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Jul 5, 2011

Ping Newsletter: Telstra changes for customers

Ping Newsletter
Telstra changes for customers
TELSTRA has made a series of management appointments to prepare for the national broadband network and build new growth.
NBN probes Telstra's pits
NBN Co has begun a 12-week review of the state of Telstra's infrastructure assets to allow it to finalise its rollout schedule.
Twitter value soars to $US7bn
TWITTER is privately raising hundreds of millions of dollars in new financing, valuing the company at up to $US7 billion.
Telstra copper wires not on NBN agenda
NBN Co was never given authorisation by the government to seek to use Telstra's copper wires during protracted negotiations.
Training firms hunt begins
THE NBN Co has begun its hunt for training firms to up-skill the thousands of workers required to build the mammoth project.
Optus faces $100m in payouts
OPTUS could pay as much as $100 million in termination payments as it works to unstring its cable network.
Vodafone class action gathers momentum
THE number of claimants looking to sue Vodafone Hutchison Australia has hit 23,000.

Click here for all headlines

More IT Business

Computer servers float by 

HiLife living high life up in the clouds 

Confusion on child porn site blocking 

Durham lured from SAP to coastal hub

More Exec Tech

Gamers show way on demise of pet products 

Small matter of size and weight big factor 

HP's new tablet falls a bit flat 

Cisco Cius tablet in Australia end-July 

The Australian Business Briefing: Oakajee doubts spark sell-off

Wall St mixed on EU debt woes
Wall St Steven Russolillo US stocks closed mixed today as euro-zone debt fears deepened after Moody's downgraded Portugal's sovereign debt to junk.
Portugal's debt cut to junk
aus bus pix Portugal Patricia Kowsmann PORTUGAL received a serious blow today after Moody's downgraded its sovereign debt rating to junk status.
RBA may cut growth forecast
RBA Scott Murdoch THE RBA has flagged that the economy is rapidly losing steam as inflation moderates and consumers save more.
Rules costing banks $500m a year
CBA CEO Ralph Norris Andrew Fraser CBA chief Ralph Norris has questioned whether the high cost of the new banking regulations is cost-effective for bank customers.
Ads end year with whimper
TV chanel logos TEN SEVEN NINE James Chessell THE $13bn ad market has finished the financial year on a low note, according to the latest numbers from research house SMI.
Oakajee doubts spark sell-off
110627 Oakajee, Murchison Metals Sarah-Jane Tasker and Andrew Burrell SHARES in Murchison Metals plunged 23 per cent over the Oakajee project.
Big banks to feel heat
Westpac Scott Murdoch THE future earnings of the major Australian banks are under renewed pressure.
Japanese take slice of Lynas
protest against lynas resources Sarah-Jane Tasker JAPANESE bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has emerged as a 9.99 per cent shareholder in rare-earths miner Lynas.
Financial Markets
Wall St mixed on EU debt woes
Wall St Steven Russolillo US stocks closed mixed today as euro-zone debt fears deepened after Moody's downgraded Portugal's sovereign debt to junk.
Gold jumps back above $US1500
Copper shrugs off China worry
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
WTO faults China's export limits
China port Matthew Dalton THE WTO said today China's restrictions on exports of nine industrial raw materials violated international trade rules.
Gold jumps back above $US1500
Copper shrugs off China worry
More Mining & Energy

The Australian Capital Circle: Carbon politics end game begins

Capital Circle Newsletter
Carbon politics end game begins
The carbon tax deal is done, MPs have been briefed, and Labor's tax D-Day is fast approaching.

