Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefs

Article excerpt

SYNOVUS BANK APPOINTS CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Synovus Bank of Jacksonville has named Damon Olinto its president, chief operating officer and director. He was formerly a senior vice president at CNB National Bank. Also, Jerry Dean was named executive vice president, and Janet Lott was named banking officer and director of human resources.

The bank, which is awaiting final regulatory approval, is scheduled to open by June. It is a division of Synovus, a Columbus, Ga.-based financial services company. Its office will be along Butler Boulevard.

REPORT: U.S. CONSUMERS' CONFIDENCE AT 2-YEAR HIGH

NEW YORK -- The University of Michigan's index measuring consumers' collective mood soared in mid-January to its highest reading in more than two years, well above economists' expectations.

The mid-month report on consumer sentiment was said to have shown an increase to 103.2 from 92.6 in December, according to people in the market who had seen the report Friday.

January's reading is the highest since November 2000 and well above forecasts for a 94 reading, suggesting that consumers started the new year with considerable optimism, paving the way for robust growth in consumer spending and gross domestic product.

HOME DEPOT TO UPGRADE STORES, HIKES 2004 GOALS

ATLANTA -- The Home Depot said Friday it will spend $3.7 billion in 2004 to modernize its stores, upgrade technology and open 175 new stores -- down from the 200 openings in each of the past three years. It also raised its estimate of earnings growth for fiscal 2003.

Atlanta-based Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, said it plans to branch out and improve efforts such as at-home services, tool rental centers and the company Web site, said chief executive Bob Nardelli as the company revealed its plans and earnings expectations for the next year. …

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