Monday, March 13, 2006

Today's Headlines

- Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Yellen said announcing an inflation goal would improve the central bank’s credibility, while doing the same for the jobless rate would cause more harm than good.
- Crude oil is rising in NY, led by natural gas, on short-covering and expectations of cold weather across the northern US later this month.

Wall Street Journal:
- Aozora Bank Ltd. is expected to contribute $1 billion to help Cerberus Capital Management finance a bid for General Motors’ financing arm.
- Medco Health Solutions(MHS) and some US insurers and government agencies are deploying their own sales reps to persuade doctors to prescribe alternatives to expensive brand-name drugs.
- Pinnacle Entertainment(PNK), the casino owner that had a property in Mississippi suffer extensive damage because of Hurricane Katrina, is in advanced talks about a takeover of rival Aztar Corp.(AZR) for more than $1 billion.
- Berkshire Hathaway(BRK/A) Chairman Warren Buffett says he’s buying foreign securities, betting that the dollar will decline, but there are risks for small investors who follow suit.
- IBM(IBM) will sell some consulting services to small- and medium-sized businesses, as it hopes to boost its income in those operations.
- The prices of emerging-market bonds are falling as investors switch to those in developed countries such as the US.

USA Today:
- Cendant Corp.(CD) plans to announce today that 117 of its Avis Budget rental car centers in NY and Houston will let customers pay tolls electronically.

NY Times:
- US media companies are seeking to acquire new content and technology companies, as they try to attract niche audiences on the Internet.

Washington Post:
- Discovery Communications produced a home version of its online video encyclopedia to help students in kindergarten through 12th grade with their homework.

- Royal Dutch Shell Plc is planning an increase in investment in Russia that may include a third major venture.

- Russia is “very disappointed” by Iran’s behavior over a Russian proposal aimed at breaking the international deadlock over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Financial Times:
- Sales of bonds backed by commercial mortgages may increase by about 40% this year.

- IBM(IBM) aims to focus more on hardware and software technology after putting too much emphasis on growing its services business in recent years.

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