Thing One: Barclays' Bad News: Barclays just can’t seem to escape that pesky Libor scandal. The bank reported its earnings on Friday and revealed that it’s facing more lawsuits over rate-rigging than previously thought. At least Barclays officials seem to know that they have to keep apologizing if they ever want this thing to go away; Bloomberg reports that the company’s chairman, Marcus Agius, said in a statement that the company is "sorry for what has happened, however, our leadership continues to focus on the delivery of our financial performance targets."
The apology may not help the bank avoid further lawsuits. Many mutual funds have launched internal investigations in an aim to figure out if they were hurt badly enough by the Libor manipulation that it warrants suing, according to The Wall Street Journal.
And the bad news doesn’t stop there. Barclays also disclosed that it’s facing a new regulatory probe, according to Retuers. The investigation centers around four current and former employees and whether they properly disclosed certain fees during an emergency capital increase in 2008.
Thing Two: Facebook Reports Earnings, People Yawn: Facebook reported its earnings for the first time as a public company Thursday, and the results came in at a resounding "meh." Despite better-than-expected revenue growth, investors fled Facebook in droves in after-hours trading. Shares dropped 10 percent to their lowest level ever, according to the WSJ. They may have been concerned about the company’s slow revenue growth or the huge expenses that weighed it down in the second quarter.
Also of concern, Facebook offered no guidance on how the company would boost advertising, according to Reuters. Company executives noted on the call that they managed to boost advertising on mobile. Still, analysts expressed worry that Facebook wouldn’t be able to hold users attention long enough to make money off of them.
Another question no one -- including our intrepid HuffPost livebloggers -- seemed to have an answer to: whether Zuck was wearing his famed hoodie on the call.
Thing Three: Someone Maybe Considering Helping Europe: Finally, some good news out of Europe, maybe. Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, said Thursday that the bank would do “whatever it takes” to save the Euro. Stocks rallied around the world on his comments, but investors probably shouldn’t get too excited considering that the ECB hasn't exactly had a can-do attitude during this whole debt crisis thing.
Speaking of the debt crisis, it really seems to be putting a damper on the ability of corporate America to make some good money, with companies like Ford and Apple blaming less-than-stellar earnings on the slowdown across the pond.
Thing Four: Possible Relief For Madoff Victims: Justice, or at least some money, may finally be coming to the Bernie Madoff's victims. Irving Picard, the bankruptcy trustee, asked a judge Thursday to allow him to make a payout of more than $2 billion, according to the WSJ. If Picard gets his way, which may prove tough in the face of legal challenges, more than 1,000 victims of Madoff’s fraud could get checks as early as this fall.
Thing Five: Regulatory Sweep On Aisle Five: Remember that whole Walmart may have bribed Mexican officials thing? Well, in a not-so-shocking development, it turns out other stores may be bribing foreign officials too, and the authorities would like to know about it, according to Reuters. American officials are weighing launching an examination of the retail industry in an aim to find violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law that prohibits U.S. companies from bribing abroad.
Thing Six: Capital One To Pay Soldiers: Capital One will pay soldiers $12 million in a settlement with the Justice Department and the Office of the Comptroller Currency over claims it violated a law that aims to protect active-duty military from financial hardship, according to the Washington Post. At least 4,000 servicememembers were affected by the violation of the Servicemembers Claims and Relief Act, which offers active-duty military protection from high interest rates, foreclosure, car repossession and other financial woes.
Thing Seven: Poor Big Pharma: The government may get in the way of big drug companies making money hand over fist. An appeals court in Philadelphia ruled that the common pharmaceutical industry practice of drug giants paying generic competitors to delay the release of their version of a drug is anticompetitive, The New York Times reports. The ruling, which contradicts at least three others, makes it increasingly likely that the Supreme Court could hear the case and the stakes are huge. If the Supreme Court agrees with the Philadelphia decision, it could mean less money for big drug companies and more savings for insurance companies, pharmacies and us ordinary folk.
Thing Seven And One Half: Let The Medal Count Begin: The opening ceremonies of the London Olympics are tonight, and about one billion of us global citizens are projected to watch the more than $42 million production, according to the Washington Post. The ceremony kicks off about two weeks of non-stop discussion about Michael Phelps, America's not-so-dreamy basketball team, Usain Bolt and whether the U.S. has more medals than Russia or China.
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Calendar Du Jour:
8:30 a.m. ET: GDP for Q2
9:55 a.m. ET: Michigan Consumer Sentiment - Final for July
Before Market Open:
Heard On The Tweets:
@JonErlichman: 57: the number of times the word Facebook was mentioned on the Zynga earnings call $FB $ZNGA
@zerohedge: When is the Instagram spin off? There is at least $1BN in value there
@petereavis: $FB call verdict: Massive overuse of the thesis that social interaction will drive the company's success. Not clear if the execs believe it.
@ObsoleteDogma: Shorter Romney: Hey Britain, I'm really happy for you and Imma let you finish but SLC had the best Olympics of ALL TIME.
@ezraklein: Bet Romney really wishes the Olympics were being held in France this year. No one cares if you offend the French.
-- Calendar and tweets rounded up by Khadeeja Safdar.