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Focus turns to U.S. data as China slowdown looms

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New YorkAfter a dizzying two weeks that saw a rapid plunge and rebound in equity prices, investors are looking forward to a week of economic data that may provide clarity on the likelihood of a near-term U.S. interest rate hike and help tamp down the market's recent wild swings. The economic figures will culminate in Friday’s jobs report that should reveal more about the strength of the U.S. economy. Car sales, construction spending, the Federal Reserve's "beige book" and jobs growth may show the economy is strong enough to withstand the first rate hike in nearly a decade from the Federal Reserve, despite worries about a hard landing for China’s economy.

Suzuki Motor says it will buy back VW stake as court...

A view shows the logo of a Suzuki truck for sale at a Suzuki dealership in National CityJapan's Suzuki Motor Corp said on Sunday it will buy back the 19.9 percent stake it sold to Volkswagen AG after an international arbitration court settled a dispute between the automakers over their failed partnership. Suzuki filed for international arbitration in November 2011, after Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) refused to sell back the shares in Suzuki it acquired in January 2010 for 1.7 billion euros ($1.90 billion). The stake was worth some $3.8 billion at Friday's closing price.

Boeing uses its clout to control supplier consolidation

The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in ChicagoBerkshire Hathaway Inc's $37 billion deal for aerospace supplier Precision Castparts Corp is encouraging investors to consolidate the fragmented aircraft components industry, even as Boeing Co uses its clout as the world's biggest plane maker to put a check on some deals. Potentially standing in their way, though, is Boeing, these people said. Boeing is the biggest customer of most aerospace suppliers, and is slowing some acquisitions by using its power to approve the transfer of its supply contracts from one owner to another.

Paypal seen rising 40 percent from post spinoff lows:...

The PayPal logo is seen during an event at Terra Gallery in San FranciscoPayPal Holdings Inc , the e-commerce group trading sharply off its recent offering price, could rise 40 percent to $46 a share if it succeeds with investments tied to payments systems innovation, the Aug. ...

Fed's Fischer sees inflation rebound, allowing gradual...

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer speaks during a TV interview during the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium in WyomingU.S. inflation will likely rebound as pressure from the dollar fades, allowing the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates gradually, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said on Saturday in a speech careful not to overreact to a possible Chinese slowdown. The influential U.S. central banker was circumspect whether he would prefer to raise rates from near zero at a much-anticipated policy meeting on Sept. 16-17. The cautious confidence from Fischer, as well as from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney who spoke at a conference alongside him, suggests at least two major central banks are poised to look beyond a week of financial-market turmoil brought on by fears that China's economy is faltering.

Buffett's Berkshire takes $4.48 billion stake in Phillips 66

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett participates in a newspaper throwing contest prior to the Berkshire annual meeting in OmahaThe 57.98 million-share, or roughly 10.8 percent, stake was revealed in a Friday night filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Phillips 66 shares closed Friday at $77.23. Berkshire once held a large stake in the Houston-based company, but shed nearly two-thirds of it in February 2014 when it swapped $1.35 billion of shares for a chemicals business that it folded into its Lubrizol unit.

Raising inflation target won't help much now: researchers

Detail from the front of the United States Federal Reserve Board building is shown in WashingtonThe Federal Reserve could have cut short the Great Recession by a year if it had set a 4 percent inflation target in 1984, but raising the target now would probably do little to help the economy, researchers said on Saturday. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota recently have floated raising the U.S. central bank's current 2 percent inflation target to give it more room to cut rates during economic downturns. The idea has not gained much traction in part because the Fed does not want to be seen as fickle about its commitments.

