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Mar 19, 2012

Smartcompany News and Analysis: Building groups collapse, Could perseverance hurt your business? Google plans crackdown on SEO try-hards, What Apple could do with its cash pile

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Today on SmartCompany we look at the collapse of the Brisbane and Victorian franchises of Cavalier Homes, which is further evidence of the big struggles in the building sector. We also look at Google’s coming crackdown on websites that overuse SEO, examine the Government’s new $9 billion skills package and look at new research that suggests stopping employees from checking work emails at home could actually be good for business.

Plus in Entrepreneur Watch, James Thomson argues Gerry Harvey’s got some smart things to say about what SMEs really want from governments.

The curse of perseverance: How to tell a rough patch from a meltdown
One of the qualities of entrepreneurs is their undying optimism in the face of disaster. Perseverance is what sets entrepreneurs apart from the rest of us. But perseverance can only take you so far. BY LEON GETTLER.

Why an anti-discrimination policy alone is not enough to protect an employer
Many employers find out too late that anti-discrimination law deems the employer responsible, and equally liable, for the conduct of its employees. BY PETER VITALE.

Aunty B
My pregnant employee won’t tell me if she’s coming back to work!
I understand your frustration, and it is tricky, but there are things you can do.
Aunty B

People problems
Eve Ash
The workplace can be a hotbed of emotion. So how do you manage an employee who has been reduced to tears?
Ask the Experts

Gen-Y Millionaire
Kirsty Dunphey
A good business needs people who come from different places, people who approach problems in different ways and people who view the same thing differently.
Smart Blogs

Michel Hogan
In the wake of the Kony 2012 video sensation I started thinking about the role of awareness, or more specifically, what happens next.
Smart Blogs

Entrepreneur Watch
James Thomson
Many believe Gerry Harvey has misread the internet boom, but he still knows what makes entrepreneurs fume.

NYT Global Update: Pentagon Finds Perils for U.S. if Israel Were to Strike Iran

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Global Update

Pentagon Finds Perils for U.S. if Israel Were to Strike Iran

A classified war game held this month forecast that such an attack would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States, officials said.

Gunman Kills 4 at a Jewish School in France

A man opened fire outside a Jewish school in southwest France on Monday, and the police said the gun used was linked to two recent attacks.

Fighting Flares in Elite Area of Syrian Capital, Activists Say

Clashes erupted early Monday between armed defectors and the Syrian Army in a wealthy and well-protected area of Damascus, according to activists and residents.

Video: TimesCast

Clashes erupt in a wealthy area of Damascus, and a theatrical success is revealed as flawed journalism.


The World's Next State?

Somaliland, the northern part of Somalia, has accomplished semi-autonomy without foreign assistance. Now it's caught between disdaining the help and needing it.

Peace March in Damascus Is Cut Short by Authorities

Eleven members of one of Syria's most moderate opposition groups were detained during a demonstration in central Damascus, signaling an expanded crackdown.

6 Convicted for Watching Arab Spring News in Zimbabwe

Six political activists who gathered last year to watch and discuss television news broadcasts of the Arab Spring protests were convicted Monday of plotting to overthrow the government.

New Details Emerge of a Chinese Leader's Removal

Bo Xilai, removed last week as the party chief in Chongqing, plotted to remove the head of police to shut down a corruption case involving his family, a leaked report states.

Wall Street Indexes Notch a Small Gain

Among the gainers was Apple, which announced a $2.65 quarterly dividend and a stock buyback program shortly before the trading session started.

Low-Interest Auto Loans, Thanks to the European Central Bank

Automakers on the Continent are using money borrowed from the central bank's stimulus program to offer low-interest loans to customers.

Playing at No Cost, Right Into the Hands of Mobile Game Makers

Many smartphone developers have adopted a lucrative strategy known as freemium: giving away games and then charging for extra features.

In Crosswords, It's Man Over Machine, for Now

Dr. Fill, an impressive crossword puzzle-solving computer program, matched its digital wits against 600 of the nation's best human solvers. The computer program finished 141st.

In New Office Designs, Room to Roam and to Think

The 21st-century workplace extols the value of open space, background noise and outside light - and questions the worth of private offices and other signs of hierarchy.

For Some Women, the Name of the Game Is Baseball

While softball is still more popular among females worldwide, baseball is gradually growing in popularity, with 17 countries now having women's programs.

Jenson Button Wins Australian Grand Prix

He dominates the field from nearly the start, and his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton finishes third.

