July 18 - Summary of business headlines: IBM earnings reassure markets; Ebay says Europe strong; Bank of America slashing costs; New hopes for housing. Bobbi Rebell reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL New signs crumbling corporate tech spending may not hit the IT sector so hard after all. IBM - a bellwether for the IT sector- raised its 2012 outlook and reported better than expected quarterly results. - Ebay also coming in better-than-expected- and confirming its full year forecast. The operator of the world's largest online marketplace was able to avoid a hit from Europe's economic woes- citing the region as one of strong growth. Bank of America is planning to slash its costs by $3 billion a year in commercial lending, investment banking and wealth management. While earnings at the second largest US bank beat forecasts, the report showed that revenues remain under pressure. Honeywell profits topped estimates- thanks to solid demand for chemicals and building control systems. The S&P 500 touched its highest level since early May on Wednesday, in part due to better than expected earnings. Anthony Chan of Chase Wealth Management: SOUNDBITE: ANTHONY CHAN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, CHASE WEALTH MANAGEMENT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think what we are seeing so far in earnings season is consistent with the fact that the US economy is growing but its growing at a much softer pace." Groundbreaking on new US homes rose in June- to its fastest pace in over three years. A separate report showed applications for US home mortgages jumped on a surge of demand for refinancing. Interest rates on 30-year mortgages fell to a new record low. Taking a look at the closing numbers. In the US, a solid performance, all the major indexes were higher. In Europe: equities markets rose to 2 weeks highs, lifted by a strong of upbeat corporate earnings. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.