Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Today's Headlines

- Bloomingdale’s employees outnumbered lunchtime shoppers in the New York store’s main floor cosmetic department yesterday as the city’s first full-scale transit strike in 25 years kept customers away.
- The trial of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein resumed in Baghdad today after a two-week break due to Saddam’s refusal to attend court on Dec. 7.
- Allergan, maker of the Botox anti-wrinkle treatment, agreed to buy Inamed for $3.42 billion in cash and stock, adding Inamed’s wrinkke-smoothing Juvederm and saline breast implants.
- IBM agreed to buy Micromuse, a provider of network management software, for about $865 million in cash.
- President Bush accused Senate Democrats of “inexcusable” obstruction for failing to extend provisions of the USA Patriot Act that are scheduled to lapse at year’s end.
- The US Senate approved a package of $39.7 billion in spending cuts with Vice President Chaney casting the tie-breaking vote.
- US Senate Democrats blocked a bid to allow oil drilling in Alaska.
- Boeing may boost annual output of the new 787 plane because of strong demand and is considering another long-range version of the aircraft.

Wall Street Journal:
- China wants to use its enormous appetite for raw materials to screw down prices paid to suppliers.
- Seagate Technology, a California-based maker of computer disk drives, agreed to buy Maxtor for $1.9 billion in stock.
- Bank of America will tie up with American Express to issue a new range of credit cards as it seeks to win more big spenders.
- Toyota Motor is using automotive components and technologies to develop products including wheelchairs and orthopedic mattresses for Japan’s elderly.
- General Electric is in advanced talks with unidentified partners to buy Arden Realty, a southern California real-estate investment trust worth more than $3.1 billion.
- Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, one of the world’s biggest private-equity firms, has been thrown into turmoil by the departure of its founding partner, after whom it’s named.
- GMAC, which has been the subject of takeover interest, is being targeted by companies including Wachovia and JPMorgan Chase.
- Time Warner Executive Vice President Olaf Olafsson took control of negotiations over the sale of a stake in AOL after AOL executives expressed reservations about Microsoft’s technology.

NY Times:
- Sling Media’s Slingbox has the potential to further fragment the television-viewing audience.

- OPEC will let the world’s leading industrial nations build up their stockpiles of oil during the next three months.

Detroit News:
- Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s largest automaker, will invest $94 million and add 600 jobs to expand a new technical center near Ann Arbor, Michigan.

LA Times:
- Crime in Los Angeles has fallen by about 10% this year and is on target for a third consecutive year of significant decline, citing Police Chief William J. Bratton.

- Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian may restore his stake in GM to 9.9%.

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