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European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated that the central bank is ready to act if needed Thursday, but refrained from introducing new stimulus measures to help the euro-zone recovery. The ECB left its main interest rate, the rate at which it lends to banks through it regular loan facilities, at a record low 0.25%, where it has been since November.
Until recently, few investors outside China had ever heard of Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co. But the maker of solar cells is now the talk of the global financial community amid fears it could be the proverbial butterfly whose flapping wings cause an earthquake in China's $1.4 trillion credit market. Last week, Shanghai Chaori Solar said it was unlikely to be able to make a roughly $14.7 million debt payment by Friday's deadline, putting it on track to be the first corporate borrower to default in China.
The Justice Department’s lead antitrust official will not participate in the review of Comcast’s proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable, the department said Thursday. The official, William J. Baer, assistant attorney general and head of the antitrust division, will not participate in considering the merger because he represented NBC Universal when it was taken over by Comcast in 2011. Obama administration guidelines say that during the first two years in office, an appointee is forbidden from taking part in a decision involving a former client.
Tough day for retailers today with both Costco and office supply store Staples taking it on the chin after reporting weak earnings results and worse than expected sales and margins. The triple-crown on lousy news if you’re running a retailer. The big shocker is Costco. Known as one of the best operators in the retail industry Costco built a reputation for reliable sales and earnings growth even as competitors like Target and Walmart struggled. Not anymore. This is the third straight quarter that earnings have come up short. While CostCo rather refreshingly didn’t mention weather in their report they did say that margins were a problem. That trend is unlikely to improve anytime soon.

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