The Dow Jones Industrial Average pared 200 points in losses from this morning by market's close, buoyed in part by oil dropping $6.53 a barrel to $140. Airline stocks did well in light of the commodities plunge. Shares of General Motors rallied a bit following news that it is to cut operating costs. The Dow Jones closed 18.72 points down from the opening bell, standing at 11,036.47.
Christopher Cox, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, told the Senate Banking Committee that the SEC "will require traders to hold shares of the two mortgage buyers and the brokerages before they execute a short sale," reports Bloomberg.com.
Rick Wagoner, CEO of General Motors, announced at a company meeting this morning that the automaker is to cut salaried jobs and some health-care benefits to wheedle down operating costs by 20 percent. GM also plans to trim its advertising and marketing budgets.
South Korean cell phone carrier SK Telecom has entered talks to take over struggling wireless provider Sprint-Nextel. "SK Telecom, which is smaller than Sprint, would be joined in any deal by private equity firms that would contribute cash towards the purchase," reports CNBC.
Viacom and Google reached a deal late last night allowing for the exchange of YouTube user information. Google “will first anonymize user names and IP addresses of YouTube users” before releasing data to the media conglomerate, writes Silicon Alley Insider.
A U.S. Federal Court ruled in favor of eBay in a suit filed by luxury jewelry brand Tiffany, which charged that the online auction site is liable for selling counterfeits of its items. The ruling came after a four-year trial and two decisions by European courts that judged eBay responsible for selling fakes of Hermès and Louis Vuitton goods.
Real Clear Politics’ Froma Harrop calls the mortgage crisis a “bipartisan affair.” With regard to the bailout plan of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unveiled this weekend, she writes, “There’s no ideology here. Just politicians taking care of the moneyed interests. Conservatives, liberals—everyone was in on creating the conditions that led to the mortgage collapse. The bill for it all now goes to the taxpayers, party affiliation unimportant.”
Democratic presidential candidate Ill. Sen. Barack Obama is scheduled to give a speech at Washington’s Ronald Reagan Building, where he is expected to advocate a fast end to the Iraq War. Obama is to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan later this month.
Congressman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., the head of the House Ways and Means Committee, “is soliciting donations from corporations with business interests before his panel, hoping to raise $30 million” for a center at New York’s City College that is to house his papers upon his retirement. Political ethicists and government observers are speaking out against the plan.
The Mass. state senate voted to repeal a 1913 law forbidding couples from marrying if, for legal reasons, they could not obtain marriage licenses in their home states. The decision paves the way for out-of-state gay couples to marry in Massachusetts.
Prompted by high gas prices, Hawaii is mulling a move to a four-day workweek for its state employees. Gov. Linda Lingle told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "The bottom line for us is, Can we maintain the same level of public services by going to a four-day workweek? If we can't, then we likely would not make that switch."
New York City has an 82-year-old law on its books banning dancing by three or more people in establishments lacking a cabaret license. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration launched efforts on Monday to amend the oft-ignored law.
“The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a person found guilty of murdering a law enforcement officer is eligible for the death penalty, even if the killer did not know the victim was an officer at the time,” reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Turkish government indicted 86 people, including prominent journalists and retired military leaders in connection with the Ergenekon scandal, an alleged plot to overthrow the country’s Islamist-leaning government. The ruling comes as the Turkish Constitutional Court debates whether the majority Justice and Development Party should be banned from politics for “contravening secularism.”
Pope Benedict began World Youth Day today in Sydney, Australia, opening with a mass to 150,000 faithful. Two protesters won an Australian Federal Court challenge that allows them to hand leaflets about “certain political matters” to pilgrims. Disturbing Mass attendees would have otherwise carried a fine of about $5,400.
A study led by University of Cincinnati communication sciences and disorders professor Suzanne Boyce showed that lack of sleep can affect people’s speech skills to the point that they sound “almost drunk.”
If the global warming forecasts made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change come to fruition, the incidence of kidney stones in the United States may rise by 30 percent or more due to people’s increased levels of perspiration and decreased water intake, according to a University of Texas-Dallas study.
The 79th Major League All-Star Game is scheduled for tonight at New York’s Yankee Stadium, which will be demolished at season’s end. Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Ben Sheets will start the game for the National League, and Cleveland’s Cliff Lee will be on the mound for the American League.
Knocking out 35 home runs in total, Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton broke the record at the Major League All-Star Home Run Derby Monday night. Yet Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin “Morneau hit eight home runs in the first round and nine in the second round before stunning the audience with a 5-3 victory over Hamilton in the finals.”
The fifth season of fashion design reality show “Project Runway” debuts tonight on Bravo. The panel of guest judges includes entertainer RuPaul, designer Diane von Furstenberg, Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno and Hollywood stylist Rachel Zoe.