In an Instant, Our Common Frailty Exposed

High-profile instances of athletes' bodies failing them show that anyone can be vulnerable to sudden, unexpected health issues.

Drifting Right, Illinois Is Test for Romney

Illinois has traditionally favored moderate Republicans, but as voters there prepare to go the polls for Tuesday's Republican primary, Mitt Romney has a fight on his hands.

New Look at an Old Memo Casts More Doubt on Rehnquist

Two scholars have drawn some stinging conclusions after reconstructing a 1955 letter by William H. Rehnquist that became an issue at his Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

Gender Gap Persists in Cost of Health Insurance

Research shows that most women still pay more for health insurance than men, though the 2010 health care reform law will prohibit such "gender rating" beginning in two years.
Op-Ed Columnist

Hurray for Health Reform

Despite some imperfections, the Affordable Care Act would do a lot of good and must be defended.

Stocks and Markets in the News: Tech Daily | MarketWatch


Tech Daily
MARCH 19, 2012

Tech Stocks: Apple breaks $600, leading techs higher
3/19/2012 5:07 PM ET
Company plans quarterly payout of $2.65 a share and spending $10 billion on share repurchases; stock closes above $600 a share for first time ever.
Tech Stocks: Tech stocks close day with mixed results
3/16/2012 4:37 PM ET
Apple takes day's spotlight with release of newest version of the iPad
Tech Stocks: Apple pulls back from $600, but most techs gain
3/15/2012 4:33 PM ET
Cisco slips into the red after announcing $5 billion acquisition for cable TV technology company NDS Group.
Tech Stocks: Apple, Micron, Dell lead mixed day for tech stocks
3/14/2012 4:59 PM ET
Few gainers emerge as decliners weigh down the sector into the close.
Apple says new iPad sales top 3 million
3/19/2012 5:41 PM ET
Latest tablet offering racks up 3 million units sold in opening weekend, Apple says in statement after Monday's closing bell.
Canadian Markets: Canadian stocks slide on real estate, gold miners
3/19/2012 5:38 PM ET
Canadian stocks slipped on Monday, failing to defend modest gains from earlier, as losses in real estate and gold mining shares weighed on the market.
Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks extend gains; Apple supports Nasdaq
3/19/2012 5:27 PM ET
U.S. stock indexes wrap up a low-volume session with gains, as Apple Inc.'s dividend plans boosts the Nasdaq and home builders' data bolster views of that sector's recovery.
After Hours: Adobe falls after hours; Focus Media, Gordmans up
3/19/2012 5:13 PM ET
The software specialist's net income fell from a year ago, though adjusted results came in line with Wall Street's forecasts. Focus Media and Gordmans Stores Inc. shares rally after earnings reports.
Rex On Techs: Apple's Cook answers ‘WWSJD?' question
3/19/2012 5:09 PM ET
Some wondered if Tim Cook would be ruled by the question of ‘What would Steve do?" With a new quarterly dividend and share buyback, the new Apple CEO has likely calmed those fears.
Movers & Shakers: Monday's biggest gaining & declining stocks
3/19/2012 5:08 PM ET
MarketWatch's daily rundown of shares making sizable moves in the U.S. stock market.
Apple to start quarterly dividend, buybacks
3/19/2012 4:20 PM ET
Apple says it will initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share in the fourth quarter of this year, as well as a share buyback program mostly to offset dilution from employee stock awards.
Oracle expected to post modest gains
3/19/2012 3:42 PM ET
Oracle is expected to post modest gains when it reports results on Tuesday, but growing competition from cloud-based rivals could affect results.
Latin American Markets: Brazil equities look to end three-session decline
3/19/2012 3:33 PM ET
Brazilian equities edge higher, finding support after tallying a three-session loss of 1%, with shares of telecommunication companies leading the gains. Argentina stocks fall after two session rise, while Chilean equities rise following fourth-quarter GDP data.
Canadian Solar says cheaper solar panels help U.S.
3/19/2012 1:54 PM ET
Executive speaks out for free trade in face of complaint from SolarWorld AG's U.S. unit.
London Markets: Banks, energy firms push FTSE 100 lower
3/19/2012 1:22 PM ET
U.K. stocks trade mostly lower as utilities stocks decline on the back of a broker downgrade, while banks also weigh on investors' mood.
MarketWatch First Take: Apple could shift perception of dividends
3/19/2012 12:37 PM ET
