Alternative lenders that loan to small businesses are starting to use analytics and other technology-driven methods to assess whether an applicant should be approved. Some also weigh nontraditional measures such as Yelp reviews. Their loans tend to be shorter term and higher cost.
Caterpillar's global sales of heavy equipment decreased 13% in the three months through February. The company cites weakness in Asian-Pacific sales and says 2013 profit could decline unless the global economy picks up. Customers are more inclined to rent heavy machinery than purchase it during uncertain times, says Lawrence De Maria, an analyst at William Blair.
UBS says it will withdraw from the panel that sets the Euro Interbank Offered Rate. "We have decided to withdraw from the Euribor panel and to focus on our core funding markets, Swiss franc and U.S. dollar," a spokesman said. UBS previously pulled out of the Australian rate panel, while Rabobank announced in January that it would no longer participate on the Euribor panel.
The House Agriculture Committee might push through a bill that would make it easier for banks to trade swaps overseas. It is one of seven measures the panel is expected to take up today. The legislation is aimed at curtailing the Dodd-Frank Act.
The Treasury Department's latest auction of stakes in 15 small banks acquired through the Troubled Asset Relief Program netted $62 million. That represents a slight discount from Treasury's initial investment.