s cutting its forecast for the fiscal year ending in May. The company now expects to earn between $6.20 and $6.60 per share for the full fiscal year, compared with a previous forecast of $6.90 to $7.40 per share.

Ford hopes the redesigned 2013 Fusion will finally be its Camry killer. The Fusion has become Ford’s best-selling car since it went on sale in 2005, and it’s one of the top sellers in the country. But Ford hopes the sexier styling, improved fuel economy and features like automatic parallel parking on the new Fusion will help it trounce the perennial leader, the Toyota Camry.

Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR) said Tuesday it’ll cut 1,200 out of its work force of 13,100 employees as part of an effort to save $150 million and scale down its thermal-coal operations. By early 2013, the company plans to focus on its metallurgical coal position in both domestic and international markets, and establish cost-competitive thermal-coal assets.

The amount the U.S. owes to the rest of the world, known as the current-account deficit, fell by 12% in the second quarter, primarily because of lower oil imports and higher income transfers such as U.S. earnings on investments abroad. The nation’s current-account balance fell to $117.4 in the second quarter from a downwardly revised $133.6 billion in the first three months of the year, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

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