Monday, December 19, 2005

Today's Headlines

- Norfolk Southern is buying new locomotives and Audi AG is investing in new models, part of a worldwide corporate spending spree that may take over the US consumer’s role in driving global growth next year.
- US health officials are preparing new hospital infection control guidelines to slow the growing spread of bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics.
- FPL Group agreed to buy Constellation Energy Group for about $11 billion, doubling its number of nuclear power plants and expanding in deregulated electricity markets.
- DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler will operate its North American factories at full capacity for the first time since 19999 as 10 new models help to increase US market share, the unit’s chief said.
- Shares of Pfizer rose as much as 12%, the most in more than 20 years, after a US court ruling blocked generic competition until 2011 for Lipitor, the world’s best-selling prescription drug.

Wall Street Journal:
- PepsiCo has started growing potatoes in China as part of a risky gambit to dominate the global market for snacks and other packaged foods.
- THQ Inc., the publisher of video games such as “SpongeBob SquarePants,” plans to announce today an agreement with Massive Inc. to deliver advertisements over the Internet to its games.
- The US is boosting training of dogs that can sniff explosives as part of a broader program to boost security on the nation’s transportation systems.
- AG Edwards has started a subsidiary that will sell investment services for third parties, such as mutual funds and insurance companies.
- SEC Chairman Cox has left intact new mutual fund governance rules, hedge fund registration requirements and other changes introduced by his predecessor.
- Southwest Air CEO Kelly said the carrier has six US cities, including Charlotte, North Carolina, that are “high on the list” for possible expansions to its route network.

- Microsoft may be developing a digital media player to challenge Apple’s iPod.

NY Times:
- Some US minors create pornographic Web sites, displaying themselves through Web cameras, as they seek to earn money.
- US companies are helping filmmakers distribute movies to consumers through Internet downloads or direct DVD sales.

Lloyd’s List:
- A 12% overcapacity of liquefied natural gas tankers during the next two years may spur freight rates to fall and shop operators to cut costs by trimming crews and maintenance.

- The Shiite Muslim-led United Iraqi Alliance won 58% of the vote in the province of Baghdad in the Dec. 15 parliamentary elections.

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