Spain, Greece, pressure stocks
NEW YORK, July 23 (UPI) -- U.S. stocks skidded early on Wall Street Monday as financial troubles in Europe undercut investor confidence.
Stock indexes fell in Asia and Europe as benchmark 10-year Spanish bonds topped 7.5 percent Monday after the country's parliament passed a massive spending cut bill Friday that included raising the sales tax to 21 percent. The news could mean that Spain will need more international aid above and beyond the $122 billion international bailout set up for Spanish banks.
The so-called troika -- the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- is sending an auditing team to Athens to ensure Greece is in compliance with terms of its aid package. The ECB last week said it would not lend money to Greek banks until the audit was complete.
In early afternoon trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 130.10 points or 1.01 percent to 130.10. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 15.47 points or 1.14 percent to 1,347.19. Tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index gave up 42.36 points or 1.45 percent to 2,882.94.
The benchmark 10-year treasury note gained 7/32 to yield 1.439 percent.
The euro fell to $1.2126 from Friday's $1.2158. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 78.44 yen from 78.44 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index lost 1.86 percent, 161.55, to 8,508.32.
In London, the FTSE 100 index fell 2.09 percent, 117.90, to 5,533.87.
Honda recalls 172,800 to fix door locks
WASHINGTON, July 23 (UPI) -- U.S. regulators said automaker Honda would recall 172,837 model year 2013 Acura ILX and 2012 CR-V vehicles due to problems with door latches.
Doors can fail to latch properly if the door lock -- with either manual or automatic door locking features -- is operated while an interior front door handle is being operated.
By operating the two simultaneously, a cable connecting the door handle to the door latch mechanism could move out of position, preventing the door from latching properly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday.
Doors could open while driving or in a crash, "increasing the risk of personal injury," the NHTSA said.
Honda said it would replace front door latch assemblies free of charge in recalled models. The company also said certain Honda CR-Vs will have front door handles replaced for free.
Consumers can call Honda at 800-999-1009 for information.
The company said repairs on the vehicles would start on Aug. 16.
Report: Super rich hide $21T to $32T
LONDON, July 23 (UPI) -- The super rich have hidden at least $21 trillion, equal to the U.S. and Japanese gross domestic products combined, by exploiting tax-rule gaps, a report says.
The money, hidden in tax havens in countries such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, could actually be as much as $32 trillion, the economic transparency group Tax Justice Network said.
Report compiler James Henry, former chief economist at global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., told the British newspaper The Guardian the elite's super-wealth is "protected by a highly paid, industrious bevy of professional enablers in the private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries taking advantage of the increasingly borderless, frictionless global economy."
His report, titled "The Price of Offshore Revisited," suggests the Top 10 private banks -- including Swiss banking giants UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, as well as U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. -- managed more than $6.25 trillion of this money in 2010, up from $2.3 trillion in 2005.
The report, using information from the Swiss-based Bank of International Settlements -- which is not accountable to any national government -- the International Monetary Fund and other sources, suggests that many developing countries would have more than enough to pay off their debts to the rest of the world if the capital hadn't flowed out of their economies since the 1970s.
The amount of money hidden out of reach of tax authorities is so great that standard measures of income inequality drastically undervalue the true gap between rich and poor, the report said.
Consumer confidence drops in July in EU
BRUSSELS, July 23 (UPI) -- The European Commission said Monday the flash estimate of consumer confidence in the European Union fell in the EU and the eurozone in July.
The flash estimate is based on a survey of consumers from 24 of the 27 EU countries, covering 98.8 percent of the the region's consumer spending.
For the eurozone, 16 of the 17 of that region's countries are included in the flash estimate. The survey represents a sample defined as 99.9 percent of the eurozone's consumer spending.
For the EU, the consumer confidence indicator fell from minus 19.7 to minus 20.3, the commission said. For the eurozone, the indicator dropped even further, falling from minus 19.8 to minus 21.6, the commission said.
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