the Economy: It's Stuck In Neutral

It's Stuck In Neutral

The rundown U.S. economy sent discouraging new signals last week that it cannot shake the blahs. In one major sign of weakness, a virtual Who's Who of blue-chip companies reported huge losses or falling profits for the third quarter of this year. Citicorp lost $885 million largely because of red ink at its Quotron stock-reporting service and costs stemming from the layoff of 5,000 workers earlier this year. The largest U.S. banking firm said it would suspend its dividend and dismiss several thousand more workers. Among manufacturers, IBM said slumping sales caused its profits to plunge 85% in the recent quarter.

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