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Airline Merger Suffers Setbacks

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 12:51pm
US Airways and AMR suffered a pair of setbacks in their trial preparations for the Justice Department's case against their proposed merger.
Categories: Financial News

Investors' Worries About Stalemate Shift to End of the Year

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 12:27pm
Signs that the fiscal impasse in Washington might be thawing sparked a strong price rally Thursday in very short-term Treasury bills, but prices of longer-maturing T-bills fell as investors saw the risk rising of another stalemate at the end of the year.
Categories: Financial News

Foxconn Admits to Labor Violations at Factory

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 12:25pm
Electronics assembler Foxconn acknowledged that some student interns worked night shifts and overtime at a production site in northeast China in violation of company policy.
Categories: Financial News

Royal Mail IPO Priced at Top End

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 12:04pm
Shares in the U.K. postal service will be priced at 330 pence each ($5.28). Institutional investors snapped up two-thirds of offer, with the remainder going to retail investors.
Categories: Financial News

Freight Volume Shows Retail Optimism

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 11:23am
Robust container shipping volume across the Pacific during the summer indicates that U.S. retailers expect a busy holiday season.
Categories: Financial News

U.S. Natural-Gas Companies to Merge

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 11:09am
Regency Energy agreed to acquire PVR for $3.8 billion, creating a significant gas-gathering and processing company focused on unconventional energy plays across the U.S.
Categories: Financial News

FDA Panel Splits on Heart Sensor

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 11:06am
A federal advisory panel offered a split decision Wednesday involving a heart-failure monitoring device developed by CardioMEMS Inc. and struggled to come up with clear-cut advice to the FDA.
Categories: Financial News

Foroohar: The Two Top Jobs in Global Finance Will Soon Be Filled by Women

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 10:53am
Assuming that Janet Yellen is confirmed as the new Federal Reserve chair at some point in the next few weeks, an amazing thing will happen: the two most powerful jobs in the world of finance will be held by women. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, is in charge of fostering global economic stability. Yellen would be the world’s top banker. That’s an amazing turn, especially considering that both of them are known for being tough on finance and financiers. Lagarde’s most infamous moment on that score was back in 2011, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, when she was sitting on a panel with then Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond, who had offered his “heartfelt thanks” to governments for bailing out the world’s financial sector during the crisis of 2008-2009. Lagarde snapped back that the “best way for the banking sector to say thank you is to increase lending, rein in bonuses and strengthen their capital ratios.” (Lagarde and Yellen aren’t eligible for Fortune’s annual Most Powerful Women list, which came out today, because they don’t run for-profit businesses. But they will surely wield as much influence.) (MORE: Market Watchers Are Cheering the Yellen Nomination) Banks will likely be pushed further on those issues with Yellen in charge at the Fed. Her first and most important task will be to figure out how and when to taper back from the Fed’s $85 billion program of asset buying in a way that doesn’t disrupt, or ideally even supports, the global economy and bolsters employment. But the Federal Reserve is also the top financial regulator in the country. Yellen has made it clear in past speeches and comments that she has a personal commitment to making the financial system safer, and would like to boost margin requirements on riskier derivatives trades, give government more power to police financial institutions, and require big banks to hold more capital. As the president put it in his nomination speech yesterday, “Janet…understands the necessity of a stable financial system where we
Categories: Financial News

Retailers Report Modest September Sales Gains

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 10:42am
(NEW YORK) — Several retailers reported modest sales gains for September as shoppers who were worried about a partial government shutdown and the overall economy pulled back their spending from the prior month. The results increase concerns about how shoppers will spend for the crucial holiday season, the largest shopping selling period for retailers. Revenue at stores opened at least a year — a measure of a retailer’s health— rose 2.7 percent in September, according to a preliminary tally of 9 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers. That was a slower pace than the 3.5 percent increase posted in August. L Brands, the parent of Victoria’s Secret, and Costco Wholesale Corp. were among the chains that reported results that missed Wall Street estimates, while Stein Mart Inc. posted results that beat analysts’ expectations. Only a sliver of retail chains report monthly sales figures, and the list doesn’t include Wal-Mart Stores, Macy’s Inc. and many other large chains. But it offers some clues into consumer spending heading into the holiday shopping season. L Brands, the parent of Victoria’s Secret, reported that revenue at stores opened at least a year rose just 1 percent in September, below the 2 percent gain that analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected. Costco Wholesale Corp. reported Wednesday that revenue at stores opened at least a year rose 3 percent, below the 3.7 percent gain that was anticipated by Wall Street. September was a difficult month. Warmer-than-usual weather hurt sales of sweaters and other fall clothes. But economic concerns also dampened sales. Shoppers worry that the partial government shutdown, which is on its tenth day and has forced about 800,000 federal workers off the job, will be prolonged. That, and the possibility that politicians won’t resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit before the U.S. Treasury’s borrowing authority is exhausted next week, adds to the concerns. A financial default could plunge the economy into recession, cause interest rates to increase and home values to drop. Those worries compound challenges retailers have had in trying
Categories: Financial News

