A day after dropping 372 points, Wall Street ended the day about even in light of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke's congressional testimony. "The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 19 points to 10,997, and the S&P 500 was flat at 1207. The Nasdaq added 11 points to 2190," reports The Street.
Bernanke and Paulson testified in front of Congress today on behalf of their proposed $700 billion bailout package to buy up banks' bad mortgage debt. Legislators on both sides of the aisle demanded that parts of the proposal be amended.
Goldman Sachs may be eyeing the assets of failed banks such as IndyMac to shore up money as part of its switchover from an investment bank to a holding company. “We plan to build our banking business organically and by buying retail deposits and bank assets in the wholesale market. … For example, the FDIC is selling IndyMac assets and those might be the sort of thing we’d be interested in looking at,” a Goldman Sachs spokesperson told Crain's New York Business.
Japanese brokerage firm Nomura announced today it plans to buy bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers' European and Middle Eastern operations. The deal is valued at some $225 million, according to AP sources.
Morgan Stanley is readying to sell a stake of as much as 20 percent, worth $8.4 billion, to Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Japan's largest bank. Morgan Stanley won approval this past weekend from government regulators to change its official status from an investment bank to a commercial bank, allowing it to take deposits. Goldman Sachs is going through the same conversion.
American and British companies are pushing to be included on their respective countries' lists of firms protected from short selling. Yesterday the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission added 96 companies, including General Electric and General Motors, to the 799 stocks that it declared protected late last week. British fund manager F&C Asset Management has asked the U.K. Financial Services Authority to be included on its list of stocks protected from short selling.
Asian markets are sliding on the back of fears that the proposed U.S. financial bailout plan would fall short in curing the markets. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down "2.4% to 19,156.82 at noon, Australia’s S&P/ASX200 declined 2.1% to 4,915.00, Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 2.1% to 2,489.69, and Shanghai Composite Index lost nearly 1% to 2,214.97," reported Forbes. South Korea's market index Kospi fared better, rising 0.4 percent.
Wall Street area houses of worship are reporting an increase in visitors since the Wall Street shakeup last Monday. Rev. Mark Bozzuti-Jones at Trinity Church Wall Street, an Episcopal parish, told Reuters that financial workers have come in looking for solace and asking for help with rent after losing their jobs. Nearby Catholic Church St. Peter's has "a slight uptick in attendance among people in suits," according to parish priest Father Peter Madigan. Wall Street Synagogue is beginning to open nightly this week to accommodate more financial district worshippers.
The corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, opened yesterday. The senator's legal team said yesterday, the first day of selection of the jury, said that they may call up several high-profile witness to testify on Stevens' behalf, including Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah., Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
Municipal road crews may not be able to salt roads this winter due to a reported shortage. North American Salt, one of America's primary suppliers of road salt, notified buyers in a letter this month that it has no stock to sell because "its inventory was depleted last year and governmental orders were bigger than expected," writes the AP.
The MacArthur Foundation announced this year's $500,000 rewards for "creative ability." Popularly known as "genius grants," the awards recognize excellence in music, arts, literature, science and academia. Among this year's 25 winners are Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Johns Hopkins University astronomer Adam Riess.
Myanmar's ruling junta freed journalist and poet Win Tin, its longest-serving political prisoner, along with 9,001 other people serving jail time today. Win Tin plans to wear his blue prison garb as a sign of political protest against the country's repressive military government.
A hooded gunman broke into a vocational school for adults in Kajuhoki, Finland, some 180 miles northwest of Helsinki, and killed a total of 11 people including himself. According to reports from Finnish news agency STT, the gunman was apparently armed with explosives as well.
Egyptian and Sudanese authorities have located a 19-person tour group taken hostage by a group of masked men. Authorities have confirmed that the group is unharmed and "are now in an area of no-man's land between the Sudanese, Libyan and Egyptian border, in the area of Jebel Uweinat," Sudanese Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Mutrief Sadiq was quoted as saying.
Georgia announced today that it had shot down a Russian plane believed to be conducting reconnaissance south of the separatist region of South Ossetia. If the incident is confirmed, it would be the first since Georgian forces launched an offensive in a bid to regain control of South Ossetia from pro-Russia dissidents.
Ten members of South Africa's cabinet, three deputy ministers and Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka are resigning along with President Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki is officially to leave his office on Thursday amid charges he interfered with the corruption trial of ANC party head Jacob Zuma, who is expected to become the country's next president.
Li Changjiang, the head of China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, resigned yesterday over the country's tainted milk scandal that has seen three children dead and more than 50,000 hospitalized.
Archaeologists Tim Darvill and Geoff Wainwright, using radiocarbon dating, have dated the construction of U.K. historical landmark Stonehenge to 2300 B.C., some 300 years later than previously believed. The two professors' recent dig has unearthed "an abnormal number" of corpses showing evidence of injury and disease, suggesting that the ring of obelisks was once used as a center of healing.
Researchers from NASA have dropped 90 rubber ducks into Greenland's Jakobshavn Glacier to track glacier movement. The toys have the phrases "science experiment" and "reward" written on them in three languages, along with an e-mail address.
The San Diego Chargers beat Brett Favre and the New York Jets 48-29 during last night's Monday Night Football game. The win marks the Chargers' first victory within a season's first three games since 2003 and Favre's first career loss against the team.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its nine nominees for next year's class of inductees. Among the group is 1980s rap group Run-D.M.C., heavy metal group Metallica, and Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck.
The seventh season of reality TV series "Dancing With the Stars" premiered last night on ABC. Model and actress Brooke Burke received the highest score with 23 out of 30, while the lowest score went to comedian Jeffrey Ross, who received a 12 for his routine performed despite still healing from a scratched cornea.