Monday, December 11, 2006

Today's Headlines

- Iran today gave the floor to deniers of the Holocaust, criticizing the West for not giving them the opportunity to perform “independent research” into accounts of the killing of 6 million Jews during World War II.
- The worst of the US housing slump is over, according to the National Assoc. of Realtors.
- SAC Capital Advisers LLC, the $10 billion hedge-fund firm run by Steven Cohen, more than doubled its stake in copper miner Phelps Dodge(PD) and will oppose its takeover by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold.
- Orange juice prices in NY fell the most in sixteen months after the government unexpectedly boosted its estimate for the orange crop in Florida.
- US consumers’ Internet spending for the holidays rose 25% from a year earlier as more people turned to the Web and stepped up spending with the approach of the busiest selling days of the year.
- London house prices rose in the past month at the fastest annual pace in at least four years, fueled by demand from bankers as the bonus season approaches, according to Rightmove Plc, the UK’s biggest property Web site.
- French industrial production unexpectedly fell in October for a second month as manufacturers struggled with a stronger euro and rising borrowing costs.
- Natural gas fell to the lowest in six weeks in NY as forecasters predicted above-normal temperatures form the Rocky Mountains to the East Coast the next two weeks.
- BioFuel Energy, a Denver-based company that’s building two ethanol distilleries, plans an IPO some time next year to raise $300 million to fund construction of three additional plants and to reduce debt.
- Crude steel production in the Middle East is set to soar almost 100% to 26 million tpy by 2010.
- US cotton exports will be 1.2% less than forecast last month because of weaker demand from China, the world’s biggest consumer of the fiber.

Wall Street Journal:
- Researchers from IBM(IBM), Qimonda AG and Macronix Intl. will present research today on memory chips that may become competitive with hard drives.
- The board of Harrah’s Entertainment(HET) plans to meet Wednesday to review all buyout offers for the company.
- The US electric power grid can supply enough energy to power as many as 180 million electric cars, citing an Energy Department study.
- Five US economic myths that constitute conventional wisdom don’t necessarily hold up under scrutiny. The five myths include the theory that monetary policy causes booms and busts, gross domestic product growth was extraordinary in the 90s, Americans don’t save, US government debt is big, and government debt will be a burden on our grandchildren, says the senior monetary adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and professor of economics at the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
- The SEC is considering a regulation that would accelerate approval of new ETFs.

NY Times:
- Three teams of private equity bidders are seeking to buy Sabre Holdings(TSG) and the company is in advanced talks to be sold for more than $4 billion.
- The FDA may increase its oversight of produce after recent E. coli outbreaks.

Svenska Dagbladet:
- Nokia Oyj(NOK) will begin designing mobile phones directly aimed at the US in a push to overtake Motorola(MOT) as the market leader there.

- The Group of Eight leading industrialized nations are moving closer to endorsing stricter control of hedge funds as the US and UK governments support a German initiative to that end.

- Iran pledged about $250 million to the Palestinian Authority’s Hamas-led government, citing Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismael Hania.

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