Tepid Retail Sales for September

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 10:41am
Retailers posted muted sales gains in September, even as they stepped up promotions.
Categories: Financial News

Hershey Adds First New Brand in 30 Years

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 10:15am
Hershey plans to start selling Lancaster caramels—its first new brand in 30 years—in the U.S. early next year, after launching the product this year in China.
Categories: Financial News

Teva Pharma Plans to Cut About 5,000 Employees

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 10:08am
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. plans to cut about 5,000 employees mostly by the end of next year as part of a restructuring designed to slim the drugmaker’s business and make it more efficient. The Israeli company said Thursday it employs about 46,000 people worldwide, so the cuts amount to nearly a 10 percent global workforce reduction. The drugmaker plans to trim oversized parts of its business while growing its generic and core research and development programs. It plans to reinvest savings from the cuts in what it considers to be areas with high potential, like development of complex generics and specialty pharmaceutical products. It also wants to increase its presence in emerging markets and broaden its product portfolio, especially with over-the-counter drugs, which can be sold without a prescription. Many drugmakers are targeting emerging markets like Brazil and China as possible sources for future growth. Earlier this year, the company said it would close by 2017 a Sellersville, Pa., generic drug plant that employs about 450 people. It also plans to sell another plant in Irvine, Calif. Teva said the moves are part of a global restructuring it announced in 2012. It now expects to save about $2 billion annually by the end of 2017, largely due to a reduction in the company’s cost of goods. That represents the high end of its previously forecast savings range of $1.5 billion to $2 billion. The company expects to end 2013 near the middle of its expected ranges of $4.85 to $5.15 per share in earnings on $19.5 billion to $20.5 billion in revenue. Analysts expect, on average, earnings of $4.99 per share on $20.05 billion in revenue, according to the data firm FactSet. Teva is one of the world’s largest generic drugmakers, and it also has made a push in recent years to grow its branded medicine business. In August, it said generic revenue fell 8 percent in the second quarter due to declining sales in the U.S. and Europe. It also has seen a steep sales drop for one of
Categories: Financial News

Data Show China Passing U.S. as Biggest Oil Importer

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 9:46am
(BEIJING) — China has achieved another world-beating status its leaders don’t want: Biggest oil importer. China passed the United States in September as the world’s biggest net oil importer, driven by faster economic growth and strong auto sales, according to U.S. government data released this week. Chinese oil consumption outstripped production by 6.3 million barrels per day, which indicates the country had to import that much to fill the gap, the Energy Information Administration said this week. “China’s steady growth in oil demand has led it to become the world’s largest net oil importer, exceeding the United States in September 2013,’” the agency said in a report. “EIA forecasts this trend to continue through 2014.” China’s economic boom has raised incomes and increased its global influence. But it also has spurred demand for imported oil and gas, which communist leaders see as a strategic weakness. Rising auto ownership has left China’s cities choking on smog and added to pressure on Beijing from its own public to curb pollution and from other nations to rein in surging greenhouse gas emissions. The United States, with a population about one-third the size of China’s, still consumes far more oil per person than China does. In September, Americans used 18.6 million barrels per day of oil and other liquid fossil fuels, while China used 10.9 million, according to the EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. U.S. production was 12.5 million barrels per day, while that of China was 4.6 million. China’s economy, the world’s second-largest, is cooling but still is forecast to grow by nearly 8 percent this year, well above forecasts for the U.S. The Chinese auto market, the biggest by number of vehicles sold, also is cooling but sales still rose by 11 percent in August. Beijing is encouraging development of wind and solar power and use of autos powered by batteries or natural gas. But gasoline is expected to remain the country’s main vehicle fuel in coming decades. The government has launched initiatives to improve China’s energy intensity, or the energy consumed for
Categories: Financial News

