July 10 - Summary of business headlines: Stocks fall after warnings from Applied Materials and Advanced Micro Devices; Small business sentiment sours; Research in Motion strategy lacks movement; Iowa broker accused of misusing over $200 million in customer funds. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Four days in a row. That's how long stocks have been sliding as worries grow earnings season may be more painful than predicted. The Nasdaq giving up a full percent after profit warnings from Applied Materials and Advanced Micro Devices. A survey of small business owners added to the gloomy tone. Confidence, as measured by the National Federation of Independent Business, slumped by the most in two years, heightening fears the economy won't improve that much in the second-half of the year. Kevin Mahn of Hennion and Walsh looks at the economy this way: SOUNDBITE: KEVIN MAHN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, HENNION AND WALSH (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I don't think the U.S. economy is in danger of falling into a double-dip recession but it all depends on what happens in Europe. If I could use a baseball analogy, I would say the U.S. is in the 8th or 9th inning of their recession, I wouldn't call it a recovery just yet, where I think that Europe is in the second or third inning." The stock of the day: Research in Motion. You have to go back a long way to see this stock trading at such lows. The BlackBerry maker's shareholder meeting did little to restore confidence in a comeback. CEO Thorsten Heins told shareholders RIM will become a "lean, mean machine." Investors pushed the end call button on that forecast. Less than nine months after the collapse of MF Global - there's another Wall Street scandal brewing. $220 million is missing from customer funds at PFGBest, a forex and commodity futures broker, according to an industry body. Customer accounts were frozen after an apparent suicide attempt by the company's chairman. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has filed a complaint against the parent company, claiming fraud and misappropriation of customer funds. Crossing now over to Europe - Progress on the euro zone rescue fund gave stocks a boost as borrowing costs headed lower. Conway Gittens, Reuters