New York: Major US indices turned positive on Monday, with the Dow Jones up 45 points, the S&P 500 up 6 points and the Nasdaq advancing 17 points. With no major economic news out, the markets looked optimistically towards Tuesday’s US Federal Reserve meeting, where the central bank is widely expected to hold interest rates near 0%, a historic low, a policy that’s been in place since December 2008.
In corporate news, shares of Hewlett Packard continued to slide on Monday after its CEO Mark Hurd resigned amid a harassment claim. Shares of HP have doubled since Hurd took over in 2005. After falling 10% on Friday, the stock was down almost 8% in Monday trade.
US automaker Chrysler Group LLC, run by Italian firm Fiat SpA, reported a second-quarter net loss that lowered to $172 million from $197 million in the first quarter. This was attributed to lower costs and higher US demand. Revenue rose 8.2% to $10.5 billion and operating income rose 28% to $183 million compared with the first quarter. Sales in the US in this period rose 31% from a year earlier. Worldwide vehicle sales rose 22% to 407,000 cars and trucks during the second quarter, from 334,000 in the first three months of the year. Its CEO Sergio Marchionne said the company may sell shares to the public next year. However, analysts say the markets are clearly looking for more from the company. The stock closed down almost 2% at the end of Milan’s trading day.
Apple confirmed that Mark Papermaster, head of the the iPhone and iPod division, has left the company. Although the company declined to give comment on his departure, speculation is that he has left as a result of the problems surrounding the iPhone 4’s antenna. Papermaster’s hire in November 2008, who was formerly at IBM, was controversial, as IBM filed a complaint in federal court to prevent him from leaving, saying that he possessed highly confidential IBM trade secrets. The deal wasn’t settled until the following January and had Papermaster wait to join Apple until April 2009. The position will be taken over by the person who hired him – Bob Mansfield.
Internet calling service Skype, reported on Monday that it filed for a $100 million IPO. The company separated from eBay in September 2009.
In world markets major European indices ended up for the day, while Asian indices closed the day mixed.
In commodities, US light crude oil for September delivery rose 79 cents to end at $81.48 a barrel, while gold futures for December delivery was up $3.40 to $1,208.70 an ounce.
The price on the 10-year bond was little changed on Monday. The yield was down to 2.82% versus 2.86% on Friday. The US government will be auctioning off $74 billion worth of 3-, 10- and 30-year debt this week as part of its quarterly refunding.