Insurance companies lead strong market day
NEW YORK – Stocks rose broadly Monday, led by insurance companies, after it became clear that Irene caused far less damage than many had feared. An increase in U.S. consumer spending also helped, as did a rare piece of good news from Greece: a merger of two major banks.
The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 254 points.
Trading volume, or the number of shares bought and sold, was the lowest since July 26 as the storm made it difficult for many traders to get to work in Lower Manhattan.
Former IMF head attends final meetings
WASHINGTON – Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, returned to the IMF’s Washington headquarters Monday to say goodbye to staffers and meet briefly with his successor. The visit came five days after New York prosecutors formally dismissed all criminal charges against him.
In a statement, the 187-nation lending agency said its current managing director, Christine Lagarde, met with Strauss-Kahn before he met with IMF staffers.
“These were private meetings, arranged at his request,” the IMF said in a statement. “We have no further comment to offer.”
Paulo Nogueira Batista, who represents Brazil on the IMF’s 24-member executive board, described the meeting with staffers as warm. He said hundreds packed into an IMF auditorium to hear Strauss-Kahn speak.
“It was a very emotional, warm farewell,” Nogueira Batista said.
Strauss-Kahn resigned from the IMF in mid-May to fight charges of attempted rape and criminal sexual contact in New York.
BofA selling half its shares in Chinese bank
NEW YORK – Bank of America Corp. is selling half of its stake in China Construction Bank Corp. to raise cash and shore up its capital base.
The nation’s largest bank by assets said Monday it will sell 13.1 billion shares in the Chinese bank for $8.3 billion to a group of investors it declined to name. The sale, which had been expected, will generate a gain of $3.3 billion for Bank of America.
Nordstrom to ship online orders for free
LOS ANGELES – With more consumers turning online to shop, Nordstrom Inc. has begun offering a rare perk: free standard shipping for all online purchases and returns, regardless of how much buyers spend.
The upscale department store chain previously offered free shipping for online purchases of $200 or more, or through promotional offers. The new policy applies to Nordstrom.com orders shipped within the U.S. and to items sent back by customers.