July 15 - Summary: Boeing rebounds as 787 fire probe focuses away from battery; Citigroup results improve as toxic loans now less toxic; Goldman trader begins day in court; Leap shares double on AT&T bid. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The week begins with new Wall Street records as corporate headlines lead the way. Gains were trimmed in final minutes with The Dow's historic close at 15,484 and 1,682 for the S&P 500. The cause of last week's fire on board a Boeing Dreamliner 787 - not focused on the battery, but on a Honeywell transmitter. That was a relief to shareholders, causing Boeing to be the best Dow point gainer by far. Citigroup is the latest big bank to please investors. The third largest U.S. bank saw total profits surge a better-than-expected 42 percent. A better housing market means all that bad debt that led to the financial crisis is now less bad. By the way - some courthouse action tied to the financial crisis. Jury selection began in the case against former Goldman Sachs bond trader Fabrice Tourre. He's accused of misleading investors in a mortgage securities investment. In other headlines, AT&T doesn't want any competition for its bid for Leap Wireless, so it put a $1.2 billion offer on the table for the pre-paid mobile service provider. This deal follows Sprint gobbled up by Japan's Softbank and T-Mobile USA tying the knot with MetroPCS. Shares of Leap more than doubled, while AT&T investors show concern with that high offer price. Latest stats on the economy suggest a slowdown at the end of the second quarter. Retail sales were up less than expected in June. While demand for big ticket items like autos held up, sales of building materials slumped by the biggest measure in a year. Tepid consumer activity prompting economists to downgrade forecasts for second quarter growth to a measly one percent. Anthony Chan of Chase Private Client: SOUNDBITE: ANTHONY CHAN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, CHASE PRIVATE CLIENT BANK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We are in fact experiencing some of the hangover, if you will, from the payroll tax increase, the sequester impact and we probably will end up seeing that the second calendar quarter this year will probably being the weakest calendar quarter for all of 2013 for the U.S. economy." Economic worries - not damaging investor appetites on either side of the Atlantic. European shares rallied, led by banks on the back of Citigroup's results.