Oct 9 - Summary of business headlines: Alcoa, Yum Brands set positive tone for earnings season; New York securities industry still recovering from crisis -State Comptroller; Oil prices rally, but stocks fall; Greeks march against Merkel. Conway G. Gittens reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Wall Street trips over the International Monetary Fund's downward revision to global growth. Blue chips suffered their biggest decline in seven weeks, but the Nasdaq had its worst day in more than three months. After the bell, Alcoa swung to a third-quarter loss, but the deficit was not as deep as expected. The loss was due to weak aluminum prices, as well as somber demand. Yum Brands, the parent of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, beat earnings targets and raised its full-year outlook, though sales missed forecast. According to Thomson Reuters data, earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to fall compared to last year, the first drop in three years. But Michael Woolfolk of Bank of New York Mellon says there could be an upside surprise. SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL WOOLFOLK, GLOBAL MARKETS STRATEGIST, BNY MELLON (ENGLISH) SAYING: "But we have a bit more upbeat view regarding earnings. I think you have to be careful about where you look that there will be some differences between sectors. For example, technology I expect to do quite well. Manufacturing I think has done well this summer." Total compensation is up at New York Wall Street firms, but bonuses are not, and neither is hiring. According to an annual forecast by the state's fiscal watchdog, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, The New York City securities industry saw a net exodus of more than 20,000 jobs since the financial crisis. In other developments: Oil prices surged more than 3 bucks on concern violence between Syria and Turkey could harm global supplies. Meanwhile in Athens: hundreds detained, dozens arrested as protesters clashed with police during a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. As for stocks - the direction was down for major European markets. Conway Gittens, Reuters