America's big banks reported earnings for the second quarter. The headline figures looked buoyant, partly because of lower operational and litigation costs. Net income at JPMorgan Chase rose by 31% to $6.5 billion; Bank of America's profit was up by 63% to $4 billion; and Citigroup's quarterly profit of $4.2 billion was its best since 2007. Goldman Sachs saw income double to $1.9 billion. But with the outlook for growth subdued in the banking industry, margins down and more costly regulations coming in, investors were unimpressed.
America's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission fined Barclays $453m for allegedly manipulating electricity prices in four states in the American West to benefit the bank's derivatives positions. Barclays is fighting the claim and will take the matter to court. JPMorgan Chase was said to be in talks to settle with the FERC in a similar case.
The trial got under way in Manhattan of Fabrice Tourre, a former banker at Goldman Sachs, on civil charges of securities fraud. Mr Tourre allegedly did not tell investors that a hedge fund had helped him select the assets in a portfolio of mortgage bonds, which it then bet against. The investors lost $1 billion.
A judge allowed a $5 billion lawsuit, brought by the Justice Department and claiming that Standard & Poor's intentionally misled investors, to proceed. The government alleges that S&P produced inflated ratings between 2004 and 2007 to please its clients in the financial industry.
A Chinese executive at GlaxoSmithKline appeared on state television giving details of what the government alleges to be graft at the drugmaker's operations in the country. Four executives are accused of paying bribes to medical staff to entice them to sell GSK's products. GSK said its Chinese staff are expected to abide by the law and it had "zero tolerance" for bribery.
How Lou can you go?
China's economy slowed again, growing by 7.5% in the second quarter. The finance minister, Lou Jiwei, caused a stir when he reportedly said he expected GDP for the year to rise by 7%, which is below the government's 7.5% target (Mr Lou's figure was rewritten by the state press to reflect the party line). With industrial production also slowing, some economists wonder whether it is time for them, too, to rewrite their forecasts.
Google's effort to end an antitrust inquiry into its search business in Europe appeared to be in trouble when Joaquín Almunia, the EU's competition chief, declared that it had so far not done enough "to overcome our concerns". In April Google submitted several remedies to the EU to address complaints that it promotes its own services over those of its rivals in search results.
Yahoo's earnings were mixed. The internet company's net income grew by half compared with the same quarter last year, to $331m, but revenue was down, as was the price it charges per ad. Investors expressed confidence, however, in Marissa Mayer's strategy (she took over as chief executive a year ago), pushing the share price to a five-year high.
From dreams to nightmares
Investigators looking at the cause of a fire on a parked Boeing Dreamliner at Heathrow airport found no initial evidence that the jet's batteries were the source. Several charred components have come under scrutiny, including the plane's emergency transmitter. All Dreamliners were grounded worldwide for three months earlier this year because of overheating batteries.
In Argentina a joint venture was announced between Chevron and YPF, the state-run energy company, to develop the Vaca Muerta shale formation, one of the biggest outside North America. Vaca Muerta was discovered in 2010 when YPF was majority-owned by Spain's Repsol. The venture with Chevron is YPF's first big deal since it was expropriated by the Argentine government last year.
Bernie Ecclestone, the chief executive of the Formula One Group, was charged by a German court in a case over an alleged $44m bribe to a banker who was involved in the sale of the car-racing championship to CVC Capital in 2005. Mr Ecclestone has acknowledged the payment but insists he was being blackmailed and rejects the charge.
Rossignol, a French ski-maker, was bought by Altor, a Swedish private-equity firm. The global ski market has gone downhill from its peak in the 1980s partly because more people are renting skis rather than buying them. The Nordic firm hopes to make Rossignol more profitable by expanding into outdoor wear, a strategy it tried with Helly Hansen, a Norwegian sports-apparel firm that had struggled before Altor bought it in 2006.