Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Today's Headlines

- US gasoline demand fell 2.7% last week, a sign that motorists are cutting back on vacation plans as pump prices touch records, a MasterCard Inc. report showed. It was the ninth consecutive week of declines form the year-earlier period.
- Hedge funds reduced their use of leverage following the turmoil in financial markets last year while holding substantial portions of their assets in cash, according to a survey. Funds reduced their borrowing last year to a leverage ratio of 2.1 from 2.3 a year earlier, consultant Greenwich Associates and Global Custodian magazine said. Hedge funds worldwide held 15% of their assets in cash as the start of 2008.
- Brazil may take control of some fertilizer mineral deposits that aren’t being fully developed in a bid to reduce the nation’s dependence on imports as prices soar.
- Copper decline in London on signs of slowing demand for imports of the metal into China, the world’s biggest user.
- Kodak(EK) Buyback May Pave Way for Merck(MRK), Ingersoll-Rand(IR).

NY Times:
- Technology Leaders Favor Online ID Card Over Passwords.

- Virgin Mobil USA is introducing a plan with unlimited calling for $79.99 per month, helping feed the price-cutting frenzy that has washed over the cellular carriers this year.

- Hedge funds lobbying with stealth.

Charlotte Observer:
- Wachovia(WB) workers ‘pulling together’ The bank also confirms it has hired Goldman Sachs(GS) to study the loan portfolio.

Dow Jones Newswires:
- Iraq will announce the first tenders for international companies to develop its oil and gas fields on June 30, citing an oil ministry official. The ministry also increased the number of companies eligible to participate in the tenders to 41 from 36.

- Iran Buy Wheat Supplies From Canada, Russia.

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