Dividends have traditionally been associated with slower-growth (aka boring) companies, but Apple may change that view as it re-initiates its dividend.
Indications: U.S. stock futures decline; Apple call awaited
3/19/2012 9:21 AM ET
U.S. stock futures edged lower Monday after last week's run to multiyear highs as technology company Apple Inc. said it would begin paying a dividend.
Bernstein cuts Sprint, notes bankruptcy risk
3/19/2012 9:19 AM ET
Sprint Nextel Corp. shares fell premarket after the research firm Sanford C. Bernstein called a bankruptcy filing "a very legitimate risk" in downgrading the wireless carrier to underperfrom.
Asia Markets: Most Asia markets rise; Japan extends gains
3/19/2012 4:43 AM ET
Most Asian markets rise as optimism about the U.S. economy and rising energy shares underpin broad regional gains, with Japanese shares climbing for a fifth straight trading day on the back of banks and industrial robot maker Fanuc Corp.
Peter Brimelow: China's hard landing
3/19/2012 2:22 AM ET
Hard landing in China? Judging by the crash of a top-performing letter, it's already happened, writes Peter Brimelow.
TaxWatch: Tax credits you won't want to miss
3/19/2012 12:01 AM ET
American taxpayers may not be getting as much credit as they deserve and they aren't getting as many tax credits as they used to, but here are six different types of tax credits worth a lot — so get your credits if they're due.
Apple plans Monday call; dividend possible
3/18/2012 8:57 PM ET
High-tech giant will announce decision for use of cash hoard that is nearing $100 billion. Investors widely expecting dividend.
Market Snapshot: Housing data take center stage for U.S. investors
3/17/2012 12:01 AM ET
A raft of housing-market data and earnings from economic bellwether FedEx Corp. may offer investors fresh clues next week about the strength of the U.S. recovery. Also on tap: financial results from Oracle Corp. and Nike Inc. and speeches from Federal Reserve officials.
Canadian Markets: Canadian stocks extend gains on BCE-Astral deal
3/16/2012 5:57 PM ET
Stocks push higher in Toronto, extending gains from Thursday against the backdrop of a high-profile deal involving BCE and Astral.
After Hours: Research In Motion slightly higher after hours
3/16/2012 5:39 PM ET
Research In Motion shares move slightly higher, extending dayside gains likely fueled by speculation about the future of the BlackBerry maker.
Stocks to Watch: Stocks to Watch Monday: Dole, Adobe
3/16/2012 5:31 PM ET
Dole Food Co., Getty Realty Corp. and Cache Inc. are among the stocks that could see active trading on Monday.
Apple launches new iPad, with high expectations
3/16/2012 5:18 PM ET
Customers line up on to get their hands on the newest iPad. In the meantime, Wall Street has been pumping up its estimates for Apple, pushing the stock toward a new milestone of $600.
John Dvorak's Second Opinion: Buyout candidates for TV over the Internet
3/16/2012 4:50 PM ET
There is no doubt that this is the broadcast medium of the future, writes John C. Dvorak, but making it seamless and efficient is not easy.
Market Snapshot: U.S. stock indexes end 2.4% up for week
3/16/2012 4:43 PM ET
U.S. stocks mostly declined Friday, limiting weekly gains and halting the Dow's longest up ride in more than a year, after an index of consumer confidence unexpectedly fell in March.
Movers & Shakers: Friday's biggest gaining and declining stocks
3/16/2012 4:24 PM ET
MarketWatch's daily rundown of shares that made sizable moves in the U.S. stock market.
Therese Poletti's Tech Tales: Apple's run puts question to Wall Street
3/16/2012 1:47 PM ET
The recent run-up on Apple has put the stock past many of Wall Street's price targets, but don't expect many analysts to stick their necks out by downgrading the shares ahead of what many expect to be a big year.
Latin American Markets: Mexico stocks eye weekly rise; key rate on hold
3/16/2012 1:12 PM ET
Mexican stocks edge higher with monetary policy makers citing a better outlook for economic expansion and inflation as reasons to leave the key interest rate unchanged.
Due Diligence: Micron on a tear despite numerous setbacks
3/16/2012 12:53 PM ET
Maker of memory chips has seen its stock surge 40% in the last three months, despite struggling with a shaky DRAM market and the tragic death of its well-regarded CEO. Analysts see Micron emerging as a leader in the market.
Economic Report: Industrial output flat in February
3/16/2012 10:57 AM ET
