- Copper fell the most in 13 months in London on speculation mining companies will boost production to take advantage of prices that reached a record high earlier this week. Aluminum and zinc also tumbled, and the 6.9% drop in lead was the biggest fluctuation of any commodity today.
- The US government reported the first back-to-back monthly budget surpluses in three years as a robust economy boosted tax receipts. The US budget deficit is set to come in at 2.5% of GDP this year, right at the long-term average.
- Crude oil fell again, finishing down another 2% near session lows as speculation increases that US supplies are ample to meet an shock related to Iran.
Wall Street Journal:
- Time Warner(TWX) is starting an Internet magazine for young men to be called “Office Pirates,” but it won’t say much about it, relying on word-of-mouth appeal.
- Philip Morris’s(MO) license to produce Marlboro cigarettes in China is not affected by China’s plan to halt construction of more cigarette factories.
- Some futures traders, concerned by several energy manipulation cases brought by the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission, are trying to weaken the commission’s authority.
- Lenovo Group Ltd., the world’s third-biggest personal-computer seller, plans to use Olympic-related marketing events to gain brand recognition and distinguish itself from IBM(IBM).
- American International Group(AIG) agreed to pay US regulators $1.64 billion to resolve allegations of wrongdoing, but investors who bought the shares yesterday probably got it right.
- Richard Breeden, a former chairman of the SEC, has raised $1 billion since late last year for a planned hedge fund.
- Harvard President Lawrence Summers will face his second vote of no confidence when the Faculty of Arts and Sciences meets of Feb. 28.
- Wachovia Corp.(WB) has attracted sales and trading executives from investment banks after setting up an equities group and building on its relationships with real estate and midsized companies to expand capital market activities.
- US Vice President Richard Cheney told Republicans that the wiretapping of suspected terrorists overseas should be an election issue.
- Google(GOOG), EarthLink(ELNK) and other technology companies want to set up a free or inexpensive wireless Internet network in Boston.