Friday, June 15, 2007

Today's Headlines

- The Bancrofts, Dow Jones’(DJ) controlling shareholders, said they are still working on a proposal to send to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.(NWS/A) designed to protect the Wall Street Journal’s editorial independence.
- The prosecutor in the Duke University lacrosse case said he made improper statements to the media that probably violated ethics rules and now have him facing punishment.
- Crude oil in NY is rising to the highest price since September on concern that US refiners will be unable to keep up gasoline demand after cutting plans to expand capacity by 500,000 bpd earlier in the year and after a rash of refining “problems.”
- US Treasuries are rising after a smaller-than-forecast rise in consumer prices boosted the appeal of 10-year notes. The yield has declined 14 basis points from recent highs.
- Home Depot(HD) will receive separate offers of about $10 billion for its contractor-supplies unit from two private-equity groups.
- US economic figures released this week don’t bear out the concerns of some investors that inflation is getting out of control.
- Penn National Gaming(PENN) agreed to be taken private by buyout firms Fortress Investment Group and Centerbridge Partners for $6.1 billion.

Wall Street Journal:
- NYSE Euronext(NYX) executives have said they’re not interested in buying London Stock Exchange Group Plc, which may at some point make it easier for Nasdaq Stock Market(NDAQ) to make a successful approach for the British exchange.
- The SEC’s elimination of the rule against short-selling when a stock is falling may have been spurred by the growth in ETFs. The purpose of the so-called “uptick rule,” which was scrapped this week, was to stop the practice of “bear raids,” heavy selling to drive down a stock’s price.
- AT&T’s contract to offer Apple’s(AAPL) iPhone promises to be a big drawing card for the company’s wireless network. Two-thirds of mobile-phone users surveyed by M:Metrics who said they were interested in the iPhone would be willing to switch to AT&T to get it.
- Microsoft’s(MSFT) $6 billion purchase of aQuantive(AQNT) and Yahoo!’s(YHOO) $680 million acquisition of Right Media are under informal antitrust review by US regulators.
- Financial Times publisher Pearson PLC has in recent weeks been trying to recruit partners to help pursue a purchase of Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones(DJ).

- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told journalists that Latin American immigrants would learn English faster if they spent less time watching, reading and listening to Spanish-language media. Schwarzenegger also said he rarely spoke German when he emigrated to the US from Austria, which forced him to learn English.

USA Today:
- US automakers, who are facing the prospect of legislation to tighten fuel economy rules, have given more than half their contributions this year to Democrats after 12 years of giving heavily to Republicans.

- Seven men have been sentenced to as long as 26 years in prison for taking part in a plot to cause explosions in the US and UK.

- Cementos Portland Valderrivas SA, the cement unit of Spanish builder Fomento de Construcciones & Contratas SA, plans to buy Texas Industries(TXI).

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