Industrial output is unchanged in February, well below market expectations of a 0.4% gain, the Federal Reserve reports Friday. But January production is revised up by a hefty 0.4%.
Al Lewis: Challenger thrives in challenging economy
3/16/2012 9:53 AM ET
An interview with outplacement executive and accidental economic indicator, John Challenger.
Before the Bell: U.S. consumer prices, Apple in the spotlight
3/16/2012 8:41 AM ET
Ahead of the opening bell, investors are taking in the latest U.S. economic data releases, including on consumer price inflation, as well as keeping an eye on Apple, which released the latest version of its iPad.
Asia Markets: Asia markets mostly down; Shanghai, Tokyo rise
3/16/2012 4:42 AM ET
Japanese stocks rise narrowly to clinch a sixth straight week of gains as technology firms advance on the back of an extended rally on Wall Street, while Chinese shares rebound on bargain buying after two days of losses.
Weekend Investor: How $100-plus oil can prime your portfolio
3/16/2012 12:01 AM ET
Many stock-market strategists believe the energy sector will be among the best places to invest this year. With oil topping $100 a barrel, investors have a deep well of possibilities.
Stocks to Watch: Stocks to Watch Friday: New York & Co.
3/15/2012 6:31 PM ET
Shares of New York & Co. and Scholastic Corp. are among the stocks that could see active trading on Friday.
After Hours: New York & Co. gains ground after hours
3/15/2012 5:01 PM ET
The clothing retailer swings to a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss, and shares gain ground in low volume.
Canadian Markets: Canadian stocks recover as consumer staples lead
3/15/2012 4:46 PM ET
Canadian stocks recovered on Thursday, aided by consumer staple shares and robust economic data from the U.S.
Market Snapshot: U.S. stock rise pushes S&P 500 past 1,400
3/15/2012 4:39 PM ET
U.S. stocks rise Thursday, lifting the S&P 500 index past 1,400 for the first time since June 2008, after another round of strong reports on jobless claims and manufacturing
Movers & Shakers: Thursday's biggest gaining & declining stocks
3/15/2012 4:33 PM ET
MarketWatch's daily rundown of shares that made sizeable moves in the U.S. stock market.
Cisco buying NDS for $5 billion in big video move
3/15/2012 4:26 PM ET
Cisco Systems agrees to acquire the U.K. software and services company geared to pay-TV operators for $5 billion, including assumption of debt.
Futures Movers: Oil closes off low; U.S. chills release talk
3/15/2012 3:57 PM ET
Crude-oil futures fall, but finishes off the session's low after the White House denies it had discussed a possible release of emergency oil reserves with the United Kingdom.
Rex On Techs: How ‘material' is Dell's deal for SonicWall?
3/15/2012 1:34 PM ET
PC maker's reported $1 billion-plus acquisition raises question of how much a company disclose to shareholders about what it does with its money, writes Rex Crum.
London Markets: Oil stocks weigh as FTSE 100 ends lower
3/15/2012 1:24 PM ET
Britain's benchmark stock index pares losses but ends in the red on Thursday, as heavily weighted oil stocks settle lower.
Israel Stocks: Israel's Nova helps ensure chips do their best
3/15/2012 12:52 PM ET
How small is small and how accurate is accurate? Israel's Nova Measuring Instruments will tell you — and securities analysts say its stock price might yet get bigger.
Radvision agrees to $11.85-share bid by Avaya
3/15/2012 7:02 AM ET
Radvision Ltd., the Tel Aviv producer of videoconferencing equipment, agreed to be acquired by Avaya Inc. for $11.85 a share cash, or $230 million.
Asia Markets: Asia stocks end mostly lower; Tokyo up on weak yen
3/15/2012 4:41 AM ET
Most Asian stocks fall, with Chinese property developers and many of the region's commodity producers declining on worries Beijing may not relax a policy aimed at cooling the housing market.
ETF Adviser: 5 ways investors can beat the retirement bandits
3/15/2012 12:01 AM ET
Millions of Americans have worked hard for a lifetime and somehow tucked away enough money to take care of their retirement. Yet because of demography, taxes and debt, their nest egg may not get the job done, writes Steve Beck.
Therese Poletti's Tech Tales: Memories of the first Nasdaq 3000 in 1999
3/15/2012 12:01 AM ET
As the Nasdaq hits 3000, it might be useful to walk down memory lane and look at the tech world over a decade ago, writes Therese Poletti.
Medical device merger boom here: analyst
3/14/2012 9:44 PM ET
