GE of hiding big losses
A whistleblower who warned regulators about Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme is now accusing General Electric of misleading investors, sending the company's stock on a downward spiral.
Investigator Harry Markopolos accused GE on Thursday of engaging in accounting fraud worth $38 billion, saying the company is hiding massive losses and heading for bankruptcy.
The issues he outlined lie primarily in GE's troubled Capital unit, a financial services division often seen as a black hole in the company.
In his report, Markopolos suggests that an accounting rule change for insurance liabilities and a significant lack of reserves to cover long-term care liabilities will push GE to take a $29 billion hit.
GE called Markopolos' claims unsubstantiated and meritless.
Walmart online sales
rise 37% in 2nd quarter
Walmart offered a dose of optimism amid growing concerns over weakening economic growth by raising its annual outlook after a strong second quarter.
Sales at stores opened at least a year rose 2.8%, its 20th consecutive quarter in the right direction as the world's largest retailer continues to expand its grocery delivery services. U.S. online sales increased 37%.
Walmart's chief financial officer Brett Biggs told reporters on a call that consumers' financial health remains "solid."
declines slightly in July
U.S. industrial production fell 0.2% in July, as factory activity slumped in a worrisome sign for the economy.
The Federal Reserve said Thursday that the overall decline was caused primarily by a 0.4% drop last month in manufacturing production. Output decreased for autos, fabricated metals, wood products, textiles and plastics and rubber products.
Mortgage rates remain
near historic low levels
U.S. long-term mortgage rates remained near historically low levels this week against a backdrop of volatile financial markets around the globe.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on the benchmark 30-year loan was unchanged at 3.60%, its lowest level since November 2016. A year ago, the rate stood at 4.53%.
The average mortgage rate for 15-year, fixed-rate home loans edged up to 3.07% from 3.05% last week.
Continued anxiety over the U.S.-China trade war and slowing global economic growth made for a rocky ride in the markets. On Wednesday, U.S. stocks plunged after the bond market sent out a fairly reliable warning signal of recession.