NEW YORK (Reuters) – Retailers are generally optimistic about their holiday performance so far, although shaky economic conditions could change things quickly, the chief executive officer of American Express Co said on Tuesday.
Ken Chenault, in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said retailers were telling him the holiday had started better than they expected and that online sellers were feeling “very good” about their results.
(Reuters) – MetLife expects operating earnings to rise as much as 7 percent in 2012, the largest life insurer in the United States said on Monday, though its forecasts for the fourth quarter and full-year 2011 were below expectations.
The company, whose shares rose 3.7 percent in premarket trading, also expects to go back to regulators next month with a revised plan to return capital to shareholders, after its last one was blocked.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two members of the Senate have revived the debate over the federal government’s flood insurance program, with one pushing to extend the program before it expires and the other demanding faster payment on existing claims.
The National Flood Insurance Program has survived for years on a series of last-minute annual extensions. The program has an unsustainable debt load after a post-Hurricane Katrina bailout, but reform efforts have repeatedly bogged down amid differences over how to handle that debt.
NEW YORK, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Nearly half of the U.S. property
insurance policies renewed in the current quarter have been at
higher prices, brokerage Marsh said on Friday, adding fuel to an
industry turnaround after years of declining rates.
Marsh said 48 percent of property policies renewed in the
fourth quarter have been at a rate at least 1 percent higher.
Nearly 20 percent of policies have been renewed at rate
increases of more than 10 percent.
NEW YORK, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Shares in bond insurer
MBIA Inc (MBI.N: Quote, Profile, Research) spiked in late trading on Wednesday
after Standard & Poor’s affirmed the investment-grade rating of
a subsidiary that insures municipal bonds, ending months of
S&P said it affirmed National Public Finance Guarantee
Corp’s financial strength rating at “BBB,” with a developing
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Billionaire investor Warren Buffett buys newspapers every day, the hometown daily included, but on Wednesday he dispensed with the single-issue price and bought the whole company instead.
Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway said it would buy the Omaha World-Herald Co, owner of the paper of the same name, six other dailies and a series of weekly papers in Nebraska and Iowa.
Nov 23 (Reuters) – Mortgage insurer PMI Group Inc
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday,
following the seizure last month of its main operating unit by
Arizona insurance regulators.
PMI’s filing came one day after Richard Gama, an Arizona
Superior Court judge in Phoenix, rejected its request to
overturn the seizure by the Arizona Department of Insurance.
By Jochelle Mendonca and Ben Berkowitz
(Reuters) – U.S. property and casualty insurer Alleghany Corp (Y.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Monday it would buy reinsurer Transatlantic Holdings Inc (TRH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $3.4 billion in cash and stock — though a sharp drop in Alleghany shares meant a separate, hostile bid for Transatlantic was at least temporarily more valuable.
The Transatlantic saga has dragged on for months, since it first struck a deal with peer Allied World Assurance Co Holdings Ltd (AWH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in June. That merger fell apart in September amid opposition from Transatlantic’s largest shareholder and in the face of two unsolicited bids that were worth more money.
NEW YORK, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Protest veterans had said for
weeks the Occupy Wall Street movement needed to have a second
act if it lost its hold on Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.
The question now is whether they were ready.
New York police evicted protesters from the park in the
early hours of Tuesday, just two days shy of the occupation’s
two-month anniversary. Authorities said the field of tents and
people had become a health and safety threat.
(Reuters) – Warren Buffett has always made his distaste for technology investments clear, but on Monday he changed his ways in spectacular fashion.
The Berkshire Hathaway chief executive said he has bought nearly $11 billion of International Business Machines Corp stock in the last eight months, building a roughly 5.5 percent stake that potentially makes him the largest shareholder in the company.