This week in finance brought some bad news. The stock market struggled and we found out we'll be paying for the BP oil spill. On the bright side, however, we're one step closer to driving GM's electric car and welcoming our Google overlords. (Did you miss last week's news? Catch up by reading Water Cooler Finance: The Unrelenting Claw Of Bernie Madoff.)

In Pictures: 8 Signs Of A Doomed Stock

BP Passes the Buck
Since news of the largest oil spill in U.S. history hit the markets, BP (NYSE:BP) has lost about 40% of its market value. The company reported $32 billion in charges related to the spill in the second quarter. It also announced that it would offset those charges against its taxes, passing approximately $10 billion on to the American taxpayers. (For more, see The Most Expensive Oil Spills.)

BP plans to sell off $30 billion in assets to reemerge from this PR and environmental nightmare. Part of this plan may include selling off Venezuelan assets to TNK-BP Ltd., the company's Russian joint venture.

BP has replaced CEO Tony Hayward with Bob Dudley, charging him with repairing BP's damaged image. Doesn't your job seem a bit easier now?

In other oil news, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) saw its earnings leap by 91% as the refining business bounces back. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) also posted increased earnings.

Citi Happy With Charges
Speaking of large charges, Citigroup (NYSE:C) will have to pay $75 million to settle allegations that the company failed to disclose subprime exposure to the tune of $40 billion to investors in 2007. The company accepted the terms without admitting or denying the charge, but was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as being happy that the SEC was not charging them with "intentional or reckless misconduct."

Citigroup also announced in a memo that it has hired former Goldman Sachs employee Jo Narita as the bank's head of forex trading in Japan.

Unhappy Consumers, Unhappy Stocks
Consumer confidence fell to its lowest point since February this month and, along with mixed earnings reports, this caused the S&P to fall on Tuesday. On the upside, home prices rose in May. Despite the losses earlier in the week, stocks recovered slightly as Thursday came around, with the Dow and Nasdaq composite rising slightly. Overall, the markets continue their roller coaster ride through the economic recovery (or looming double dip recession, depending on who you are talking to).

Don't Be Shocked
The race for the electric car continues as GM set a price of $41,000 for its Chevy Volt this week. If that price tag is what's keeping you from pre-ordering the car, don't forget the $7,500 tax credit that will reduce the cost to $33,500, bringing it in line with the Nissan Leaf. (For more, check out 10 Steps To Buying A Car (Without Getting Taken For a Ride).)

The 61% government-owned company is expected to file an IPO as early as August according to Reuters. Perhaps then Rush Limbaugh will stop referring to the company as "Obama Motors".

Google Divides and Conquers
Continuing its quest for world domination, the technology giant struck a blow to Microsoft's (Nasdaq:MSFT) presence in Japan this week, Yahoo Japan announced its plans to use Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) to run its internet queries. That means that more than 90% of Japan's internet searches will be done by Google, according to the Wall Street Journal. The partnership between Yahoo (Nasdaq:YHOO) and Microsoft struck earlier this year did not include Japan. Although Yahoo has a significant stake in Yahoo Japan, they are separate companies. Enough Yahoo Japan stock is held in other hands that Yahoo is unable to block the decision.

InformationWeek reported that Microsoft slammed the deal, saying it creates an anti-competitive arrangement in search.

The Bottom Line
While the markets continue to jump up and down, at least you be certain about the news for the foreseeable future. Between BP and Citigroup, we'll have plenty of headlines to keep us busy. It's nice to know you can count on something! (Need some tips to survive this market? Check out How To Retain Your Sanity In A Volatile Market.)

Related Articles
  1. Home & Auto

    4 Areas to Consider Roofing Material Types

    Roofing your home is very important, that’s why you should choose a roof specifically designed to handle your area’s climate.
  2. Stock Analysis

    The 3 Energy Stocks You'll Wish You Bought in 2015

    Learn about the energy sector and the types of companies that operate within the sector. Find out about some of the best-performing energy stocks in 2015.
  3. Chart Advisor

    Traders Step Back to Assess Commodities Damage

    Traders are turning to these exchange-traded notes and exchange-traded funds to analyze key commodities and determine what could be coming next.
  4. Stock Analysis

    How Rollins Inc. Transformed from Radio to Pest Control

    Discover how Rollins, Inc. grew and expanded, making numerous acquisitions, transitioning from the radio industry to the pest control industry.
  5. Economics

    These 5 Countries Move the Supply of Oil

    Learn which countries are the largest source of change in the global supply of oil. Oil prices crashed in 2014 as supply increased and demand dropped.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    Mark Cuban Success Story: Net Worth, Education & Top Quotes

    Learn more about America's favorite billionaire: Mark Cuban, outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of the hit show "Shark Tank."
  7. Economics

    Looking to Invest In Oil? Be Patient

    Learn about the best time to pick a bottom in oil. Oil prices have been destroyed due to excess supply and slowing demand from a slow global economy.
  8. Chart Advisor

    Four ETFs for Trading Falling Crude Oil

    Commodity traders are turning toward oil because the recent move below a key support level is signaling a move lower. We'll look at four ETFs you can use to gain exposure.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares DB Energy

    Explore information about the PowerShares DB Energy Fund ETF, and learn how investors utilize it to obtain exposure to the oil and gas industry.
  10. Investing News

    Acquisition of Zulily Inc

    On August 17, 2015, Zulily Inc (ZU), an e-commerce company that caters mothers and children, announced that it will be strategically acquired by QVC, a part of Liberty Media Corporation (LMCA), ...
RELATED TERMS
  1. Coastal Barrier Improvement (CBI) ...

    A federal law that makes federal disaster relief and federal ...
  2. Catastrophe Reinsurance

    Reinsurance purchased by an insurance company that reduces the ...
  3. Lean Enterprise

    A production and management philosophy that considers any part ...
  4. Hurricane Deductible

    An amount a homeowner must pay before insurance will cover the ...
  5. Benchmark Crude Oil

    Benchmark crude oil is crude oil that serves as a pricing reference, ...
  6. Unconventional Oil

    A type of petroleum that is produced or obtained through techniques ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do the costs of oil sands producers compare to traditional drillers?

    The oil sands of Canada are some of the most expensive crude oil assets in the world to produce. Each asset type, such as ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do all oil companies received the quoted price of West Texas Intermediate for their ...

    The quoted, or spot, price of West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, crude oil is just one of several benchmark oil prices. The ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do the average costs compare for the different types of oil drilling rigs?

    Average costs vary widely between different types of oil rigs, starting at around $20 million and ranging as high as close ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How long does it take an oil and gas producer to go from drilling to production?

    Depending on the depth of drilling required and the type of drilling method used, a standard oil well can commonly advance ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does an oil and gas company measure and state its production?

    Measuring Oil and Gas Production Oil and gas exploration and production companies, or E&P companies, use three basic ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What credit rating should I look for in an oil and gas company?

    Look for a credit rating in an oil and gas company that is suitable for your desired returns and risk tolerance level. Companies ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!