Thursday, December 19, 2013

Today's Headlines

  • Brazil Mid-December Inflation Rises More Than All Forecasts. Brazil’s consumer prices rose in the month through mid-December by the most in 11 months, as unemployment tied a record low. Swap rates jumped. Consumer prices as measured by the IPCA-15 index rose 0.75 percent in the month through mid-December, the national statistics agency said in a report published on its website today. That was more than every estimate from 39 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, whose median forecast was for a rise of 0.65 percent.
  • European Stocks Rise. European stocks rallied the most in 3 1/2 months as the Federal Reserve’s decision to slow the pace of its stimulus boosted investor confidence that the U.S. economic recovery is on course. Saab AB (SAABB) surged the most in at least 15 years after winning a $4.5 billion order to supply 36 jet fighters to Brazil’s air force. Amadeus IT Holding SA jumped to a record after the travel-reservations company said its $500 million purchase of NMTI Holdings Inc. will boost 2013 results. Algeta ASA also climbed to a record after Bayer AG agreed to acquire the drugmaker at an increased offer price. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1.7 percent to 319.44 at the close, for its biggest two-day gain since June.
  • Emerging-Market Stocks Retreat as Turkey Plunges on Corruption. Emerging-market stocks fell to the lowest in a month as Turkey’s corruption crisis weighed on the nation’s shares and Chinese equities retreated on concern higher funding costs will hurt growth. Turkey’s shares slid the most in the world as the government removed Istanbul’s police chief amid a corruption probe. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) lost 1.7 percent on concern higher funding costs will hurt growth. All but two emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg weakened, led by the Brazilian real. The Micex added 0.7 percent as President Vladimir Putin said a decree pardoning Mikhail Khodorkovsky will be signed soon. Brazil’s Ibovespa climbed to a one-week high. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index retreated 0.4 percent to 989.01 at 12:41 p.m. in New York.
  • Facebook(FB), Zuckerberg Plan to Sell Shares Worth $3.9 Billion. Facebook Inc. (FB:US) Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is selling shares to help pay taxes, joining the company and board member Marc Andreessen in an offering worth about $3.9 billion. About 27 million shares will be offered by Facebook, with an additional 41.35 million shares by Zuckerberg and 1.6 million from Andreessen, the company said in a statement today. Shares of Menlo Park, California-based Facebook fell as much as 2.7 percent.
Business Insider:
NY Times:
  • Uninsured Skeptical of Health Care Law in Poll. Americans who lack medical coverage disapprove of President Obama’s health care law at roughly the same rate as the insured, even though most say they struggle to pay for basic care, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. Fifty-three percent of the uninsured disapprove of the law, the poll found, compared with 51 percent of those who have health coverage. A third of the uninsured say the law will help them personally, but about the same number think it will hurt them, with cost a leading concern.
Google Blog:
  • Transparency Report: Government removal requests continue to rise. We launched the Transparency Report in 2010 to provide hard evidence of how laws and policies affect access to information online. Today, for the eighth time, we’re releasing new numbers showing requests from governments to remove content from our services. From January to June 2013, we received 3,846 government requests to remove 24,737 pieces of content—a 68 percent increase over the second half of 2012. Over the past four years, one worrying trend has remained consistent: governments continue to ask us to remove political content. Judges have asked us to remove information that’s critical of them, police departments want us to take down videos or blogs that shine a light on their conduct, and local institutions like town councils don’t want people to be able to find information about their decision-making processes. These officials often cite defamation, privacy and even copyright laws in attempts to remove political speech from our services. In this particular reporting period, we received 93 requests to take down government criticism and removed content in response to less than one third of them.
  • Lockheed Martin(LMT) cuts ties with Boy Scouts over gay leader ban. The Lockheed Martin Corp. is ending its relationship with the Boy Scouts of America because the group does not allow gay Scout leaders, company officials told the Marietta Daily Journal. "While we applaud the mission of the Boy Scouts and the good things they do in our communities, their policies that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and religious affiliation conflict with Lockheed Martin policies," said Lockheed spokesman Gordon Johndroe. The reference to "religious affiliation" has to do with the Boy Scouts' ban on atheist members. Marietta's plant contributed about $25,000 to metro Atlanta-area Scouting activities and programs this year. The employee-giving fund called the LM AERO Club contributed another $30,000 this year, Whitaker said.
  • Business lobby says recession has pushed Italians to breaking point. Italy's main business lobby group warned on Thursday that the risk of social breakdown was growing, despite signs that Italy's two-year recession was coming to an end. Confindustria, which represents almost 150,000 companies, said it expected gross domestic product to fall 1.8 percent this year rather than 1.6 percent.
Financial Times:
  • EU launches trade dispute against Brazil. The EU has launched a potentially explosive trade case against Brazil, filing papers in the World Trade Organisation against the Latin American giant for the first time in almost a decade over what it claims are protectionist taxes levied on cars and other imports.

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