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Last Call: Ben Bernanke and Groundhog Day

Wednesday, 18 Jul 2012 | 4:01 AM ET
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke prepares to testify before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill.
Getty Images
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke prepares to testify before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill.

Phil Connors: Excuse me, where is everybody going?
Fan on Street: To Gobbler's Knob. It's Groundhog Day.
Phil Connors: It's still just once a year, isn't it?

-Groundhog Day

— Below, in his semiannual testimony Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke once again mentions the Fed stands ready to act if necessary, but gives little guidance as to how, if or when.

Market Musings With CNBC Market Guru Robert Hum

  • Recap: Dow +78.33 (+0.62%), S&P +10.03 (+0.74%), Nasdaq +13.10 (+0.45%)
  • After dipping during Bernanke testimony, stocks rally back, close modestly higher
  • Dow, S&P rise for just the 2nd time over the last 9 sessions
  • S&P 500 turns positive for month; Dow, Nasdaq still slightly lower this month
  • 4 S&P sectors close at new highs: Telecom, Consumer Staples, Health Care, Utilities
  • Euro rises for 3rd straight day for first time in a month
  • Crude oil settles above $89 for first time in 1.5 months

The Word on the Street Tonight

Intel Slashes Revenue Forecast as PC Sales Lag/CNBC.com with wires: “Intel's earnings beat expectations but the chip maker forecast weak current-quarter revenues, reinforcing fears that a wavering global economy and a lack of consumer interest are dampening personal computer sales. After the earnings announcement, the company's shares initially fell but later turned positive.”

Yahoo Beats on Earnings; Revenue Is Light/CNBC.com with Wires: “Yahoo reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts' expectations, though revenue was light. Shares rose in after-hours trading on Tuesday.”

Bernanke Offers Bleak View but No Clues on Action/WSJ – Jon Hilsenrath and Kristina Peterson: “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered a bleak new assessment of the U.S. economy to lawmakers on Tuesday but remained guarded about what, if anything, the Fed would do about it.”

High State Court to Consider Appeal From Hank Greenberg/CNBC – Kate Kelly: “Seven years after he was first sued by New York state prosecutors for securities fraud, the allegations against former American International Group chief Maurice “Hank” Greenberg are still pending — and may now be considered by the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court. The state’s appellate division today granted a motion by Greenberg and former AIG Chief Financial Officer Howard Smith for permission to appeal its May 8 ruling allowing New York prosecutors to take their fraud charges to trial. That decision, which may shift the Greenberg case up to the Court of Appeals, is significant for two reasons: It could result in the fraud charges against the former executives to be tossed out through a motion for summary judgment, and, in so doing, could raise major questions about the efficacy of a century-old law called the Martin Act.”

CSX profit up as autos, intermodal offset coal/Reuters – Lynn Adler: “CSX Corp reported higher quarterly profit and said revenue and volume were little changed from a year ago as increases in consumer goods segments helped offset a drop in utility coal shipping. Higher automobile, export coal and intermodal shipments partially made up for the dip in domestic coal shipments, which was triggered by low natural gas prices, the company said on Tuesday.”

Wynn Resorts 2nd-Quarter Net Down 11% on Macau and Las Vegas Weakness/WSJ – Kristin Jones: “Wynn Resorts Ltd.'s (WYNN) second-quarter profit fell 11% as the casino operator saw a decline in its revenue from Macau and Las Vegas. Results fell short of analysts’ expectations.”

FDA approves Vivus’ anti-obesity pill associated with double-digit weight loss in patients/AP: “The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved a new weight loss drug from Vivus Inc. that many doctors consider the most effective therapy in a new generation of anti-obesity pills designed to help patients safely shed pounds. The agency cleared the pill Qsymia for adults who are obese or overweight and have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.”

Economic Data

830am et Jun Housing Starts

830am et Jun Building Permits

1400pm et Beige Book

Earnings

Before the bell:

Bank of America, Abbott Labs, Bank of NY Mellon, BlackRock, Check Point Software, Ericsson, WW Grainger, Honeywell, Northern Trust, PNC Bank, St. Jude Medical, Stanley Black & Decker, US Bancorp

After the bell:

American Express, IBM, Qualcomm, eBay, Kinder Morgan Energy, Stryker, Yum Brands

Key Guests

Michael Ward, CSX Corp. CEO (640a)

James Leech, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan President & CEO (730a)

Bruce Richards, Marathon Asset Management Co-Founder (740a)

Richard Perry, Perry Capital (800a)

Doug Parker, US Airways Chairman & CEO (308p)

Richard Davis, U.S. Bancorp CEO (310p)

Meredith Whitney, Meredith Whitney Founder & CEO (410p)

Bob Lutz, Fmr. General Morots Vice Chairman, CNBC Contributor (700p)

Neel Kashkari, PIMCO Managing Director (700p)

ALL DAY ON CNBC: CNBC and Institutional Investor host the 2nd Annual Delivering Alpha Conference in New York. This unique meeting welcomes the best-known hedge fund managers and investors globally, as well as illustrious political and economic commentators. All on-the-record, some portions televised live. Opening Keynote Speaker: Secretary Timothy Geithner.

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