Take Stock – July 10

Many U.S. retailers are reporting sharp sales declines for June.

U.S Retailers report weak june sales

Many U.S. retailers are reporting sharp sales declines for June.

Rainy weather and escalating job worries kept consumers from buying summer staples like shorts and dresses.

As merchants report their monthly figures, the sales weakness appears to cut across all sectors, particularly apparel merchants.


Documentary tackles capitalism

Michael Moore’s latest documentary now has a title — and a theme that resonates with recession-weary audiences.

Moore’s look at the consequences of big business will be called “Capitalism: A Love Story.” The documentary is due in theatres Oct. 2.

Overture Films says “Capitalism” examines the disastrous effects of corporate profiteering.

Regarding the “Love Story” mentioned in the title, Moore jokes that he felt it was time to make a “relationship movie.” He said it would make a great date flick because it has “lust, passion, romance and 14,000 jobs being eliminated every day.”


Moody’s downgrades west Fraser’s debt rating

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the senior unsecured debt rating for West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (TSX:WFT) on Thursday. The ratings agency lowered its grade for the debt to Ba1 from Baa3. Moody’s also assigned a Ba1 corporate family rating and an SGL-3 speculative grade liquidity rating. The outlook is negative.

“The downgrade reflects the company’s weak operating and financial performance and the expectation that challenging industry conditions will limit the ability of West Fraser to restore its credit protection metrics to investment grade levels,” Moody’s said. West Fraser has a $150-million debenture due in October and a $100-million term loan due in March 2010.


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