Dow rises as CEOs certify financial books
Investors' relief about companies' willingness to stand by their financial statements Wednesday sparked a late-day rally on Wall Street, sending the Dow Jones industrials up 260 points.
The market's advance reversed an earlier sell-off as investors waited to see whether businesses would comply with an end-of-business-day deadline. As the session wore on, analysts said investors began to feel more confident in companies' ability to certify their results.
The Dow rose 260.92, or 3.1 percent, to 8,743.31, after falling as much as 129 points earlier in the session.
The Standard & Poor's 500 futures traders Jeffery Ward, above left, Scott Wallach and Brian Konlon take orders as the market nears the close Wednesday at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The S&P 500 index rose 35.41, or 4 percent, to 919.62.
Sprint cuts 50 more jobs
Sprint Corp. laid off 50 employees from its North Supply division Tuesday, including about 30 in the Kansas City area.
The division, a wholesale distributor of telecommunications equipment, employs about 1,200, and it has had about 250 layoffs since October.
Lisa Brady, a Sprint spokeswoman, said the layoffs announced Tuesday reflect ongoing efforts to adjust to changes in the telecommunications industry.
In all, job eliminations at Sprint since October total more than 13,000, including about 4,000 in the Kansas City area.
Troubled French business to sell publishing firm
Vivendi Universal, the teetering French media conglomerate, reported a massive loss of $12 billion for the first half of the year and said it would sell $10 billion in assets as it seeks to pare debt, including the U.S. publisher Houghton Mifflin. Adding insult to injury, a ratings agency downgraded the company's debt to junk.
On the New York Stock Exchange, shares plunged 23.9 percent to close Wednesday at $11.66.
Payless profits rise
Topeka-based Payless Shoesource announced Wednesday its quarterly earnings increased. The company posted profits of $2.07 per share compared to $1.60 per share a year ago.
Same-store-sales actually decreased by 5.8 percent for the quarter, but the company said it was able to control costs and better manage inventory to boost its earnings.
Record bankruptcies filed
Consumers and businesses amassed so much debt in recent years that record numbers filed for bankruptcy protection for the second year in a row, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said Wednesday.
The 1.5 million new cases filed during the year ending June 30 represented an 8.6 percent increase over the record number of cases filed during the year ending June 30, 2001.
Individual bankruptcies totaled 1.47 million in the year ending June 30, up 8.6 percent from a year earlier. Business bankruptcies rose to 39,201, 5.6 percent more than the year before.