Sep 14, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Global stocks fall as euro crisis saps confidence

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Asian stocks, U.S. index futures and the euro fell on Wednesday as investors remained unconvinced that euro zone leaders have a coherent plan to tackle the bloc's sovereign debt problems, which many fear could trigger a new banking crisis. Global markets have been roiled since the end of July by the twin fears of renewed recession in the United States and Europe's protracted debt woes, which have seen Greece, Ireland and Portugal forced to take bailouts and piled bond market pressure on Italy and Spain.

Moody's cuts French banks as euro crisis deepens

DALIAN, China/BERLIN (Reuters) - Moody's Investors Service cut the credit ratings of France's Credit Agricole SA and Societe Generale on Wednesday, citing their exposure to Greece's debt, a fresh blow to euro area leaders struggling to restore confidence in the region. The ratings agency left BNP Paribas on review for a ratings downgrade saying the bank's profitability and capital base provides adequate cushion to support its Greek, Portuguese and Irish exposure.

Asia corporate sentiment slides on global worries

TOKYO/MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Sentiment at Asia's top companies fell in the third quarter, hitting its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2009 as doubts about the strength of the global economy weighed, a Reuters survey showed. Weak U.S. economic data, a debt crisis in the euro zone and worries about inflation and tighter monetary policy in Asia have clouded the outlook for the global economy, denting sentiment across the board.

Fed set to give economy therapy, not shock treatment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve, facing rising global financial strains and recession fears, is poised to increase downward pressure on longer-term interest rates next week in a bid to accelerate a sputtering U.S. recovery. With one eye on escalating debt turmoil in Europe and another on a stubbornly high 9.1 percent U.S. unemployment rate, the Fed, whose policy panel meets next Tuesday and Wednesday, looks set to begin shifting the composition of its balance sheet to weight it more heavily with longer-term securities.

Wal-Mart aims to do more work with women

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc will double the money it spends with women-owned businesses, train women around the world and push major suppliers to use more women and minorities on work they do for the retailer as it keeps trying to shed a poor corporate image. The moves, being unveiled by Chief Executive Mike Duke and others on Wednesday, come after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out women's massive class-action sex-discrimination lawsuit against the world's largest retailer in June.

Yahoo board to meet to review options: source

San Francisco (Reuters) - Yahoo's board will meet on Wednesday to discuss a wide range of options facing the troubled Internet firm, including the search for a new chief executive, a source with knowledge of the situation told Reuters. Yahoo's board will meet in person at the company's Sunnyvale, California headquarters. The meeting is expected to last all day long and comes a week after Yahoo's board fired Chief Executive Carol Bartz, who had more than a year left on her 4 year contract.

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