E*Trade sees losses narrow

Online broker E*Trade Financial Corp posted its 10th-straight quarterly loss yesterday, but it was a quarter of the size of the loss in the year-earlier quarter as the company made headway on bad loans. With its exposure to mortgage-market losses declining, E*Trade said it was now positioned for "sustainable, profitable growth." E*Trade has been careful not to forecast when it will return to profitability. The company, increasingly seen as a takeover target, reported a loss of $67.1m, or four cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended 31 December, down from a loss of $275.6m, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.