Citigroup stock falls below $1 a share
CHARLOTTE, N.C. : Shares of Citigroup Inc., once the nation's most powerful bank, fell below $1 a share yesterday. The stock was as low as 97 cents in late morning trading and down 11 cents, or 9.7 percent, to close at $1.02 for the day. New York-based Citi has lost more than 85 percent of its value this year and is down more than 95 percent from a year ago, as the bank is pummeled by souring loans and the impact of the recession. But Citigroup's shares will remain on the New York Stock Exchange. Last week, the NYSE relaxed its listing rules to allow stocks that fall under $1 to still be listed and traded, given the "current period of unusual market volatility and decline." Ordinarily, an NYSE-listed company's shares cannot remain below $1 for more than 30 consecutive days. If that happens, the company gets about six months to prove to the NYSE it can boost its stock price. Citigroup used to be the largest bank not only by assets but also by market capitalization. At the start of 2007, its market cap was high at about $270 billion but by March 2008, it had fallen below $100 billion. Now, it's $6.2 billion.
Circuit City liquidation sales to end Sunday
Circuit City Stores Inc. will finish its end-of-business sales by Sunday, earlier than the bankrupt electronics retailer had projected. "We expect all the stores to run out of inventory by the end of the weekend," said Scott Carpenter, executive vice president of the Great American Group WF LLC, one of four companies that is liquidating the electronics chain. "Overall, we are pleased with the way things went." The companies originally said the sales would continue until March 31.
Mortgage rates show slight rise
McLEAN, Va. : Rates on 30-year-fixed mortgages rose this week amid reports showing a worse-than-expected plunge in the nation's gross domestic product and continuing elevated levels of jobless claims, Freddie Mac said yesterday. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage increased to 5.15 percent this week from 5.07 percent last week. A year ago, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.03 percent. Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft said mortgage rates followed a rise in bond yields after gross domestic product plunged in the fourth quarter.