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BUSINESS BRIEFLY

Investors pull $40.3 billion from mutual funds in week

Rattled investors pulled more than $40 billion from mutual funds in a single week this month as fears about the global economy intensified.

The total of $40.3 billion was the biggest amount removed from mutual funds in a week in nearly three years, the Investment Company Institute said Wednesday.

Stock fund outflows alone were a net $30 billion for the week ended Aug. 10. That was more than the total for the previous three weeks combined as investor concerns snowballed.

Domestic stock funds alone saw a net withdrawal of $23.5 billion during the week. The four-week moving average for stock funds, a less volatile measure of fund flows, rose to an average outflow of $14.8 billion. The previous week's moving average was an outflow of $8.1 billion.

Investors pulled a net $4.4 billion from bond funds.

The last time investors took more out of stock and bond mutual funds was at the height of the financial meltdown in mid-October 2008 when the weekly total reached $59.6 billion.

The withdrawals from Aug. 4-10 outpaced the total monthly withdrawals going back five years, with the exception of October and November 2008. -- Associated Press

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Limited's net income rises

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Limited Brands Inc. says its second-quarter net income rose 29 percent as sales rose at its Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works stores.

The company raised its annual guidance on the better-than-expected results.

Net income rose to $231.2 million, or 73 cents per share, from $178.7 million, or 54 cents per share, a year earlier.

Its adjusted net income of 48 cents per share beat analysts' average forecast for 45 cents per share.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $2.46 billion from $2.24 billion a year ago.

Limited Brands has found a sweet spot in the post-recession economy by selling off its clothing brand and focusing on its chains that sell small luxuries like lotion and lingerie at moderate prices.

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WCAS chosen to sell loans

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A New York bankruptcy judge has chosen a company to help sell off billions of dollars worth of loans held by the estate of failed investment bank Lehman Bros.

WCAS Fraser Sullivan Investment Management says it was selected by the court handling Lehman's bankruptcy to take over the portfolio, which includes $3.8 billion in loans and $1.5 billion in promised loans that were not paid out.

The asset-management firm will pool the loans into complex bonds, then sell slices of those bonds to investors. The proceeds of the sales will be returned to the Lehman estate and its creditors.

WCAS says it will create bonds worth at least $1 billion within a year. It hopes eventually to generate income from $2 billion of loans in the portfolio.

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UAW to start strike votes

The United Auto Workers' contract negotiations with Ford Motor Co. are "ahead of schedule," and the union will proceed with "routine" strike-authorization votes through Sept. 2, Vice President Jimmy Settles said in an emailed statement.

The votes are "a normal part of negotiations," Settles said in the statement. Such votes enable union leaders to call a strike. Settles heads the UAW's negotiations with Ford.

The union's contracts with Ford, General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC expire Sept. 14. Ford is the only automaker the UAW can strike. No strike may occur during this year's contract negotiations at GM or Chrysler as part of U.S. bailouts of those automakers in 2009. -- Bloomberg News

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Tops opens fueling station

A new fueling station added to Tops Friendly Markets' Hamburg store at 4250 McKinley Parkway opened for business Wednesday.

The gas station also boasts a walk-in Tops Xpress convenience store which offers prepared food items such as sandwiches, lottery tickets, automotive items and newspapers.

It is the company's 27th fueling location in Western New York. There are another four fueling stations in the Rochester area, two in Central New York, five in the mid-state area and two in Pennsylvania.

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