Credit unions banking on bills to lift small business lending - Reuters Credit unions banking on bills to lift small business lending - Reuters

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Credit unions banking on bills to lift small business lending - Reuters

Credit unions banking on bills to lift small business lending - Reuters

CHICAGO | Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:32pm EDT

CHICAGO (Reuters) - When Phoenix entrepreneur Eric McCarthy needed money to build an ice cream business, the banks would not budge.

So McCarthy, like a growing number of small business owners, turned to a less likely source: his local credit unions.

"I tried all of the big banks, literally all of them, and was shocked and surprised that I got turned down," said McCarthy, who purchased four Baskin Robbins stores in his area this spring with a $300,000 loan from Mountain America Credit Union in Salt Lake City, Utah. "The big banks didn't want to lend a little money; they wanted to lend a lot of money."

Commercial bank loans of less than $1 million have fallen by more than 14 percent compared with 2008 levels, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp data. Meanwhile, credit union business lending jumped 22 percent from 2008 through the end of 2011 to $39.1 billion, according to the National Credit Union Administration, which regulates credit unions.

Nevertheless, business loans represent only 4 percent of total credit union assets of roughly $1 trillion through March, and many credit unions would like to do more. But some individual credit unions cannot -- they are nearing their legal limit. A 1998 cap restricts credit unions from lending more than 12.25 percent of their assets.

Credit unions have lobbied for more than a year to get Congress to raise the lid, but opposition from the banking industry has stalled proposed legislation. Credit unions are now focusing on legislation introduced this spring by U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, that would increase the lid to 27.5 percent of assets and has a better chance of passing. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has said the Senate would vote on a bill this session in what is expected to be a very close decision.

The American Bankers Association and others have lobbied against the change. The ABA says credit unions lack the institutional resources needed to do more commercial lending. Additionally, the tax-free status of credit unions gives them an unfair competitive advantage over banks. Credit unions operate as democratically controlled cooperative institutions, serving only their members, on a not-for-profit basis.

"Credit unions have a mission identified by Congress to serve people, primarily consumers, especially those of modest means," said Keith Leggett, an economist with the ABA. "Expansion of the cap would represent a fundamental shift or change in the credit union charter."

Leggett concedes the recession and weak economy have hurt the balance sheet of many small businesses, making it difficult for some to borrow from banks. Current lower interest rates have added to the challenge of banks' ability to make small business loans, he said.

"However, we're in a relationship business that goes beyond just a loan to other products," Leggett said, adding, "banks are making loans to every credit-worthy customer they can find."

While several credit unions suffered significant losses from bad business loans in recent years, Debbie Matz, chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, calls the cap "arbitrary."

"Credit unions tend to make very small business loans," she said. "Generally banks don't even make a loan that small," she said, noting the average credit union business loan is about $230,000. "They're filling a very important need for small businesses."

Those charged with finding new sources of capital for small businesses say anything that creates more financing options cannot be bad.

"I strongly believe that if credit unions are given a little bit more leeway, the overall small business lending environment in the country will improve, directly and indirectly," said Rohit Arora, CEO of Biz2Credit, an online service that has helped McCarthy and other small business owners arrange financing from a variety of sources.

Not every credit union is active in small business lending. In fact, only about one-third of federally insured credit unions have commercial lending programs, according to NCUA data from the end of 2011. Many offer loans backed by the Small Business Administration. Business owners seeking commercial loans should inquire whether a program is offered at their local credit union.

"In certain instances I think it is easier to get loans from a credit union as opposed to a bank," said Steven Parker, the co-owner of an upscale dog boarding business, K-9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel in Fanwood, New Jersey.

Parker and his brother secured a credit union loan of $180,000 from Financial Resources Federal Credit Union in 2010 for working capital. They are now scouting out credit unions that can help finance new operators interested in franchising their business.

"They were offering lower rates than a traditional bank," Parker said.

(This story fixed typo in Debbie Matz quote, seventh paragraph from bottom)

(Editing by Jilian Mincer, Linda Stern and Matthew Lewis)

What a waste of money! - The Sun

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Werner believes £35million misfit Andy Carroll is one of a number of players the Reds were foolish to pay over the odds for. Liverpool smashed the British transfer record to buy Carroll from Newcastle 18 months ago after selling Fernando Torres to Chelsea ...

