Global stocks fell upon news from the World Bank that growth estimates for the global economy for 2013 have dropped from a 2.4 percent estimate made in January to 2.2 percent. Worry that central banks will begin cutting stimulus caused the forecast to fall.
Futures at 8:30 a.m.: DJIA: -0.21% S&P 500: -0.25% NASDAQ: -0.26%
Here’s what’s buzzing Thursday morning:
Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) shares fell two percent yesterday after the bank announced CEO Stephen Hester would be leaving the company after five years in the position. As the bank begins the privatization process, the board concluded that RBS needs a CEO that would be able to see the company through privatization, a time commitment Hester wasn’t willing to make. RBS will continue to cut jobs as it restructures its business, and Hester’s successor has not yet been named.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is finally embracing the hashtag that has helped make Twitter so popular. The social network wants to make it easier for users to search for content, and since many people already use hashtags on the site, it only makes sense for Facebook to make them clickable. The hashtag has crept into almost all social media sites, and Facebook may even begin utilizing them for advertising.
Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) Chairman Dennis Wilson reportedly sold stock worth $50 million before CEO Christine Day announced her departure earlier this week. Lululemon shares dropped 15 percent on Monday and 17 percent on Tuesday following the news. The maker of high-end athletic wear had to recall a huge batch of see-through yoga pants back in March, which was a blow to the company’s formally outstanding reputation.
Clearwire Corp.’s (NASDAQ:CLWR) board has announced that it’s in favor of Dish Network’s (NASDAQ:DISH) higher offer instead of a lower bid from Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S). Clearwire had been curiously silent as the battle between Dish and SoftBank over Sprint has escalated. Sprint had been looking to buy the half of Clearwire that it doesn’t already own, but has only offered $3.40 a share. Dish, which has been looking to break into the mobile phone market, made a counteroffer of $4.40 per share. Clearwire is giving Sprint time to sweeten its bid before a shareholder vote scheduled for June 24.
Safeway (NYSE:SWY) shares rose 37.8 percent in after-hours trading on the news that the company will sell its stores in Canada to food retailer Sobey’s for $5.7 billion. Safeway CEO Robert Edwards said that the offer from Sobey’s was unsolicited. Edwards declined to explain how the sale would affect the grocery market’s U.S. strategy, saying he will answer those questions during its next quarterly earnings call.
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