Hot Stock Minute

GM releases recall probe; ECB cuts interest rates; Sprint and T-Mobile reportedly plan to merge

The results of an internal General Motors (GM) investigation into the company's response and recall of faulty ignition switches was released this morning. It found “a pattern of incompetence and neglect” and showed “a history of failures” over 11 years, CEO Mary Barra said announcing the results. She said 15 employees were no longer with the company and five others received disciplinary actions. GM recalled almost 2.6 million vehicles this year over faulty ignition switches that have been linked to 13 deaths and 47 crashes. The company has admitted to being alerted about the problem as early as 2001.

Today's poll question is about the report. Will GM's internal investigation be enough to help put the recall behind them? Vote in our poll, or leave a comment below or on Twitter.

The European Central Bank made historic cuts to interest rates this morning. It cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 0.15% and its deposit interest rate to -0.10%. A negative deposit rate has never been tried on such a large scale. The ECB hopes the negative rate will reduce the value of the euro and encourage banks to invest money rather than paying to keep it.

Weekly jobless claims rose last week, but remained near a seven-year low. The Labor Department said this morning claims rose by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000. Analysts were expecting claims to rise to just 310,000. While last week’s claims were above analysts’ expectations, the four-week average of claims fell to its lowest level since June 2007. The key May employment figures will be released tomorrow.

Two stocks we’re watching today are Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) who have reportedly agreed to broad terms of a merger deal. Under the deal, Sprint would purchase T-Mobile at about $40 a share, valuing it at around $32 billion. The merger would combine the country's third and fourth largest wireless companies. The deal needs regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department.

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