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BJ's: Interested in Hess Gas Stations

Wall Street Journal Online - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 12:47pm
BJ's Wholesale Club Inc.'s private equity owners have expressed interest in buying Hess Corp.'s gas stations.
Categories: Financial News

Iraq Nears Deal on Oil Output Targets

Wall Street Journal Online - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 12:27pm
Oil minister says Iraq is close to agreeing to sharp cuts in production targets with major Western oil companies
Categories: Financial News

CFTC Will Meet Dec. 10 to Vote on Volcker Rule

Wall Street Journal Online - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 12:24pm
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will vote next Tuesday on the rule, which aims to prevent banks from making risky bets known as proprietary trading.
Categories: Financial News

The 4 Most-Wanted Shoppers This Holiday Season

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 12:16pm
Retailers tend to want one main type of customer: the kind with money and the willingness to spend. But some consumers are more desirable for retailers than others. Here are four kinds of shoppers that retailers especially want to attract this holiday season: Gen X The millennial generation gets a lot of attention from retailers. Americans in the mid-teens to late 20s represent the country’s largest demographic, so it’s understandable that retailers want to attract millennials now, with the hope of turning them into lifelong customers. It’s been estimated that by 2020, millennials will account for 30% of all retail sales. That’s why Macy’s, among others, are rolling out more youth-oriented lines of apparel and other goods, dubbed “Millennial merchandise” according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Sure, these are plays to net sales right now (millennials have reputations for splurging and buying impulsively), but more importantly they’re strategies to build customer loyalty for the future. For the current season, however, relatively few young Americans have the money to go hog wild on holiday purchases (thanks a lot, economy and lame job market). According to the National Retail Federation, the four generations that came before the millennials will each spend substantially more, on average, than Americans in their teens and 20s. While millennials are expected to spend an average of $601 on holiday gifts, cards, decorations, food, and such, the so-called silent generation will spend $688 and baby boomers will drop $738. And the biggest spending demographic of all is anticipated to be Gen X, with an average of $847 in purchases for the 2013 season. Guys The assumptions that women tend to enjoy shopping and spend more time shopping than men may be true. But data from a new ESPN Research and Analytics study (summed up well by AdAge indicates that men spend more money than women during the holidays. Overall, guys spend 39% more than women on holiday purchases. Researchers said that men tend to be less price sensitive (“because they want to get it done and please the person”
Categories: Financial News

23andMe Faces Class-Action Suit

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 12:02pm
A California woman filed a class action suit against 23andMe last week, days after the FDA released a scathing open letter criticizing the DNA-testing service for operating without approval. Lisa Casey’s complaint, filed in a California court, is seeking at least $5 million in damages from 23andMe for allegedly making misleading claims about the tests’ ability to provide genetic information about conditions like breast cancer and diabetes, Gigaom reports. The complaint alleges the test results are “not supported by any scientific evidence.” The damages sought includes a $99 refund for “tens or hundreds of thousands” of people who purchased the test. The FDA requested the Google-backed firm stop marketing and selling its product last month unless it can provide evidence that the results are reliable. [Gigaom]
Categories: Financial News

Novo Nordisk Preps Obesity Drug

Wall Street Journal Online - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 11:34am
Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk said it expects to file for U.S. regulatory approval for its new obesity drug "within weeks," in a bid to diversify a product portfolio that is focused on diabetes treatments.
Categories: Financial News

Commerzbank Raided in Tax Probe

Wall Street Journal Online - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 11:22am
A spokesman for state prosecutors said the raids sought evidence of account holders evading taxes; the bank itself isn't suspected of wrongdoing.
Categories: Financial News

Yuan Advances in Use for Trade Finance

Wall Street Journal Online - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 11:01am
The Chinese yuan has vaulted ahead of the euro and the Japanese yen to become the second-most heavily used currency in key trade finance instruments, data from financial technology firm Swift showed.
Categories: Financial News

Tally of U.S. Banks Sinks to a Record Low

Wall Street Journal Online - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 10:47am
The number of banking institutions in the U.S. has dwindled to its lowest level since at least the Great Depression.
Categories: Financial News

Tesla Shares Spike In Trading

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 9:51am
Stock in the electric car company Tesla was up more than 10 percent on Tuesday morning to more than $135 a share, boosted by news that the German Federal Motor Transport Authority has given its approval to the company’s flagship vehicle, the Model S. The German regulatory body found that no manufacturing defects had been responsible for recent incidents in which the Model S had caught fire, Business Insider reports. The stock was also bolstered by Morgan Stanley naming Tesla its top pick among 26 U.S. automakers.
Categories: Financial News

