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Nov 17, 2014

SEC Litigation Release - November 17, 2014: Securities and Exchange Commission v. Joseph A. Noel.

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Litigation Release No. 23134 / November 17, 2014

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Joseph A. Noel, Civil Action No. 3:14-CV-5054

SEC Charges San Francisco-Based Penny Stock Company CEO for Defrauding Investors in Pump-And-Dump Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a San Francisco-based penny stock company CEO with defrauding investors by issuing false and misleading press releases portraying his purported marketing and infomercial company as a successful venture in order to drive the stock price up while he covertly sold millions of shares into the public market for more than $300,000 in illicit profits.
According to the SEC's complaint filed against Joseph A. Noel in federal district court in San Francisco, the deceptive press releases about his company YesDTC Holdings touted exclusive distribution rights, licensing agreements, and certain products purportedly certified by the government. Noel's promotional campaigns based on such false information caused a spike in YesDTC's thinly-traded stock and enabled him to dump millions of his own shares for a profit. To conceal his sales, Noel sold the shares through a company he created in his teenage daughter's name without disclosing as required that he was actually selling the shares.
The SEC also suspended trading in YesDTC stock today, and instituted an administrative proceeding to revoke its registration.
The SEC's complaint charges Noel with violating antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws. The SEC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest and a financial penalty as well as a permanent injunction. The SEC also is seeking an officer-and-director bar and a penny stock bar against Noel.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Heather E. Marlow and David Berman of the San Francisco Regional Office, and the case is supervised by Tracy Davis. The SEC's litigation will be led by Aaron Arnzen and Ms. Marlow. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

BEA News: Gross Domestic Product for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), 2013.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has issued the following news release today:

The estimates of GDP for the CNMI show that real GDP - GDP adjusted to remove price changes - increased 4.4 percent in 2013 (see Table 1.3). For comparison, real GDP for the U.S. (excluding the territories) increased 2.2 percent in 2013. The growth in the CNMI's economy reflected increases in consumer spending and exports of services (see Table 1.4).

The full text of the release on BEA's Web site can be found at

Reuters Technology Report - November 17, 2014: Facebook service aimed at professionals to launch in a few months: source.

Facebook service aimed at professionals to launch in a few months: source
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's professional version of its social network aimed at businesses will launch in the next few months, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

Zynga's chairman, directors must face lawsuit over stock sales: court
(Reuters) - Mark Pincus, the founder of video game company Zynga Inc, must face a lawsuit alleging he unfairly benefited by selling $192 million of stock in 2012 when other early investors were under a lockup agreement, according to a court ruling.

FCC chief proposes hiking schools' Internet subsidy by 62 percent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. communications regulators are expected to vote Dec. 11on whether to boost funding for the largest U.S. educational technology subsidy program, E-Rate, by 62 percent to help connect more schools and libraries to high-speed Internet.

Rocket Internet to launch another 10 start-ups in 2015
BERLIN (Reuters) - Rocket Internet , the global e-commerce investor, expects to launch at least another 10 start-ups in 2015 and said it would work more closely with Facebook on advertising

Apple's China app store now open for UnionPay card payments
BEIJING (Reuters) - Apple Inc's app store in China now accepts payments made using China's UnionPay credit and debit cards, the iPhone maker said on Monday, making purchases easier for users in Apple's second-largest app market.

World's top drugmaker Novartis takes aim at tech
LONDON (Reuters) - Talent spotters from Novartis AG, charged with bringing new ideas into the organization, are casting their net beyond biotech into the wider pool of wearable, or even edible, technology.

Google Glass future clouded as some early believers lose faith
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - After two years of popping up at high-profile events sporting Google Glass, the gadget that transforms eyeglasses into spy-movie worthy technology, Google co-founder Sergey Brin sauntered bare-faced into a Silicon Valley red-carpet event on Sunday.

China's Tianhe-2 retains top supercomputer rank
(Reuters) - The Tianhe-2, a supercomputer developed by China's National University of Defense Technology, was named the world' top supercomputer for the fourth consecutive time by the TOP500 project.

