After watching its shares reach a 16-year low Wednesday, Washington Mutual Corp. issued a statement denouncing speculation that it is the subject of any regulatory enforcement actions.
Washington Mutual shares closed down 62 cents, or 9.3 percent, at $6.06 Wednesday. Earlier in the session, shares reached $5.75, their lowest point since 1992. The plunge followed a 17 percent decline on Monday and a 7 percent rebound on Tuesday.
Stimulus payments have ballooned deficit
A flood of economic stimulus payments pushed the federal budget deficit to an all-time high of $165.9 billion in May.
The May deficit was more than double the imbalance in May 2007, reflecting $48 billion in payments as part of the government’s $168 billion economic stimulus effort to give the economy a jump-start and keep the country from falling into a deep recession.
For the first eight months of the budget year, the deficit totals $319.4 billion, slightly below the all-time record for this period of $346 billion, set in the 2004 budget year.
US Airways fuel costs have doubled in year
US Airways chief Doug Parker said Wednesday that fuel costs per passenger have doubled since 2007, and the carrier will pay nearly $2 billion more in fuel in 2008.
For every roundtrip passenger, “we need to get $650 on average just to break even,” Parker told shareholders at an annual meeting in Tempe, Ariz.
“We’re nowhere close to that,” he said. “Nobody in the business is close to that. This is a major problem.”
Parker said US Airways will continue to look for creative ways to boost revenue.
Anheuser-Busch Cos. gets buyout offer
Anheuser-Busch Cos., the nation’s biggest brewery, received a purchase offer Wednesday from a Belgian brewer that might be too good to refuse.
Anheuser-Busch reported late Wednesday that InBev SA gave it an unsolicited bid to buy the company for roughly $46 billion. It’s unclear whether senior Anheuser-Busch executives think the deal makes sense, but shareholders may be drawn to the offer – $65 a share, a steep premium over the company’s closing price of $58.35 Wednesday.