Bank revs up cost-cutting plan
A published report says Bank of America is accelerating a cost-cutting plan and aims to eliminate 16,000 jobs by the end of the year. The cuts are part of a previously announced plan by the bank to cut 30,000 jobs. The Wall Street Journal cites a document given to top management at the bank. The newspaper says the cuts will mean fewer Bank of America branches and a smaller mortgage operation. A bank spokesman declined to comment on the Journal report Thursday.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is phasing out selling Amazon.com's Kindle tablet and e-readers, the world's largest retailer said Thursday. Wal-Mart says the decision was made as part of its overall merchandising strategy to offer a broad assortment of products at low prices. Wal-Mart Stores will continue to sell a range of tablets and e-book readers, including Apple's iPad, the Barnes & Noble's Nook, and devices from Samsung, Sony and others. The move echoes Target Corp.'s decision to stop offering the Kindle in May. Wal-Mart said it will continue to sell its existing inventory of Kindles until it is depleted. Amazon.com declined to comment.
Mortgage rates sink again
The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage touched its record low this week and the rate on the 15-year mortgage hit a record. The declines followed the Federal Reserve announcement last week that it would buy bonds to push mortgage rates lower and stimulate the housing market. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.49 percent from 3.55 percent last week. That matched the lowest rate since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, plunged to a record low at 2.77 percent.
Samsung suit to take on Apple
Samsung Electronics says it plans to add the iPhone 5, set to be released on Friday, to the list of Apple devices that it claims infringe its patents in a California court case. The jury in the case, in federal court in San Jose, ruled a month ago that Samsung's patent claims against earlier iPhones were baseless, but Samsung is set to appeal. The jury also ruled that Samsung phones and tablets did infringe on Apple patents, and that Samsung owes Apple $1.05 billion. Korea's Samsung is seeking royalties from Apple from sales of iPhones.
Google new No. 1 in display ads
Google is expected to surpass Facebook in display advertising revenue this year, beating all other competitors with a 15.4 percent share of the U.S. market, according to a closely followed research firm. EMarketer said Thursday that it expects Google Inc. to generate $2.31 billion in revenue from online display ads -- the graphical advertisements people see on websites. Display ads are more lucrative than the text-based advertisements that appear next to search results and account for the bulk of Google's revenue. EMarketer predicts Facebook Inc. will hold 14.4 percent of the market with $2.16 billion in U.S. revenue. In all, eMarketer expects the display advertisement market to grow 21.5 percent this year to nearly $15 billion in the U.S.
Trulia shares up in NYSE debut
Shares of Trulia Inc. jumped more than 40 percent in their first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, marking one of the biggest gains in a trading debut in recent months. The San Francisco-based real estate website operator's shares opened at $22.10 Thursday morning, after pricing at $17 the previous day. The shares closed at $24, up $7. The rise puts Trulia on track to roll up the biggest IPO gain since teen retailer Five Below Inc. went public in July 19 and closed up 56 percent after its first day on the market. -- AP