Stocks post big gains as oil prices decline
NEW YORK — Stocks posted sharp gains Wednesday as investors shrugged off some of their concerns after a drop in oil prices and a better-than-expected earnings report from banking giant Wells Fargo.
The Labor Department's report that consumer prices rose in June at the second-fastest pace in 26 years was a reminder that inflation still poses a threat to economic growth.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 276.74, or 2.52 percent, to 11,239.28, its biggest one-day gain since April. The S&P 500 gained 30.45, or 2.51 percent, to 1,245.36. The Nasdaq composite index rose 69.14, or 3.12 percent, to 2,284.85.
Official says IndyMac facing FBI inquiry
LOS ANGELES — Failed bank IndyMac was reported Wednesday to be under investigation by the FBI for possible fraud over home loans made to risky borrowers.
A law enforcement official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation said that the investigation was focused on the company and not individuals who ran it.
Hundreds of people continued to crowd outside IndyMac branches in Southern California, many waiting hours to withdraw their funds from the bank, which was seized by federal regulators late last week.
Delta, American report big 2nd-quarter losses
ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines and American Airlines reported big second-quarter losses Wednesday and signaled that customers should expect more hits to their checkbooks.
Delta reported a $1.04 billion loss in the April-June quarter, and AMR Corp., the parent of American, posted a $1.45 billion loss. One-time charges and high fuel costs hurt both airlines.
Delta president Ed Bastian said the carrier is studying a fee imposed by several carriers on the first piece of checked baggage. AMR chief Gerard Arpey said his company is raising prices.
Yum Brands posts delicious quarter
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Yum Brands Inc. said Wednesday its second-quarter profit rose 4 percent as surging international sales more than offset slumping earnings in the U.S.
The parent company of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut said it earned $224 million for the quarter compared with $214 million in the same period last year.
The company said its China division had the biggest operating profit gain for the quarter, up 38 percent to $90 million. Operating profit grew 18 percent overseas to $120 million but fell 12 percent in the U.S. to $168 million, mainly due to higher prices for ingredients and weak sales at KFC.