Investor Tells Abercrombie: Replace CEO

Wall Street Journal Online - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 9:17am
Engaged Capital says in letter Abercrombie needs to start searching for a successor to CEO Michael Jeffries. His contract is due to expire Feb. 1
Categories: Financial News

Walmart’s Black Friday Bestseller Cost 29 Cents

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 8:18am
The hottest item from Walmart’s Black Friday sales this year wasn’t a flashy new game console, a sleek new television, or the must-have toy or the season. It was a 29-cent washcloth. The world’s biggest retailer announced it sold 2.8 million towels — $1.74 for a bath towel or a six-pack of washcloths — during this year’s holiday shopping bonanza, which started earlier than over with stores opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. That’s more than the 300,000 bicycles or 2 million televisions sold, and 1 million more towels than the company sold in last year’s Black Friday sales. “We’ve seen at-home items like towels and sheets and even Rubbermaid Tupperware become popular on Black Friday at our stores,” a Walmart spokesperson told NBC News. “A lot of people are either hosting guests for the weekend or preparing for guests for the holiday season.” [NBC News]
Categories: Financial News

Chrysler U.S. Sales Rise 16%

Wall Street Journal Online - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 8:11am
Auto maker's November U.S. auto sales jumped 16% from a year ago as the company reported strong demand for trucks, though car sales were lower.
Categories: Financial News

5 Ways a Few Hundred Dollars Will Change Your Life

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 7:46am
Consumers appear determined to minimize financial strain this holiday season. The biggest retailer weekend of the year just passed with the average shopper spending an estimated $407, down 3.9% from last year. Such frugality and, dare I say it—common sense—are rarely evident in December. Some experts believe a spending binge will yet develop as the season advances. With that in mind, now may be the perfect time to consider your bigger financial goals—before you give in to the excessive Santa impulse. Here are some ideas for making an extra few hundred dollars work for you in the long run, not against you in the next billing cycle: Boost retirement savings Rather than bust your budget on gifts why not add to your 401(k) plan or IRA? Most people won’t be able to contribute the 401(k) max: $17,500 (plus another $5,500 if over the age of 50). But even a few hundred dollars that compounds over many years is significant, especially if it comes with a company match. Boosting pre-tax contributions before year end will also cut your 2013 tax bill. Start an emergency fund Putting away as little as $500—about what you’d spend on a new game console or other electronic toy—can make a big difference. Ultimately, you want six months worth of fixed expenses in a secure account to be tapped only for emergencies. But you have to start somewhere, and while a few hundred dollars won’t help a lot if you lose your job it will more than cover something like a major appliance breakdown without disturbing your longer term financial plans. Put your raise to work for your future Workers who get information about annual bonuses or pay raises at this time of year may be especially tempted to splurge on extra gifts. But using that incremental pay to boost your 401(k) savings by even a small amount can be worth many thousands of dollars 10, 20 or 30 years from now—after compound growth has worked its magic. Make the commitment before you head to the mall instead.
Categories: Financial News

The Downside of Corporate Social Responsibility

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 7:37am
The road to hell, they say, is paved with good intentions.  So too, apparently, is the road to corporate wrongdoing. At least that’s the conclusion to be drawn from a new study that asks what happens when companies (and their CEOs) engage in socially responsible behavior (and posturing). Short answer: Firms that are focused on pursuing a socially responsible agenda are more likely than other businesses to behave in a socially irresponsible ways. Longer answer: This tendency is even more pronounced when bosses are vocal about their inclinations to do the right thing.The study, by Elaine Wong of the UC-Riverside School of Business Administration and Margaret Ormiston of the London Business School, essentially merges two subjects that have been heavily examined in recent years: corporate social responsibility (CSR), e.g., when a for-profit company willingly acts in a way that benefits interests beyond those of the firm and its owners; and self licensing, a.k.a. moral licensing, or the non-conscious way in which behaving and/or thinking morally frees people to worry less about the consequences of being immoral in the future. (In other words, being good or simply talking about being good leads many individuals to subsequently be bad.) But in “License to Ill: The Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility and CEO Moral Identity on Corporate Irresponsibility,” Wong and Ormiston explore a new idea: They analyzed Fortune 500  companies to determine if prior CSR correlates meaningfully to subsequent corporate social irresponsibility (CSiR). Specifically, they winnowed down the 2002 Fortune 500 list to 49 companies for which they could assemble sufficient records of CSR-related activity and confidently develop a psychological profile of the man or woman in charge. (They explain their thoughtful methodology in the paper, which was published in the winter issue of  the journal Personnel Psychology.) (MORE: Congress Is Poised to Send Patent Trolls Back to Their Caves) The duo’s conclusion: CSR is measurably related to subsequent CSiR. Their rough assessment, in fact, is that for every five CSR actions a firm takes, you can expect it to commit one-act of
Categories: Financial News

