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Jan. 9, 2013 at 1:57 PM   |   0 comments

U.S. stocks turn higher Wednesday

NEW YORK, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. markets rose Wednesday morning on a strong fourth quarter report from corporate bellwether Alcoa.

Alcoa traditionally kicks off each corporate reporting season, as it is the first Dow component to release its figures from the previous quarter. The company report released after markets closed Tuesday showed earnings in line with expectations and revenues ahead of expectations.

In early afternoon trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average added 58.63 points, or 0.44 percent, to 13,387.87. The Nasdaq composite gained 15.03 points, or 0.49 percent, to 3,106.83. The Standard and Poor's 500 added 3.92 points, or 0.27 percent, to 1,461.07.

The 10-year treasury note rose 3/32 to yield 1.86 percent.

Against the dollar, the euro fell to $1.3056 from Tuesday's $1.3081. The dollar was higher at 87.88 yen from 87.04 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 0.67 percent or 70.51 points to 10,578.57.

In London, the FTSE 100 index gained 0.74 percent, 45.02, to 6.098.65.


Lawmakers warn AIG not to sue Washington

NEW YORK, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Lawmakers warned American International Group Inc. not even to think about suing Washington for allegedly hurting investor profits in its $182 billion bailout.

"Don't do it. Don't even think about it," said a letter signed by Democratic Reps. Peter Welch of Vermont, Michael Capuano of Massachusetts and Luis Gutierrez of Illinois as the AIG board was to hear arguments, pro and con, at 8 a.m. Wednesday on the 41st floor of the insurance giant's downtown New York headquarters.

"AIG became the poster company for Wall Street greed, fiscal mismanagement, and executive bonuses -- the taxpayer and economy be damned," the lawmakers' letter to AIG Chairman Robert Miller said. "Now, AIG apparently seeks to become the poster company for corporate ingratitude and chutzpah.

"Taxpayers are still furious that they rescued a company whose own conduct brought it down," the letter said. "Don't rub salt in the wounds with yet another reckless decision that is on par with the reckless decisions that led to the bailout in the first place."

The AIG board was to consider joining a lawsuit filed by former Chief Executive Officer Maurice Greenberg that accuses the U.S. government of making the 2008 and 2009 bailout terms too demanding, thereby forcing unacceptably high shareholder losses, court records indicate.

It argues the bailout terms violated the Fifth Amendment, which protects against abuse of government authority, the records cited by The New York Times and other news organizations indicate.

The alleged constitutional abuse the lawsuit focuses on is depriving shareholders of private property "without just compensation."

The lawsuit seeks $25 billion in damages.

AIG fully repaid its $182 billion bailout only weeks ago.


Morgan Stanley to ax 1,600 positions

NEW YORK, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Banking giant Morgan Stanley said it would cut 800 jobs in the United States and 800 jobs abroad in a cost-cutting measure.

In October, the bank's Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said there was "way too much capacity and compensation is way too high," referring to the banking industry overall, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the bank this week said the job cuts would be in the bank's profitable institutional securities division, which includes corporate lending and work in mergers and acquisitions.

The spokeswoman also said that many of the cuts would affect senior positions, including managing directors and executive directors.

In October, Gorman said payroll expense "comes down because the amount of people in the business comes down."


Survey reveals how not to get a job

CHICAGO, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Failure to appear interested in the job during an interview was the No. 1 mistake made by job seekers, a survey of hiring managers found.

In a survey conducted for employment agency CareerBuilder by Harris Interactive, 62 percent of hiring managers said an apparent lack of interest was among the mistakes made during interviews by job candidates.

"A lack of enthusiasm can leave the employer feeling less than enthusiastic about you as a candidate," CareerBuilder said in a news release Wednesday.

The second most commonly mentioned mistake is, perhaps, related to that: Answering a cellphone during an interview. Sixty percent of hiring managers mentioned that as a reason candidates failed to get the job.

When it comes to dressing for the interview, "It is better to err on the conservative," CareerBuilder said, as 60 percent of hiring managers said dressing inappropriately derailed job candidates.

Almost as many -- 58 percent -- of hiring managers indicated being negative about a former or current employer ended a job candidate's chances of getting a job.

Poor body language also figured in to the equation, hiring managers said. Poor eye contact, failing to smile, weak handshakes and poor posture can deep-six a job candidate's chances, CareerBuilder said.

The survey was conducted in November and involved interviews with 2,600 hiring managers nationwide.

With 95 percent certainty, the results of the survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.92 percentage points, Harris Interactive said.

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