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Nov 9, 2012

Reuters Investors Update: Wall Street rises, but still down for the week

Wall Street rises, but still down for the week
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks advanced on Friday, but failed to make up for what turned out to be the worst week for markets since June, as investors turned their attention from the presidential election to the coming negotiations over avoiding the "fiscal cliff."

Consumer sentiment at five-year high; inventories jump
NEW YORK (Reuters) - An increasingly upbeat view of the economy and jobs market drove U.S. consumer sentiment to a more than five-year high in early November, while a jump in wholesale inventories suggested the economy grew more than initially estimated last quarter.

JC Penney sales plunge overwhelms progress at new shops
NEW YORK (Reuters) - J.C. Penney Co Inc on Friday reported its

worst drop yet in same-store sales since Chief Executive Ron Johnson began his radical transformation of the department store chain, overshadowing signs of progress at the new boutiques that are the centerpiece of the project.

Retail credit card fee settlement gets initial approval
(Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Friday granted preliminary approval to a proposed $7.2 billion settlement between merchants and Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc over credit card fees, despite objections from hundreds of retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc..

Kodak did not mislead investors before bankruptcy: court
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Eastman Kodak Co executives did not mislead investors about the photography pioneer's deteriorating financial health in the year prior to its bankruptcy, a Manhattan federal judge ruled.

Supreme Court to review Amex arbitration case
(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider whether American Express Co may invoke an arbitration clause to prevent its merchant customers from banding together in an antitrust lawsuit against the company.

Ex-Goldman trader accused of $118 million loss denies fraud
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A lawyer for a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc trader denied on Friday U.S. civil accusations that his client had defrauded the Wall Street bank of $118 million.

EU 2013 budget talks end in failure
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Talks on the European Union's 2013 budget collapsed in acrimony on Friday, denting hopes of a swift deal later this month on the bigger issue of the bloc's long-term spending for 2014-2020.

Exclusive: Schulze's Best Buy bid seen in December, below range
NEW YORK (Reuters) - An eventual bid for Best Buy Co Inc by founder Richard Schulze could come in under his initially proposed $8 billion range and will likely not occur before December, sources familiar with the matter said, in a new twist to the months-long saga at the struggling electronics retailer.

MoneyGram to forfeit $100 million to settle U.S. fraud case
(Reuters) - Payment transfer company MoneyGram International Inc agreed to forfeit $100 million and admitted it aided in wire fraud and failed to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, according to court documents filed on Friday.

DealBook Afternoon Edition -November 9, 2012-: On Wall Street, a New Tone With Old Tactics

Friday, November 9, 2012
Week in Verse Mitt Romney told Parade that he enjoys The Killers. Now he can listen to them perform "Mr. Brightside."
  • YouTube
    Week in Review: On Wall Street, a New Tone With Old Tactics A look back on our reporting of the past week's highs and lows in finance.

    After sharing a group hug on Wednesday morning, financiers have moved on to appraising the ramifications of four more years with a president that they have vilified.

    With the balance of power unchanged, major changes in financial regulation are unlikely.

    New faces won't necessarily mean new tactics. At the Financial Services Roundtable, Steve Bartlett's Dallas twang will be replaced by the Tim Pawlenty's southern Minnesotan drawl. But the strategy of attacking parts of Dodd-Frank, rather that its entirety, is expected to remain.

    "A central goal, lobbyists say, is to tame unfinished rules that rein in derivatives trading," Ben Protess and Jessica Silver-Greenberg reported. "Wall Street, in particular, is preparing a lobbying frenzy over plans to apply derivatives rules to American banks trading overseas."

