Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Today's Headlines

- France’s rejection of the European Union’s constitution would be “disastrous,” casting doubt on the future of European integration, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said.
- Business confidence in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, unexpectedly fell to a 21-month low in May, amid concern about the deteriorating growth outlook.
- Nokia lost market share for the first quarter in four to Motorola and Samsung Electronics, Gartner said. The researcher raised its full-year sales forecast for the industry.
- Merrill Lynch chief economist Rosenberg slashed his forecast for the 10-year T-note’s yield at year-end to 3.8% from 4.4% on indications inflation will slow.
- Ford Motor agreed to take back 24 plants form former auto-parts unit Visteon.
- Bostonians are still wearing winter fleece as they endure a May like few others in memory. Average daily high temperatures are running 8.7 degrees below normal for the month.
- Democrats won’t offer a plan to solve the Social Security crisis, a House Democratic leader said.
- China should move “as expeditiously as possible” to float its currency to help correct the US imbalance of trade, Fed Governor Bernanke said.
- Sales of Coke and Pepsi may be banned from schools by the Connecticut legislature today in what would be the first such state-wide prohibition because of concern that the soft drinks contribute to obesity in children.
- Crude oil is rising above $51/bbl. in NY after an Energy Dept. report that US crude inventories unexpectedly declined as refineries boosted gasoline production before the Memorial Day holiday.

Wall Street Journal:
- Bain Capital LLC and Game Plan LLC would bunch the 30 National Hockey League teams into three groups based on market value if their $4 billion bid for the league is successful.
- ICAP Plc, the world’s biggest broker of trades between banks, may try to make a “transformative acquisition” to increase its share of trading in bond, currency and derivatives markets.
- Rising oil prices make profit harder to find for US gasoline retailers because the outlets are reluctant to quickly pass along higher costs to customers.
- L-3 Communications Holding is closer to an agreement to acquire defense contractor Titan Corp. for a share price in the “mid-$20 range.”
- A US housing boom is benefiting some poor urban neighborhoods that have been overlooked until now, such as in Baltimore.
- GM may soon carry out a more ambitious reorganization than any undertaken hitherto, by splitting off GMAC, its profitable finance unit.
- Calpine is likely to announce today a reorganization that will include asset sales and cutting debt by $3 billion, or 16%, by the end of the year.
- Firsthand Capital Management wants to start an ETF that tracks the performance of 30 technology stocks in the S&P 500 deemed most likely to move higher.

NY Post:
- Time Warner’s AOL may gain exclusive access to SonyBMG’s music for its video-on-demand service.

LA Times:
- Video-game developers such as Electronic Arts, Activision and THG Inc. face a possible strike after unions set authorization votes during the next two weeks to press for a greater share of profits.

- Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, fled the nation to a “neighboring country” with two doctors who are treating him for gunshot wounds to his lung, citing an Islamic Web site.

Financial Times:
- Hedge Funds are underestimating the risks of investing in high-yield bonds, and the financial markets will be jolted if the bonds return to their historic default rates, said Steven Rattner, managing principal of Quadrangle Group.

- North Korea denied it was planning on carrying out a nuclear test, though the country is still hesitant to rejoin six-country talks on ending its nuclear program, a Czech delegation said it was told during a visit to the North Korean capital.

No comments: