Friday, June 29, 2007

Today's Headlines

- The DJIA is poised to post its best quarterly performance since the fourth quarter of 2003.
- UK police dismantled a car bomb found outside a nightclub packed with hundreds of people near London’s Piccadilly Circus, raising concern about terrorism.
- US treasuries are rising after a government report showed the Fed’s most closely watched measure of inflation slowed in May. The 10-year yield has plunged 27 basis points in less than 2 weeks.
- The Canadian dollar fell after the nation’s economy unexpectedly registered zero growth in April.
- Washington Mutual(WM), the biggest US savings and loan, will refinance up to $2 billion in subprime loans. The loans will be refinance or modified at discounted rates to help borrowers’ stabilize their finances and avoid foreclosure.
- BP Plc(BP), Europe’s second-largest oil company, and UK biofuels developer D1 Oils Plc said they plan to start a joint venture to plant jatropha for use as biodiesel.
- General Motors(GM) will invest $945 million over the next five years in Europe to introduce more fuel-efficient vehicles that cause less pollution.
- The price of US steel sheet fell for a third straight month in June because of reduced demand from manufacturers and a drawdown of inventories by distributors, Purchasing magazine said.
- Corn plunged to a 12-week low in Chicago after a government report said US farmers planted more acres than forecast in March.
- Crude oil rose to a 10-month high in NY on speculation by investment funds that low supplies of gas will continue to boost prices into the summer.
- Talbots Inc.(TLB) appointed apparel-industry veteran Trudy Sullivan as its new CEO in an effort to stem five years of declining profit at the women’s clothing retailer.
- Chicago Board of Trade’s(BOT) largest shareholder, Sydney-based hedge fund Caledonia Investments, has voted against the proposed sale to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange because the price is too low.
- Bear Stearns(BSC) hired Jeffrey Lane from Lehman Brothers Holdings(LEH) to run its asset-management division after the near-collapse of two hedge funds forced the firm to put up $1.6 billion for a bailout.

Wall Street Journal:
- Discover Financial Services, set to be spun off by Morgan Stanley(MS), is far smaller than rivals Visa USA Inc. and MasterCard Inc., yet its shares may be attractive because credit-card demand is growing.
- Delta Air Lines may be the leading contender to gain the first new non-stop flights between the US and China, to be awarded under agreements signed in May.
- Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, may determine the outlook for legislative proposals to raise taxes on the hedge-fund and private-equity industries.
- Lawmakers moved to salvage parts of a grand compromise on immigration reform following the collapse of the broad package.

Boston Herald:
- Massachusetts is considering creating a loan pool backed by as much as $200 million in state bonds to enable homeowners to refinance unaffordable mortgages.

Washington Post:

- Russian authorities have shut down a US-funded non-profit training organization for journalists and filed criminal charges that critics say are politically motivated.

LA Times:
- Doug Frantz, managing editor of the LA Times, will become the Middle East bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal next month.

- The California State Assembly approved another 17,000 slot machines at casinos run by four Southern California tribes that will bring the state hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue.

- The SEC is increasing its scrutiny of Bear Stearns’(BSC) hedge fund business.

Financial Times:
- Goldman Sachs Group(GS) was the top investment banking adviser in the world in the first half of 2007, citing Dealogic data.

China Knowledge:
- BP Plc(BP), Europe’s second-largest oil company, aims to double the import and sale of liquefied petroleum gas in China by 2010.

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