    Other efforts by banking lobbyists that will play out over President Obama's second term include:
    • Lawsuits by business trade groups against parts of Dodd-Frank, including the Volcker Rule.
    • Attempts to influence the selection of more Wall Street-friendly regulators, including the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
    It may take several years to reveal the impact of these efforts to roll back financial regulation and even an apparrent victory could have unforeseen consequences. Wall Street, for example, has been able sway Mr. Obama's selection of regulators in the past. His first choice to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was pushed back by Republicans and is now the senator-elect from Massachusetts.
    Mergers & Acquisitions
    Priceline to Buy Kayak Software in $1.8 Billion Cash-Stock Deal Priceline, a travel company from an earlier Internet age, is buying Kayak, its younger rival, for $40 a share.
    In Combination of Services, Stifel Financial to Buy KBW for $575 Million The Stifel Financial Corporation agreed on Monday to buy the investment banking firm KBW Inc., acquiring a 50-year-old concern known for its role as an adviser to the financial services industry.
    Nike Nears Deal to Sell Cole Haan to Private Equity Firm Nike is nearing a deal to sell its Cole Haan brand to Apax Partners for about $500 million as the athletic shoe-and-apparel giant looks to streamline its product offerings.
    Investment Banking
    Société Générale Profit Plunged in Third Quarter The French bank Société Générale said third-quarter net profit fell 86 percent, to $108 million, as it booked large one-time charges.
    BNP Third-Quarter Profit Doubles to Hit $1.7 Billion BNP Paribas, the largest French bank, said net income more than doubled, to $1.7 billion, in the third quarter, lifted by a strong performance in its investment banking unit.
    Big Bet Sours, Imperiling Small Firm Rochdale Securities, which is known for employing the banking analyst Dick Bove, is in negotiations to sell itself or receive a cash infusion from outside investors.
    Deal Maker for Morgan Stanley Is Eased Out Morgan Stanley said on Monday that Paul J. Taubman, one of the co-heads of its core securities arm and a top deal maker, would retire at the end of the year, in an unexpected shake-up of the firm's senior management.
    Bonuses on Wall St. Expected to Edge Up Year-end incentives will be flat to up to 10 percent higher when compared with last year, a survey is forecasting, but the increase is from one of the worst years for bank pay in recent memory.
    Britain Opens Inquiry on HSBC Accounts in a Tax Haven The British tax authorities said Friday that they were looking into more than 4,000 accounts of HSBC clients with bank accounts in the tax haven of Jersey.
    HSBC May Face Charges in a Laundering Inquiry The British bank HSBC has set aside an additional $800 million connected to a money laundering investigation in the United States and says it may face criminal charges in the United States.
    Jury Is Told Ex-UBS Trader Was Made a Scapegoat for Bank's Woes A lawyer for Kweku M. Adoboli, a former UBS trader in London, said that the allegations against his client represented a "character assassination" that failed to highlight the role of UBS's management in condoning his trading activity.
    Ex-UBS Trader Accused of 'Playing God' With Bank's Money During closing arguments in the eight-week court case, the prosecution said that Kweku M. Adoboli, a former UBS trader in London, had "arrogantly" side-stepped the firm's rules and carried out risky trading activity from 2008 to 2011.
    The government guarantees over 90 percent of all new residential mortgages.
    For Obama, Housing Policy Presents Second-Term Headaches President Obama's economic team has said it wants the housing market to work without significant government support. But it has taken few steps to advance that idea.
    On Wall Street, Time to Mend Fences With Obama With the presidential election over, Wall Street titans who supported Mitt Romney now face the prospect of having to mend fences with the Obama administration.
    Wall Street Offers a Second Career for Former Politicians The winner of the presidential election will claim the White House, but the loser could find a lucrative job in high finance by providing advice on deals or arranging speaking engagements.
    Ben Bernanke will likely step down as chairman of the Federal Reserve in early 2014 no matter who wins the election.
    The Election Won't Solve All Puzzles "Uncertainty" has become the watchword over the last several years as an explanation - or perhaps an excuse - for the economy's slow growth, for the lack of hiring by business and for the volatility in the stock market.
    France and Belgium Provide Dexia Bailout The French and Belgian governments said on Thursday that they would inject an additional $7 billion into the troubled bank Dexia.
    • DEALBOOK »
    • DealBook Video
      TimesCast: Engineering a Transit Miracle
      TimesCast: Engineering a Transit Miracle Subways return more quickly than expected. | What becomes of the Treasury Department if Timothy F. Geithner leaves. | Zara finds success turning out cheap clothes with high-end style.

The Economis | New Selected Articles -November 9, 2012-: Democracy in America: A matter of perception

Democracy in America: A matter of perception
Presidents have mandates if we perceive them as having mandates, and don't if we don't
read more »

Pomegranate: Bad bets
Binyamin Netanyahu has not been picking winners when it comes to elections
read more »
Buttonwood's notebook: Reshuffling the deck
Have the British government and the Bank of England indulged in some creative accounting?
read more »
Free exchange: The landscape of decay and renewal
Changing cities reflect new economic paradigms rather than rent-seeking
read more »
Baobab: The immortal Fela Kuti
A new museum celebrates the life of Nigeria's most famous musician
read more »
Game theory: Reclaiming the y-word
Should the supporters of Tottenham Hotspur football club be allowed to refer to themselves as yids?
read more »
Daily chart: The world in 2060
The OECD takes a stab at predicting per capita incomes in the second half of this century
read more »

Business in Vancouver | BIV Today's Business News -November 9, 2012-: Feds back-pedal over foreign workers; Mobile business licences launched in Fraser Valley; Surrey mill fire spurs lawsuit

Human Resources

Feds back-pedalling over temporary foreign workers program

Days after two large B.C. unions announced that they would ask the Federal Court to overturn a decision granting work permits for Chinese mine workers at a northern B.C. coal mine, the federal government is revising a decision to grant the permits.

Small Business


Fraser Valley cities launch mobile business licences

Nine Fraser Valley municipalities announced November 8 that they had agreed to adopt a common bylaw to allow business owners to purchase a one-year, intermunicipal business licence for specific trades.



Surrey mill fire spurs lawsuit

Fraserview Cedar Products Ltd. and Fraserview Re-manufacturing Inc. are being sued for unspecified damages as a result of one of the many recent mill fires in B.C. in the past few years.

Mining and Energy


Some optimism for junior miners: AME BC

A rise in base metals prices in at the end of the third quarter may indicate better times ahead for B.C.'s junior miners, according to the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia.

Thompson Creek Metals boss to retire

Thompson Creek Metals Co. Inc. (TSX:TCM; NYSE:TC) has announced that CEO and chairman Kevin Loughrey plans to retire within 18 months, subject to a suitable successor being identified.

Economy and Finance

Gold price hits three-week high after Obama re-election

Investors rushed to invest in gold and its price climbed by as much as $21 an ounce in afternoon trade yesterday as the metal's status as a safe haven asset is renewed following Barack Obama’s re-election as U.S. president.