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Friday April 18th 2014: Latest financial news from the worldWall Street Week Ahead: Spring fever brings hope for U.S. earnings
By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - Earnings season shifts into high gear next week, and with nearly one-third of S&P 500 names set to post results, investors hope the news provides a catalyst to buy stocks and leave the market's recent weakness in the dust. Several behemoths, including Apple, the largest U.S. company by market value, as well as Microsoft, McDonald's and AT&T , are due to report earnings. They'll be accompanied by highfliers like Netflix and Facebook, giving the first real cross-section of the state of corporate America as temperatures rise across the country and investors hope to put the cold weather behind them. Strategists will also be looking for clues on how badly China's slowdown hits U.S. corporate results.
Rajaratnam's brother loses bid to dismiss insider trading charges
By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of imprisoned hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, on Friday lost a bid to dismiss some of the insider trading charges leveled against him last year. U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan ruled that the indictment adequately alleged the essential elements of the crimes charged. A lawyer for Rajaratnam did not respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declined to comment.
Compensation battle rages four years after BP's U.S. oil spill
Four years after the Deepwater Horizon spill, oil is still washing up on the long sandy beaches of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and some islanders are fed up with hearing from BP that the crisis is over. Jules Melancon, the last remaining oyster fisherman on an island dotted with colorful houses on stilts, says he has not found a single oyster alive in his leases in the area since the leak and relies on an onshore oyster nursery to make a living. The British oil major has paid out billions of dollars in compensation under a settlement experts say is unprecedented in its breadth. Some claimants are satisfied, but others are irate that BP is now challenging aspects of the settlement.
Exclusive: Biogen prices hemophilia drug on par with older therapies
Biogen Idec Inc is pricing its newly approved long-acting hemophilia drug, Alprolix, to cost U.S. patients, and insurers, about the same per year as older, less convenient therapies whose price can reach about $300,000 annually. The move could pressure rivals such as Pfizer Inc to lower prices for existing hemophilia treatments, which provide patients with life-saving infusions of a blood clotting agent, according to doctors and industry analysts. Biogen last month won U.S. and Canadian approval for Alprolix to treat hemophilia B, the more rare form of the condition that affects about 4,000 people in the United States and about 25,000 worldwide. "We think we have priced (Alprolix) to create parity with existing therapies on an annual cost of therapy basis," Tony Kingsley, Biogen's head of global commercial operations, told Reuters in a telephone interview.
AMR loses bid to terminate retiree benefits
By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. bankruptcy judge largely declined on Friday to rule that former American Airlines parent company AMR Corp had a unilateral right to terminate benefits for nearly 47,000 retirees. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane in New York rejected a motion AMR made in 2012 for a ruling holding that the health and welfare benefits it provided retirees had not vested and could be unilaterally modified. Lane did rule for AMR with regard to some employees, but his ruling was a setback in AMR's bid to shift the program's costs from the company to the retirees, which included both union and non-union employees. "American will review his ruling and consider next steps related to the retiree health and life insurance benefits," said Casey Norton, a spokesman for American Airlines.
Amazon's tax-free European profits drop after IRS clamp-down
By Tom Bergin LONDON (Reuters) - The amount of money Amazon.com Inc reports through a tax-exempt vehicle in Europe has dropped sharply in the past two years, even as European sales jumped, after the U.S. tax authority tightened rules it felt were being abused to shift profits. Amazon minimizes its tax bill by having the U.S. unit which owns its technology licenses lease the rights to re-license the technology to a tax-exempt partnership based in Luxembourg. The Group of 20 leading economies has vowed to crack down on corporate tax avoidance and the practice of shifting profits into low or no tax jurisdictions. Amazon has been a frequent subject of politicians' criticism in Europe over the way it channels all European revenues to Luxembourg where profits can be earned tax free.
Brazilian tycoon Batista investigated for financial crimes: reports
Brazil´s federal police have opened an investigation into former billionaire Eike Batista for financial crimes, including insider trading, manipulation of markets and money laundering, Brazilian media reported on Friday. If the police probe leads to criminal charges against Batista, it would be yet another major blow for a businessman once hailed as Brazil's model entrepreneur and symbol of its economic success. Batista´s EBX oil, mining and logistics empire, which two years ago was valued at $60 billion, collapsed last year in a mountain of debt and massive filings for bankruptcy protection. A week ago, Brazil's securities commission, CVM, announced that Batista was under investigation for insider trading as chairman of his now-bankrupt oil-producing company Óleo and Gás Participações SA , formerly known as OGX, and its sister company, shipbuilder OSX Brasil SA .
