J.C. Penney stock plunges 20% on earnings

Wall Street doesn't seem to like J.C. Penney's new everyday low pricing any better than Main Street does. The department store chain's stock plunged nearly 20 percent Wednesday -- down $6.57 to close at $26.75. The drop comes a day after Penney said it would no longer pay out a dividend and blamed its first-quarter loss on poor reception by shoppers to its strategy of getting rid of hundreds of sales each year in favor of predictable low prices every day.

Economic reports bode well for 2nd quarter

Housing starts and industrial production exceeded forecasts in April, pointing to strength in the U.S. economy at the start of the second quarter. Starts rose 2.6 percent to a 717,000 annual rate from March's revised 699,000 pace that was stronger than previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed. Industrial production climbed 1.1 percent, the most since December 2010, the Federal Reserve said. The reports indicate the U.S. economy is withstanding the fallout from the European debt crisis.

WSJ: Apple plans iPhone with 4-inch screen

Apple has begun preparing to launch an iPhone with a larger screen than its previous models, according to the Wall Street Journal. The tech giant has ordered screens that measure at least 4 inches diagonally from its Asian suppliers, the Journal reported, citing anonymous sources. Production for the larger screens is expected to begin next month, according to the report. If the report is accurate, the sixth-generation iPhone would be the first in Apple's phone line to have a screen larger than 3.5 inches.

Verizon users who go 4G lose unlimited plans

A Verizon official announced the company will begin forcing users with grandfathered-in unlimited data plans to choose data share plans when they migrate to the company's 4G network. With 3G no longer the fastest option, users are expected to migrate to Verizon's 4G LTE network, and as they do, they will be forced to give up their unlimited plans for Verizon's tiered data plans, said Fran Shammo, chief financial officer for Verizon Communications.

Bank of England cuts 2012 growth forecast

The Bank of England gave a gloomy forecast for the British economy, cutting its growth outlook and predicting that inflation in the near term would be higher than previously expected. The central bank lowered its average growth forecast for the economy this year to about 0.8 percent from the 1.2 percent it predicted three months ago. Weak growth and high inflation will continue to hurt disposable income in the near term, said Mervyn King, the Bank of England governor.

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