By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth accelerated more than expected in the second quarter and the decline in output in the prior period was less steep than previously reported, which could bolster views for a stronger performance in the last six months of the year. The saving rate increased to 5.3 percent from 4.9 percent in the first quarter as incomes rose, which bodes well for future spending.
Gross domestic product grew at a 4 percent annual rate in the second quarter, above the 3 percent rate that had been expected and a sharp reversal from the weather-impacted first quarter, when the economy contracted 2.9 percent. Market participants shrugged off the ADP National Employment Report, which showed that companies hired 218,000 workers in July, a level that was below analysts' projections and was also down from June. Twitter Inc surged 25 percent to $48.25 in heavy premarket trading a day after reporting that monthly active users had risen a better-than-expected 24 percent in the second quarter. Facebook Inc , which also posted strong results this quarter and is up almost 35 percent this year, rose 0.9 percent to $74.37 before the bell.
(Reuters) - Carlyle Group LP said Wednesday its second-quarter earnings doubled from a year earlier as it continued to sell parts of its private equity portfolio and one of its European buyout funds started paying performance fees. Yet private equity dominated its income, accounting for 32 percent of assets under management but 65 percent of its earnings in the quarter. Carlyle's private equity fund portfolio appreciated by 5 percent in the quarter, in line with rival KKR & Co LP's funds, but less than the private equity portfolio of Blackstone Group LP , which rose by 8.4 percent.
By John McCrank NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S regulators may relax rules that require the fastest possible execution of securities trades, potentially helping upstart trading venue IEX Group's plans to become a full-fledged stock exchange. IEX, described in author Michael Lewis' book "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt" earlier this year as a place for investors to place buy and sell orders without worrying that they are being "front-run" by other traders whose order transmission speeds are faster than theirs. IEX has put in place a "speed bump" – delaying incoming orders by 350 millionths of a second, or a thousandth of the time it takes to blink -- on its trading venue, letting it update prices faster than the fastest market participants can calculate them, so that high-frequency trading firms cannot use their speed advantage to front-run others. The strategy has proved popular with investors, who have made IEX the 7th most used alternative trading system in the U.S. for the week of July 7, according to data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
By Richard Lough BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina faced a race against on time on Wednesday to avert its second default in 12 years, needing either to cut a deal by the end of the day with "holdout" investors suing it or to win more time from a U.S. court to reach a settlement. Argentine Economy Minister Axel Kicillof hurried to New York on Tuesday to join last-ditch negotiations, holding the first face-to-face talks with the principals of New York hedge funds who demand full repayment on bonds they bought at a discounted rate after the country defaulted in 2002. Argentina has until the end of Wednesday to break the deadlock. If it fails, U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa will prevent Argentina from making a July 30 deadline for a coupon payment on exchanged bonds.