Dec. 19 - Summary of business headlines: AT&T abandons $39 billion T-Mobile bid; Europe to boost bailout with loan to IMF, but Britain drags feet; Bank of America touches $5 a share; Saudi Prince adds Twitter to media holdings; Wall Street drop led by banks. Conway G. Gittens reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL AT&T officially dropped its $39 billion bid for T-Mobile, a unit of Germany's Deutsche Telekom, after the Department of Justice blocked the deal. The two instead have entered a roaming agreement. Twitter has a new backer. The micro-blobbing website now counts Saudi billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal as a stakeholder. The Prince paid $300 million for his investment. European finance ministers agreed to loan the International Monetary Fund 150 billion euros, which works out to just under 250 billion U.S. dollars, to help end the region's two-year debt crisis. Several European countries that do not use the euro have signed on, but the U.K. says it will wait until next year to decide whether it will contribute. Euro worries were alive and well after a warning from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. SOUNDBITE: MARIO DRAGHI, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK PRESIDENT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "As regards the short-term growth outlook for the euro area, the intensified financial market tensions are continuing to dampen economic activity in the euro area. An outlook remains subject to high uncertainty." American banks were hit hard by those concerns. Bank of America closed below $5 a share for the first time since the market meltdown in March 2009. Investors worry whether bank has enough capital to withstand more losses. U.S. stocks fell faster into the close as banks led to a more than 1 percent drop in the major market gauges. European markets were mostly lower after the head of the European Central Bank warned about economic risks due to the debt crisis. There was no noticeable market reaction in the U.S. or Europe to news of the death of North Korea's Kim Jong-il. Conway Gittens, Reuters