The PM's Diary: Julia Gillard is in Canberra for parliament. She'll launch the Australian of the Year awards in the House mid-morning.
Tony Abbott is in Canberra for parliament. He told 2UE this morning that Ms Gillard had "mishandled things from the very beginning''. Mr Abbott seized on the fact Ms Gillard would not reveal the full detail of the carbon tax to her caucus until it was publicly released on Sunday: "The Prime Minister is supposedly the leader of the Labor party, but the only people she takes into her confidence are the Greens and the independents''.
Standing offer: Julia Gillard has promised to wear out her shoe leather selling her carbon tax. Yesterday she asked all television networks for free TV airtime on Sunday night to talk about the tax. Nine and Seven turned her down, while Ten is considering it ( report). But 2UE breakfast host Jason Morrison has an offer he believes the PM can't refuse - come in and talk to the punters. Mr Morrison tells Capital Circle: "I find it amazing that she has begged for national TV exposure. I've said to her office since the beginning of the year we'll have her in the studio.'' Over to you, PM.
In Parliament today: Foreign Affairs Minster Kevin Rudd will release the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness and the Government’s response at 9am this morning. The report will show the level of fraud in Australia's $4.8 billion foreign aid program has reached a record 191 cases (report). Labor will introduce 17 pieces of legislation today, including Nicola Roxon's Tobacco Plain Packaging Trade Marks Amendment bill. Legislation dealing with the Australian Energy Market, Work Health and Safety and Education Services for Overseas Students will also be introduced.
In Canberra today: ACTU President Ged Kearney is meeting workers
Peter Brent
Peter Brent
What’s Reithy up to?
Peter Reith’s tilt at the Liberal presidency fell short ten days ago. Then he spat the dummy. A bit. If what Reith says—that…
Peter Brent
Peter Brent

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Kitco New York Close Report

New York Market Close Jul 05/11 05:24 PM EDT

Bank of America $8.5 billion mortgage pact challenged | Reuters - Daily Investor Update

Wall Street ends quiet day flat, Netflix boosts Nasdaq
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks ended a thinly traded session mostly flat on Tuesday as investors paused after last week's surge, though continually light volume suggested the market could encounter more choppy trading. | Full Article

Moody's cuts Portugal to junk, warns on 2nd bailout
July 05, 2011 04:06 PM ET
LISBON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Moody's on Tuesday cut Portugal's credit standing to junk in the first such move by a ratings agency and warned the country may well need a second round of rescue funds before it can return to capital markets. | Full Article
Analysis: Default needed to lure long-term buyers back to Greece
July 05, 2011 01:24 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Long-term investors standing aloof from the Greek debt crisis want holders of its government bonds to take a loss big enough to slash the country's debt to sustainable levels before they consider returning. | Full Article
Murdoch advertisers get nervous over hacking claims
July 05, 2011 04:21 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Car maker Ford has suspended advertising in Britain's News of the World due to allegations of hacking by the newspaper, while lender Halifax joined a growing band of companies reviewing their policies. | Full Article
Bank of America $8.5 billion mortgage pact challenged
July 05, 2011 04:34 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A group of bondholders plans to challenge Bank of America Corp's $8.5 billion settlement with holders in soured mortgage-backed securities, saying it may be unfair to other bond investors. | Full Article

Strauss-Kahn faces new hurdle at home as U.S. woes ease
July 05, 2011 03:35 PM ET
PARIS/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dominique Strauss-Kahn was hit with a fresh complaint of attempted rape in France on Tuesday, a new hurdle to any political comeback, even though U.S. sex assault charges against him may be lifted this month. | Full Article
Casey Anthony found not guilty of murder of daughter
July 05, 2011 04:36 PM ET
ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - A Florida jury on Tuesday found Casey Anthony not guilty of murder in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, a case that riveted millions since the child was first reported missing three summers ago. | Full Article
Analysis: Debt deal not that far out of reach
July 05, 2011 02:40 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - You would never know it from all the hot air rising out of Washington, but President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans could easily reach a deal to raise the debt limit and avoid an early August default. | Full Article
Banks meet to thrash out Greece aid plan
July 05, 2011 02:18 PM ET
LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - International banks and insurers will meet on Wednesday to thrash out a plan for the private sector to contribute to Greece's bailout effort as fears grow that the proposal will be derailed. | Full Article
Obama to speak on deficit reduction efforts
July 05, 2011 04:22 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will deliver remarks on Tuesday afternoon about the state of efforts to cut the U.S. budget deficit and raise the debt ceiling, the White House said. | Full Article

Millions will die if India stops AIDS drugs: U.N.
Fewer Americans developing and dying from colon cancer
EU bans Egyptian seeds over deadly E.coli outbreak
Environment, not just genetics, at play in autism
More whooping cough in Seattle area

RTTNews Evening Market Wrap

Evening Market Wrap
With traders reluctant to make any significant moves following last week’s rally, stocks showed a lack of direction throughout the trading day on Tuesday. The major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before ending the session on a mixed note. (Jul 5, 2011) Full Article

Economic News
New orders for U.S. manufactured goods rebounded in May after showing a decrease in April, according to figures released Tuesday by the Commerce Department, although orders rose by slightly less than economists had been expecting. The report showed that new orders for manufactured goods rose by 0.8 percent in May following a revised 0.9 percent decrease in April. The increase in new orders was less than the 1 percent increase most economists had predicted. (Jul 5, 2011) Full Article

