Thursday, May 19, 2005

Today's Headlines

- Ted Waitt, who started Gateway in an Iowa farmhouse in 1985 and built it into one of the world’s biggest personal-computer makers, is resigning as chairman to pursue other business and charitable activities.
- Morgan Stanley faces potential legal costs of more than $1 billion, the latest setback for Philip Purcell as he fends off calls for his ouster as CEO of the world’s biggest securities firm by market value.
- Wal-Mart Stores and Netflix agreed to promote each other’s online movie businesses.
- John Bolton’s prospects of being confirmed by the Senate as US ambassador to the UN appear strong at this time with at least four Democrats saying they might support him.
- Visteon, the money-losing auto-parts supplier spun off from Ford Motor in 2000, may sell as many as 15 US factories to shed union employees who cost it $60/hour in wages and benefits.
- Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region declined more than forecast in May.
- The US dollar is rising against the euro on speculation the Fed will keep raising rates while the European Central Bank makes no change.

Wall Street Journal:
- Disney plans to re-launch “The Muppet Show” 1970s television favorite in a bid to create a following for classics such as Mickey Mouse.
- US Fed officials expressed increased concern over the rise in domestic housing prices as a result of speculative buying.
- Time Warner’s cable services are testing a program where EBay users will be able to monitor their Internet auctions over the television.
- Global computer software piracy fell slightly last year.
- Time Warner’s America Online plans a new version of its Netscape Web browser with security and safety features.
- Southwest Airlines’ hedging program, which locked in lower fuel costs while oil prices soared, produced profits while other carriers languished in the red, but the benefits may diminish from now on.
- US banking regulators are considering new guidelines for mortgage lenders, because they are concerned about home buyers taking on bigger loans.

NY Times:
- About 4,000 overweight Americans seek treatment each year in Durham, North Carolina, which is sometimes billed as the “Diet Capital of the World.”
- L-3 Communications is negotiating to buy military contractor Titan Corp. for about $1.8 billion.

- California scientists have created a mapping system to provide real-time information about the likelihood of earthquakes in the state.

- Blockbuster is advertising a monthly fee of $17.99 for its unlimited DVD rental service.

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