Yellen ally pours cold water on rule-based monetary policy

Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen arrives to testify before a House Financial Services committee hearingFor much of her tenure as head of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen has been pressured by Republican lawmakers who want the U.S. central bank to adopt a monetary policy rule, a straightforward formula connecting unemployment and inflation to a benchmark interest rate. On Saturday a Yellen ally and former adviser at the Fed delivered a provocative retort: the economic models underpinning those simple rules don't work that well, and the best policy decisions come when central bankers look beyond those models to the unexpected forces shaping the economy. Former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan famously did it in the 1990s when he argued against a rate hike at a time when rising productivity was holding down inflation, and arguably failed to do it when he ignored the impact of the tech and housing bubbles, Johns Hopkins University economics professor Jon Faust said in a paper presented at an annual Fed conference here.

IMF's Lagarde says restructuring should suffice for Greek...

IMF Managing Director Lagarde talks to Greek Finance Minister Tsakalotos during a euro zone finance ministers meeting in BrusselsA form of debt restructuring rather than outright forgiveness should enable Greece to handle its "unviable" debt burden, the head of the International Monetary Fund was quoted as telling a Swiss newspaper. The IMF has yet to make clear if it will participate in the third 86-billion-euro ($96 billion) international bailout that Greece signed up to in early August, having argued in favor of a partial writedown of a debt burden it considers unsustainable in its current form. Asked about those differences, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told Saturday's edition of Le Temps: "The debate on cancelling the debt has never been open I don't think it is necessary to open it if things go well...

Syngenta may seek partners, JVs after product review:...

Flowers grow in front of Swiss agrochemicals maker Syngenta's logo at the company's headquarters in BaselSyngenta AG (SYNN.VX) may seek partners to help improve its product lineup after a thorough review in the wake of a rebuffed takeover approach from Monsanto Co (MON.N), the agrichemicals group's chairman told a Swiss newspaper. Syngenta's board is under pressure from shareholders to show how it plans to generate value after turning its back on Monsanto's $47 billion cash-and-share offer, which it said undervalued the company and had too great an execution risk. In an interview with Finanz und Wirtschaft, Michel Demare said it was too early to discuss what steps Syngenta planned to boost its results.

New Orleans is missing a key ingredient for its big...

Keisha Henry poses for a photo outside her Cafe Dauphine, in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. For now, the post-Katrina restaurant boom has only one outpost in the Lower 9th Ward, one of the city’s hardest-hit neighborhoods. Longtime resident Keisha Henry opened Cafe Dauphine with relatives, marking a rare sit-down restaurant in an area that traditionally has had only corner stores and takeout. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)New Orleans leaders are fighting to reinvent the The Big Easy as a destination for something other than Mardi Gras, beignets and big bands — big business.

Cramer: This is the fastest growing company on Earth

Cramer: This is the fastest growing company on Earth“Mad Money” host Jim Cramer’s revealing the high growth stock he’s got his eye on.

Where you can get 9% returns outside of stocks

Where you can get 9% returns outside of stocksPeer-to-peer lending platforms offer investors a way to earn 5 to 10 percent on loans to online borrowers. But how safe is it?

Wall Street caps turbulent week on a smooth note

Calm on Wall Street: A turbulent week ends on a placid noteU.S. stocks closed Friday little changed, a stark contrast from the violent swings Wall Street took earlier this week.

Fed vice chair indicates September rate hike still possible

Fed Vice Chair Fischer keeps open possibility of Sept. hikeFederal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Friday that incoming economic data and market developments will likely determine whether the Fed boosts interest rates in September. Before the recent ...

Ashley Madison parent CEO quits after huge infidelity...

Ashley Madison founder Noel Biderman poses with a poster during an interview in Hong KongThe chief executive of infidelity website Ashley Madison's parent company Avid Life Media has left, just over a week after hackers leaked data about millions of its clients in a massive cyber assault. Avid Life said on Friday the departure of Noel Biderman was by "mutual agreement" and its existing senior management team would take over until a new CEO is appointed. On Aug. 18, hackers who claimed to be unhappy with its business practices released the Ashley Madison customer data, and police probing the breach said it had sparked extortion attempts and at least two unconfirmed suicides.

China fears linger as focus on Fed sharpens

U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chair Yellen and White House Advisor Podesta attend a meeting with China's President Xi at the Great Hall of the People in BeijingFears over the health of China's economy kept world markets on edge this week and the country will remain in focus, along with the question of whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month.

This is what oil at $40 means for the U.S. economy

FILE - In this Thursday, May 28, 2015 file photo, oil pumps work in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain. Second-quarter earnings from energy companies are projected to slump 61 percent from the same period a year earlier, making it by far the worst-performing industry. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)The price of oil has tumbled 58% this year to reach a six-year low earlier this week. Even if prices stay at these levels, chances are they won't impact the Federal Reserve's interest-rate plans.

What it's really like to buy a Tesla
There's so much hype surrounding Tesla, but how do you actually go about buying one? We decided to find out.

Fast-food's new target: The snack attack

Fast-food's new target: The snack attackForget the Big Mac attack. Now is the time of the snack attack. After years of slinging super-sized servings, some fast-food chains are starting to see the benefits of offering daintier bites. That includes ...

Survey: Plunging stock prices hit US consumer sentiment

Survey: Plunging stock prices hit US consumer sentimentPlummeting stock prices have taken a toll on U.S. consumer confidence, though there are signs the setback may be temporary. The University of Michigan says its consumer sentiment index fell to 91.9 this ...

China banks warn of rising bad loans and falling margins...

Employee of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd counts money at one of bank's branches at the Shanghai Free Trade Zone in Pudong districtChina's largest banks warned of a tough year after posting their weakest half-yearly profit growth in at least six years as a slowing economy forces the lenders to make even more provisions for soured loans and squeezes interest income.

We're not done with volatility: Strategist

Q&A about this week's market turmoil in China and beyondThe market selloff hasn't run its course, even with two-straight trading sessions ending sharply higher, Strategas' Jason Trennert warns.

U.S. consumer sentiment falls in August

File photo of shopper walking down aisle in newly opened Walmart Neighborhood Market in ChicagoU.S. consumer sentiment fell in August, a survey released on Friday showed. The University of Michigan's final August reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 91.9, down from 93.1 in July. It was lower than the survey's preliminary reading of 92.9.

How the government is rolling over for big banks again

Good news! Big banks only have $65 billion in legal fines left to payLast week I wrote about the dangers of vacant seats at the financial regulatory agencies. Bloomberg reported this week that regulators are privately discussing giving the biggest Wall Street firms a break on rules guarding against excessive leverage. Just looking at the Chinese stock market crash, fueled by “margin trading” funded through borrowing, reveals the hazards of excessive leverage.

Three tests face a market shaken by volatility storm

A lightning bolt strikes beside the television tower in Berlin,There are at least three core challenges facing the market: A badly broken trend, the still-dangerous winds of this volatility storm, and the Fed’s response to all the noise.

Investors pull record $29.5 bln from equity funds in...

A security guard walks past a montage of U.S. dollar bills outside a currency exchange bureau in NairobiInvestors pulled a record amount of money out of global equity funds in the week to Aug. 26, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a measure of the alarm that China's markets and economy have aroused around the world. The $29.5 billion outflow, including $19 billion in just one day, was the largest since the series began in 2002, surpassing any weekly outflow engendered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. The $19 billion outflow on Aug. 25 was the second largest daily outflow since 2007 when comparable daily flow data became available, BAML said in a note on Friday titled: "The Total Risk Surrender".

US consumer spending up moderate 0.3 percent in July

US consumer spending up moderate 0.3 percent in JulyU.S. consumers increased their spending moderately in July, as wages and salaries made their biggest jump in eight months. Spending rose 0.3 percent in July, helped by purchases of big-ticket items such ...

Hedge funds that crowded into same names likely to nurse...
The carnage of the last week - even with Wednesday's and Thursday's rebound - has been particularly acute for investors who have seen their overweight positions in companies such as social media site Facebook, pharmaceutical company Valeant, internet retailer Netflix, carmaker Tesla Motors and renewable energy company SunEdison get pummeled in the last days. As a result, people who have money with David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors, Chase Coleman's Tiger Global, Philippe Laffont's Coatue and others are bracing for red ink when August data comes out next week.

