SEC calls for 'audit trail' for stock market trades
WASHINGTON — Federal regulators moved yesterday toward requiring a uniform system for tracking all securities orders on U.S. exchanges, in hopes of making it easier to investigate market disruptions like the May 6 plunge.
Members of the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed, on a 5-0 vote, requiring exchanges to maintain an "audit trail" covering trading orders from start to routing to execution.
The regulators say that would make it easier to investigate market disruptions like the so-called "flash crash" earlier this month that sent the Dow Jones industrials down nearly 1,000 points in less than 30 minutes.
MANUFACTURING ORDERS LIFT ECONOMY
WASHINGTON — The economic recovery got a lift in April as orders for large manufactured goods surged while sales of new homes benefited from homebuyer tax credits.
Manufacturing is helping drive the rebound. But some economists worry about the threat posed to U.S. exports from the widening debt crisis in Europe. And some fear that home sales will falter in coming months because the tax breaks for buyers have expired.
Still, economists found the two Commerce Department reports generally encouraging.
AIG SAID TO BE ON TRACK TO REPAY $182B
WASHINGTON — Insurance giant American International Group Inc. is better positioned to pay back all of its $182 billion federal bailout, a key Treasury official testified yesterday.
But AIG's ability to repay taxpayers depends on its future profitability and the insurance industry's strength, Treasury chief restructuring officer Jim Millstein said. He said AIG must complete the planned sales of two large insurance subsidiaries and regain the market's confidence.
The Congressional Oversight Panel, which is monitoring the $700 billion financial bailout, has criticized officials who managed the bailout for failing to consider alternatives, such as filing for bankruptcy or demanding concessions from AIG's creditors.
ASSISTANT TO DISNEY EXECUTIVE ARRESTED
NEW YORK — An assistant to a top executive at Walt Disney Co. was arrested yesterday along with her boyfriend on charges that they offered to sell secrets about the company's financial picture to investment companies, authorities said.
Bonnie Hoxie, who had been a secretary to Disney's head of corporate communications, was accused of conspiracy and wire fraud along with Yonni Sebbag, also known as Jonathan Cyrus.
OIL PRICES RALLY 4% AFTER 20% DECLINE
NEW YORK — Oil prices rebounded sharply yesterday after weeks of being knocked down by economic uncertainty.
After dropping more than 20 percent in three weeks, oil rallied 4 percent, the best one-day percentage gain since Sept. 30. Consumers, meanwhile, continue to benefit from declining prices at the pump.
Investors chose to focus on positive U.S. economic news instead of troubles in Europe.
Government reports said demand increased for both gasoline and big-ticket goods like refrigerators and airplanes.
YAHOO PROJECTING HIGHER PROFITS
SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Yahoo expects to make more money than management previously pledged as the slumping Internet company attracts more online advertisers and reaps savings from an upcoming search partnership with Microsoft.
In a presentation yesterday for stock market analysts, Yahoo projected its operating profit margin will range from 18 percent to 24 percent by 2013.
That's more ambitious than the margin of 15 percent to 20 percent forecast by the company in its last all-day meeting with analysts seven months ago.
Yahoo is planning on its revenue to increase by an average of 7 percent to 10 percent from 2011 through 2013.