Corporate News
Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG (NVS) Tuesday said an interim analysis of a Phase III study in women with advanced breast cancer showed that its Afinitor, or everolimus, tablets in combination with exemestane significantly extended progression-free survival, compared to placebo plus exemestane. The study included postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive locally-advanced or metastatic breast cancer whose disease progressed, despite initial endocrine therapy. The study, dubbed BOLERO-2 (Breast cancer trials of OraL EveROlimus-2), was a Phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. It involved over 700 patients at over 195 sites worldwide, who were randomized 2:1 to receive continuous therapy with everolimus 10 mg per day orally or placebo plus oral exemestane 25 mg per day. The primary endpoint was progression free survival. Patients who had received more than one prior chemotherapy regimen for advanced breast cancer were excluded from enrollment. "Despite clinical progress in advanced breast cancer, most women are either initially resistant or develop resistance to endocrine therapy over time. As a result, there is a significant need for new treatment options. Based on these study results, this combination has the potential to extend the time until chemotherapy is needed for these patients," Hervé Hoppenot, President, Novartis Oncology, said. The trial was stopped early after interim results showed that the primary endpoint of progression-free survival was met. Everolimus targets mTOR in cancer cells, a protein that acts as a regulator of tumor cell division, blood vessel growth and cell metabolism. Novartis said the results would be presented at an upcoming medical conference. Worldwide regulatory submissions are being planned by year-end. The company's stock closed Monday on the SIX exchange at 51.55 Swiss francs, down 0.15 francs or 0.29 percent, from the previous close. (Jul 5, 2011) Full Article

Oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) Monday said that over 280 people are now involved in the cleanup effort following the crude oil spill into the Yellowstone River in Montana. The oil spill from the company's pipeline was first reported on Saturday. The amount of oil released was estimated to be 750 to 1,000 barrels. The company couldn't identify any cause for the leak and has set up a team to investigate on this issue. The company's North America Regional Response Team, the Clean Harbors and ER oil spill response organizations and additional contractors are involved in the cleanup effort. More than 150 people cleaned up oil along the river banks. A unified command has been established to manage response activities following the oil spill. The response activities include oil recovery, air and water quality monitoring, and addressing questions from local residents. Exxon is coordinating the response with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Yellowstone County Disaster and Emergency Services, and Yellowstone County commissioners are also involved in the response. According to the company, the area downriver of the spill has been organized into four zones for the purposes of the response, and the cleanup activities are focused in the first two zones closest to the spill site. The company will need to wait until it is safe to get into some areas, due to current flooding and very swift river currents. Exxon is also conducting daily aerial flights over the river to identify additional oil locations and monitor the cleanup activity. As of Monday evening, the company has received 36 claims from landowners related to oil on their property. Further, Exxon said that reports have confirmed no danger to public health while it continues to monitor air quality. No reports of impacts have been received to date on water quality and wildlife as well, it noted. XOM is trading at $82.01, up $0.63 or 0.77 percent, on a volume of 18.05 million shares. (Jul 5, 2011) Full Article

Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.'s (PJC_A.TO) first-quarter net profit grew to C$49.9 million or C$0.22 per share from C$43.9 million or C$0.19 per share last year. Revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 increased to C$660.6 million from C$646.3 million in the prior-year period. The company said this increase is attributable to overall market growth and the expansion of the PJC network of franchised stores, despite the deflationary impact on revenue from the introduction of the generic version of large volume drugs as well as the price reductions of generic drugs previously decreed by the Quebec government. The board of the Jean Coutu Group declared a quarterly dividend of C$0.06 per share, payable on August 5, 2011, to all holders of Class A subordinate voting shares and holders of Class B shares listed in the Corporation's shareholder ledger as of July 22, 2011. (Jul 5, 2011) Full Article

