Updated from 2:04 p.m. EST
Stocks on Wall Street teased the flat line Wednesday afternoon as investors sorted through another round of earnings reports and a cut in oil production cut from OPEC.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 25 points at 8899, and the
was off by half a point at 912. The
was up nearly a point at 1590.
said Wednesday it will cut its production target by another 2.2 million barrels a day starting in January.
The cut, which could help stabilize oil prices that have fallen with global economic hardships, was slightly more than expected. But crude oil was declining $1.96 to $41.64 a barrel.
"Right now the market doesn't care about the supply part of the equation," says Darin Newsom, DTN Senior Analyst. "It's dealing with lack of demand from consumers -- and investors - at this point," he says.
helped set the tone Wednesday morning, posting a wider-than-expected loss ahead of the opening bell. The bank holding company said it lost $2.37 billion, or $2.34 a share, in the fiscal fourth quarter. Analysts had forecast a loss of 34 cents a share.
garnered headlines Wednesday morning related to its business strategy.
The Wall Street Journal
reported that federal banking regulators are involved in the internal discussions about the bank's strategic direction and are discouraging executives from pursuing certain acquisitions. Separately, the
reported that Citi plans to merge its investment and corporate banking operations in an attempt to break down barriers between its businesses.
recorded in-line second-quarter profit of $168.1 million, or 37 cents a share, which marks a 31% slump from a year ago when the maker of Chef Boyardee and other brands posted $244.8 million, or 50 cents a share.
posted second-quarter earnings of $378.2 million, or $1.09 a share, which was down from the $390.5 million, or $1.14 a share, the cereal maker recorded a year earlier.
Citing weakening demand for its hard drives,
will cut 2,500 jobs, or about 5%, of its global workforce, as well as executive pay.
As U.S. automakers
continued to wait on word from the White House of an
auto-industry rescue plan
cut its profit forecast and announced a 10% pay cut for its managers.
was trading lower Wednesday after suffering a downgrade at Oppenheimer to perform. Apple says
will not appear at Macworld 2009, and that news again brings the CEO's health into question.
Meanwhile, the fallout from the
scandal continues to play out. Late Tuesday,
Securities and Exchange Commission
Chairman Christopher Cox demanded an internal investigation of why regulators from his agency failed for a decade to investigate the Wall Street money manager, who last week was charged with running an elaborate and far-reaching Ponzi scheme that lost an estimated $50 billion for investors. A formal investigation of complaints would have forced Madoff to provide documentation years ago.
On Tuesday, the Fed cut its federal funds rate target to a range of 0% to 0.25%, a steep cut that surprised Wall Street and set a historic low for the key rate.
The 10-year Treasury was up 20/32 to yield 2.2%, while the 30-year note was up 1 26/32 to yield 2.7%. The
was mixed against other major currencies. Gold was rising 60 cents to $869.10 an ounce.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged higher. In Europe, Germany's DAX and France's CAC-40 edged lower
Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.