JCPenney said it will sell 84 million shares of stock in a secondary offering.
Shares fell 5 percent following the news. (What’s the stock doing now? Click here for the latest after-hours quote.)
The retailer said it would use the proceeds for general corporate purposes.
Penney shares fell 15 percent on Wednesday after Goldman Sachs said it expects the retailer’s sales to improve more slowly than expected. The stock rebounded slightly Thursday.
The company, which has a “CCC ” credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, reflecting a substantial risk in owning its debt, has about $2.6 billion of outstanding bonds. The company’s benchmark 5-year credit default swap contract price surged by more than 13 percent on Wednesday, according to Markit data. Read More
So much anticipation for a Federal Reserve Board statement not likely to be markedly different from any so far released in 2013.
The Federal Open Markets Committee, which sets most Fed monetary policy, is meeting Tuesday and Wednesday and will release a statement on their most recent forecasts and potential policy shifts early tomorrow afternoon, followed by a press conference with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. (Most analysts agree the real news will likely come during Bernanke’s Q&A with reporters.)
This is pretty much the FOMC’s monthly routine.
As has also been their monthly routine for the past six months or so, Bernanke and his colleagues will undoubtedly acknowledge some recent economic stumbling blocks – namely a leveling off of manufacturing activity in the first half of 2013 and the stubbornly high 7.5% unemployment rate.
In the same statement, however, the FOMC is widely expected to reaffirm its commitment to tapering its easy money stimulus programs, possibly as soon as September, depending on the broad trajectory of economic data between now and then.
Three rounds of bond buying programs, or quantitative easing, since the recent financial crisis have expanded the Fed’s balance sheet to more than $3.1 trillion in assets from less than $1 trillion in mid-2008, a concern to those who wonder what the impact will be when the Fed begins to unwind those assets.
The only difference between tomorrow’s message and those of the past six months is that we’re now getting closer to an actual announcement by the Fed that it will start gradually scaling back its $85 billion a month in bond purchases. That proximity seems to heighten investor anxiety.
Google has revealed the number of National Security Letters (NSL) that it has received in the last four years alone. The numbers are a general estimate of NSLs sent to Google by the government. The FBI sends NSLs to various entities, including businesses, internet service providers, credit card companies, and more. They demand that those entities deliver confidential information about their customers such as phone numbers, e-mail addresses, purchase history, web history, and more. Anything is fair game as long as it pertains to the FBI’s investigation.
Google has received 0-999 NSLs each year for the past 4 years from the FBI. Google isn’t allowed to release the exact amount legally because the numbers may interfere with the FBI’s investigations, but it is able to provide a range. In 2009, the FBI asked Google to deliver confidential information from over 1000-1999 of its users. In 2010, it was asked to deliver info on 2000-2999 users, and in 2011 and 2012, it was asked to deliver info on 1000-1999 users each year.
National Security Letters can be issued by the FBI even without a court order, which makes them powerful and abusive. The Electronic Frontier Foundation stated, “Of all the dangerous government surveillance powers that were expanded by the USA Patriot Act, the National Security Letter… is one of the most frightening and invasive.” Many people have voiced their concerns over the NSLs and their extensive use. Read More