STOCK MARKET

Losses on Wall Street

over profits, pessimism

Renewed pessimism about the strength of the global economy and corporate profits this year led to sharp losses Thursday on Wall Street.

Technology companies, health care stocks and banks accounted for much of the selling. Twitter slumped almost 10 percent after issuing a weak forecast. Traders sought safety in U.S. government bonds, sending yields lower.

The broad sell-off followed a slide in overseas markets after European officials slashed their forecast for economic growth this year in the 19 countries that use the euro and the Bank of England warned that the British economy is set for its weakest growth in a decade. The S&P 500 fell 25.56 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,706.05. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 220.77 points, or 0.9 percent, to 25,169.53. The Dow was briefly down 389 points.

EARNINGS

Timken Co. predicts

increase in revenues

Growth in its end markets and the performance of recently acquired businesses helped Timken Co. post higher profits in 2018, and top executives expect the trend to continue this year.

In its earnings announcement issued Thursday, Timken said it expects revenue to increase by 8 to 10 percent this year compared with 2018, and that should lead to record earnings per share.

The company ended 2018 with net income of $302.8 million, or $3.86 per share, a 48.9 percent jump compared with a 2017 profit of $203.4 million, or $2.58 per share. Net sales for 2018 topped $3.58 billion, a 19.2 percent gain compared with just over $3 billion in sales the previous year.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Timken reported a profit of $60 million, 77 cents per share, which doubled the profit of $29.2 million, or 37 cents per share, in 2017. Sales for the quarter were $910.1 million, a 16.9 percent gain compared with $778 million the previous year.

Timken shares closed Thursday at $42.02, a drop of $1.48.

RETAIL

Bankruptcy judge OKs

sale of Sears Holdings

A plan to keep Sears Holdings Corp. alive and tens of thousands of people employed was approved Thursday by a federal Bankruptcy Court judge.

Judge Robert Drain of U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved Sears Chairman and former CEO Edward Lampert‘s proposal to buy the retail chain’s operating assets for $5.2 billion.

Lampert’s purchase, made through his hedge fund, ESL Investments, is intended to keep 425 Sears and Kmart stores open, preserving some 45,000 jobs.