Outside money ban in Massachusetts Senate race is working, but at what price? - YAHOO!

Brown (Charles Dharapak/AP); Warren (Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

What's one way to blunt the effects of outside interest groups on politics? Ban them. That's what Republican Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren did in their Massachusetts Senate race. The two candidates struck a unique deal in January (pdf) to penalize one another if any outside group bought advertising to influence their race--and it has worked. Maybe too well. Consultants and political observers now question whether the ban has come at an electoral price.

Brown was the driving force behind the agreement, dubbed the "People's Pledge." After weathering a negative special election campaign against Martha Coakley in 2010 and then facing attacks from the League of Conservation Voters and the League of Women Voters in his race against Warren in 2011, Brown lobbied hard for the arrangement. When Warren, a Harvard Law professor and consumer advocate, agreed in Jan. 2012 to a pact requiring each candidate to pay penalties to charity if outside groups advertised for them or against their opponent, the move was viewed as a coup for Brown who held a 2-1 cash advantage.

But since then, Warren has established herself as perhaps the most prolific Senate fundraiser in the country and became mired in controversy over her claimed Native American ancestry. Consultants in the state say these factors add up to potential regrets from Brown backers and frustration from super PACs and other third-party groups.

"They're champing at the bit from the outside," Tony Cignoli, a Massachusetts-based political consultant who works mostly with Democrats but has clients from all political parties, told Yahoo News. "What we're hearing from a lot of the consultants in both camps... is that there is so much at stake in Massachusetts with this particular race, it's very difficult for outsiders to stay out."

The controversy over Warren's heritage--she has provided no documentation to prove her 1/32 Cherokee heritage, but she and collegiate officials deny that it offered her any employment advantages--provided the first major example of a missed opportunity for outside groups in this race. Brown's campaign has chosen not to run any ads on this topic and outside groups can't pick up the slack.

Howie Carr, who hosts a conservative talk show popular in New England and writes a column for the Boston Herald, says he wishes Brown hadn't embraced the pact.

"I think it would have been better if Scott hadn't agreed to it, the way things worked out with the Indian stuff," Carr said. "It would have been nice to have some people come in and bang her over the head with the falseness of her claims to be an Indian."

Many political observers in the state agree that were it not for the outside money ban, the race's tone and topics of discussion would likely have been vastly different.

"If those outside groups had been able to launch on that issue, they would have created such misperception," Cignoli said of the heritage controversy. "Warren would have had more difficulty continuing staying on message."

Other conservatives, however, disagree. They say that the Cherokee story received plenty of play in the Massachusetts markets, and that the amount of money coming directly through the campaigns is more than enough for the candidates to make their case without competing with the noise from unaffiliated outside groups.

"I know from running campaigns myself over the years, I like to be able to control things," said Charley Manning, a veteran Republican political strategist in Massachusetts. "Scott's going to have plenty of resources to make the case of why folks should re-elect him and we're not being besieged by rashes of negative ads."

Not only has the ban altered the campaign dialogue, it has also changed the fundraising model. Back in Dec. 2011, Brown had $13 million on hand to Warren's $6 million. Since then, Warren has demonstrated notable fundraising prowess. She outraised Brown in the second quarter of this year with $8.6 million to Brown's $5 million and is inching ever closer to Brown in cash on hand--Warren has $13.5 million while Brown possesses $15.5 million. Brown is no longer heads and shoulders above Warren in campaign cash, and some say the Warren campaign has the trusty pact to partially thank for that.

"I think it was a brilliant, strategic political move for him at the time," longtime Massachusetts Democratic consultant Jim Spencer told Yahoo News of the ban. "But now it's not the case that he has more money." What's more, Warren's average contributions are lower, Spencer said, meaning Warren can tap much of her existing donor base again before Election Day.

"He's probably rethinking that right now... given the Warren fundraising juggernaut," Cignoli said.