DealBook P.M. Edition - November 17, 2014: Top Story: Deal Professor: One Day, 2 Deals and a Changed Calculus of Deal Making

For the latest updates, go to »
William Ackman's hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, served an invaluable role as a handmaiden to Allergan's sale.
Deal Professor: One Day, 2 Deals and a Changed Calculus of Deal Making As the Allergan and Baker Hughes deals show, in the new shareholder-centric world, companies are struggling to justify a case against activist investors and hostile bidders, Steven Davidoff Solomon writes in the Deal Professor column.
Allergan, the maker of Botox, sold itself to Actavis for $66 billion, warding off unwanted suitors.
Botox Maker Allergan Agrees to Be Sold to Actavis The $66 billion acquisition by Actavis would be the largest deal this year and would thwart the takeover effort of Valeant and William A. Ackman.
Allergan and Halliburton deals helped Monday rank as the largest
Actavis and Halliburton Deals Make for Biggest 'Merger Monday' of 2014 Merger Monday turned into mega-merger Monday as more than $105 billion worth of deals were announced.
William Ackman celebrated the debut of his fund at the Amsterdam stock exchange in October.
No Allergan Deal, but a $2.6 Billion Profit for AckmanWilliam Ackman appears to have been thwarted in his effort to partner with Valeant Pharmaceuticals on a takeover of Allergan, but losing may still feel like winning.
A Halliburton truck at a remote site for a natural gas producer in Rulison, Colo.
Halliburton to Buy Baker Hughes for $34.6 BillionTogether, the two are expected to save nearly $2 billion in costs through a combination of operations and research and development.
David McDonald, right, a Baker Hughes worker, turns on an oil well in Laurel, Miss., in 2006.
Reuters Breakingviews: A Tactical Victory for Baker Hughes in Halliburton Deal The merger would bring scale. Yet antitrust concerns and integration challenges may make a rich premium hard to justify, says Kevin Allison of Reuters Breakingviews.
For the latest updates, go to »
Executives celebrated the launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect in Hong Kong on Monday.
Link Opens Between Hong Kong and Shanghai Stock Markets The connection will strengthen the two cities' roles as global financial centers and open the door to $4.2 trillion pool of capital.
Prosecutors and Ross Ulbricht agreed in January that the government could sell the Bitcoins it had seized from his computer.
Another Bitcoin Auction to Be Held by U.S. MarshalsThe latest auction is for $19 million in Bitcoins found on computer hardware belonging to Ross Ulbricht, who is accused of creating the now-defunct online bazaar Silk Road.
Senators John McCain, left, and Carl Levin of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
Goldman, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley Executives to Be Questioned at Commodities Hearing Two days of Senate hearings are the culmination of a two-year investigation into the role that Wall Street banks play in the commodities markets.
Justice Antonin Scalia called into question whether courts should defer to the S.E.C. to determine what constitutes insider trading.
White Collar Watch: Court Conflict Raises Question of Who Decides the Law, and the Breaker Insider trading cases are casting a spotlight on whether courts should defer to administrative agencies in determining criminal violations, Peter J. Henning writes in the White Collar Watch column.
The headquarters of HSBC in London.
HSBC's Swiss Private Bank Charged in Belgium Tax Fraud Inquiry The unit is accused of helping wealthy individuals hide billions of dollars in assets by creating offshore companies in places like Panama and the Virgin Islands.
Mark Carney is the governor of the Bank of England.
Bank of England Chief Suggests Rules on Salaries May Be Needed, Too Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, said European caps on bonuses were distorting the ability to claw back pay and that salaries might need to be regulated as well.
Zoetis is the former animal health arm of Pfizer.
Zoetis to Buy Abbott's Animal Health Assets The animal health care company Zoetis, which has attracted the interest of the deal maker William A. Ackman, has made a deal of its own.
A depot used to store pipes for TransCanada's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline n Gascoyne, N.D.
Activist Hedge Fund Takes Aim at Canadian Pipeline Giant Sandell Asset Management wants TransCanada to use master limited partnership's more aggressively and to spin off its power business.
JPMorgan Chase offices in London.
Dag Skattum Is Set to Return to JPMorgan as a Vice Chairman The former co-head of global mergers and acquisitions is expected to rejoin the bank as vice chairman for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Meizhen Feng, a Merck scientist, conducts research in West Point, Pa.
Pfizer to Pay up to $2.9 Billion in Cancer Drug Deal With Merck of Germany The alliance between the American and German companies is expected to strengthen Merck's oncology business in several important markets, including the United States.
The spinoff would allow Reckitt Benckiser - the maker of Durex condoms - to focus on its core consumer health and hygiene businesses.
Reckitt Benckiser Plans December Spinoff of Pharmaceutical Arm If the spinoff is approved by shareholders, the stand-alone drug business would be called Indivior and begin trading on the London Stock Exchange on Dec. 23.
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange last month.
Why More Diversity on Wall Street Might Fight BubblesTraders working in their own ethnic group were more likely to drive prices to irrational levels than traders in mixed groups, a study found.
Retailers' Results to Offer More Clues on Spending The parade of retail earnings continues when Home Depot reports third-quarter results on Tuesday. Target and Lowe's will report on Wednesday. Retailers have faced a tough year as consumers continue to spend warily, and stores that cater to budget-conscious shoppers seem particularly hard-hit. Kohl's, a department store chain aimed at lower-budget consumers, reported that its profits fell 20 percent in the third quarter, while Walmart lowered its earnings forecast for the year. Nordstrom, which caters to more affluent consumers, reported that sales and profit rose in the third quarter. Home improvement stores, however, may help lift the overall retail sector, according to a recent report from Moody's Investors Service.
Fed to Release Minutes on Decision to End Stimulus The Federal Reserve plans to publish Wednesday an account of its October policy-making meeting, including the landmark decision to end the expansion of the Fed's bond holdings. The next major decision facing Fed officials is when to start raising interest rates, and the meeting's minutes may also help to clarify the factors Fed officials are considering.
Senate Panels to Cast an Eye on Wall Street A Senate panel on Friday is scheduled to hold a hearing examining whether regulators are beholden to the big banks that they oversee. The Senate Banking Committee's Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Subcommittee decided to hold the hearing after news media reports suggested that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York had been deferential toward Goldman Sachs. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will also hold hearings, on Thursday and Friday, to consider the role that Wall Street banks play in the commodities markets.
For the latest updates, go to »

