Feds likely to regain GM investment

WASHINGTON --- The chief White House economic adviser said Tuesday that the government could get "most, if not all" of the money it invested in General Motors back once the automaker offers shares to the public later this year.


The comment by National Economic Council Director Larry Summers goes beyond previous estimates by the Obama auto task force that the government would likely lose some of the roughly $50 billion spent rescuing GM, of which about $42 billion remains outstanding.

Summers' comments were backed up by an analyst estimate Tuesday that suggested GM equity could be worth between $75 billion and $78.5 billion -- giving the government more than $42 billion.

Cutbacks, global growth boost Wal-Mart profit

NEW YORK --- Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s first-quarter net income rose 10 percent as the world's largest retailer benefited from cost-cutting and robust growth in its international business.

But Wal-Mart said a key measure of revenue dropped for the fourth consecutive quarter as it continued to see a decline in customer counts at its U.S. namesake stores.

It also offered a muted outlook for the current quarter as shoppers worry about jobs and their finances.

Wal-Mart said Tuesday net income was $3.32 billion, or 88 cents per share for the period ended April 30. That compares with $3.02 billion, or 77 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

In other news

CUSTOMERS RETURNED to Home Depot Inc. in its fiscal first quarter, boosting the chain's profit and raising a key performance measure for the first time since 2005, the company said Tuesday.

HEWLETT-PACKARD CO.'S net income jumped 28 percent in the latest quarter as stronger demand for computers is helping to heal a battered technology industry. The company also raised its 2010 forecast, sending shares higher.

HOME CONSTRUCTION rebounded last month to the highest level in 18 months as buyers capitalized on tax incentives.

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