Financial news on December 31, 2008

Business and Financial news
Ad Agencies Fashion Their Own Horn, and Toot It

A blog about Michelle Obama’s clothes shows how agencies are moving from promoting to creating brands. Read more..

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER - The New York Times

Debt Trap: College Borrowing Catches Up

As a college student, Stefan Heise relied on student loans and credit cards to pay for his education. Now out of school, he is more than $80,000 in debt and facing bankruptcy. Read more..

Matthew Orr|Emily B. Hager - The New York Times

Estate Planning Is More Than Avoiding Taxes

J.P. Morgan Private Bank has devised a program to detect liquidity deficits, the naming of wrong heirs and other common oversights in estate planning. Read more..

By PAUL SULLIVAN - The New York Times

Executive Leaving Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch’s vice chairman, Jeffrey N. Edwards, is leaving in January to pursue other interests, Gregory J. Fleming, the company’s president, said in a memorandum. Read more..

By BLOOMBERG NEWS - The New York Times

Ford Hybrid Emphasizes High Mileage

The midsize Fusion Hybrid is Ford’s strongest effort yet to break the dominance of Japanese automakers in hybrid passenger cars. Read more..

By BILL VLASIC - The New York Times

Gazprom Refuses to Back Off Threat to Cut Gas Supplies

Gazprom maintains Ukraine owes $2.1 billion for natural gas shipments and for late fees. It has threatened to cut off supply on Thursday if payment is not adequate. Read more..

By ANDREW E. KRAMER - The New York Times

In 2009, Economy Will Depend on Unlocking Credit

The length of the economic crisis will depend on the availability of credit in all its forms. Read more..

By ERIC DASH and VIKAS BAJAJ - The New York Times

Madoff Case Faces Crucial Disclosure Deadline

Bernard L. Madoff must provide federal regulators with a full accounting of his assets by Wednesday. Read more..

By DIANA B. HENRIQUES - The New York Times

Madoff Spotlight Turns to Role of Offshore Funds

Offshore investment funds used as tax havens are being investigated as part of the Madoff fraud case. Read more..

By LYNNLEY BROWNING - The New York Times

Village Voice Lays Off Nat Hentoff and 2 Others

Three writers were laid off, including Nat Hentoff, the prominent columnist who has worked for the paper since 1958, contributing opinionated columns about jazz, civil liberties and politics. Read more..