Tech workers seek to use Steve Jobs evidence in upcoming trial on no-hire accords
By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Four large technology companies should not be allowed to limit evidence about Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs at an upcoming trial over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley, according to a court document filed late on Thursday by employees suing the firms. Tech workers brought a class action lawsuit against Apple, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to avoid competing for each other's employees in order to avert a salary war. The case, which is closely watched in Silicon Valley, is largely built on emails among top executives, including Apple's late chief executive Jobs and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
Auto airbag maker Continental named in GM recall suit
Plaintiffs' lawyers are seeking to draw Continental Automotive Systems U.S., the maker of airbag systems in recalled General Motors Co vehicles, into litigation over an ignition-switch defect that has been linked to 13 deaths. A lawsuit filed on Wednesday in federal court in California is the first to name Continental, a subsidiary of German automotive supplier Continental AG , in a growing wave of litigation over GM's recall, which has so far encompassed 2.6 million vehicles. Continental made airbag systems for the recalled cars, including sensors that determine if and when the airbags go off in an accident, according to the suit. The case is among dozens of proposed class actions that have been filed by customers accusing GM of concealing its knowledge of the defect for more than a decade, putting plaintiffs at risk of injury and causing them to suffer economic losses on their cars, including lower resale value.
Lululemon yoga pants lawsuits in U.S. win final dismissals
By Nate Raymond and Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge has issued final dismissals of lawsuits accusing Lululemon Athletica Inc and various company officials of defrauding shareholders by concealing defects in yoga pants. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan had on April 4 issued "draft" decisions dismissing a shareholder lawsuit against Lululemon, and two lawsuits accusing 11 executives and directors of missing red flags about poor quality control. Shareholders accused Lululemon of failing to disclose how its black Luon yoga pants were too sheer, culminating in an expensive March 2013 recall. They also accused the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company of overstating its ability to ensure good quality control and of concealing plans to replace its since departed chief executive, Christine Day.
US puts off decision on Keystone XL pipeline
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is putting off its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, likely until after the November elections, by extending its review of the controversial project indefinitely.
5 features an Amazon phone might offer
NEW YORK (AP) — A report this week in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.
US newspaper industry revenue fell 2.6 pct in 2013
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. newspaper industry revenue fell last year, as increases in circulation revenue weren't high enough to make up for shrinking demand for print advertising, an industry trade group said Friday.
Unemployment rates fall in 21 US states last month
Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
BOSTON (AP) — With an expanded field of runners and the memory of last year's bombings elevating interest in one of the world's great races, the 2014 Boston Marathon could bring an unprecedented wave of visitors and an influx of tourism dollars to the area.
Court declines to block drug ruling in patent case
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday declined to temporarily block a lower court ruling that opens the world's best-selling multiple sclerosis drug to competition from generic rivals next month.
Late sign-ups improve outlook for Obama health law
WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults.
Judge says American can't end retiree benefits yet
DALLAS (AP) — A federal judge has rejected an attempt by American Airlines to quickly cut off benefits for many of its retirees.
Brewers seek to rekindle Belgium's love of beer
DWORP, Belgium (AP) — The ruby lettering on the front of the old corner pub "In de Welkom" has peeled almost beyond recognition. Owner Leza Wauters, a tough 87-year-old, is holding on to her business but can't say how much longer. Sooner or later, yet another bar with a warm "Welcome" will be gone.
Appeals court rejects challenge on cement plants
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Friday turned aside a challenge by environmental groups to an air pollution standard for cement plants.
10 Hidden Features of the Galaxy S5
You already know that the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 16MP camera with awesome features, a 5/1” FHD Super AMOLED display, a fingerprint scanner, a built-in heart rate monitor and also is IP67 certified Dust …
Milk Music, Free Radio Service by Samsung: 3 Things You Need to Know
Milk Music™ is a new, fully customizable, free and ad-free music radio service with an intuitive user interface that offers more than 200 stations. Although this is a pretty solid description of Samsung's free …
Antitrust in the New Gilded Age
Women in Business Q&A: Nikki Parker, Regional Director North America & Oceania at Freelancer.com
Nikki Parker is responsible for marketing and communications at Freelancer.com across North America, Australia and New Zealand. Nikki leads a team of communications and marketing experts who work with business, partners and the media to grow Freelancer across these regions. Nikki is a company media spokesperson and represents Freelancer as a speaker at industry events globally. ...
