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Nov 10, 2010

F & F I N : The Australian Business Briefing - Update - .- Rise in Jobless Rate Puts RBA on Hold.

Rise in jobless rate puts RBA on hold
jobs UPDATE: James Glynn THE unemployment rate rose unexpectedly in October, sending a strong signal to the RBA that it can keep interest rates on hold for now.
New Qantas schedule to plug A380 gaps
qantas Steve Creedy, aviation writer QANTAS has released a revised international schedule that largely plugs the gaps caused by its grounded Airbus A380 fleet.
Optus profit jumps on mobile strength
Optus Mitchell Bingemann OPTUS has posted a 15 per cent rise in quarterly net profit as its mobile business continued its strong run against Telstra and Vodafone.
Chinese bid values Brockman at $930m
Brockman Resources Michael Bennet IRON ore junior Brockman Resources has received a bid from its Chinese shareholder, which values the Pilbara miner at $929.6m.
Battle heats up for critical lithium
lithium Leo Lewis JAPAN appears to have stolen a critical lead in a battle with China and South Korea to develop the world's largest single source of lithium.
Xstrata secures 51pc of Sphere
mining xstrata Michael Bennet XSTRATA has reached its desired controlling stake in Sphere Minerals, as rival Sin-Tang continues to top up its holding.
CPA raising to buy Grocon properties
CPA UPDATE: Michael Bennet COMMONWEALTH Property Office Fund plans to raise $377 million in equity to buy three Melbourne office buildings from Grocon.
Brutal reality in record cotton price
cotton Isabel Ordonez TO Dan Taylor, who has grown cotton for three decades, the fibre's surging price is downright scary.
Financial Markets
Shares extend gains on resource sector
share market THE Australian sharemarket had extended its gains by early afternoon, thanks to demand for resource companies and Wall Street's turnaround.
Rates, dollar quell inflation fears
Wall St climbs on positive jobs data
Financial Markets Coverage

MarketWatch: Market Pulse .- China Consumer price index soars 4.4 in October

China's consumer price index soared 4.4% in October from the year-earlier period on a sharp increase in food prices, trouncing expectations of a 4% increase, according to official figures released Thursday. The CPI number compares with a 3.6% reading in September and strengthens concerns about further monetary tightening to clamp down on price pressures. The mainland's producer price index rose 5% during the month, also beating estimates for a 4.6% rise and higher than the 4.3% rise in September. Data released simultaneously also showed the nation's retail sales jumped 18.6% and industrial output increased 13.1% in October, while urban fixed asset investments rose 24.4% in the 10 months to October. Economists estimated retail sales would rise 18.8%, industrial production by 13.4% and January-October urban FAI by 24.4%..

MarketWatch: Personal Finance Daily.- The oh-so-unhappy Happy Meal

Personal Finance Daily
NOVEMBER 10, 2010

Wednesday's Personal Finance stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:
The Happy Meal is not so happy, apparently.

What's the best way to prevent childhood obesity? For the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, one answer is to prohibit companies from marketing fatty foods to kids.

City leaders voted Tuesday to ban companies from dangling toys and other fun freebies as a reward for buying certain foods — if those foods don't meet certain nutritional guidelines.

Read Kristen Gerencher's Health Matters blog post for the details on what McDonald's and other companies will have to do if they want to continue selling Happy Meals and similar treats in San Francisco.

Kristen also points to a new Yale University study that finds that "of more than 3,000 possible combinations for kids' meals, only 12 met the researchers' nutritional standards for preschoolers and only 15 met the criteria for older kids."

Also, don't miss our FundWatch column on the emergence of mutual funds that hedge just like hedge funds, read how it's payback time for student-loan borrowers who graduated six months ago, and take a look at the very explicit warnings smokers may soon see on their cigarette packs.

I'm all for reducing childhood obesity, but frankly targeting specific products like this seems an odd way to go about it. On the other hand, given that fast food is some of the cheapest food around, it's easy to understand why some people — who can't afford typical restaurant fare — resort to fast food all too often (don't tell me that after working a full day, with little kids at home, you always come up with a home-cooked meal).

Ideally, healthy food would be as quick, easy and cheap to serve up as a McDonald's Happy Meal. But it's not. And hoping the companies will make kids' food healthier of their own volition is going to get us nowhere fast. But what about requiring big, ugly nutritional labels, perhaps? Maybe that'd get the companies to improve on those ingredients. Some of the kids' meals the Yale reseachers studied had more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium and more than 900 calories.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor


San Francisco outlaws McDonald's Happy Meals

It seems everyone is anxious to speed up progress in the fight against childhood obesity, which threatens to make this generation of children the first to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents. In San Francisco, such frustration is about to take the form of an ultimatum to some of the most powerful fast-food chains in the country.
Read more: San Francisco outlaws McDonald's Happy Meals.

New warnings on way for cigarettes

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that it will soon require larger and more graphic health warnings on cigarette packages and advertising as part of a new tobacco control initiative aimed at reducing the number of American smokers.
Read more: New warnings on way for cigarettes.


It's payback time for student-loan borrowers

Many recent college graduates will soon be a little poorer each month. The reason: the six-month grace period for federal Stafford loans, the most popular type of student loan, is about to end for those who left school this past spring.
Read more: It's payback time for student-loan borrowers.


Early optimism for holiday retail

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ... for some retailers, anyway.
Read more: Early optimism for holiday retail.


Here come ‘hedged' mutual funds

In the late 1990s, Stephen Roseman had a whiteboard in his office to keep track of all the companies in the nascent video-on-demand sector.
Read more: Here come ‘hedged' mutual funds.

Seven reasons to buy bank stocks now

While the broader market has cobbled together a nice run since Sept. 1, major financial stocks have largely been sitting out the rally.
Read more: Seven reasons to buy bank stocks now.

Investment scams: How to smell a rat

In 1919, as the stock market began to fall, an Italian immigrant named Charles Ponzi claimed to strike gold in international postal-reply coupons.
Read more: Investment scams: How to smell a rat.

Year-end strength might begin in November

Will Christmas come early this year to Wall Street?
Read more: Year-end strength might begin in November.


Deficit panel chairmen suggest $200 billion in cuts

Domestic and military spending should be cut by $200 billion by 2015 in order to slash the U.S. budget deficit, the co-chairs of a deficit-reduction panel set up by the White House said Wednesday.
Read more: Deficit panel chairmen suggest $200 billion in cuts.

Economy stabilizing, top forecasters say

Top forecasters are breathing just a little easier now that the economy is showing signs of stabilizing, following a few months of iffy growth.
Read more: Economy stabilizing, top forecasters say.

Commentary: Short-term thinking, long-term problems

Our economic problems are so vast and so deep, that it's hard to know what to tackle first.
Read more: Short-term thinking, long-term problems.

Boehner gives up the perk of his own plane

As speaker of the House, John Boehner says he'll fly commercial when he travels home to Ohio, and won't take advantage of the military jets that Democrat Nancy Pelosi has used for the past four years to get back to her district in California.
Read more: Boehner gives up the perk of his own plane.
Commentary: GOP will help banks return to business as usual

Republican congressional leaders have made it clear they intend to co-opt and tame their new tea party members. It's an urgent necessity, because often establishment Republican goals are at odds with tea-party objectives.
Read more: GOP will help banks return to business as usual.

Low expectations for G-20 summit

Expectations are low for this week's summit of leaders from the Group of 20 major economies, as concern over the Federal Reserve's decision to launch a second round of bond purchases seems to have "hijacked" the meeting, analysts said Tuesday.
Read more: Low expectations for G-20 summit.

G-20 might hide differences to focus on imbalances

The Group of 20 major economies might take a more conciliatory tone and return their focus to current-account imbalances after a war of words over members' economic and currency policies dominated in the run-up to the meeting, analysts at Nomura said Wednesday.
Read more: G-20 might hide differences to focus on imbalances.

Trade deficit narrows to $44 billion in September

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in September as exports rose to their highest level in more than two years, according to data released by the government Wednesday.
Read more: Trade deficit narrows to $44 billion in September.

U.S. fiscal year began with $140-bln deficit

The U.S. government began fiscal year 2011 in the red, posting a budget deficit of $140 billion in October, the Treasury Department reported Wednesday.
Read more: U.S. fiscal year began with $140-bln deficit.

Bush: My conscience is clear on financial crisis

Former President George W. Bush on Wednesday defended his record of oversight of banks and argued that his conscience is clear when it came to the massive financial crisis that shook the economy to the brink in the final days of his presidency.
Read more: Bush: My conscience is clear on financial crisis.


Google to raise pay across the board: report

Google Inc. is giving employees and officers raises of 10% across the board as it competes with technology-sector rivals for top talent, according to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday.
Read more: Google to raise pay across the board: report.

Weekly jobless claims drop 24,000 to 435,000

The number of workers who filed new claims for unemployment benefits fell 24,000 last week to 435,000, continuing a recent see-saw pattern that's given mixed signals about the U.S. labor market.
Read more: Weekly jobless claims drop 24,000 to 435,000.

CNBC Evening Brief : Three Possible Tax Changes That Could Slash the Deficit.


»click here to see the latest top stories from

Ford: Rebuilding An American Icon
CNBC 360 Premieres Tonight 9:00PM ET/PT
From the brink of collapse to the fast track of success…CNBC’s Phil LeBeau takes you behind the scenes to tell the inside story of Ford’s astonishing comeback. Plus, see how the company plans to stay on top both domestically and overseas, in the brutally competitive automotive industry.
»Most Collectible Fords of All Time


»click here to see the latest top video from

NYT: Afternoon Business News.-Boeing Halts Test Flights of Dreamliner Jet.



Boeing Halts Test Flights of Dreamliner Jet

Boeing halted test flights of its 787 Dreamliner, a day after an onboard fire forced an emergency landing, reinforcing expectations that the long-awaited plane faces more delays.

G.M., Days Away from Stock Offering, Posts $2 Billion Profit

The automaker reported its largest quarterly profit in 11 years, showing that it no longer depends on huge sales.

U.S. Trade Gap Narrows as Exports Rise

A weak dollar helped exports grow for the third straight month, and a separate report showed a drop last week in new unemployment claims.

Managing the Cookies That Track You Online

Keeping a computer free of tracking programs is not easy, but numerous tools can help keep them to a minimum.
Media Decoder Blog

Fox Business Hires Lou Dobbs

The former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs will host a daily program on the Fox Business Network starting early next year, the network said Wednesday.

Evening Market Wrap.- RTTnews.- Stocks Close Mostly Higher After Seeing Early Weakness - U.S. Commentary .

Evening Market Wrap Wed Nov 10 17:01 2010


Nov 10, 2010 Stocks Close Mostly Higher After Seeing Early Weakness - U.S. Commentary Stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading day on Wednesday, with the markets rebounding from some early weakness. Upbeat employment data may have generated some optimism that stocks can extend the upward move seen in recent weeks. Full Article

Economic News

Nov 10, 2010 More Hope For Labor Market As Jobless Claims Fall The number of people filing first-time unemployment claims dropped sharply last week, with the figure coming in below the amount predicted by economists. The U.S. Labor Department revealed Wednesday that initial jobless claims came in at 435,000 for the week ended November 6. This was down 24,000 from the previous week's revised total of 459,000. Full Article
Nov 10, 2010 U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows In September Amid Drop In Imports With the value of imports falling and the value of exports rising in the month of September, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing that the U.S. trade deficit for the month narrowed by much more than expected. The report showed that the trade deficit narrowed to $44.0 billion in September from a revised $46.5 billion in August. Economists had been expecting the size of the deficit to edge down to $46.2 billion. Full Article

Corporate News

Nov 10, 2010 Computer Sciences Corp. Profit Declines; Boosts Full Year ForecastComputer Sciences Corp. (CSC) Wednesday lifted its full year earnings guidance, after reporting a decline in profit for the second quarter impacted by lower revenues and margin. Further, the company lowered its full year revenue guidance, citing the North American Public Sector award delays and the adjustments in the Nordics. Full Article
Nov 10, 2010 Macy's Swings To Q3 Profit; Lifts OutlookDepartment store chain Macy's (M) announced Wednesday a better-than expected profit for the third quarter compared to a loss last year, driven by sales growth amid 24% rise in online sales. Both earnings per share and sales for the quarter topped analysts' expectations. The company also raised its earnings forecast for the full-year 2010, citing stronger sales expectations. Full Article
Nov 10, 2010 Campbell Soup Lowers Outlook On Weak Q1Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) Wednesday lowered its full-year guidance owing to weaker-than-expected first-quarter results that are to be announced later this month as well as the company's current outlook for the remainder of the year. The company noted that higher promotional spending in the first quarter did not translate into expected volume growth. Full Article
Nov 10, 2010 Polo Ralph Lauren Profit Rises; Lifts Revenue Growth OutlookApparel maker Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL) on Wednesday reported a 16% increase in profit for the second quarter, reflecting higher revenues and margin expansion. Buoyed by the results, the company raised its fiscal year 2011 revenue growth outlook for the second time. The company's shares are up more than 5% in the pre-market trading. Full Article
Nov 10, 2010 General Motors Posts $2 Bln Profit In Q3Automaker General Motors Co. reported Wednesday a profit of $2 billion in its third quarter on the strength of North American operations, which reflected the third consecutive quarter of profitability. GM, which plans once again to become a publicly traded company with its Nov. 18 IPO, said it projects a positive EBIT in its fourth quarter, and profitable year-end results for calendar year 2010. Full Article

Political News

Nov 10, 2010 Obama In Seoul To Attend G20 SummitPresident Barack Obama arrived in South Korea to attend a much-anticipated summit of the world's 20 leading economies opening in capital Seoul on Thursday. Air Force One carrying Obama, which advanced its departure from Jakarta by several hours to evade volcanic ash, landed at Seoul Air Base at dusk on Wednesday, local time. Full Article
Nov 10, 2010 Poll Suggests Democrats Favor Compromise Far More Than RepublicansWhile the results of a USA Today/Gallup poll released on Wednesday showed that Americans generally think it is important for political leaders to compromise to get things done, Republicans and Democrats have notably differing views on the issue. Full Article
Nov 10, 2010 Boehner Calls For Congressional Openness, Focus On Tax And Spending CutsHouse Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, the soon-to-be Speaker of the House, said Wednesday that when he takes over in January his efforts will focus on openness and GOP efforts to boost the economy. Boehner said that making Congress more accessible would be an essential part of the agenda. "We've got to fix the Congress so that Congress can focus in on Americans' priorities," he said. Full Article
Nov 10, 2010 Deficit Panel Chairs Propose Cuts To Social Security, Spending And Tax ReformsThe co-chairmen of the bipartisan fiscal commission appointed by President Barack Obama released a draft proposal Wednesday aimed at cutting the nation's federal deficits dramatically over coming years. The proposal, which is likely to receive modification before securing the support of 14 of the panel's 18 members, aims to cut almost $4 trillion from projected deficits through 2020. Full Article

F & F I N : Reuters - Daily Investor Update.- Stocks ends higher as rally resumes .


Stocks ends higher as rally resumes
Cisco revenue rises 19 percent
Deficit panel targets Social Security and taxes
GM posts $2 billion quarter profit, IPO next
"Too big to fail bank" plans may be softened
Government begins fiscal year with 3rd highest deficit
Obama tells G20 dollar strength rests on U.S. economy
Competition picks up in insurance for the rich
Jobs and trade data show improving economy
Halliburton plans big capex increase in 2011

F & F I N : The Australian Business Briefing.-ANZ defies government with 39pt rise.

ANZ defies government with 39pt rise
ANZ lifts rates Scott Murdoch ANZ has become the second major bank within a week to ignore the government by lifting its key mortgage rates by more than the RBA rise.
Wall St climbs on positive jobs data
Wall St Jonathan Cheng US stocks finished higher today, thanks to positive jobs data, as global concerns continued to weigh ahead of a meeting of world leaders.
Ex-Woodside boss welcomes foreign bids
John Akehurst EXCLUSIVE: Andrew Burrell JOHN Akehurst is the former Woodside Petroleum chief who led the company's aggressive defence against Shell's $10 billion takeover bid.
BHP gets US nod for deepwater well
oil Isabel Ordonez US regulators said today BHP Billiton has been granted approval to drill a water injection well in the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico.
Debt fears deepen in Europe
euro sculpture Katy Burne and Peter Nurse THE cost of protecting Irish, Portuguese and Spanish sovereign bonds from default closed near record highs.
Capital markets bounce back
ASX Tracy Lee and Michael Bennet THE festive season should live up to its name, with capital markets signalling a strong return that should last into the new year.
Battle heats up for critical lithium
lithium Leo Lewis JAPAN appears to have stolen a critical lead in a battle with China and South Korea to develop the world's largest single source of lithium.
Fatter margins earn GM a $2bn profit
aus bus pix GM logo Sharon Terlep GENERAL Motors earned $2bn in the third quarter - its third-straight quarterly profit - as consumers paid more for its vehicles.
Financial Markets
Wall St climbs on positive jobs data
Wall St Jonathan Cheng US stocks finished higher today, thanks to positive jobs data, as global concerns continued to weigh ahead of a meeting of world leaders.
Debt fears deepen in Europe
Gold snaps four-day winning streak
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
Gold snaps four-day winning streak
gold ingots Matt Day GOLD fell below $US1400 an ounce today as strength in the US dollar reduced demand for the precious metal as a currency hedge.
Battle heats up for critical lithium
BHP gets US nod for deepwater well
More Mining & Energy Coverage