- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Stocks barely move; FedEx sinks on profit warning
Question of the Day
NEW YORK — U.S. stock prices are closing mixed, held in check by a warning from the huge package delivery company FedEx that its profits would be hurt because of a slowdown in the global economy.
FedEx cited weakness in its express package delivery business. That's a sign that FedEx's customers around the world are choosing slower, cheaper delivery options to save money. FedEx's stock fell $1.74 to $85.80.
"It's one more piece of news that suggests that the global economy is slowing and therefore makes central bank action more likely," said Brian Gendreau, market strategist at the investment advisory firm Cetera Financial.
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has said the central bank is inclined to provide new stimulus to the U.S. economy if it's needed. Investors will get more guidance Friday when the government releases its monthly report on employment, which is considered one of the most important barometers for the world's largest economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 11.54 points at 13,047.48 on Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.50 points to 1,403.44. The Nasdaq composite index lost 5.79 points to 3,069.27.
Earlier, the Labor Department reported that U.S. companies got more productivity from their workers this spring than originally estimated. Productivity increased at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the April-June quarter, up from an initial estimate of a 1.6 percent gain. Labor costs rose at an annual rate of 1.5 percent, slightly lower than the 1.7 percent initially estimated.
Stock indexes were mostly higher in Europe and the yields on government bonds issued by Spain and Italy moved lower, a positive sign that investors are becoming more optimistic about the ability of those countries to repay their debts.
Benchmark indexes rose 0.5 percent in Germany and 0.2 percent in France.
European Central bank President Mario Draghi is expected to reveal details Thursday of a new bond-buying program aimed at cutting borrowing costs for Spain and Italy, the latest flash points in Europe's government debt crisis. Without some way to reduce the interest rates on the bonds they sell, the two nations could be pushed into asking for a bailout, following a path taken by Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
Among other stocks making big moves:
• Facebook gained 85 cents, or 5 percent, to $18.58 after its CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he would not sell any shares for a year. The company also announced a major stock buyback.
• Hartford Financial Services Group closed at $18.05, up 35 cents, or 2 percent. The insurer and wealth manager said it had agreed to sell its retirement plans business to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance for $400 million.
• Nokia fell 45 cents, or 16 percent, to $2.38. The Finnish company announced a new Windows-based smartphone in New York. Nokia faces tough competition from Apple, which is expected to announce its latest version of the iPhone next week.
• Safeway gained 68 cents, or 4 percent, to $16.50. The supermarket chain said it plans to take its gift card business Blackhawk Network Holdings public by the first half of 2013.
TWT Video Picks
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
- Afghan who killed three U.S. Marines in 2012 to serve over 7-year prison sentence
- EDITORIAL: Obama's 'economic patriotism' means higher taxes
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq