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Thursday April 24th 2014: Latest financial news from the worldAsian shares, dollar struggle on Ukraine anxiety
By Lisa Twaronite TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks struggled on Friday, as fears of an escalating Ukraine crisis eclipsed upbeat U.S. economic data and robust U.S. tech shares. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that time was running out for Moscow to change its course in Ukraine. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan erased early modest gains and fell 0.3 percent. Japan's Nikkei stock average took an opposite track and added 0.5 percent in choppy trade, after opening solidly lower amid disappointment over a failed attempt to reach a U.S.-Japan trade pact.
Apple buoys Nasdaq; Ukraine weighs on broader market
By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Nasdaq rose modestly in a choppy session on Thursday, lifted by a rally in Apple shares a day after the iPad maker's strong results, though tensions in Ukraine held the broader market in check. Shares of Apple Inc , the most valuable U.S. company by market capitalization, jumped 8.2 percent to $567.77, the biggest gain since August, a day after the company posted revenue that far outpaced expectations. Apple also approved another $30 billion stock-buyback plan, raised its dividend and authorized a seven-for-one stock split. The three major U.S. stock indexes had opened sharply higher, with the Nasdaq initially climbing more than 1 percent before turning negative in the first half-hour of trading.
Exclusive: JetBlue flight attendants seek to hold unionization vote
By Alwyn Scott NEW YORK (Reuters) - Flight attendants at JetBlue Airways are pushing for a vote on whether to unionize, marking a second organizing effort at the formerly non-union airline after pilots authorized joining a union on Tuesday. The flight attendants are working with the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) to sign authorization cards that would let them hold an election under national labor rules, the TWU told Reuters. "We're getting them in very quickly," Thom McDaniel, a TWU International vice president, said of the cards.
New report calls U.S. a 'rising star' of global manufacturing
Call it the comeback kid. A new ranking of the competitiveness of the world's top 25 exporting countries says the United States is once again a "rising star" of global manufacturing thanks to falling domestic natural gas prices, rising worker productivity and a lack of upward wage pressure. The report, released on Friday by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG,) found that while China remains the world's No. 1 country in terms of manufacturing competitiveness, its position is "under pressure" as a result of rising labor and transportation costs and lagging productivity growth. The United States, meanwhile, which has lost nearly 7.5 million industrial jobs since employment in the sector peaked in 1979 as manufacturers shipped production to low-cost countries, is now No. 2 in terms of overall competitiveness, BCG said.
GM says facing multiple probes into recent recalls
By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors revealed on Thursday it is the subject of five different government probes related to its massive recalls, including two previously unreported investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a state prosecutor. GM disclosed the probes in a regulatory filing after reporting earlier in the day that first-quarter profit tumbled 88 percent due to the recall. The five government investigations are from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, the SEC, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a state attorney general, and Congress. GM did not specify which state attorney general is involved.
Apple, Google agree to settle lawsuit alleging hiring conspiracy
By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Four major tech companies including Apple and Google have agreed to settle a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley, just weeks before a high profile trial had been scheduled to begin. The settlement was disclosed in a court filing on Thursday, which did not spell out terms. The case has been closely watched due to the potentially high damages award and a steady disclosure of emails in which Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and some of their Silicon Valley rivals hatched plans to avoid poaching each other's prized engineers. Tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to refrain from soliciting one another's employees in order to avert a salary war.
Insight: Push for tax-avoidance curbs in G-20 threatens Publicis-Omnicom deal
By Tom Bergin and Pamela Barbaglia LONDON (Reuters) - International pressure to curb corporate tax avoidance is behind delays to a $35 billion merger of French advertising group Publicis and U.S. rival Omnicom, and could even scupper the deal, tax advisers and sources close to the deal said. Last July, Paris-based Publicis and New York-headquartered Omnicom announced plans to create the world's biggest advertising group. The new company would be registered in the Netherlands and tax resident in the UK. However, on Wednesday Omnicom Chief Executive John Wren said the Dutch and British tax authorities had, "unexpectedly" so far failed to approve the arrangements, which Omnicom said last year would save $80 million a year in taxes.
Microsoft beats Wall Street on new CEO debut
By Bill Rigby SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp's new chief executive got off to a winning start with Wall Street on Thursday as the world's largest software company eased past analysts' profit estimates despite the pressure of falling computer sales. Microsoft shares are up about 8 percent since company veteran Satya Nadella took over as CEO in early February, and are up 19 percent since his predecessor Steve Ballmer announced plans to retire last August, easily outpacing the Standard & Poor's 500 . Investors are excited about Nadella's focus on mobile and cloud, or Internet-based, computing, designed to take Microsoft beyond its traditional PC-based Windows business. "This quarter is a nice step in the right direction for Nadella and Microsoft," said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets.
Amazon's revenue increases even as spending rises
By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's revenue grew more than expected for the first quarter, largely offset by a sharp increase in spending on technology, content and new warehouses as the e-commerce company branches into new businesses. Amazon's international unit, which accounts for 40 percent of sales, continued to be a drag as sales growth slowed to 18 percent during the quarter. Global unit sales, a closely watched measure of how many items Amazon has sold, also decelerated, rising only 23 percent. "A lot of the things that we've done - making sure that we have the right pricing in place on behalf of the customers, making sure that our service levels are where we need them to be - those are the things we continue to work on in China," Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said during a conference call.
Michael Dell to sell gardening firm ValleyCrest to KKR unit: FT
(Reuters) - Dell Inc Chief Executive Michael Dell is likely to sell his corporate gardening company ValleyCrest to KKR & Co LP's Brickman unit, the Financial Times reported. ValleyCrest, owned by Dell's family investment office MSD Capital, is expected to fetch about $1 billion and talks for a deal are understood to be advanced, the daily said. (http://r.reuters.com/beq78v) The deal will allow KKR to merge Brickman, bought for $1.6 billion last November, with ValleyCrest to create United States' largest horticultural management business, the report said. ...
US, Japan say TPP trade talks make headway
TOKYO (AP) — Closing two days of around the clock negotiations, U.S. officials said Friday that they reached a breakthrough with Japan to move forward a stalled regional trade pact even though gaps remain that could still upend a final agreement.
Study: US manufacturers gaining competitiveness
Asian stocks mixed on US earnings, goods orders
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed Friday after solid earnings for Apple and Caterpillar and better U.S. durable goods orders.
Manufacturers see better times for economy, jobs
FDA eases into regulating e-cigarettes
US proposes pay-for-priority Internet standards
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nation's top telecoms regulator is proposing to allow a pay-for-priority fast lane on the Internet for movies, music and other services to get to people's homes.
Stocks close mostly higher on earnings; Apple up
GM profit sinks; CEO sees no recall hit to sales
United loses money; other airlines post 1Q profits
Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
6 Lessons Beyoncé Teaches Us About the Entrepreneurial Mindset
Beyoncé recently spoke to OUT magazine about the traits she focused on in developing her latest album. Interestingly, as a professor of entrepreneurship, I can use these same six traits -- discipline, patience, control, truth, risk, and effortlessness -- to teach about the entrepreneurial mindset.
What Emerging Market Start-ups Need Most Is Mentorship
The entrepreneurs complain about the slow flow of investment capital. The investors complain about the lack of good deals. Both groups are right. While there is plenty of money out there, early stage investment in emerging market companies is sluggish at best. Here is where the paradox can be explained.
Improving Communication for Your Business Through Technology
When you outline the biggest challenges facing your business today, having the right technology for communications is probably not the top item on your list. But along with making sure you have an effective communication style (more on that in this earlier post), choosing the right technology really should be a top priority. An organization that does not effectively communicate -- to its customers, prospects, employees, partners and vendors -- will likely not survive. ...
Ronald McDonald's 'Fresh' New Makeover Is Straight Out Of 1998
The Ronald McDonald of the Internet age is here -- and he's wearing cargo pants. McDonald's unveiled a new look for the famous clown on Wednesday while announcing a new role the character will play in the brand's social media channels around the world. Though Ronald's oversized clown shoes and red hair remain, the fast food giant gave the 51-year-old character a normcore makeover -- or makeunder. His not-quite-on-trend trappings include cargo pants, a vest and a rugby shirt.
The First Thing You Should Do After a Job Rejection
Rats! You've received the dreaded "thank you for your interest but..." letter, and you really thought you were going to get that job. Maybe you were the number 2 or number 3 candidate. What now? Move on to the next opportunity, right? Of course. But first...
Made in America: Burt's Bees... and Corporate America
There was something nice about these hippie companies (or what's left of true hippies) with its environmental bent and values that they took a stand for. It's sad for us consumers out there when they fold into Corporate America. Especially since America is about freedom and freedom of choice.
Southwest Airlines remains one of the most remarkable success stories in American business over the past quarter century. After its first year as a start-up, Southwest has been profitable for 39 consecutive years. It has consistently ranked high in Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For in America. ...
Very Last Minute Tax Tips for Small Businesses
Jamie Oliver - Behind the Brand
Jamie Oliver is making an impact beyond what most TV celebrities do, from helping reform legislation removing unhealthy ingredients in fast food to community outreach at the local level by helping elementary schools rethink their lunch menus.
Three Reasons to Steal, Not Copy: Here's How and Why
I'm a true believer that nothing is really new in the world; it's just a constant rehash of old or existing ideas. What's new is how those old ideas are put together, mixed, mashed and clashed, and that is what makes things entirely new and special.
Forget PowerPoint: Improv Is the New (Old) Way to Sell
Ditch your pitch in favor of a persuasive conversation. Engage your customers in the process by asking good questions, questions that will have them coming up with the answers themselves and lead them to their own conclusions, no convincing required.
Central Asian Hydroelectric Water Wars Heat Up
Given the discrepancies between downstream Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan's agrarian needs and upstream Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan's dreams of hydroelectric prosperity and export sales, tensions can only increase.
Is It the Search or the Search Result?
Is content king? Or is it the delivery system? That's a question that a Guardian media columnist asked. He uses the widely publicized release of Beyoncé's latest album, back in December, as an example.
Collateral Damage: The Effect of Card Fraud on Small Businesses, Customers And The Economy
But wait, after the cards were/are compromised, the banks reissue you a new card, they let you dispute any bad transactions and the merchants may offer you a discount to keep you coming back. So, no harm, no foul, right? Not so fast ...
For Africa, Good Policies Bring Good Prospects
The issue of rising fiscal imbalances is worth dwelling on. A number of economic observers have asked the question: Are countries heading back to the bad old days of rapid debt accumulation that may need to be forgiven down the line? Are these fears well grounded?
Landlords Accused Of Kicking Out Tenants To List On Airbnb
San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera has sued several landlords he alleges evicted their tenants in order to list the apartments for elevated rates on short-term rental sites like Airbnb. In a statement released Wednesday, Herrera announced these are only the first of many investigations his office is conducting in effort to crack down on housing violations aggravating the city’s escalating unaffordability. ...
Where There Is a Will, There Is the Way to an Enduring Small Business
What will happen to your small business after you pass away? While death may not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning for your business this year, the answer to this question is more important than many realize.
How Are You Winning In Social Media?
China's War on Smog Will Put the Reins on Global Coal Demand
Chinese citizens are angry about what's going into their lungs, while a recent government report says pollution has left 16 percent of the country's land unfit for use. Much of that pollution can be traced back to the billowing smoke stacks attached to China's fleet of coal-fired power plants.
Marketing to the Omni-channel Consumer
Customer expectations have skyrocketed when it comes to the digital experience. Today we live in a multiple-screen world with 90 percent of consumers using more than one device before completing any tasks.
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