Why Hewlett-Packard Suddenly Doesn’t Look So Bad

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 9:40am
Finally, a glimmer of hope for troubled titan Hewlett-Packard. The Silicon Valley pioneer offered an upbeat outlook Wednesday that cheered Wall Street investors, who pushed H.P.’s stock price up nearly 9% on hopes that the company is finally making progress in its multi-year turnaround effort. H.P. CEO Meg Whitman, who has repeatedly said that it will take five years to right the ship at the tech giant, told analysts that the turnaround is broadly on track. She said she expects revenue to “stabilize” next year, before accelerating in 2015. Whitman’s encouraging comments came after she spooked investors in August by warning that H.P. could fall short of its growth goals for 2014. “While there is a lot more work to be done, I am confident about the progress we are making,” Whitman said in a statement. “We’re producing tangible results, strengthening our balance sheet and delivering innovative products across all our key segments. We are implementing the changes needed to support our multi-year turnaround journey, reaffirm HP’s leadership position, and create enduring value for customers as well as for our shareholders.” She said that by 2016, analysts can expect to see an “industry-leading company.” (MORE: Two Years After Steve Jobs’ Death, Is Apple a Different Company?) Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy cited by Reuters, praised Whitman’s remarks. “Most of the comments were about growth opportunities rather than fixing holes in the ship,” said Moorhead, who attended Wednesday’s analyst meeting. “Investors like that.” In a technology industry evolving rapidly, major corporate turnarounds are extremely challenging. Even as a tech giant seeks to address its problems, rivals are pressing forward. In short, it’s very difficult to play catch-up, and some industry observers have questioned whether Whitman will be able to make it happen. A former CEO of online auction giant eBay, Whitman was named H.P. CEO in September 2011. The company’s stock has lost about half of its value since 2010. H.P. is one of the most storied firms in Silicon Valley history. The company’s legendary founders, Bill Hewlett
Categories: Financial News

AIG Talks to Sell ILFC Continuing

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 9:39am
Negotiations for a Chinese investment fund to buy U.S. airplane-finance giant ILFC are continuing despite a series of setbacks, according to several people familiar with the talks.
Categories: Financial News

U.S. Shutdown Disrupts NSA Transparency Case, Review Groups

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 9:32am
The U.S. government shutdown has closed large portions of the federal apparatus and forced hundreds of thousands of workers to stay home. Another consequence of the shutdown? A high-profile legal battle over transparency between the largest Internet companies in the U.S. and the federal government has come to a standstill, because Justice Department lawyers assigned to the case are prohibited from working. Meanwhile, two ostensibly independent government investigations into the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs have also been disrupted. The five-member Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, which was set up in the wake of blockbuster revelations supplied by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, has had its staff furloughed, according to a report in Politico. Another federal oversight group, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, had to postpone a key hearing because “a significant number of witnesses” were unable to appear because the shutdown, Politico reported. In the transparency case, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and LinkedIn, have filed briefs with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for permission to disclose statistics about the nature and scope of government requests made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The Justice Department has formally opposed their request. The tech companies had been facing a deadline of Oct. 21 to respond, but that was before the government shutdown. (MORE: Tech Titans Poised for Showdown With Justice Department Over NSA) Earlier this week, in an unusual move, the tech companies and the Justice Department filed a joint motion with the FISC asking for a delay in the case. “Absent an appropriation, Department of Justice attorneys and employees are prohibited from continuing to work, even on a voluntary basis, except in very limited circumstances, including ‘emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property,’” according to the brief. During the shutdown, Justice Department lawyers are prohibited from discussing a key request from the tech companies about whether their lawyers can access classified information contained in the government’s brief. On Tuesday, the FISC granted the motion for a delay in the proceedings, as a result of the government
Categories: Financial News

Gold Retreats Below $1,300

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 9:26am
Gold prices fell as investors shed the haven asset amid hopes that upcoming talks between Obama and House Republicans would pave the way for a resolution to the U.S. government standstill.
Categories: Financial News

Huawei Trains Its Gaze Inward

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 9:15am
Huawei Technologies of China won't consider any major acquisitions for at least the next five years, a board director said.
Categories: Financial News

LME Chief Hits Back at CME Move

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 9:12am
The new head of the London Metal Exchange fired a shot across the bows of CME Group, saying the Chicago-based exchange appears to be "talking up its book" regarding its "opportunistic" aluminum futures contract.
Categories: Financial News

Euro Zone Sees House Prices Rise

Wall Street Journal Online - Thu, 10/10/2013 - 9:09am
Prices are up for the zone as a whole; even in those countries where they are still falling, the slide is slowing down.
Categories: Financial News

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