Oil extends short-covering frenzy to second day, topping $50

A car is filled with gasoline at a gas station pump in CarlsbadWorld oil prices roared back to $50 a barrel in the second day of a frenetic short-covering rally on Friday, with violence in Yemen, a storm in the Gulf and refinery outages helping extend the biggest two-day rally in six years. Tropical Storm Erika moved closer to Florida, prompting worries about oil and gas installations in the U.S. Gulf.

Puerto Rico spends more than $60 million on debt...
The old adage that this it takes money to make money assumes a whole new meaning when its comes to Puerto Rico. The commonwealth and its main electric utility have spent more than $60 million in legal and advisory fees from firms such as  Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and  Millstein & Co. over the past two years as the governor and public finance officials seek to restructure the island’s $72 billion debt burden, according to a review of contracts by Bloomberg News. Commonwealth officials plan to unveil a proposal next week expected by analysts to seek a reduction in debt payments that may lead to protracted negotiations with creditors.

Uber China closes $1 billion fundraising round: sources

A taxi is reflected in a window at the office of taxi-hailing service Uber Inc in Hong Kong, ChinaBEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc's China arm has closed its $1 billion fundraising round early, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, with investors still hopeful for the U.S.-based ride service despite strong domestic competition. Investors in Uber's Chinese unit include Internet giant Baidu Inc, China CITIC Bank Corp Ltd and China Life Insurance Co Ltd, among others, said one of the people, requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Chinese financial conglomerate Ping An Group's investment arm and Hillhouse Capital, which has a stake in the main U.S.-based Uber business, also took part, the person said.

Euro zone sentiment edges to new four-year high in August

Coils of steel are seen at the Renault automobile factory in FlinsConfidence in the euro zone's economy edged up to a new four-year high in August as rising domestic demand marginally outweighed a worsening view of export prospects and the mood brightened particularly in France and Spain. The European Commission's monthly economic sentiment indicator, published on Friday, rose to 104.2 in August, from 104.0 in July, against expectations in a Reuters poll of a slight dip to 103.8. "The tentative increase in euro-area sentiment resulted from worsened confidence in industry being offset by improvements in the other business sectors (construction, services and, particularly, retail trade) and marginally higher consumer confidence," the Commission said in a statement.

Goodyear retiring blimps, rolling out new cigar-shaped craft

blimpThe fabled Goodyear Blimp is retiring. But don't fret, blimp fans. That big, cigar-shaped thing you've seen floating over sports events all your life will still be there. It will also remain instantly ...

China's Stock Rout to Resume as Intervention Ends, Says BofA
The rebound in China’s stocks will be short-lived because state intervention is too costly to continue and valuations aren’t justified given the slowing economy, says Bank of America Corp. “As soon as people sense the government is withdrawing from direct intervention, there will be lots of investors starting to dump stocks again,” said David Cui, China equity strategist at Bank of America in Singapore. The Shanghai gauge rallied for a second day on Friday amid speculation authorities were supporting equities before a World War II victory parade next week that will showcase China’s military might.

Nikkei rallies more than 2% after inflation, retail data

Nikkei rallies more than 2% after inflation, retail dataJapanese stocks breached the 19,000 mark in early trade as investors digested mixed July data released before the market open.

Oil extends short-covering frenzy to second day, topping $50

A car is filled with gasoline at a gas station pump in CarlsbadBy Barani Krishnan NEW YORK (Reuters) - World oil prices roared back to $50 a barrel in the second day of a frenetic short-covering rally on Friday, with violence in Yemen, a storm in the Gulf and refinery outages helping extend the biggest two-day rally in six years. Tropical Storm Erika moved closer to Florida, prompting worries about oil and gas installations in the U.S. Gulf.

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