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Wall Street takes a pre-Fed pause

Monday, March 12, 2012 - 02:05

March 12 - Summary of business headlines: Stocks finished little changed as investors await Federal Reserve; U.S. gas prices up 12 cents in two weeks -survey; Pepsi seeks more pop in executive ranks; Disney's less-than-heroic ''John Carter'' debut. Conway G. Gittens reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL It was a quiet trading session on Wall Street ahead of a Federal Reserve announcement expected the following day. Energy was once again a topic of discussion as U.S. gasoline prices continue to rise. The price at the pump surged over 12 cents in the past two weeks, according to the nationwide Lundberg Survey, but that was slower than the 18 cent jump the two weeks prior to that; offering some hope. Peter Cardillo is chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. SOUNDBITE: PETER CARDILLO, CHIEF MARKET ECONOMIST, ROCKWELL GLOBAL CAPITAL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We're probably peaking in terms of gasoline prices going much higher. There is a possibility that when we see the driving season pick up over the next month or so that we might get one more spike but I don't think we go much beyond $4.50 a gallon." Pepsi is twisting the top of its executive ranks. It's bringing back one executive to run the Americas Foods business, while elevating the current person in that job to the new role of President. Both executive are considered front-runners to one day take over for CEO Indra Nooyi, who has come under fire for slow growth at the beverage and snacks company. Walt Disney may have a dud on its hands with the 3D motion picture "John Carter". The film, which cost about $250 million to make, took in nearly $31 million in its opening weekend. Some analysts describe the movie, which was supposed to launch a new Disney blockbuster franchise, as a high-profile bust. A small rise in Disney shares did nothing for the broader market, which ended with small moves in both directions. There was a similar tone in Europe were stocks stayed closed to opening prices. Conway Gittens, Reuters

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Wall Street takes a pre-Fed pause

Monday, March 12, 2012 - 02:05