"This has been probably the biggest strategic blunder by Brown that I can imagine," said one senior Democratic strategist, about Brown's agreement to the pact. "I think if you look at the scope of whole senate landscape, you can't deny the fact that Republicans always win at this. He took that out of the equation."

Representatives from third-party groups that support Warren say that despite their inability to run ads against Brown, they're glad the pact is in effect. Conservative groups, they argue, would have crushed them with outside money.

"The fact that they've been completely kept on the sidelines I think is an encouraging fact," said Navin Nayak, senior vice president for campaigns at the League of Conservation Voters, the group that ran ads against Brown in 2011. He added that "there's no doubt" the pact has been a net positive for Warren's campaign. "The idea that we wouldn't have been outspent over the last eight months just doesn't hold water with any other race we're looking at."

The ban also prevents the party committees (the Republican and Democratic National Committees and the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for example) from making independent expenditures in the race. While all of these committees remain active in the campaign, they're doing it without advertising. The NRSC declined to respond to Yahoo News' request for comment on the outside money ban, but it can be assumed that it has resulted in more money to go around for other high-profile races, since the Massachusetts race isn't sapping their spending.

Brown's campaign and his Republican supporters disagree with the suggestion that the pact has put them in a bind, saying Brown would never have entered into the agreement if it could have hurt his campaign and he continues to firmly stand behind the pact's true purpose-- keeping outside spending at bay.

But there is much chatter in the state about the pact being broken before Election Day and Spencer, Cignoli and others say the common question is whether Brown supporters will be the ones to thwart it.

"The feeling is it's inevitable it will be broken," Cignoli said.

But while Spencer says that he hears the pledge's end frequently discussed in political circles, he doesn't subscribe to the theories. "Brown initiated this. If [outside spending on the] right comes in, he's going to look bad... like just another phony politician," Spencer said.

Another note: Brown supporters have already broken the pledge twice.

Brown's campaign paid $1,000 to the Autism Consortium in March after a group called CAPE PAC purchased Google ads in support of Brown. Later that month, Brown agreed to donate over $34,000 to charity after the American Petroleum Institute ran radio and print ads urging voters to tell Brown to oppose a tax hike on energy companies-- a position he had already taken. At the time, issue-specific advertising was not covered by the agreement. But Brown agreed to close the loophole.

Brown's team said they are hopeful the pact will remain in place through Election Day.

"We're pleased that Scott Brown's People's Pledge has kept outside groups and super PACs off the Massachusetts airwaves, and we're hopeful the special interests on both sides will remain out of our race through the election," Brown communications director Colin Reed wrote in an email to Yahoo News. "This race will be decided by the people of Massachusetts based on the very real differences between Scott Brown's independent leadership and pro-jobs agenda, and Elizabeth Warren's job-destroying tax and spend philosophy."

Warren's camp also expressed support for the ban, but expressed no doubt about the ban's longevity. "Elizabeth believes the people of Massachusetts are entitled to hear from the candidates themselves--in their own voice--their best case for why they should be in the United States Senate. And for months now that's been the case here in Massachusetts," Warren press secretary Alethea Harney wrote in an email to Yahoo News. "That's how Elizabeth believes elections ought to work and she expects that the pledge will continue through Election Day."

Republicans groups say if it weren't for the pact they'd be involved in the race, but they  intend to respect the agreement.

Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for American Crossroads, pointed out that they have remained quiet in 2012 "to this point."

"Crossroads will be engaged in a variety of Senate contests and as our previous advertising shows, Massachusetts would have been one of those states," Collegio said.

Independent polls stretching back to March show the race tied or nearly in a dead heat with 15 percent or fewer of voters still undecided.

With such a small segment of undecided voters and no outside help available, strategists say debates between Brown and Warren scheduled for this fall have gained new importance.

Brown and Warren late last month agreed to meet for four televised debates between now and Election Day.

"The media usually puts much more stock in debates than they're worth," Spencer said. "But in this particular campaign, these debates are huge."

Stocks fall; Dow suffers third triple-digit loss - Marketwatch

By Wallace Witkowski and Laura Mandaro, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks sank Tuesday, resulting in the third straight session of triple-digit losses for the Dow average, following a report that Greece is still unable to pay off what it owes and will need to go through further debt restructuring.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/zigman/627449 DJIA -0.82%  ended down 104.14 points, or 0.8%, to 12,617.32. The last time it had three straight days of 100-point-plus losses was in early September. It’s lost 2.5% over the past three sessions.

