Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Today's Headlines

- The SEC plans to have a database in place by next year that will help it crack down on hedge fund insider trading, a senior official said.
- Toll Brothers(TOL), the largest US builder of luxury homes, said the housing market may have reached bottom.
- New York City’s Board of Healthy today approved the first US ban by a major city on trans fat in cooking oils, requiring the city’s 24,000 food establishments to eliminate the substance.
- MySpace.com is creating technology to help block convicted sex offenders from using the site.
- Sales at US retailers rose 3.1% this past week, the largest increase since October, as consumer shopped for holiday gifts, a weekly survey by the ICSC said.
- A new weekly report by the CFTC will show aggregate futures and options positions in 12 agricultural commodities beginning in January.
- Microsoft(MSFT) may exceed its forecast to sell 10 million Xbox video-game consoles by the end of the year.
- Natural gas fell to a three-week low in NY as forecasters predicted mild weather and speculators pared their bets amid record inventories.

Wall Street Journal:
- Walt Disney(DIS) agreed yesterday to buy NASN Ltd., a London-based cable company that broadcasts sports including NFL, MLB and NHL games in Europe.
- Royal Philips Electronics NV, the world’s biggest maker of lighting, is trying to convince people to buy its energy-efficient bulbs, with television ads in Europe and China and pitches aimed at building designers.
- People in the US are buying more advanced digital cameras, creating a bonanza for Nikon Corp., Eastman Kodak(EK), Sony Corp.(SNE), Olympus Corp. and other manufacturers.
- APL Ltd. has started using cleaner-burning, low-sulfur diesel fuel for its ships in California ports and plans to test engine technologies to cut pollution further.
- Amway Corp. and Mary Kay Inc. have been licensed to sell their products directly to Chinese customers.
- The US government is providing older Americans with a new tool to help them figure out when they will reach a gap in their federally subsidized prescription-drug coverage.

NY Times:
- The Israeli Army, accused of war crimes in Lebanon, has declassified photographs and videos to support its assertion that Hezbollah fired from, and took cover in, civilian neighborhoods.
- Democrats including Senator Edward Kennedy and groups such as the National Partnership for Women and Families are pushing a bill that would give American workers paid sick days. Republicans worry the bill would increase business costs, thus increasing unemployment.
- The economic benefits of the US auto industry are shifting from north to south as Ford Motor(F) and General Motors(GM) close factories near Detroit and Toyota Motor(TM) invests in Kentucky. The number of automotive-related manufacturing jobs in Kentucky have soared 152% over the last 20 years.

Washington Post:
- A “virtual” fence along the US-Mexico border will be completed by 2011 at a cost of $7.6 billion, citing a report by the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Angola Press Agency:
- Angola will increase oil production to 2.6 million barrels a day by 2011, 62% higher than current levels, following discoveries of new fields in deep and ultra-deep waters, citing a World Bank report.

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