Wednesday's Early Headlines

  • Citi Plans Boost in Base Salaries. - Citigroup (C) - Get Report plans to raise the base salaries of workers by as much as 50% this year to help compensate for cuts in annual bonuses, according to The New York Times. The plan by the banking giant means most Citigroup employees will make as much money as they did in 2008, although some might earn more and others less, the report said.
  • Bank "Tricks and Traps" Require New Agency: Warren. - Elizabeth Warren, chairman of the Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, will strongly urge lawmakers on Wednesday to set up a new government agency to protect consumers from "tricks and traps," according to a Reuters report. In prepared remarks, Warren proposes the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which she argues will "help fix the broken credit market."
  • General Motors to Speed Up Job Cuts. - General Motors (GMGMQ) plans to cut 4,000 U.S. white-collar jobs by Oct. 1, which is 600 more than was earlier announced, a spokesman said. The bankrupt U.S. automaker plans to eliminate more than 6,000 salaried jobs in total this year, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Hospital Confirms Steve Jobs Surgery. - Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare confirmed late Tuesday that Apple (AAPL) - Get Report CEO Steve Jobs did receive a liver transplant. The confirmation, released with Jobs' permission, said he received a liver transplant because he was the patient with the highest MELD score (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease) of his blood type and, therefore, the sickest patient on the waiting list at the time a donor organ became available. Jobs is now recovering well and has an excellent prognosis, the release said.
  • China Telecom May Bring Blackberry to China. - China Telecom (CHA) - Get Report is in talks with Research in Motion (RIMM) to bring Blackberry devices to China, Caijing magazine reports. The magazine's source was an unnamed senior China Telecom executive.
  • Boston Globe Deal in Place. - The Boston Globe has reached a tentative agreement with its largest union. The Globe and the Boston Newspaper Guild issued e-mail statements late Tuesday announcing the deal. Guild members are set to vote on the agreement July 20. Under the agreement, the Globe, which is owned by New York Times (NYT) - Get Report, will save $10 million through salary and benefit reductions. The agreement includes a salary reduction of just less than 6% and changes the language in contracts regarding job security.
  • Energy Department Data Expected to Show Another Inventory Decline - The Energy Department will post weekly inventory numbers at 10:30 a.m. EDT. A Bloomberg survey showed that crude oil supplies are expected to have fallen by 950,000 barrels, which would be the third straight week of declines.

Earnings and Economic News

  • Fed Decision Expected Later Today - The Federal Open Market Committee will give its decision at 2:15 p.m. EDT Wednesday, although economists do not expect the policy-making arm of the Fed to change the fed funds rate. Instead, the wording of the central bank's statement will be more scrutinized.
  • Other Economic Data to Be Released - At 8:30 a.m. EDT, the Census Bureau will release May data on durable goods orders, which are expected to fall 0.9% after a 1.9% increase in April. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders are expected to only have declined by 0.5% last month. Additionally, the latest report on new home sales will be released at 10 a.m. EDT, with economists expecting a slight increase in May to 360,000 units from 352,000 in April.
  • Several Earnings Reports Will Be Posted - Nike (NKE) - Get Report, Rite Aid (RAD) - Get Report, Monsanto (MON) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) - Get Report are among a handful of companies expected to report quarterly earnings results Wednesday.