The big slide kicked off when Reuters reported that three EU officials believe Greece will have to restructure some 200 billion euros (around $242 billion) in debt, placing more strain on the European Central Bank and euro-zone members.

Germany and Spain in spotlight

Moody's dims its outlook on Germany, further exposing the euro zone's fragility. Meanwhile, German and Spanish ministers are set to meet for crisis talks in Berlin as their economies diverge.

“The quicker you acknowledge the inevitable, the better,” said Michael Jones, chief investment officer of RiverFront Investment Group.

The troika — the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank — can continue to provide Greece with bailouts or they can choose the best way forward and require all international government entities to take a write-down, said Jones.

Cisco Systems Inc. /quotes/zigman/20039/quotes/nls/csco CSCO -5.91%  fell 5.9% and was the worst of the Dow’s 30 components, as analysts warned that VMware Inc.’s /quotes/zigman/464645/quotes/nls/vmw VMW -0.38%  planned purchase of Nicira could pose a threat to the networking giant. Read how Nicira is the next Instagram in Rex on Techs.

Only four stocks out of 30 on the Dow ended with gains, led by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. /quotes/zigman/272085/quotes/nls/jpm JPM +0.84% and Home Depot Inc. /quotes/zigman/229488/quotes/nls/hd HD +0.41%  

The S&P 500 Index /quotes/zigman/3870025 SPX -0.90%  fell 12.21 points, or 0.9%, to end at 1,338.31, after touching an intraday low of 1,329.24. The telecom sector and the energy sectors were the worst of the index’s 10 sectors, all of which closed lower.

AT&T Inc. /quotes/zigman/398198/quotes/nls/t T -2.12%  said second-quarter profit rose more than 8%, though sales fell short of forecasts. The carrier said it’s had some success adding smartphone subscribers. Read more on AT&T.

The Nasdaq Composite Index /quotes/zigman/123127 COMP -0.94%  dropped 27.16 points, or 0.9%, to close at 2,862.99, after touching an intraday low of 2,847.22. Apple Inc. /quotes/zigman/68270/quotes/nls/aapl AAPL -0.48% , the index’s largest component, slid 0.5% ahead of its earnings late Tuesday. Read more on how to trade Apple.

Even before the Greece report, stocks had been falling, extending losses after a cut to Germany’s ratings outlook, a slashed forecast from United Parcel Service Inc. /quotes/zigman/251269/quotes/nls/ups UPS -4.63%  and the shortfall in AT&T sales.

Also weighing on stocks, an index from the Richmond Federal Reserve showed a contraction in manufacturing activity worsened in July, with its main index falling 16 points to negative 17.

“The report adds to the latest batch of weaker economic data and fits the bill of unexpectedly weak readings that have unsettled the Federal Reserve,” wrote Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co.

European stocks ended lower Tuesday after Moody’s Investors Service late Monday cut its outlook on Germany’s triple-A credit rating to negative from stable, citing a spillover effect from problems in Spain and elsewhere. Europen bond yields rose. Read full story on European markets.

Providing some support — and buoying stocks in Asia — were data showing that Chinese manufacturing recovered a bit in July. An HSBC survey showed its Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 49.5 in July from 48.2 in June. Read more on Asian markets.

Worries about a slowing global economy were apparent in the latest earnings reports.

Shares of S&P 500 component United Parcel Service fell 4.6% after the shipper cut its earnings outlook for the year, citing “increasing uncertainty in the United States, continuing weakness in Asia exports and the debt crisis in Europe.” Read more on UPS.

Decliners outnumbered gainers about three to one on the New York Stock Exchange, and by about three to one on the Nasdaq. Composite volume for NYSE-listed shares topped 3.8 billion shares, and Nasdaq-listed shares exceeded 1.7 billion.

Treasurys rose, pushing yields back to a record low. Yields on the 10-year /quotes/zigman/4868283/delayed 10_YEAR -2.31%  note fell 3 basis points to 1.4%. Read more on bonds.

