Sept 10 - Summary of business headlines: Apple backs-off high as investors await iPhone 5 launch; Wall Street dips ahead of Fed meeting, global jitters; Treasury to sell $18 billion of AIG stake; Hewlett-Packard ups job cuts. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Investors locked in gains after stocks hit multi-year highs last week, as Wall Street prepares for a key Federal Reserve meeting this week. Stocks slid into the close with the tech-heavy Nasdaq down a full percent. There were others factors behind the slow drift downward. Investors are waiting for a German court ruling this week on some of the programs the European Central Bank wants to use to stop the debt crisis. And weaker-than-expected trade data out of China add to global economic concerns, though experts are now anticipating some kind of stimulus out of the economic powerhouse. Apple was one of the reasons behind the Nasdaq's malaise. Investors and consumers are gearing up for the expected launch of the iPhone 5 on Wednesday. And there's some concern the new smartphone may not be smart enough to out rival the growing competition, especially from Samsung. Shares fell two percent after hitting an all-time high early in the session. A piece of American International Group is up for sale. The U.S. Treasury is selling $18 billion worth of stock acquired in bailouts during the financial crisis. Wall Street is not sure the market can handle so big a sale. Hewlett-Packard is letting go of more staff than originally planned. The struggling technology company plans to let go of 29,000 employees over the next two years, 2,000 more than announced in a previous restructuring plan. On to Europe now. Stocks were hit by inertia after hefty gains last week. Conway Gittens, Reuters