By Richard Leong NEW YORK (Reuters) - Even if data next week shows a mediocre rebound in U.S. economic growth, that might be enough to keep the stock market aloft at record highs and the Federal Reserve steadfast in its winding down of stimulus through bond purchases. U.S. gross domestic product for the second quarter, due to be released Wednesday, is forecast to have grown 3.2 percent. Growth had shrunk 2.9 percent in the first quarter due to a harsh winter and spending cuts tied to the federal Affordable Care Act. Indeed, Friday's disappointing report on durable goods orders in June spurred JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs to shave their second-quarter outlook by 0.1 percentage point to 2.6 percent and 3.0 percent growth, respectively.
(Reuters) - Facebook Inc said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dropped its probe into the social networking company over events surrounding its controversial initial public offering. In its quarterly report filed on Thursday, Facebook said the regulator in May "notified us that it had terminated its inquiry and that no enforcement action had been recommended by the SEC." Facebook shares began trading on May 18, 2012, but soon fell below their $38 per share offering price and had lost more than half their value by the middle of August, angering investors. Investors also complained they were not told just prior to the IPO that analysts at Facebook's investment banks were cutting their forecasts after learning of the company's internal projections for advertising revenue. The end of the SEC probe does not affect shareholder litigation against Facebook, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and many banks over the Menlo Park, California-based company's IPO.
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A mixed reading on the health of U.S. business investment on Friday suggested the economy may not have rebounded as strongly in the second quarter as previously believed, but it offered hope for the rest of 2014. Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, rebounded 1.4 percent after declining by a downwardly revised 1.2 percent the prior month, the Commerce Department said. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the government's gross domestic product measurement. "The weak performance in core capital goods shipments during the quarter suggests that this segment of the economy is unlikely to contribute much to economic activity," said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York.
By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's message to investors has always been clear: trust in founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. Some on Wall Street wonder if Amazon may have bitten off more than it can chew. After an unusually busy first half of the year that saw the online retailer spend on developing everything from mobile phones and Hollywood-style production to grocery deliveries, investors are ready to see it curtail its ambitions and start delivering sustainable profits. "It does get frustrating when they continue to spend quarter after quarter and they don't let the revenue flow through," said Michael Scanlon, who manages $3.5 billion at Manulife Asset Management and holds shares of Amazon.
By Bernie Woodall DETROIT (Reuters) - A former Ford Motor Co engineer is being investigated by the FBI after listening devices were found in meeting rooms at company offices, the automaker said on Friday. "Ford and the FBI are working together on a joint investigation involving a former employee," Ford spokeswoman Susan Krusel said. "As this is an ongoing investigation, we are not able to provide additional details." The Federal Bureau of Investigation served a search warrant at Ford offices on July 11, the company cooperated, and agents left with eight listening devices, an FBI spokesman said.