Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew talks China; Bank of America mortgage settlement talks staff; Corporate instrigue at Lululemon; A good April for H&R Block. Lily Jamali reports.
U.S. markets ended Wednesday in the red. The Dow with a triple digit loss. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also retreating. Markets responding, in part, to economic news, the World Bank cut its global economic growth forecast for this year, citing Ukraine tensions and the harsh winter in the U.S. New Commerce Department data shows first quarter healthcare spending was weaker than the government was expecting. That means the economy probably saw a sharper contraction than previous estimates. On the brighter side, Treasury Department numbers out Wednesday show the U.S. budget deficit shrank by about 6% in May compared to a year earlier. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on the hot seat at the Economic Club of New York, talking China. Lew said the U.S. will urge China to move faster toward becoming a market-based system at high-level talks next month. He said Chinese officials acknowledge the need for reform, but expects it will take time: SOUNDBITE: JACK LEW, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "What I have been saying is we will probably see progress but it will probably frustrate us how slow the progress is and they're going to need to speed it up a little bit in order for it not to feel that way." Bank of America stock floundering on news that negotiations over the bank's mortgage settlement with the U.S. government.. have stalled. Corporate intrigue at Lululemon. The yogawear retailer's founder and its biggest shareholder, Chip Wilson, voting against reelection of two directors, including chairman, Michael Casey. Casey over from Wilson as Chairman in December. In a press release ahead of the company's earnings release, Wilson accused the board of putting short-term results ahead of long-term goals. The board responded that their members are aligned with the company's core values. Shares fell Wednesday. Less drama for cosmetics and salon retailer Ulta. Shares surged 14% after a strong earnings report. Tax preparation company H&R Block was the S&P's biggest gainer after posting its beating profit and revenue estimates. Shares rose. In Europe, plane manufacturer Airbus shares tumbled after Dubai's Emirates Airlines scrapped a $16 billion order for its A-350. Markets in Europe ended the day lower.