Monday, December 12, 2005

Today's Headlines

- OPEC may end an offer to tap 2 million barrels a day of spare output capacity because there isn’t sufficient demand, the group’s President Sheikh Ahmad Fahd al-Sabah said.
- Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are headed for their first annual decline in US soft-drink sales in at least four decades as health-conscious consumers switch to bottled water, sports drinks and juices.
- US strategists, who correctly called the stock market’s performance this year, are getting more bullish for 2006.
- Ford Motor may save more than $1 billion annually on US health care under an agreement reached with the UAW, analysts said.
- Merck suffered a setback when a judge declared a mistrial in the third case involving its Vioxx painkiller, after a jury said they’d deadlocked on whether the drug caused a Florida man’s death.
- Time Warner and Comcast are among six cable companies that plan to offer a separate tier of family-friendly programs, an industry group said.
- The dollar is falling the most in more than two months against the euro on speculation the Fed may say tomorrow that interest rates are no longer stimulating the US economy.

Wall Street Journal:
- Alteria Group’s Philip Morris USA will make its first drug-delivery product by partnering with Pennsylvania-based Discovery Labs Inc. to create new ways of delivering medicine to premature babies with breathing problems.
- Tommy Hilfiger has three possible offers.
- News Corp.’s HarperCollins Publishers said it will produce digital copies of its books and then make them available to search services offered by companies such as Google, Microsoft and
- The avian flu virus in China is stable at present, not mutating toward a form readily transmissible among humans, according to Shu Yuelong, the head of China’s national influenza laboratory.

NY Post:
- Consumer Reports will begin offering product ratings, pricing information and store availability through wireless phones.

NY Times:
- Three private-equity firms and Dunkin Donuts are near an agreement for the sale of the donut chain for about $2 billion.
- Samsung Electronics and Toshiba are spending billions on new factories and more engineers as competition intensifies to develop more powerful NAND flash memory chips.
- The MSNBC cable news network will spend almost $1 million on its most concentrated Internet advertising blitz to date, promoting three of its prime-time shows on hundreds of Web sites and Web logs.

USA Today:
- Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi said he envisions the nation having three semi-independent regions that handle internal security and have more control over funding.

Boston Globe:
- Corporate spending on computer servers, networking and storage equipment, and software may rise 11% next year to $546.9 billion, citing Moody’s research firm.

Chronicle of Higher Education:
- The Ford Foundation gave 26 schools including Yale University, Trinity University and Northwestern University grants of $100,000 for projects that promote academic freedom, religious tolerance and environments in which difficult subjects can be discussed openly.

- Iraqis working in hospitals, the military and those in prisons started voting today before full elections for a parliament that will restore sovereignty to the country.

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