AutoNation Inc. (AN) said its retail new vehicle unit sales in June 2011, as reported to the applicable automotive manufacturers, totaled 16,564, an increase of 3% as compared with June 2010. Retail new vehicle unit sales in June 2011 for AutoNation's operating segments were 5,638 for Domestic, up 18% versus June 2010; 7,564 for Import, down 9% versus June 2010, and 3,362 for Premium Luxury, up 11% versus June 2010. Second-quarter 2011 retail new vehicle unit sales decreased 1% versus the second quarter of 2010. (Jul 5, 2011) Full Article
CME Group Inc. (CME) Tuesday reported that quarterly average daily volume, or ADV, for the second-quarter was in line with last year's results, with a 22 percent year-over-year increase in monthly ADV for the month of June. While the quarterly ADV amounted to 13.5 million contracts per day for the second-quarter in both 2011 and 2010, monthly ADV for June was14.9 million contracts per day this year, compared to 12.2 million contracts per day a year ago. The trading exchange operator added that of the total June volume of 327 million contracts, electronic trading contributed 85 percent. (Jul 5, 2011) Full Article

Forex Commentary
The dollar barely budged in quiet dealing Tuesday, as traders looked ahead to events taking place later in the week, including a pivotal interest rate decision by the European Central Bank. There was little reaction to news that new orders for U.S. manufactured goods rebounded in May after showing a decrease in April. (Jul 5, 2011) Full Article

Political News
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., Tuesday re-extended his invitation for President Barack Obama to come to Capitol Hill to discuss budget issues after the White House turned down a similar proposal last week. McConnell said he hoped Obama would meet with Republicans and hear firsthand why they have ruled out any increases in taxes as part of efforts to reduce the deficit. (Jul 5, 2011) Full Article

NYT: Afternoon Business News: Portugal's Debt Rating Cut to Junk by Moody's


Portugal's Debt Rating Cut to Junk by Moody's

Portugal's new rating raises pressure on euro zone nations to work out a lasting solution to their financial woes.

More Law Firms Raid Competitors to Poach Rainmakers

Intense demand for lawyers with large, established books of business has led corporate law firms to recruit them more aggressively and offer record pay packages.

W.T.O. Says Chinese Restrictions on Raw Materials Break Rules

The World Trade Organization said Tuesday that Beijing violated global rules by restricting exports of nine raw materials used in high-technology products.

E.U. Plans Sharp Reduction in Data Roaming Charges

The European Commission will propose for the first time a limit on the fees that consumers pay to surf the Internet while traveling in the European Union.

In Silicon Valley, a Culture Clash Sullies a Romance

Although venture capital and private equity are often regarded as the same, they have different operational methods, which became apparent in Silver Lake's sale of Skype to Microsoft.

Money Show Investors Daily Alert | Today's Top Pros' Top Picks: 3 Energy Patch Bargains , Peter Way®
Investors Daily Alert  

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Wall Street bets on higher Southern Union price Analysts see rival offer from Williams after Energy Transfer’s raise: MarketWatch | Market Pulse

By Steve Gelsi, MarketWatch 

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Investors bid shares of Southern Union Co. above the latest buyout price Tuesday, as Wall Street bets on a loftier offer for the natural-gas-pipeline company. 

After opening the takeover competition June 16 with an offer of $33 a share, Energy Transfer Equity LP ETE +0.60%  on Tuesday raised its bid for Southern Union SUG -0.97% to $40 a share, or nearly $9 billion. 

The deal includes about $5.1 billion in cash and equity plus $3.7 billion in assumption of Southern Union debt. See story on latest bid for Southern Union.
The offer came in ahead of a June 28 buyout proposal of $39 a share in cash from Williams Cos. WMB -0.02% .
On Tuesday, shares of Southern Union jumped 4.2% to $42.07 — above the latest bid by $2.07 a share — in a sign that Wall Street is betting that the company will fetch a higher price. 

“Energy Transfer Equity has swiftly responded to the competing Williams Cos. offer for Southern Union Co. by revising its initial bid higher and including a cash component to allow itself greater flexibility,” said analyst Keith Moore of MKM Partners. “We view it as unlikely that Williams put their best offer on the table initially, so we expect Southern Union to trade above the revised ETE offer in anticipation of [Williams’s] next move.” 

Spokesmen for Williams Cos. could not be reached for comment on Energy Transfer Equity’s latest bid.
Analysts at Tudor Pickering Holt said the latest ETE terms for 60% cash and the remainder in publicly traded units marks a simplified offer from its earlier deal. They “wouldn’t be surprised” to see Williams match or better the offer with an all-cash bid, the analysts said. 

The bidding war for Southern Union failed to ignite big gains in other pipeline companies. Shares of the pipeline operators fell back or moved only mildly higher. Kinder Morgan Inc. KMI +0.10%  dipped less than 0.1%, while Buckeye Partners LP BPL -0.48%  also fell less than 0.1% and Magellan Midstream Partners MMP -0.48%  fell 0.5%. 

