Markets recover some from Tuesday's sell-off

NEW YORK — Wall Street snapped back Wednesday from a steep sell-off with a rebound in the same financial stocks that were pummeled Tuesday.

Upbeat comments from banks, stronger-than-expected results from IBM and hopes that Washington will offer more help to the economy powered a rally that recovered most of the previous session's losses.

The Dow Jones industrials surged nearly 280 points, and all the major indexes rose more than 3.5 percent.

Some bounce would have been expected after the Dow tumbled 332 points Tuesday, but forecasts from PNC Financial Services Group and Bank of New York Mellon eased concerns that the troubles at financial giants like Citigroup were hitting all banks.

Ex-Time Warner exec to head Citi board

NEW YORK — Citigroup said Wednesday that board member Richard Parsons, former chief executive officer of Time Warner, will be taking over as chairman.

Parsons succeeds Win Bischoff, who became chairman in December 2007 after the company let go of its embattled CEO and chairman at the time, Charles Prince.

Bischoff will retire later this year.

The ailing bank has suffered five straight quarters of losses and received $45 billion in government aid as it struggles to stay afloat. Citigroup's board has been the target of much scrutiny among investors for allowing the bank to invest so heavily in the risky housing market.

Coach to cut prices of its upscale bags

NEW YORK — Luxury handbag maker Coach is bowing to consumers' stubborn refusal to spend, lowering its prices 10 percent to 15 percent and offering more handbags under $300, executives said Wednesday.

The moves, announced as Coach also said second-quarter earnings fell 14 percent, show just how much luxury retailers are suffering after the weak holiday season.

Price cuts have begun and will be completed over the course of its next fiscal year. Coach also plans to cut the number of stores it opens in North America to 20 from 40 in 2010, and to halt expansion of existing stores.

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Best Buy lays out plan of succession

CHICAGO — Best Buy Co. laid out a succession plan Wednesday, saying Brian Dunn, its president and chief operating officer, will take over this summer as chief executive of the nation's largest consumer electronics chain. Dunn, 48, who began working at the company as a store clerk in 1985, will succeed retiring CEO Brad Anderson, 59.

The changing of the guard comes at a particularly crucial time for the chain, which last month began offering voluntary severance packages to virtually all its 4,000 corporate employees as falling sales plague retailers across the country.

Earnings, revenue plummet at eBay

NEW YORK — Quarterly earnings fell 31 percent from last year at eBay, indicating that its Internet auctions are being hurt by the recession just like traditional retail sales.

The company said Wednesday it earned $367 million in the quarter. Revenue fell 6 percent to $2.04 billion.