June 2 -Summary of business headlines: Groupon files paperwork for IPO; Growth in chain store sales tempered in May by higher price tags; Goldman Sachs probed by NY Attorney General; Wall Street slips ahead of Friday's jobs report. Conway G. Gittens reports.
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Groupon is the latest social media company to jump on the IPO bandwagon. The online group discount company officially filed for an initial public offering that could raise up to $750 million. The stock will trade under the symbol GRPN, but no word yet on how many shares will be offered or the price range. The Groupon IPO comes on the heels of a hugely popular debut from professional networking website LinkedIn, setting the stage for a highly anticipated Facebook IPO.
The month of May turned out to be a difficult time for many U.S. retailers. Faced with higher prices for clothing, food, and gasoline, shoppers decided to choose wisely. Sales at stores opened at least a year were up according to Thomson Reuters data, but no where as strong as the prior month. Consumer spending is responsible for roughly 70 percent of U.S. economic growth.
Steve Ricchiuto of Mizuho Securities:
SOUNDBITE: STEVE RICCHIUTO, CHIEF U.S. ECONOMIST, MIZUHO SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"The economy is suffering from a lot of headwinds that haven't let go and it continues to show through in the data. And the latest one that everyone seems to be pointing at is the rise in gasoline prices and what it's done to consumer's discretionary income and I think that's been a powerful factor."
Jobless claims were down last week but Friday's monthly jobs report may hold the key to which way the consumer is headed. Predictions are for the unemployment rate to dip, but the number of jobs created is expected to be small.
Goldman Sachs is being asked to provide information to New York prosecutors about the bank's behavior leading up to the financial crisis. This is just the latest probe. Goldman is also the subject of investigations by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
It was a quiet day on Wall Street with few willing to take a bet ahead of Friday's jobs numbers.
But stocks in Europe tumbled to a six-week low as investors worry about the global economy.
Conway Gittens, Reuters