August 22, 2012 in City

Americans showing better use of credit

From Wire Reports

WASHINGTON – Americans continue to do a better job paying off their debts, with a leading index of defaults on mortgages, credit cards and auto loans dropping in July for the seventh straight month.

Four of the five types of loans tracked by the S&P Dow Jones Indices and credit reporting company Experian fell in July to their lowest level since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, the firms reported Tuesday. Only second mortgages saw a slight increase from June.

“Looking at the rate of new defaults in mortgages or auto loans, the consumers’ credit position has recovered from the financial crisis,” said David M. Blitzer, chair of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Credit card defaults showed the biggest improvement in July, dropping to their lowest level since August 2007.

Best Buy 2Q profits decline 91 percent

LOS ANGELES – A day after Best Buy Co. named a turnaround expert as its new chief executive, the electronics retailer announced its profit fell 91 percent in the second quarter.

The sour earnings report came after Best Buy announced Hubert Joly, head of Radisson and T.G.I. Friday’s parent Carlson Cos., as its new chief executive.

The Frenchman brings “expertise in turnaround and growth” at “a critical moment,” Best Buy said during the reveal. On Tuesday, the company said its net income in its second quarter, which ended Aug. 4, slid 91 percent to $12 million, or 4 cents a share, from $128 million, or 34 cents a share, during the same period last year.

Revenue dropped 3 percent to $10.5 billion. The company’s stock sank 1.4 percent Tuesday to $17.91.

U.S. stocks lose steam as Apple’s price drops

NEW YORK – U.S. stocks turned lower Tuesday, with the S&P 500 index retreating from a four-year high as Apple’s drop overshadowed optimism that Europe would move to contain its debt crisis.

After climbing 59 points, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 68.06 points, or 0.5 percent, to 13,203.58.

Since its Oct. 9, 2007, high, the market is down 9.4 percent overall, but information technology is up 16.6 percent, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Take out Apple, and technology is down 4.1 percent,” he said.

Apple Inc. shares turned lower along with reports the technology company and Samsung Electronics Co. had failed to settle a potentially costly patent dispute.

Shares of Apple finished at $656.06, down $9.09.

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