FTC Business Center Blog Update - November 17, 2014: The FTCs TRUSTe case: When seals help seal the deal.

Federal Trade Commission - Business Center Blog Update

By Lesley Fair

People who aren’t into marketing jargon might not know a “credence claim” from a Creedence Clearwater Revival, but experts tell us it’s a representation about a product that consumers aren’t in a position to evaluate for themselves. One example is what websites say about their privacy practices. Because consumers can’t test the accuracy of those claims, they often rely on third-party seals trusted for their expertise and independence.

Read more

WSJ | Most Actives Closing on November 17, 2014.

Most Actives Closing
Most Active Stocks by Volume
4:47 pm ET 11/17/2014
Halliburton (HAL)79,674,116$49.23-5.85-10.62
Baker Hughes (BHI)69,246,39765.235.348.92
Petroleo Brasileiro ADS (PBR)48,837,9769.33-0.62-6.23
Ford Motor (F)45,885,07915.540.402.64
Bank of America (BAC)41,429,44117.09-0.05-0.29
Pfizer (PFE)25,751,56830.32-0.02-0.07
General Electric (GE)23,974,62126.610.150.57
Denbury Resources (DNR)23,337,40010.01-1.19-10.63
Nokia ADS (NOK)23,164,0907.67-0.19-2.42
Alibaba Group Holding ADS (BABA)22,398,083114.25-0.85-0.74
Kinder Morgan (KMI)21,047,95040.250.882.24
Twitter (TWTR)20,462,70640.47-1.38-3.30
Allergan (AGN)19,089,611209.2010.555.31
EMC (EMC)17,243,18630.380.331.10
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing ADS (TSM)16,232,09921.91-0.49-2.19
Actavis (ACT)16,189,627247.944.171.71
Vale ADS (VALE)16,021,8028.85-0.02-0.23
Barrick Gold (ABX)15,523,47512.470.191.55
Petroleo Brasileiro ADS A (PBRA)14,947,3459.64-0.59-5.77
Peabody Energy (BTU)14,538,70311.520.131.14
Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ)13,906,40322.270.582.67
Chesapeake Energy (CHK)13,704,28723.380.170.73
J.C. Penney (JCP)13,330,4127.26-0.12-1.63
Banco Santander ADS (SAN)13,326,9288.360.060.72
Kinross Gold (KGC)13,224,5532.710.000.00
Apple (AAPL)46,169,258$113.99-0.19-0.17
Yahoo! (YHOO)36,509,13952.370.621.20
Cisco Systems (CSCO)31,808,57926.460.150.55
Microsoft (MSFT)29,615,11849.46-0.12-0.24
Facebook Cl A (FB)28,450,50274.24-0.64-0.85
Dendreon (DNDN)26,418,3510.150.0331.02
Celldex Therapeutics (CLDX)22,358,22618.254.0928.88
PowerShares QQQ Trust Series 1 (QQQ)22,030,782102.91-0.31-0.30
VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ETN (TVIX)19,493,7902.520.000.00
BlackBerry (BBRY)18,828,04210.94-0.26-2.32
Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI)18,462,0023.52-0.01-0.28
Staples (SPLS)18,076,54712.97-0.48-3.57
Micron Technology (MU)17,705,61532.29-0.33-1.01
Intel (INTC)17,128,69134.240.290.85
Zynga (ZNGA)16,816,9692.75-0.02-0.72
Gilead Sciences (GILD)16,786,178100.44-1.62-1.59
American Realty Capital Properties (ARCP)14,149,8128.730.000.00
Geron (GERN)13,736,5222.980.227.97
Baxano Surgical (BAXS)13,205,0090.03-0.00-5.36
Comcast Cl A (CMCSA)12,682,75554.150.050.08
Groupon (GRPN)12,630,9697.57-0.27-3.44 ADS (JD)11,735,12525.00-2.01-7.44
Applied Materials (AMAT)11,294,95822.48-0.34-1.49
Huntington Bancshares (HBAN)9,402,39410.09-0.01-0.10
VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short Term ETN (XIV)9,193,54037.040.090.24
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY)63,510,015$204.370.130.06
Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX)50,967,76419.390.371.95
iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ)39,262,37211.58-0.19-1.61
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM)33,537,64341.00-0.44-1.06
Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares (JNUG)29,415,9814.940.6815.96
iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM)24,648,630115.72-0.97-0.83
Barclays Bank iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX)22,338,39428.60-0.06-0.21
Market Vectors Junior Gold Minets ETF (GDXJ)19,268,45427.501.154.36
Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3x Shares (NUGT)16,475,91514.710.785.60
Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3x Shares (TZA)15,823,42713.800.342.53
iShares China Large-Cap ETF (FXI)15,785,12039.25-1.20-2.97
iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ)15,199,33338.90-0.38-0.97
Select Sector SPDR-Financial (XLF)12,273,00224.060.000.00
Select Sector SPDR-Energy (XLE)12,183,89085.76-0.45-0.52
VelocityShares 3x Long Natural Gas ETN linked to the S&P GSCI Natural Gas Index Excess Return (UGAZ)12,176,06115.982.0814.96
VelocityShares 3x Inverse Natural Gas ETN linked to the S&P GSCI Natural Gas Index Excess Return (DGAZ)11,899,4742.98-0.64-17.68
iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA)10,862,32863.11-0.25-0.39
ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (UVXY)10,082,94922.23-0.06-0.27
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO)8,697,88141.60-0.53-1.26
Select Sector SPDR-Utilities (XLU)8,428,78645.530.591.31
Direxion Daily Small Cap Bull 3x Shares (TNA)8,411,57873.95-1.93-2.54
Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (OIH)8,324,19543.74-0.33-0.75
WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (DXJ)8,307,52053.87-0.75-1.37
Select Sector SPDR-Health Care (XLV)8,307,43167.580.330.49
iShares Silver Trust (SLV)8,218,82915.50-0.13-0.83
Halliburton (HAL)79,674,116$49.23-5.85-10.62
Baker Hughes (BHI)69,246,39765.235.348.92
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY)63,510,015204.370.130.06
Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX)50,967,76419.390.371.95
Petroleo Brasileiro ADS (PBR)48,837,9769.33-0.62-6.23
Apple (AAPL)46,169,258113.99-0.19-0.17
Ford Motor (F)45,885,07915.540.402.64
Bank of America (BAC)41,429,44117.09-0.05-0.29
iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ)39,262,37211.58-0.19-1.61
Yahoo! (YHOO)36,509,13952.370.621.20
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM)33,537,64341.00-0.44-1.06
Cisco Systems (CSCO)31,808,57926.460.150.55
Microsoft (MSFT)29,615,11849.46-0.12-0.24
Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares (JNUG)29,415,9814.940.6815.96
Facebook Cl A (FB)28,450,50274.24-0.64-0.85
Dendreon (DNDN)26,418,3510.150.0331.02
Pfizer (PFE)25,751,56830.32-0.02-0.07
iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM)24,648,630115.72-0.97-0.83
General Electric (GE)23,974,62126.610.150.57
Denbury Resources (DNR)23,337,40010.01-1.19-10.63
Nokia ADS (NOK)23,164,0907.67-0.19-2.42
Alibaba Group Holding ADS (BABA)22,393,883114.25-0.85-0.74
Celldex Therapeutics (CLDX)22,358,22618.254.0928.88
Barclays Bank iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX)22,338,39428.60-0.06-0.21
PowerShares QQQ Trust Series 1 (QQQ)22,030,782102.91-0.31-0.30
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Includes common, closed end funds, ETFs, ETNs and REITS
x - stock is trading ex-dividend
Source: WSJ Market Data Group