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PROFIT DOWNERS

PROFIT DOWNERS



No one expected this earnings season to be anything but dismal, and so it is proving thus far. Two cases in point from bellwether Bellwether

A leading indicator of trends.

Notes:
A bellwether stock is a stock that is used to gauge the performance of the market in general. General Motors was an example of a bellwether stock, hence the saying "What's good for GM is good for America.
 behemoths: Microsoft on Jan. 22 posted a quarterly net income drop of 11% from the year before and said it would jettison jettison (jĕt`əsən, –zən) [O.Fr.,=throwing], in maritime law, casting all or part of a ship's cargo overboard to lighten the vessel or to meet some danger, such as fire.  up to 5,000 employees over the next 18 months--the company's first major layoffs ever. A day later, General Electric reported that fourth-quarter net earnings sagged by 44%, although they met expectations. Shares in both companies tumbled on the news. On Jan. 27 credit-ratings agency Moody's added to investors' concerns by placing GE's long-term debt Long-Term Debt

Loans and financial obligations lasting over one year.

Notes:
For example debts obligations such as bonds and notes which have maturities greater than one year would be considered long-term debt.
 ratings under review for a possible downgrade Downgrade

A negative change in the rating of a security.

Notes:
For example, an analyst may downgrade a stock from strong buy to buy, or a bond rating agency may downgrade a bond from AAA to AA.
.

See "GE Rattles Investors" businessweek.com/magazine

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Article Details
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Author:Harry Maurer & Cristina Linblad
Publication:BusinessWeek
Date:Feb 6, 2009
Words:114
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