The dollar /quotes/zigman/4867933/sampled EURUSD -0.0054%  rose, adding more against the euro after the report on Greece. It lately bought $1.2071. Read more on currencies.


Theo Walcott tells Arsenal: I want trophies, not money -

England international Walcott has just 12 months left to run on his current deal, and while Arsenal are yet to begin formal negotiations over an extension, manager Arsene Wenger is seeking assurances over his future.

Walcott, a £12 million signing from Southampton in 2006, is currently with the Arsenal squad on their pre-season tour of Asia, where all the talk has been of absent skipper Robin van Persie, who is on the verge of quitting the club, after questioning whether the Gunners are still a competitive force.

Now it appears that Walcott will now have to ask the question over whether Arsenal are ambitious, after telling journalists this week his main focus is trophies, not money.

'The money in football is good but that is not why I turned professional, explained Walcott.

'As a player, you want to win titles, which Arsenal have not been doing, but I believe we will do so soon. It is more important than anything else in football,' he said.

'I hope to win many titles as I want to be remembered after retirement. I want to show my children and grandchildren what a good player I was.'

Walcott is still widely expected to sign a new deal in the next few months, but he is due to ask serious questions over the future of Arsenal at a meeting with manager Arsene Wenger before the start of the season.

The 23-year-old, a boyhood Liverpool fan, is a target for the Reds, along with Arsenal's London rivals, Chelsea.

US STOCKS-Wall St falls as Europe drags on earnings - Reuters UK

Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:13pm BST

* UPS cuts 2012 outlook, Texas instruments warns on Q3

* Cisco falls on VMWare move

* AT&T falls, telecom index drops

* Indexes: Dow down 1.3 pct, S&P down 1.3 pct, Nasdaq off 1.2 pct (Updates to late afternoon)

NEW YORK, July 24 (Reuters) - Wall Street dropped more than 1 percent on Tuesday, hit by signs the euro zone crisis is worsening and evidence that Europe's slowdown is hurting U.S. companies, including UPS.

United Parcel Service, seen by many as a proxy for economic activity, reported quarterly results that missed forecasts and cut its 2012 outlook, citing uncertain global economic conditions. The shares fell 4.8 percent to $74.24, pulling the Dow Jones Transportation average down 1.6 percent.

The weak results follow a string of stronger-than-expected earnings that lifted stocks last week. Still, investors had worried about Europe's effect on U.S. corporate sales heading into the reporting period.

AT&T Inc lost 2.9 percent to $34.39 after the company reduced its outlook for business services this year. The S&P telecom index dropped 2.1 percent as the worst performing S&P sector.

"We are going through an adjustment period where there has been a lot of talk about Europe facing a recession in 2012. Now we are actually seeing it in the earnings and the market is reacting to that," said Gail Dudack, chief investment strategist at Dudack Research Group in New York.

Whirlpool Corp slumped 7.4 percent to $62.31 after the world's largest appliance maker missed Wall Street's expectations for quarterly earnings and sales, hurt by weak demand in Europe and a stronger dollar.

According to Thomson Reuters data through Tuesday morning, of the 145 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings for the quarter, 66.9 percent have beaten analysts' expectations. Over the past four quarters, 68 percent have beaten estimates.

Concerns about the euro zone focused on Spain's high borrowing costs as the country paid the second highest yield on short-term debt since the launch of the euro. European Union officials said Greece had little hope of meeting the terms of its bailout.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 165.56 points, or 1.30 percent, at 12,555.90. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 17.93 points, or 1.33 percent, at 1,332.59. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 33.63 points, or 1.16 percent, at 2,856.52.

The decline put the S&P 500 on track for its third straight loss as the index again tested its 50-day moving average, a technical support level which could trigger more selling if convincingly broken.

Cisco Systems Inc fell 5.8 percent to $15.13 after VMWare Inc said it would acquire privately held Nicira Inc, a move seen as a threat to Cisco's core switching and routing business.

DeVry Inc dropped 24.1 percent and was the biggest percentage decliner on the S&P 500 after the for-profit education provider warned that profit for the June quarter will fall far short of market expectations.

