Market Wrap: Citi CEO Clears Out; The Discharged Battery Maker; CPI Rises in Sept.; USPS Hits Borrowing Limit

October 16, 2012 5:43 PM EDT
Market wrap-up for October 16th

End of the Day: S&P 500 up 14.8 to 1,454.92; Dow Jones up 127.6 to 13,551.78; Nasdaq up 37.0 to 3,101.17

The following is a brief summary of events moving markets today:
  • Mystery shrouds the unexpected move: Citgroup (NYSE: C) CEO Vikram Pandit announced that he would be leaving his role at the bank this morning. Speculation surrounds what triggered the event, a Board dispute over the direction of the bank, salary and benefits, or Pandit's overall performance. Through several interviews today, Pandit maintained that the decision was solely his own.

    For more, click here.

  • It's A-1, 2, and 3 strikes. They're out: Battery maker and government-backed A123 Systems (Nasdaq: AONE) said it would be filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today, following a warning issued Monday night that it would default on debt payments and explore alternatives.

  • Tech giants fumble: Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) issued quarterly reports Tuesday. IBM missed on revs due in part to a near-$1 billion currency adjustment, while lagging PC demand hit Intel's results.

  • Feel like Pop-Tarts cost a little more now? You're not alone: Consumer prices in the U.S. rose in September, increasing 0.6 percent. The move higher was driven in part by gains in the cost of gasoline, which rose 7 percent. However, despite the rise in inflation, Ex-food and energy, CPI rose only 0.1 percent in September.

    For more color, click here.

  • Premium price for a premium product?: Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced pricing for its Surface tablet PC today. According to the software giant, "Surface with Windows RT will initially be available in three SKUs: a 32GB version priced at $499, a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at $599, and a 64GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at $699....Surface will be available for purchase beginning Oct. 26, 2012, at all Microsoft Store locations in the United States and well as Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom."

    Pricing has been mulled for months since Microsoft debuted the device in June. Microsoft CEO Ballmer alluded to pricing in September, though those comments had a slightly lower range.

  • Watch out for more ad circulars to hit the ol' mailbox: The USPS was said to hit its borrowing limit of $15 billion, as set by the U.S. Treasury. This is the first time that the agency hit the limit since its inception many years ago. Now, the USPS has to rely on revs from selling stamps, shipping goods, and whatever other means it can find to keep its largely expensive operation running.

    The limit was said to be hit in September, though the USPS had enough borrowings to pay a $1.4 billion workers comp payment on Monday.

  • They weren't even given recess: Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision) admitted to hiring underage workers at one of its China plants, according to reports today. Interns as young as 14 were employed at the Yantai location for about three weeks. Foxconn said it took "immediate" steps to return the workers to their respective educational institutions.

    The manufacturing giant makes products for the likes of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), and other U.S. and international firms.
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