Among other pipeline firms, El Paso Pipeline Partners EPB +0.09%  rose 1.1%, Plains All American Pipeline LP PAA -0.28%  fell 0.3% and Enterprise Products Partners LP EPD -0.42%  slipped about 0.4%. 

Sunoco Logistics Partners LP SXL +0.17%  rose 0.1%, and NuStar Energy LP NS +0.03%  dipped 0.5%. Enbridge Energy Partners EEP -0.07%  dipped 0.1% and TransCanada Corp. TRP +0.30%  dipped 0.8%.
Steve Gelsi is a reporter for MarketWatch in New York.

How to check your home's value online: MarketWatch | Personal Finance Daily

Personal Finance Daily
JULY 05, 2011

How to check your home's value online

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

It used to be that American homeowners checked the value of their houses at online real-estate valuation sites like Zillow just for fun. That was before the housing bubble burst. But for homeowners in many parts of the country, the worst may be over and home values are either flattening or starting to climb back from the depths. Amy Hoak writes today in her Home Economics column about the best ways to make use of online home value tools. Hoak's sources note that the volatility in the real estate market makes valuing your home by yourself pretty tough. Ultimately, using professional appraisers is best, but online tools can give homeowners a ballpark estimate on what a particular home is worth — an important benefit to those considering whether it's worth it to refinance, buy or sell.

Also on MarketWatch today, check out our July edition of Trading Strategies. The U.S. needs a debt-ceiling lift and Europe needs help with Greece (among others), which is going to make July a volatile trading month. But our top commentators have ways you can still profit. See the full Trading Strategies special report.

Finding your home's value online

Plugging an address into an online home value tool like Zillow won't tell you exactly what a seller would be willing to pay for the place. But it's a start.
Read more: Finding your home's value online.

3 bank stocks you can still trust

American banks may not be as affected by the Greek debt crisis as you might think. Here are three stocks worth considering.
Read more: 3 bank stocks you can still trust.

The 25 documents you need before you die

Most experts recommend creating a comprehensive folder of documents that family members can access in case of an emergency, so they aren't left scrambling to find and organize a hodgepodge of disparate bank accounts, insurance policies and brokerage accounts.
Read more: The 25 documents you need before you die.

Don't dump that gold fund just yet

Chuck Jaffe writes that a mediocre first half for metals shouldn't knock investors off track. Pushing the sell button too early can blow up whatever long-term strategy they had.
Read more: Don't dump that gold fund just yet.


For the economy, it's a tug of war

The business and financial outlook for the second half of 2011 and beyond will be determined by which of two important economic concepts prevails: the wealth effect or the income effect. Irwin Kellner explains.
Read more: For the economy, it's a tug of war.

Australia holds rate steady, trims outlook

Australia's central bank leaves its key interest rate on hold, as it downgrades its growth outlook for 2011.
Read more: Australia holds rate steady, trims outlook.


Stocks that are the best of both worlds

One of the most successful advisory services for recent performance represents the marriage of both value and momentum strategies, favoring just those few shares that have only recently begun to outperform the market, reports Mark Hulbert.
Read more: Stocks that are the best of both worlds.

Why you need not worry about interest rates rising

A contrarian analysis of current bond-market sentiment suggests that interest rates will remain largely unchanged over the balance of 2011.
Read more: Why you need not worry about interest rates rising.

The 8 best defensive plays for July's powder keg

Look for light volume, volatility in July.
Read more: The 8 best defensive plays for July's powder keg.

Gold is best debt-crises defense — just not yet

Given our view that the U.S. and Europe will continue to inflate their way out of these debt crises, printing money and debasing their currencies, we tend to favor precious metals — but we wouldn't look to buy just yet.
Read more: Gold is best debt-crises defense — just not yet.

CMI | NY Trading - Spot Prices at Close

CMI - Gold & Silver
Spot Prices as of the close of trading in New York
As of: Tuesday July 05, 2011
  Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
Gold $1,513.05 +$29.60 $1,500.75 $1,537.45 $1,207.50
Silver      $35.45   +$1.74      $33.67      $37.95      $17.73
Platinum $1,744.90 +$26.20 $1,693.80 $1,802.10 $1,503.00
Palladium    $777.15 +$17.60    $738.00    $760.50    $425.75