In another sign of the economic malaise from Europe, Texas Instruments Inc warned that its third-quarter revenue would be weaker as customers show caution due to global uncertainties. The shares lost 1.3 percent to $26.48.

Spanish five-year government bond yields rose above 10-year yields for the first time since June 2001 as investors fretted about the possibility that Madrid may need a full-blown sovereign bailout. The 10-year note last traded at around 7.6 percent.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak, additional reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

Global stocks, euro tumble on European debt fears - Reuters UK

NEW YORK | Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:14pm BST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock markets fell and the euro hit a two-year low on Tuesday as rising Spanish bond yields drove Madrid closer to a full-scale bailout, while Greece's membership in the euro zone was at risk as its finances were way off its rescue package aid terms.

Equities were also pressured by lowered 2012 U.S. profit forecasts, including United Parcel Service, the world's largest package delivery company. Risk aversion drove the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note yield to a fresh historic low.

Spanish yields climbed above 7.6 percent on its 10-year bond, reflecting a growing belief that the country will need a bailout that the euro zone can barely afford.

As inspectors from Greece's three international creditors return to Athens to decide whether to keep a 130-billion-euro lifeline active, three European Union officials said they were likely to conclude the country cannot repay what it owes.

"People are jumping to the conclusion (Greece) won't get any more money than (what) they need to in order to pay back the ECB and therefore they will exit the euro," said Gail Dudack, chief investment strategist at Dudack Research Group in New York.

She said she didn't see the Greek exit as imminent but "much further out in history."

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 167.90 points, or 1.32 percent, to 12,553.56. The S&P 500 Index dropped 17.31 points, or 1.28 percent, to 1,333.21. The Nasdaq Composite lost 29.44 points, or 1.02 percent, to 2,860.71.

The MSCI world equity index fell 1 percent after losing 1.7 percent on Monday. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed down 0.55 percent a day after a 2.4 percent drop.

Italy's benchmark FTSE MIB stock index fell 2.7 percent to close at its lowest since the 1999 launch of the euro.

Further weighing on Wall Street, U.S. manufacturers lowered 2012 sales and profit forecasts even as several companies reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings.

Shares of UPS, seen as a bellwether of the overall economy, dropped more than 5 percent, and its main rival FedEx lost more than 2 percent.

"You look at UPS and FedEx and you think they are sort of the temperature-takers of what is going on. If they are tanking, why should I step in front of that moving train?" said Cummins Catherwood, managing director at Boenning and Scattergood in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

The euro hit its lowest since June 2010 versus the U.S. dollar, down 0.5 percent, marking its fifth day of declines for a total drop of about 2 percent.

Rating agency Moody's on Monday changed its outlook for Germany to negative, in part on the potential cost to Berlin if Spain needs more financial help. Moody's also cut the outlook for the Netherlands and Luxembourg to negative from stable.

"It is underlining the fact that whatever resolution for Europe ... will ultimately undermine the stronger members of the euro zone," said Tommy Molloy, chief dealer at FX Solutions in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

U.S. and European manufacturing showed signs of weakness. A stronger factory reading out of China gave commodities support, but the sharp decline in the euro reversed gains in copper and stalled the recent advance in oil prices.

Data showed Europe's economic troubles caused a sharp slowdown in German factory activity, although an improvement in China's manufacturing sector supported oil and copper prices. The euro zone as a whole is nearing a recession.

U.S. data showed manufacturing expanded at its slowest pace since late 2010, hobbled by weak overseas demand for American goods, though a rise in domestic orders helped cushion the blow.

U.S. Treasuries were steady at higher levels after a 2-year note auction, part of $99 billion in new debt sales planned for this week. The benchmark 10-year note was up 12/32, with the yield at 1.3959 percent after hitting an all-time low of 1.3942 percent.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.2 percent after having risen more than 1 percent.

Oil prices fluctuated in choppy trading. Brent dropped 16 cents to $103.10 a barrel and U.S. crude gained 16 cents to trade at $88.30.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by James Dalgleish)

US STOCKS SNAPSHOT-Wall St falls on Europe crisis, earnings - Reuters

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