Friday, December 16, 2005

Today's Headlines

- S&P will introduce a series of “growth” and “value” indices today that are tied to its US market benchmarks, including the S&P 500.
- GM CEO Wagoner said there’s been “ample interest” in his finance unit and he is confident the automaker can find a buyer after some of the nation’s biggest banks declined to bid.
- US 10-year Treasuries are rising, heading for the biggest weekly gain since November, on speculation the Fed is almost done raising interest rates.
- United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette, who was criticized by former US Fed Chairman Volcker for failing to properly manage the scandal-plagued Iraq oil-for-food program, announced her resignation today.
- Crude oil, heating oil and natural gas are falling on forecasts showing that warmer weather will move across the northern US, reducing demand.
- Google is discussing a 5% stake in AOL for $1 billion that would exclude Microsoft.

Wall Street Journal:
- Yahoo! has signed an agreement with Marketing Management Analytics research firm to offer advertisers the chance to buy detailed research on the effectiveness of their Web advertisement.
- Google is struggling to reconcile its goal of making information “universally accessible and useful” with its aim of expanding in China as it wrestles with Chinese censors.
- A group including Cerberus Capital Management, Kimco Realty and supermarket chain SuperValu may win the auction to buy Albertson’s for about $9.6 billion, or $26 a share.
- Iraq’s struggle toward democracy will require patience and sacrifice, which necessitates the support of the international community, four Eastern European ambassadors to the US wrote.

NY Post:
- Apollo Management’s $1.3 billion takeover of Linens ‘n Things may fall apart in the next two weeks if the retailer fails to meet the earnings goal set for the acquisition.

Washington Post:
- Saudi Arabia’s new ambassador to the US rejected the Iranian president’s description of the Nazi Holocaust during WW II as a myth, saying the “horrific genocide” isn’t in dispute.

NY Times:
- Sid Richardson Energy Services, a gas pipeline company owned by the Bass family of Fort Worth, Texas, yesterday agreed to be acquired by Southern Union for $1.6 billion in cash.
- The participation of Sunni Arabs, a minority, in Iraq’s national election yesterday will raise hopes of a reconciliation with the ruling Shiite parties that came to power in Janurary.
- Fresh Del Monte Produce is looking for a buyer and could be sold for about $1.8 billion.

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