Monday, May 09, 2005

Today's Headlines

- JP Morgan Chase chief China economist Frank Gong, who predicted the government would let its pegged currency appreciate last week, now expects a move before June 30.
- Duke Energy, the largest US utility company, agreed to buy Cinergy Corp. at a 13.4% premium.
- Bloated inventories and high energy prices will cause the recent slowdown in US economic growth to linger into the second quarter as businesses and consumers curb spending, a Bloomberg News survey of economists found.

Wall Street Journal:
- Qwest Communications and its bankers are talking to MCI Inc. shareholders, and say there may be enough support to defeat MCI’s acceptance of an $8.4 billion takeover offer from Verizon Communications in preference to a higher Qwest bid.
- US Airways and America West Holdings have intensified their merger talks, hoping to reach an agreement before America West’s May 17 annual meeting.
- Medem Inc., a not-for-profit company affiliated with the American Medical Association, today plans to start an Internet-based health recording system patients can use to organize medical histories.
- MasterCard International is trying to close Web sites that sell stolen credit card information or trick consumers into divulging confidential information.
- Wilbur Ross, CEO of US leveraged-buyout firm WL Ross & Co., made money over the past three years buying bankrupt steel companies and is now betting on auto-parts makers and coal mining companies.
- The US Justice Department is preparing to sue the National Association of Realtors, on the grounds that its policies will illegally restrict discounting of sale commissions and place online rivals at a disadvantage.

NY Times:
- E*Trade Financial offered to buy rival online brokerage Ameritrade Holding for more than $5.5 billion on May 6.
- Avanir Pharmaceuticals is seeking FDA approval for a new drug to treat the uncontrollable laughing and crying that can be caused by some neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
- Matrix Semiconductor is developing memory chips with vertically stacked circuits that may be a cheaper and denser alternative to flash memory chips made by companies such as Intel Corp.

Detroit News:
- Executives at some of the biggest US auto parts suppliers told the United Auto Workers union to boost the health of the industry by re-opening labor contracts with Ford Motor and GM.

USA Today:
- US cellular phone users are facing new local taxes of as much as $10 on monthly bills as cities and states try to make up for declining revenue from traditional phone taxes.

LA Times:
- Boeing is designing a plane that mostly will be built out of thin layers of carbon fibers instead of aluminum sheets.

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