By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD - The New York Times

Stock Markets

Values are reported in US Dollars

Stock Ticker symbol Open High Low Close Volume
General Electric GE 15.82 16.34 15.77 16.20 60.3M
Microsoft MSFT 19.31 19.68 19.27 19.44 46.4M
Wells Fargo & Co. WFC 28.69 30.49 28.20 29.48 45.1M
Cisco Systems CSCO 16.18 16.55 16.12 16.30 37.5M
Intel INTC 14.71 14.92 14.56 14.66 34.1M
Pfizer PFE 17.65 17.97 17.57 17.71 32.5M
ExxonMobil XOM 78.42 80.59 78.29 79.83 30M
JPMorgan Chase JPM 30.70 31.94 30.44 31.53 25.9M
Oracle Corp. ORCL 17.81 17.99 17.68 17.73 23.4M
Apple AAPL 85.97 87.74 85.34 85.35 21.7M
AT&T Inc. T 28.19 28.88 27.85 28.50 20.8M
Comcast CMCSA 16.29 16.94 16.28 16.88 20.5M
Altria MO 15.37 15.41 15.03 15.06 18.3M
Verizon Communications VZ 33.18 34.34 33.03 33.90 17.4M
Bristol-Myers Squibb BMY 22.95 23.41 22.64 23.25 16.3M
Home Depot HD 23.14 23.80 22.97 23.02 15.1M
Wal-Mart Stores WMT 55.27 56.33 54.77 56.06 13.9M
ConocoPhillips COP 51.13 52.47 50.84 51.80 13M
HP Inc. HPQ 36.14 36.96 35.94 36.29 12.8M
Merck MRK 29.70 30.57 29.69 30.40 12M
Johnson & Johnson JNJ 59.18 60.05 59.07 59.83 11.9M
Abbott Laboratories ABT 53.25 53.74 53.07 53.37 11.8M
Procter & Gamble PG 61.35 62.20 61.07 61.82 10.8M
Chevron CVX 72.90 74.63 72.90 73.97 9.96M
Walt Disney & Co. DIS 22.57 22.95 22.52 22.69 9.01M
Schlumberger SLB 41.90 43.37 41.69 42.33 8.54M
Amazon AMZN 50.74 51.69 49.91 51.28 7.79M
Coca-Cola KO 45.17 45.50 45.06 45.27 7.78M
International Business Machines IBM 83.50 85.00 83.50 84.16 6.67M
Amgen AMGN 57.11 58.22 57.06 57.75 6.29M
McDonald's MCD 61.64 62.39 61.32 62.19 6.23M
Gilead Sciences GILD 51.48 52.26 51.03 51.14 6.02M
Alphabet GOOGL 304.20 311.00 302.61 307.65 5.77M
UnitedHealth Group UNH 27.06 27.31 26.20 26.60 5.58M
Boeing BA 41.59 43.05 41.50 42.67 5.44M
Pepsico PEP 55.03 55.57 54.61 54.77 5.02M
United Technologies UTX 53.15 54.08 53.04 53.60 4.63M
Visa V 50.61 52.77 50.60 52.45 4.09M
3M MMM 57.23 57.92 56.68 57.54 4.01M
Union Pacific UNP 46.80 48.32 46.47 47.80 3.28M
Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B 3040.00 3248.00 3000.00 3214.00 40.1K
Exchange Rates of December 31, 2008
CurrenciesExchange Rates
US Dollar Japanese Yen 1 USD = 90.650 JPY 1 JPY = 0.011 USD
US Dollar Canadian Dollar 1 USD = 1.218 CAD 1 CAD = 0.821 USD
US Dollar Swiss Franc 1 USD = 1.070 CHF 1 CHF = 0.934 USD
US Dollar Chinese Yuan 1 USD = 6.824 CNY 1 CNY = 0.147 USD
Euro Japanese Yen 1 EUR = 126.670 JPY 1 JPY = 0.008 EUR
Euro Pound Sterling 1 EUR = 0.955 GBP 1 GBP = 1.047 EUR
Euro Australian Dollar 1 EUR = 1.987 AUD 1 AUD = 0.503 EUR
Euro Canadian Dollar 1 EUR = 1.705 CAD 1 CAD = 0.587 EUR
Euro Swiss Franc 1 EUR = 1.494 CHF 1 CHF = 0.670 EUR
Euro Chinese Yuan 1 EUR = 9.529 CNY 1 CNY = 0.105 EUR
Japanese Yen Pound Sterling 1 JPY = 0.754 GBP 1 GBP = 1.326 JPY
Japanese Yen Australian Dollar 1 JPY = 1.570 AUD 1 AUD = 0.637 JPY
Japanese Yen Canadian Dollar 1 JPY = 1.348 CAD 1 CAD = 0.742 JPY
Japanese Yen Swiss Franc 1 JPY = 1.181 CHF 1 CHF = 0.847 JPY
Pound Sterling Australian Dollar 1 GBP = 2.081 AUD 1 AUD = 0.481 GBP
Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar 1 GBP = 1.782 CAD 1 CAD = 0.561 GBP
Pound Sterling Swiss Franc 1 GBP = 1.566 CHF 1 CHF = 0.639 GBP
Pound Sterling Chinese Yuan 1 GBP = 9.961 CNY 1 CNY = 0.100 GBP
Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar 1 AUD = 0.857 CAD 1 CAD = 1.167 AUD
Australian Dollar Swiss Franc 1 AUD = 0.752 CHF 1 CHF = 1.330 AUD
Australian Dollar Chinese Yuan 1 AUD = 4.785 CNY 1 CNY = 0.209 AUD
Canadian Dollar Swiss Franc 1 CAD = 0.877 CHF 1 CHF = 1.141 CAD
Canadian Dollar Chinese Yuan 1 CAD = 5.582 CNY 1 CNY = 0.179 CAD
Swiss Franc Chinese Yuan 1 CHF = 6.376 CNY 1 CNY = 0.157 CHF

See what else happened on December 31, 2008