According to Investor’s Business Daily, stocks fell to their lowest point of the session today. “At 2:42 p.m. EDT, the Dow tumbled 1.6%, on pace for its biggest decline in a month. The Nasdaq gave up 1.1%. … Meanwhile, the S&P 500 fell 1%, and the NYSE composite sank 0.9%.”
The Home Depot reported a first-quarter drop in profits of 66 percent today, which was still better than Wall Street expectations. “The Atlanta-based company said it earned $356 million, or 21 cents a share, in the three months ending May 4, compared with a profit of $1.05 billion, or 53 cents a share, a year earlier,” reports the Associated Press. The housing crunch played a large part in the company’s slump.
"Federal regulators on Monday said eight former executives of AOL Time Warner Inc. fraudulently inflated the company's online advertising revenues by more than $1 billion between 2000 and 2002,” writes The Washington Post.
Rising gas prices have led some companies to help employees commute to work. One Ft. Collins, Col.,-based business, New Belgium Brewing, gives employees a bicycle on their one-year anniversaries with the company and provides showers for workers who bike to work.
A source close to the Microsoft–Yahoo merger talks says that the software company is seeking a minority stake in the company and Yahoo’s search function, following a Yahoo spin-off of its Asian holdings.
High oil prices weighed on Asian and European stocks today. “The MSCI World Index lost 0.2 percent to 1,557.95 at 12:51 p.m. in London, decreasing for the first time in five days,” writes Bloomberg.com. Air France-KLM, Europe’s largest airline, dropped 3.3 percent to 19.62 euros per share.
A rise in commodity prices has helped to recover the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s 16 percent loss since the beginning of the year. “As long as we’re seeing strong commodity prices, the implication is that the emerging markets are still growing,” said Morgan Asset Management’s Walter Hellwig. Warren Buffett is not so bullish on emerging markets: “You want to fish in a pond where there’s fish. Europe is a much better pond.”
Congressman Vito Fossella, R-N.Y., has decided not to run for re-election. He was arrested on May 1 in suburban Washington, D.C. for drunk driving. A week later, he confessed that he was on his way to visit Laura Fay, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Air Force with whom he had an affair and a three-year-old daughter.
Ill. Sen. Barack Obama and Ariz. Sen. John McCain are sparring over the lobbyist connections of McCain’s staffers. Obama said, “After nearly three decades in Washington, John McCain can’t see or won’t acknowledge … that lobbyists aren’t just part of the system in Washington, they’re part of the problem.” McCain’s camp responded by saying Obama should publicize “the long list of federal lobbyists advising him on policy issues.”
Even though Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson argued that it would be too expensive, a federal appeals court ruled that “U.S. paper money must be redesigned to help blind people distinguish among dollar bills, tens, twenties and other amounts," Bloomberg.com reports.
A new report from the American Association of University Women says that “Girls’ gains have not come at boys’ expense.” According to The New York Times, the report claims that “the largest disparities in educational achievement are not between boys and girls, but between those of different races, ethnicities and income levels.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education writes, “More than 70 percent of college graduates between the ages of 25 and 39 said their alma maters had charged them a fair price for their education, but the majority thought that most colleges don't.”
"Until just a few months ago, public nudity was perfectly legal in Brattleboro, Vt. But over the past two years, the town experienced outbreaks of naked bicycling, naked hula-hooping, and nakedness in general, triggering a period of civic navel-gazing, both literally and figuratively,” writes The Wall Street Journal.
Iraqi security forces pushed to take control of Sadr City today, an area loyal to radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. According to the Los Angeles Times, “U.S. forces were playing no part in the operation, the military said.”
Ma Ying-jeou took office as the president of Taiwan today following his landslide electoral victory in March. He offered to resume diplomatic talks with mainland China, yet wishes his country remain independent.
President George W. Bush made the final speech of his Middle East tour at the World Economic Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, where he advised Arab states to ramp up oil production and to work on women’s rights. “This is a matter of morality and of basic math. No nation that cuts off half its population from opportunities will be as productive or prosperous as it could be,” said the president.
Nelly Avila Moreno, also known by her nom de guerre Karina, one of the highest-ranking female leaders of FARC, Colombia's main leftist guerrilla group, has turned herself in after eluding capture for decades, officials said Monday.
Chinese government officials confirm the official death toll from last week’s earthquake is 40,075. “A man was pulled alive from the remains of a power plant after being buried for 179 hours,” local media were quoted as saying.
According to study released Sunday by NOAA meteorologist Tom Knutson, global warming will not cause a greater number of hurricanes in the Atlantic, but rather “reduce the number of hurricanes making landfall.”
Google Health will allow the general public access to their medical records and other health-related information. The service lets users import information from a variety of care providers and pharmacies.
Kali, who has risen to the top of World Wrestling Entertainment fame, is an icon in his home country of India. Returning home for vacation, the 7'3", 420-pound Kali has been greeted like a hero in a place where such hysteria is usually “reserved for stars of cricket or the film industry known as Bollywood.”
Photojournalist Ryan McGeeney was accidentally speared by a javelin when covering the Utah State High School track and field meet. “"It wasn't real painful. ... I was very lucky in that it didn't hit any blood vessels, nerves, ligaments or tendons," said McGeeney. Anthony Miles, the student who threw the errant javelin said that when he saw the accident, “my heart just stopped.” Miles went on to win the state title in the event.