Thursday, December 14, 2006

Today's Headlines

- Iraq will offer contracts to load crude oil in 2 million barrel consignments starting in January, after it re-opens its Kirkuk pipeline, the country’s oil minister said. Resuming Kirkuk oil sales should increase Iraq’s exports by 300,000 barrels a day, or 19%. Iraq currently pumps 2.3 million barrels of oil a day.
- Crude oil is $1/bbl. higher after OPEC agreed to another 500,000 bpd output cut to bolster prices.
- Rofer Corrado, vice chairman of the New York Board of Trade, said record hedge fund speculation is driving orange juice prices higher.
- Commissioner Paul Atkins said the SEC conducted research that showed just 1.3% of US households would meet the proposed criteria for hedge fund investing. The SEC made a proposal Wednesday that raised the minimum net worth needed to be a hedge fund investor from $1 million to $2.5 million.
- Advanced Micro Devices(AMD), Intel’s largest rival in personal-computer processors, forecast shipments will rise about 20% in 2007, twice the rate the company expects for the market.
- US commercial real estate investment is likely to set a record this year, driven by rising rents and occupancies in office and industrial buildings, the National Assoc. of Realtors said.
- 7-Eleven Inc., the biggest US convenience-store company, said it plans to add 30% more North American outlets and will start selling hot meals to fend off rival chains and supermarkets encroaching on its territory.
- EnCana Corp., Canada’s largest natural-gas producer, said it plans to spend $5.8 billion on oil and natural gas projects in 2007.
- US corn planting next year will cover the largest area in almost 60 years as farmers seek to benefit from surging prices and record demand for grain-based ethanol, Informa Economics said in a report to clients.
- Iraq, holder of the world’s third-largest oil reserves, will offer contracts to develop 60 oil fields, in several batches, starting next year, said Iraqi Oil Minister Sharistani.
- US duties on imports of two types of steel from 14 countries will be lifted after an independent US trade panel ruled that ending them wouldn’t harm American producers.

Wall Street Journal:
- Incoming Democratic US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to set up a House panel that will have the authority to monitor funding for US intelligence agencies.
- The news that UAL Corp. and Continental Airlines are in merger talks lent wings to all carriers’ shares yesterday, and they might fly high for some time.
- Google(GOOG) the biggest seller of advertising on the Internet, is looking to extend its growth beyond search-engine ads by convincing clients to try new products including newspaper, radio and video ads.
- Pfizer(PFE), Sanofi-Aventis and other drugmakers may be making progress in developing new treatments for depression that combat mood problems in new ways.

NY Times:
- The US Mint banned the melting or export of coins after their monetary worth was exceeded by the value of the metals they contain, citing Mint director Edmund C. Moy. The value of the copper and zinc used in a penny is more than 1 cent, and the copper and nickel found in a 5-cent coin are worth as much as 7 cents.
- NYC has almost 4,200 surveillance cameras in Manhattan below 14th Street, a more than fivefold increase since 1998.

- Democratic Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota was in critical condition early today after recovering from surgery. If Johnson’s seat were to become vacant, a Republican may take his place, which would shift the partisan balance to 50-50 and give Republicans control through the tie-breaking vote of VP Cheney.

Le Figaro:
- France Telecom SA, together with Apple Computer(AAPL), will offer monthly laptop rentals as part of a bid to attract young customers.

- Apple Computer(AAPL) will open three retail shops in Hungary next year to take advantage of demand for its computers and music players.

No comments: