Consumer confidence in the U.K. is at the lowest in almost four years, mortgage lender Nationwide Building Society said today, fueling concern that a spending slowdown will crimp corporate earnings. In the U.S., where rising mortgage defaults and a freeze in some areas of credit markets are causing banks to tighten their lending standards, the Institute for Supply Management reported yesterday that service industries shrank the most since the last recession in 2001.
Credit-default swaps tied to General Motors Corp., the biggest automaker, rose 37 basis points to 832 basis points, the most in four weeks, according to CMA Datavision in London.
Contracts on GMAC LLC, the automobile and mortgage lender formerly owned by GM, rose 15 basis points to 828 basis points. The Detroit-based company yesterday posted a $724 million fourth- quarter loss as more than one of every 10 homeowners fell behind on their mortgage payments