Wall Street is questioning how long it will take Citigroup and Bank of America to free themselves from the shadow of the global financial crisis after the banks reported fourth-quarter earnings below expectations. Citigroup's profit rose 25% and Bank of America reported a 63% drop, but both results were undercut by mortgage settlements and other legal costs.
Adding to evidence that China's economy is picking up momentum, gross domestic product increased 7.9% in the fourth quarter, up from 7.4% expansion in Q3. Retail sales jumped 15.2% last month compared with December 2011. For 2012, GDP increased 7.8% compared with 2011, the lowest rate since 1999.
Aviation authorities in Europe, India and Japan joined the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in grounding Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. The FAA said the aircraft would stay grounded until airlines proved that its lithium-ion batteries are safe. Authorities acted after a second incident involving the batteries forced an emergency landing this week.