Friday, December 09, 2005

Today's Headlines

- Merck, turning to its public health roots, plans to introduce the first cervical cancer vaccine in an attempt to revive its sales.
- French industrial production fell by the most in more than six years in October as output of cars dropped, suggesting Europe’s third-largest economy may be faltering yet again.
- Intel’s sales forecast disappointed investors and signaled the world’s biggest chipmaker may be losing market share to AMD.
- Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers Holdings and Bear Stearns may report combined fourth-quarter earnings of $4 billion, capping a record year fueled by trading and advising on takeovers.
- Eli Lilly, maker of the top-selling schizophrenia drug Zyprexa, forecast that 2006 earnings per share will rise 63% on expanding sales of its newest products.
- US Treasuries are falling after an industry report showed consumer confidence rose in December more than forecast, capping its biggest two-month gain since 2003.
- Crude oil is falling on signs supplies will be adequate to meet demand for winter as the first cold snap of the season moves through the northern US.

Wall Street Journal:
- The NYSE set a minimum price of almost $50,000 for the right to continue trading on its floor after the exchange concludes its acquisition of electronic-trading company Archipelago Holdings.
- Three Puerto Rican lenders, Doral Financial, R&G Financial, and First BanCorp may soon issue financial restatements, following scrutiny by the SEC.
- Anheuser-Busch has started a campaign to promote the health benefits of drinking beer.
- Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson and New Mexico plan to build a $200 million “spaceport” in the desert to prepare for commercial space travel.
- Viacom’s Paramount Pictures unit is preparing to bid for DreamWorks SKG, using mostly money put up by outside investors.
- US oil and drug companies may collide over House and Senate negotiations on the Republican party’s proposed $45 billion deficit-reduction bill.
- Deckers Outdoor, maker of Teva sandals and Ugg boots, will sell more different Ugg models in the hope of turning last year’s footwear fad into a permanent brand.

- Verizon Communications’ Verizon Wireless said that it has won two lawsuits against telemarketers who made unsolicited sales calls to its customers.

NY Times:
- Alltel has agreed to spin off its fixed-line unit and merge it with Valor Communications in a transaction worth $9.1 billion as it tries to focus on its cellular phone business.

Washington Post:
- French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin says the timetable for withdrawal of international forces from Iraq should be determined by conditions in the country in order to avoid chaos.

Globe and Mail:
- Research In Motion can avoid losing access to the US market for its BlackBerry e-mail device with a single payment.

- Russia’s government today condemned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comments that Europe should host a state of Israel on its soil because of the genocide committed against Jews by the Nazis.

- JPMorgan Chase may make further acquisitions to strengthen its US retail business, citing an interview with the chief economist at JPMorgan.

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