Thursday, December 07, 2006

Today's Headlines

- General Motors’(GM) decline in US sales has “bottomed out” and the company hopes to end a four-year slide in US market share next year, marketing chief Mark LaNeve said.
- MasterCard(MA) won a legal ruling awarding it the right to sponsor the next two World Cup soccer championships instead of its larger rival, Visa Intl.
- Reckson Assoc.(RA) received new bids for parts of the company today and they were rejected, said Reckson CEO Rechler.
- Democratic Representative John Dingell said that he will move to force the Bush administration to pressure pharmaceutical companies to lower prices when he takes over in January as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
- European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet signaled the pace of interest-rate increases may slow after the bank lowered its inflation forecasts.
- Chevron Corp.(CVX) plans to raise capital spending by more than 20% next year to a record $19.6 billion as major projects move from the drawing board to construction. Chevron earmarked about 75% of its 2007 capital budget for exploration and production.
- Incoming US Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said he’s concerned about pension-fund investments in hedge funds and plans to examine the risk for American workers.
- The US South may have wetter-than-normal weather during the next two to three months because of a strengthening weather pattern called El Nino that is heating the Pacific Ocean.
- Southern Copper(PCU), the world’s second-largest copper mining company by reserves, said it increased reserves at its two Peruvian copper mines, which account for half of its total output.
- Wheat prices will fall early next year due to increased winter plantings and good weather, according to a UN report.
- South Africa’s cabinet approved a plan to establish a biofuels industry in the country that is expected to attract $852 million in investment.
- Simon Wardell, head of energy research at Global Insight see less “upside” risk to oil prices.

Wall Street Journal:
- Avaya Inc.(AV) will be the last freestanding descendant of American Telephone & Telegraph(T) which came to be known as Ma Bell, after LSI Corp.(LSI) completes its acquisition of Agere Systems(AGR).
- Democrats have stepped up collecting donations from lobbyists while staffers are maneuvering to acquire positions before a promised clampdown on congressional ethics.
- Ford Motor(F) will debut an updated version of its small Focus car at an auto show in Detroit next month as it seeks US consumers interested in vehicles that use less gasoline.
- Motorola(MOT) has plenty of money but is struggling to make itself felt in technologies beyond cellphones.

USA Today:
- The federal government will begin screening cargo bound for the US from four overseas ports for radiation beginning early next year in an effort to stop terrorists from smuggling nuclear weapons.

NY Times:
- In 1980, 4% of Broadway theatergoers were under the age of 18, citing the League of American Theaters and Producers. Last season, 9.6% were under 18.
- An adviser to former President Jimmy Carter, Kenneth Stein, resigned because he doubted the accuracy and integrity of Carter’s new book. Stein, a professor of Middle Eastern history and political science at Emory University and former executive director of the Carter Center, wrote in a two-page letter that the book, “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid,” contains “factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions and simply invented segments.”

Wichita Eagle:
- Raytheon Co.(RTN) may be in exclusive talks to sell its Raytheon Aircraft unit to Onex Corp. and Goldman Sachs(GS) for about $3 billion.

Kenya Broadcasting Corp.:
- Kenya will spend $1 billion upgrading and increasing electricity production by 2010. Additional electricity will be generated from wind, hydropower and geothermal stations.

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