Stocks tumble on spending concerns
NEW YORK -- Disappointing forecasts from retailers and concern about the government's financial overhaul package pounded stocks Thursday.
Downbeat forecasts from retailers raised concerns that high unemployment and weak consumer spending would stall an economic rebound. Nike dropped 4 percent after saying increased costs could hurt earnings.
Bed Bath & Beyond fell 2.4 percent after its second-quarter earnings forecast missed expectations.
Meanwhile, financial stocks fell after Congress continued working on a bill to overhaul regulation of the industry. Democratic leaders hoped to reconcile the House and Senate bills so President Barack Obama can have a deal in place by the time he meets at the Group of 20 this weekend in Toronto.
Times report: Boeing grounds 787 fleet
SEATTLE -- The Seattle Times reported Thursday that Boeing Co. has temporarily grounded its 787 jetliner fleet because of a quality problem in a portion of the tail built by Italian manufacturer Alenia.
Boeing spokeswoman Yvonne Leach told the paper that engineers are inspecting all 23 of the jets built so far and that some might need a fix that could take up to eight days. She said the problem is regrettable but under control, and won't cause a delay in flight testing or delivery.
The Times reported the problem was discovered within the past week. Leach said parts were improperly installed in a way that could shorten the life of a joint in the horizontal stabilizer on the plane's tail.
Healthy software sales boost Oracle income
SAN JOSE, Calif.-- Oracle's net income jumped 25 percent in the most recent quarter as CEO Larry Ellison trumpeted momentum in the company's efforts to sell computer hardware and in its showdown with IBM.
The results, reported Thursday after U.S. stock markets closed, were helped by stronger sales of database and other business software and a bump from its acquisition of Sun Microsystems.
Discover Financial back in the black
NEW YORK -- Discover Financial Services said Thursday that it returned to profitability in its fiscal second quarter as consumers spent more with their credit cards.
The company also said the rate of accounts in early delinquency continued declining. In the quarter, Discover put aside $724 million for bad debt, 44 percent less than last year.
The results reinforce signs that the consumer credit landscape is improving. Still, the recovery has a long way to go. The national credit card charge-off rate remains elevated at 9.95 percent, compared with about 4 percent before the downturn.
New ship service to Asia under way
The first ship in a new weekly service between the Port of Charleston and northern Asia called the Wando Welch Terminal on Thursday as part of CSAV's America Express Service.
Chilean-owned CSAV is Latin America's largest ocean carrier, and Charleston is its final U.S. port outbound on the service. The arrangement brings 52 annual calls and directly links South Carolina shippers to markets across northern China and South Korea.