Why the Next Three Weeks Will Be a Bargain Shopper’s Dream

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 7:32am
After a lackluster Black Friday weekend at the mall, there is extra pressure on retailers to goose sales during the particularly brief and intense period before Christmas 2013. Leading into the big Thanksgiving-Black Friday shopping weekend of 2013, in addition to rumors about discounts and speculation about which gadgets and toys would be hot sellers, there was a lot of talk about the calendar. Specifically, the discussion centered on how Thanksgiving is celebrated particularly late in November this year, meaning that there would be only four shopping weekends (not five as usual) between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some have been worried that a shortened shopping season will translate into less overall spending by consumers. More likely, however, is that the quirks of the 2013 calendar mean that shopping efforts will simply be concentrated into fewer days. “Some years there are more or less shopping days, and sometime there are additional shopping Saturdays, but that doesn’t make much difference,” John Talbott, associate director of Indiana University’s Center for Education and Research in Retailing, explained to the Baltimore Sun. “The season is going to be what it’s going to be in terms of economic capacity.” Erik Karson, a marketing professor at the Villanova University School of Business, agreed with that assessment in a recent phone interview. “Have you ever heard someone say they cut back on their spending because they had a little less time to go shopping one year?” he said. “That’s silly. People are going to spend what they’re going to spend. They’ll just do it quicker.” (MORE: Why the Hottest Holiday Toys Are No Longer Toys) While the calendar cannot be blamed (or credited) for retail sales totals being bad or good in a given year, the 2013 calendar seems to be impacting the retail scene in one key way: With fewer days for shopping, “every day counts a bit more for retailers,” said Karson. “If sales aren’t going well for few days, that’s a really big problem.” In what’s been described as an especially desperate and competitive season for
Categories: Financial News

Congress Is Poised to Send Patent Trolls Back to Their Caves

Time Magazine Latest Money News - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 7:32am
U.S. lawmakers are preparing to act on a pair of bills that aim to crack down on so-called “patent trolls,” which are firms or investment funds that don’t actually build anything, but whose main objective is to extract licensing fees or legal judgments from other companies. The action in Congress follows a recent proposal by the White House designed to “protect innovators from frivolous litigation and ensure the highest-quality patents in our system.” On Tuesday, a broad coalition of groups led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco digital rights group, is launching a new digital tool as part of its “Trolling Effects” campaign to pressure Congress to crack down on patent trolls, or “patent assertion entities,” as they’re sometimes called. The coalition includes the public interest groups Public Knowledge and the Open Technology Institute; Engine Advocacy, a non-profit group that advocates for tech startups; and two major industry trade groups, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA). Perhaps the most well-known “patent assertion entity” is Bellevue, Wash.-based Intellectual Ventures, which is run by former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold and has garnered attention not for what it builds but for the patents it owns. Intellectual Ventures has amassed an estimated 70,000 patents since it was founded in 2000, which it uses to extract value — some $3 billion to date — through licensing and lawsuits. Stung by criticism, Intellectual Ventures has embarked on a campaign to change its image from patent troll to “innovation hub,” according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. (MORE: Comcast + Time Warner Cable: One Broadband Giant to Rule Them All?) Recently, a new breed of patent troll has emerged, targeting small businesses that use common, everyday technology products, in a development that has raised alarm in states across the country and prompted the latest calls for patent reform. The most notable example is a firm called MPHJ Technologies, which has used a series of shell companies to demand that hundreds of small businesses that use office document scanners — like the type sold at
Categories: Financial News

Brazil's Economy Posts Worst Performance in Two Years

Wall Street Journal Online - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 7:26am
Brazil's third-quarter GDP contracts 0.5%, more than expected, on falling investments and a stagnating manufacturing sector.
Categories: Financial News

Bangladesh Factory Owners Wary of Pay Raise

Wall Street Journal Online - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 7:25am
Millions of Bangladeshi garment workers got a pay raise over the weekend—but factory owners said the increase risks making the industry less competitive.
Categories: Financial News

OECD Global Inflation Rate Falls Further

Wall Street Journal Online - Tue, 12/03/2013 - 7:08am
The annual rate of inflation across the world's largest economies fell for a third straight month in October, suggesting central banks may have to continue or further stimulus efforts to avert the threat of deflation.
Categories: Financial News


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