July 25 - Summary of business headlines: U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner treads carefully on bank break-up talk; Caterpillar raises outlook, Boeing beat forecasts; U.S. new home sales tumble. Conway G. Gittens reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Blue chips end a three-session slump with earnings providing a mild diversion: the Dow gained 58 points, but the rest of the market was hurt by Apple's big miss the day before. LIBOR was a topic at Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's testimony before the House Financial Services Committee - but banking reform was a major focus. In a stunning move, Former Citigroup Chairman Sandy Weill, in a CNBC interview earlier, called for the end of the big bank era he helped create. House republican Walter Jones says he regretted repealing the depression era law that created mega-banks like Citigroup, which he worries are now too big to fail. Geithner's careful response: give the more recent Dodd-Frank bank reforms time to work. SOUNDBITE: U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY TIMOTHY GEITHNER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "This law was the toughest, most far-reaching, most comprehensive set of protections against that same concern than the U.S. ever experienced, ever contemplated. Should we keep looking at what more we can do to make the system safer? Absolutely. And I expect Congress to continue to do that. And you should always go back and examine those judgments in this case. But I think it is a very tough set of constraints the risks you said and we should give those reforms a chance to take affect and work." Caterpillar lifted spirits somewhat, easily beating forecasts and raising its outlook for the year. Customers are being forced to replace aging equipment after putting off those purchases during the recession. At Boeing: newer fuel efficient planes continue to fly with customers looking to replace older models. Profits and sales topped expectations and the company is on track to regain the spot as the world's top commercial plane maker. But U.S. new home sales saw their biggest fall in more than a year preventing economic worries from fading. Finally, European markets closed mixed with Britain's recession deeper than feared. Conway Gittens, Reuters