Hundreds of small-cap medical device companies are likely to get gobbled up in coming years as margin pressures hit the industry, analyst says.
IPO Report: Three firms set IPO deal price
3/14/2012 7:37 PM ET
Demandware, M/A-Com and Allison Transmission all price IPO deals late Wednesday, with trades expected to begin Thursday morning.
MarketWatch First Take: Yahoo investor needs to show a game plan
3/14/2012 7:26 PM ET
Dissident Yahoo investor Daniel Loeb said he plans a proxy fight against the Internet pioneer, but he might have better sway if he discussed a game plan.
Investor to Yahoo: Prepare for war
3/14/2012 5:49 PM ET
Investor activist Daniel Loeb of Third Point Management says its ready to wage a proxy battle against the Yahoo board, accusing it of ‘stonewalling, insouciance.'
Stocks to Watch: Stocks to Watch Thursday: Guess, Ross
3/14/2012 5:18 PM ET
Guess Inc., Capital One Financial Corp. and Ross Stores Inc. are among the stocks that could see active trading on Thursday.
Movers & Shakers: Wednesday's biggest gaining and declining stocks
3/14/2012 5:13 PM ET
MarketWatch's daily rundown of shares making sizable moves in the U.S. stock market.
Market Snapshot: Dow logs sixth session win; S&P 500 ends lower
3/14/2012 4:48 PM ET
U.S. blue-chip stocks finish higher Wednesday, with the Dow extending its winning streak to a sixth session. Stress tests for the nation's biggest banks showed largely positive results, but some analysts say the equities market is overbought.
Energy Stocks: Halliburton, Consol lead energy stock retreat
3/14/2012 4:47 PM ET
Chevron and Anadarko draw positive analyst comments, as the sector pauses following Tuesday's gains.
The Ratings Game: Micron Tech rises on Bernstein upgrade
3/14/2012 4:20 PM ET
An analyst's upgrade cites the chipmaker's position in the still unfolding shift in the DRAM semiconductor market.
LSI stock soars on improved outlook
3/14/2012 4:08 PM ET
The chip maker sees its shares rise after raising its revenue outlook, citing stronger demand than expected for hard drives.
Latin American Markets: Mexican shares fall, Brazilian stocks turn lower
3/14/2012 2:25 PM ET
Mexican stocks fall Wednesday, giving back a portion of gains in the previous session that were fueled by brighter economic figures, and Brazilian stocks pull back a day after posting their best advance this year.
London Markets: FTSE 100 ends five-day climb; banks buck trend
3/14/2012 2:04 PM ET
Britain's benchmark stock index snaps a five-day winning streak to end moderately lower on Wednesday, as Vodafone Group PLC and miners sustain losses.
Jon Friedman's Media Web: Encyclopaedia Britannica can blame itself
3/14/2012 1:44 PM ET
The institution no longer has relevance in a Google and Wikipedia world, writes media columnist Jon Friedman
Twitter lights up with Goldman Sachs talk
3/14/2012 1:18 PM ET
Executive's resignation via op-ed in New York Times predictably ignites social-media maelstrom.
Market Extra: Apple pushes to new highs ahead of launch
3/14/2012 12:00 PM ET
Wall Street analysts have been pumping up their price targets on Apple ahead of the new iPad launch on Friday, which has helped fuel a run-up that is bring the stock closer to a new milestone of $600.
Outside the Box: The looming U.S. labor shortage
3/14/2012 8:28 AM ET
We are entering into an age where we will praise companies for destroying jobs, not creating them, writes Conor Sen.
IPad may be incremental to wireless carriers
3/14/2012 6:00 AM ET
Wireless carriers Verizon and AT&T are participating in launch of the new iPad from Apple later this week, hoping the tablet is a draw for their 4G services despite the fact that most tablet customers stick with WiFi-only devices.
Asia Markets: China stocks slump, hurt by Premier Wen's remarks
3/14/2012 4:30 AM ET
Mainland Chinese stocks suffer sharp late session pullback after Premier Wen Jiabao pours cold water on expectations Beijing may loosen policy toward the property sector.
Latin American Markets: Mexican stocks rise as local, U.S. data brighten
3/13/2012 6:47 PM ET
Mexican stocks rise Tuesday, with the market's first gain in three sessions supported by a climb in domestic industrial output figures and in monthly retail sales in the U.S., Mexico's key trading partner.
Wal-Mart unveils disc-to-digital service
3/13/2012 5:41 PM ET
In a major step that's expected to help juice movie sales, Wal-Mart, with five major studios, unveils an in-store service that would allow consumers to convert physical DVDs and Blu-ray discs to digital movies.