Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Today's Headlines

- Crude oil is falling below $62/bbl. and gasoline plunged after President Bush said he will give diplomacy a change to end a dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear ambitions.
- The Thai baht fell the most in four years after the military seized control of Bangkok and Prime Minister Shinawatra declared a state of emergency.
- Yahoo!(YHOO) said profit and sales this quarter will be at the low end of its forecast on slower ad demand from automakers and financial services providers.
- According to comScore, Google(GOOG) gained .4 share points in August to capture 44.1% of US search engine market.
- Treasuries rose the most in a month after government reports showed producer prices increased less than forecast in August and housing construction fell, boosting expectations the Fed is done raising rates.
- Microsoft(MSFT) will begin testing a service that lets users share videos in a bid to compete with YouTube Inc.

Wall Street Journal:
- More oil firms will be drilling in deep waters for oil, following the production of oil from the 4.8 mile-deep Jack well this month in the Gulf of Mexico. Chevron(CVX), Devon Energy(DVN) and Statoil ASA said they had coaxed oil out of a rock formation about 280 kilometers south of Louisiana. New finds have been discovered in deep water off Brazil, Nigeria and Angola. Finally, companies are seeking oil in deep waters in the South China Sea, and off India, Pakistan, Mauritania, Egypt, Malaysia and Mexico.
- The US Senate and House of Representatives are close to an agreement on a domestic security budget that includes $1.82 billion in emergency funds.
- Walt Disney(DIS) plans to start marketing a portable video and audio player for children age 9 to 13, citing Chris Heatherly, global vp of Disney global electronics.
- Hedge-fund manager Edward Lampert, the chairman of Sears Holdings(SHLD), may be looking for acquisitions now that Sears is in better shape.
- Brian Hunter, a 32-year-old Canadian energy trader, lost $5 billion in a week for a Greenwich, Connecticut, hedge fund as he made the wrong best on natural gas prices.
- DaimlerChrysler’s(DCX) Chrysler Group will make “significant” production cuts in the rest of its fiscal year because of heavy inventories.

NY Times:
- US antiwar protesters who criticized Washington Democrat Senator Maria Cantwell for voting in favor of the war in Iraq are dampening their vitriol rather than undermine her re-election bid.
- American International Group(AIG) may have skirted NY state law that bars companies from contributing more than $5,000 annually to candidates for state office by using dozens of subsidiaries to donate money. The donations included $50,000 to Democratic Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
- Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has extended his company’s charity in the US to combine social outreach with philanthropy.

LA Times:
- The Los Angeles Airport Commission awarded a contract valued at $503 million for repairs on the Tom Bradley International Terminal, the largest single city contract ever.

Financial Times:
- Greenhill & Co., an independent NYC-based investment bank, has parlayed its job as lead adviser for German truckmaker MAN AG to become one of Germany’s biggest mergers and acquisitions advisors so far this year.
- TIAA-CREF, a US retirement fund manager, will invest $100 million in micro-lending projects, including small loans to mostly women entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Londond-based Times:
- Amaranth Advisors LLC, a hedge-fund manager that said its main funds fell about 50% this month, is selling European syndicated loan investments, including some made to Manchester United Plc, to raise cash.

Gulf News:
- About 9 million people in Arab countries used the Internet for the first time last year as penetration rates more than doubled in some nations, citing a report from Madar Research.

- Russia producers will ship 11 million tons of oil to China this year, less than the forecast of 15 million tons, citing Alexei Vorotilkin, the head of an OAO Russian Railway division in Irkutsk.

- The genocide trial of Saddam Hussein began its ninth session today with a Kurdish witness describing a chemical weapons attack on his village and the stillbirth of this child in a detention cell. Prosecutors say 182,000 Kurds were murdered after their villages were bombed or burned down by Saddam’s forces during the Anfal campaign.

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