Stocks lose ground in choppy session
NEW YORK — Wall Street ended a choppy session with a loss Wednesday, but showed resilience as investors heard answers to some of their big questions about banks.
The major indexes closed down about 1 percent after recovering from steeper losses early in the day, continuing the volatile trading that has buffeted the market this week.
Investors had some of the uncertainty about the banking system lifted when the Treasury Department confirmed it will buy preferred shares from banks that can be converted into common stock.
The government also began to "stress test" the banks to determine their solvency if the economy worsened. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke rejected for the second consecutive day the notion that banks could be nationalized.
UAW's chief: Ford needs concessions
DETROIT — United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger urged members to vote for contract concessions to Ford Motor Co., saying the carmaker can't survive long term without major restructuring.
Gettelfinger said in a letter that Ford is burning through $1 billion a month to stay in business because revenue has dropped dramatically.
He pointed out that the union was able to preserve base pay, keep health benefits and pensions, and prevent further plant closures. But the union also has agreed to give up cost-of-living raises and bonuses.
Saks posts $99M loss as it cuts prices
NEW YORK — Saks Inc. reported a nearly $99 million fourth-quarter loss Wednesday as the luxury retailer was forced to slash prices to hold onto affluent shoppers who have sharply cut their spending in the recession. The company also issued a downbeat forecast, but dismissed speculation that it might file for bankruptcy.
The retailer, which has a store in Charleston, said sales dropped almost 15 percent to $835.5 million.
Income slides 17% at T.J. Maxx parent
NEW YORK — The owner of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods said Wednesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 17 percent to $250.7 million, due to the strong dollar and a difficult holiday season. But the adjusted results of TJX Cos. topped expectations.
Revenue for the quarter ended Jan. 31 dipped 0.2 percent to $5.38 billion.
Apple's Jobs expected to return this June
CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple Inc. co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs is still expected to return from his medical leave at the end of June, according to a company director responding to a question at Apple's shareholder meeting Wednesday.
Board member Arthur Levinson said "nothing has changed."
Ex-Qwest CEO may face a prison term
DENVER — An appeals court reinstated the insider trading conviction of former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio in a split decision Wednesday and lifted the stay that had spared him from starting a six-year prison term. Nacchio's attorney strongly suggested she would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A court last year had overturned the conviction, ruling the judge improperly barred testimony.