Dollars & Sense

Investment banks drop on uncertainty

Investors bailed out of investment bank stocks Monday as concerns about the credit crisis prompted one analyst to call for Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. to go private. Financials such as Merrill Lynch & Co. and Morgan Stanley dropped sharply amid more uncertainty about their fate. The most dramatic drop came from Lehman, which tumbled to a nine-year low on fears it does not have enough capital to stay in business. The decline in investment bank shares had David Trone, an analyst with Fox-Pitt Kelton, say the only way to stop Lehman's 79 percent stock dive this year is to sell the company to a buyout consortium. Investors have retreated from financial stocks to such an extent that it has wiped off nearly $180 billion of market value from the four biggest U.S. investment houses in the past 12 months.

A million iPhones sold despite glitch

Apple Inc. said Monday it sold 1 million iPhones in the first three days its newest model was on the market. On Friday, Apple's servers buckled as buyers tried to activate new iPhones in stores, while owners of older iPhones and the iPod Touch were updating and reactivating their devices. In stores, employees who couldn't get the new iPhones working sent shoppers home to try again on their own later. At the same time, owners of the older phones were left with unusable units. Reports of activation snags subsided over the weekend, as Apple's systems apparently recovered, and buyers were able to activate their phones through their home computers.

Icahn out to replace Yahoo's directors

Apparently abandoning hopes for a truce with Yahoo Inc., investor Carl Icahn (pictured) sharpened his focus on replacing the Internet company's board Monday after his attempt to negotiate a deal with Microsoft Corp. was angrily rejected. Icahn filed the final nominating papers for a slate of candidates that will oppose Yahoo's current nine directors in a showdown scheduled for an Aug. 1 shareholder vote.

Coming Wednesday

Small-business owners increasingly are seeing the benefits of giving employees flexible work hours, according to Small Talk columnist Joyce M. Rosenberg.