More Proof That American Health Care Prices Are Sky-High
As anyone who's ever paid a health insurance premium or a hospital bill knows, medical care is expensive. What Americans may not know is that residents of other countries don't pay nearly as much for the same things. The latest data from the International Federation of Health Plans, an industry group representing health insurers from 28 countries including the United States, once again illustrates that American patients pay the highest prices in the world for a variety of prescription drugs and common procedures like childbirth and hospital stays. ...
Samsung and Amazon join forces with Kindle for Samsung
Summary: Samsung and Amazon agreed to launch ‘Kindle for Samsung’, a custom-built eBook service offering millions of best-selling books, newspapers and magazines on readers’ mobile devices including over 500,000 exclusive titles. Samsung and Amazon will …
Samsung Applies Advanced, Eco-friendly Packaging to the Galaxy Series
Summary: Samsung has developed and expanded applications for eco-friendly package to the Galaxy Series, reducing energy use and supporting the recycling of unused resources. Continuing from Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3, Samsung maintained its …
Ernesto Zedillo: Director of the Day
Co-authored with Arthur Phillips, research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Directorships, 2008 - 2012: 5* Total director compensation, 2008 - 2012: $3,626,109** Average annual director compensation, 2008 - 2012: $725,222 Average compensation per full year of service as director: $244,276 *Zedillo was a director of the Electronic Data Systems Corporation from October 2007 to August 2008; however, compensation for his service in 2008 is not available and therefore not included in the above calculations. ...
The Democratizing Power of Crowdfunding and the JOBS Act
On the Meaning of Entrepreneurship
Be Careful What You Wish For
I have the pleasure of working with many teams each year on how to shorten sales cycles, avoid pricing pressure and accelerate growth. I was working with a top-performing group recently. This past quarter they crushed their goals.
Planning for Summer
Besides looking forward to taking a much needed vacation -- if you're lucky enough to schedule one this year -- you should be thinking about how your business can capitalize in what for many companies is a slow season. In fact, the following planning tools can be utilized by any business with a slow season.
Looking Beyond Today: Securing Your Employees' Retirement Future and Your Bottom Line
April marks Financial Literacy Month. It's the perfect opportunity for employers to start providing financial education programs to employees, and for employees to ask about the benefits they receive and education that's available in their workplace.
Pregnant Worker Says Pier 1 Imports Forced Her To Take Unpaid Leave
A pregnant worker has filed a lawsuit challenging Pier 1 Imports' policies toward expectant mothers, saying the home-goods retailer forced her to take unpaid leave due to her pregnancy. In her suit filed in California state court on Wednesday, Kimberly Erin Caselman argues that the company's practice of providing pregnant workers with eight weeks of light duty and then placing them on leave runs afoul of state discrimination laws. Caselman told HuffPost that she could have kept performing her job with a few small accommodations. ...
The Daily Innovator: It's Not Who You Know But How They Think
Students of reasoning styles can boost their success at convincing others of the wisdom of a new idea by identifying and adapting to the logic filters of decision makers. Sizing up a situation realistically lets us know what to expect when we're pitching a new idea, and how to make the most of it.
Marooned in Middle Management? Something Is Missing
5 Reasons You Absolutely Must Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Matt Taibbi: America Has A 'Profound Hatred Of The Weak And The Poor'
Living in America has taught Matt Taibbi that we as a society have "a profound hatred of the weak and the poor." That's one claim the former Rolling Stone writer makes in his new book, "The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap." Taibbi defended this statement in a HuffPost Live interview on Tuesday. "Any American understands that there's this tremendous pressure to succeed and we think about people, for instance, who are on the welfare system and we think of them without compassion," he told host Alyona Minkovski. "We think of them as unsympathetic characters because
(VIDEO) Making Content Marketing Accountable To Drive Business, MediaCom's Sean Black Explains
Content marketing has always been a part of advertising, but the big difference is that content is finally accountable, says Sean Black, Managing Partner and Group Digital Director at MediaCom, during an interview for Beet.TV with Paul Kontonis, SVP Strategy & Sales at Collective Digital Studio. "Content marketing has always been around but it's getting more attention, and now we are just adding a layer of accountbaility," he explains. "Look at orginal daytime shows. Brands were weaving themselves into content. Now we can track. ...
Women in Business Q&A: Michelle McComb, CFO at Datto Inc
Michelle McComb is the Chief Financial Officer for Datto, Inc., a global, award-winning vendor of backup, disaster recovery (BDR) and business continuity solutions based in Norwalk, CT. McComb oversees Datto's finance and human resources departments. How has your life experience made you the leader you are today? I've learned that everyone has a past, and whatever that past, it molds us into who we are today - be it positively or negatively. I've learned to embrace all the aspects of my life, even the negative ones, to make me a better leader and a more informed person. How has your
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