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1. Yellen inches closer to Fed chairwomanship
The Oprah of economics... Janet Yellen moved closer to replacing Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chair in 2014 after the Senate banking committee voted 14 to eight to push her along in the process -- a surprisingly divisive split for the Fed nominee (CNNMoney).
The Obama administration originally invested $50 billion into GM in 2009 and 2010 during the automotive crisis using TARP funds, and has recouped $38.4 billion of that so far. What was once a 61% ownership stake has fallen to 2.2% today. And if the last 31 million shares were sold at Thursday's stock price, then the total loss to U.S. taxpayers on the GM bailout would be ~$10.4 billion.
But the gain for taxpayers is the smoking-new Corvette Stingray and the hundreds of thousands of automotive jobs remaining in the country connected to GM. This new chapter of stand-alone ownership will allow GM to increase dividends to shareholders and pay executives as much as they want (there are limits as long as taxpayers are involved). GM, which has generated billions in profits for each of the past four years, climbed more than 1% on the news.
3. Target falls on failing Canadian experiment
The stock fell 3.5% after investors learned that Canadian store sales were much weaker than expected on both low volume and prices compared to Target's American cousin-stores. Despite booming sales in youth hockey equipment and BlackBerry accessories (kidding), Target seems surprised that localers aren't thrilled about the new stores in their towns.
Profits dropped from $697 million to $498 million and it's almost entirely explained by losses in the Canadian unit. Analysts will watch to see whether Target can expand globally with success like Wal-Mart (already touched down in 27 countries) or that it's an exceptionally American brand.
- Federal job turnover report, Fed Bank of Kansas City manufacturing index
- Third-quarter earnings from Foot Locker.
Originally published on MarketSnacks.com.