GE lowers forecast
Shares of economic bellwether General Electric fell more than 6 percent on Friday after the industrial conglomerate lowered its earnings forecast on Friday citing the impact of the economic downturn. The firm earned $2.9 billion, or 26 cents per share in the second quarter, beating analysts’ expectations of 23 cents per share.

Bank of America earnings drop, but better than anticipated
Bank of America Inc. posted better than expected second quarter earnings on Friday, but warned of more losses ahead for its customers. Bank of America beat earnings estimates as it earned $3.2 billion, or 33 cents a share, compared to $3.4 billion, or 72 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 28 cents and revenue of $33.1 billion. BofA shares rose 5 cents or 0.4 percent, to $13.22 in morning trading Friday.

Citigroup reports $4.3 billion profit
Citigroup Inc. reported a surprising $4.3 billion profit for the second quarter where many analysts were expecting the company to report a loss. The reported profit was driven by the sale of control of its Smith Barney division. Analysts forecast a loss of 37 cents per share for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenues in the quarter were $30 billion. Last year, the company said it lost $2.5 billion, or 55 cents a share, same quarter.

Microsoft and Yahoo near ad deal

Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc are close to a long-discussed search and online advertising deal, which could be announced in the next week. The two companies have talked about cooperating for months, after Microsoft's bid to buy Yahoo was rebuffed last year and Yahoo's attempt to seal a search advertising deal with Google Inc fell apart under regulatory scrutiny. Read Full Article here.

US housing construction surges in June
The number of new houses being constructed surged in June indicating that the economy is starting to show signs of recovery. The Commerce Department reported Friday that construction of new homes and apartments jumped 3.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 582,000 units, from an upwardly revised rate of 562,000 in May.

Video game sales down to a 9-year low

Video games were supposed to be one of the few recession proof industries. In spite of the hype the E3 received, game sales still took a steep drop in June, down 31 percent to $1.1 billion, NPD reported.

Nissan to develop own hybrid car tech

Nissan Motor Co., the third largest automaker in Japan, seeks to develop its own hybrid technolgy for small and midsize cars, according to a report from the Nikkei business daily today. The company would end its procurement of hybrid parts from Toyota.

Solar electricity generation will double in 2010

New solar electricity generation may double in 2010 due to inreasing demand for renewable energy from China and the United States, Thiemo Lang, a portfolio manager from the $324 million SAM Smart Energy Fund told Bloomberg today. Lang forecasted 10 gigawatts of electricity generated by the sun will be added next year, compared to 6 gigawatts this year.

Shuttle prepares to dock with ISS

The crew of space shuttle Endeavour has begun preparing to dock with the International Space Station. Before docking, scheduled for 17:55 GMT, the shuttle will perform a back flip, allowing the ISS team to photograph and inspect Endeavour's heat shield.

Mattel tops views
Mattel Inc shares were up more than 4 percent in early trading after the toymaker reported better than expected profit for the second quarter on Friday as cost cuts helped offset lower sales. The company earned a net profit of $21.5 million, or 6 cents per share. Analysts had expected earnings of 1 cent per share, according to Reuters Estimates.