Wall Street Brief: RBS Sells Insurance Unit Stake, Apple’s iPhone 5 is SOLD OUT

In just an hour, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) sold out of its iPhone 5 stock after the company started accepting pre-orders for the smartphone on its web site early this morning. The order page initially said the phone’s launch day would come next Friday, but now it has been pushed back two weeks for shipping.

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BAE Systems (BAESF.PK) could bail on its merger with EADS (EADSF.PK) unless the combined company will run as a one without political interference that has weighed on EADS, reported the Financial Times. This scenario could be a challenge considering that France and Germany each control 22.5 percent in EADS; from the deal, their combined stakes would fall below 10 percent with veto power only for blocking hostile takeovers.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is closing its review into Avon (NYSE:AVP) for improperly disclosing information to analysts regarding bribery allegations at the company. The agency will not recommend enforcement action.  The investigation’s end comes after a year-long review that resulted in the firing of Avon’s former vice chairman, Chuck Cramb. Citigroup said the SEC’s decision gets rid of a large overhang on shares but there’s still the inquiry of the allegations.

RBS (NYSE:RBS) will sell 25 percent of its Direct Line insurance unit through a London IPO from the conditions of its 2008 BP 45.5 billion bailout. Analysts see Direct Line with a BP 3 billion value, although it doesn’t look good after German insurer Talanx withdrew its IPO this week for a second time in three months thanks to disagreements over price with potential investors.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) will close seven of its China big box outlets and slash 850 jobs, leading to a third quarter $160 million charge.  The company said, “China is a do-it-for-me market, not a do-it-yourself market, so we have to adjust.” A slowing economy in the country isn’t helping matters and now Home Depot will focus on online and specialty stores in China.

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