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Pfizer mulls $100 billion bid for AstraZeneca: report

The Pfizer logo is seen next to a U.S. flag in a conference room at their world headquarters in New YorkU.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (PFE) has approached British rival AstraZeneca (AZN.L) to propose a 60 billion pound ($101 billion) takeover, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday. The paper said, citing senior investment bankers and industry sources, that informal conversations about a deal had taken place between the two firms but that no talks were currently under way after AstraZeneca resisted the approach. AstraZeneca is Britain's second-biggest pharmaceuticals group with a current market valuation of around $80 billion, compared with Pfizer, which is valued at $193 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data. Earnings at AstraZeneca fell 6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, and the drugmaker has said it expects them to keep falling in 2014 as generic competition to Nexium, its popular heartburn and ulcer drug, takes a big bite out of U.S. profits from late May.

Wall Street Week Ahead: Spring fever brings hope for U.S....

Traders gather at the booth that trades Abbott Laboratories on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeSeveral behemoths, including Apple, the largest U.S. company by market value, as well as Microsoft, McDonald's (MCD.N) and AT&T (NYS:T), are due to report earnings. They'll be accompanied by highfliers like Netflix and Facebook, giving the first real cross-section of the state of corporate America as temperatures rise across the country and investors hope to put the cold weather behind them. Strategists will also be looking for clues on how badly China's slowdown hits U.S. corporate results. The first batch of earnings came out as equities were working their way through a selloff led by trading-crowd favorites like Netflix and the biotech stocks.

GM to invest $12 billion in China and plans more plants

The grille of the Cadillac Elmiraj concept car as the vehicle is displayed during the press preview day of the North American International Auto Show in DetroitU.S. car giant General Motors Corp (GM) (GM) plans to invest $12 billion in China from 2014 to 2017 and build more plants next year as it steps up its presence to compete with aggressive rivals in the world's largest auto market. GM expects its China sales to expand 8-10 percent this year, in line with the overall growth of the Chinese market, where foreign firms, such as Volkswagen AG (VOW3.DE), and domestic players like SAIC Motor Corp vie for more market share. In total we are investing $12 billion between 2014 and 2017," Matt Tsien, president of GM China, said at the Auto China show in Beijing. GM plans to build five more plants in China next year, as part of its efforts to ramp up manufacturing capacity there by 65 percent by 2020, executives said on Sunday.

What economic recovery could look like for your family

How to Take a Family PortraitFed Chair Janet Yellen says the economy could be recovered by the end of 2016. What would that mean for your family's jobs, incomes and home values?

Even after the crash, Americans still love real estate best

Home "SOLD" sign hangs in front of a house in Vienna, on the day the National Association of Realtors issues its Pending Home Sales for February report, in VirginiaGallup's latest poll shows Americans see real estate as the best long-term investment, Yahoo Finance's Phil Pearlman on what it actually means

Shiller: Momentum may be changing in the housing market

New home is being built next to a home with a for sale sign on a street in Vienna, on the morning the National Association of Realtors issues its Pending Home Sales for February report, in VirginiaRobert Shiller, Nobel prize-winning economist and co-founder of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, offers his outlook on the housing market as the spring buying season gets underway.

NY attorney general seeks info from high-speed firm Virtu

HFT uproar revives calls for “trading tax” other bad ideasHigh-speed trading firm Virtu Financial Inc, which has been pursuing an initial public offering, has received a letter of inquiry from the New York attorney general amid a wider probe of the industry, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday. News of the request by the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman came amid heightened attention to high-frequency trading following the publication of author Michael Lewis' book "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt" last month. Schneiderman's office had earlier sent subpoenas to more than half a dozen high-speed trading firms including Tower Research Capital LLC, Chopper Trading LLC and Jump Trading LLC, a person familiar with the matter previously told Reuters. Federal agencies including the Justice Department, Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission have also said they had active probes into high-speed and automated trading.

Why 'cheap' stocks are for suckers

Student Trying To Collect 3 Million Pennies To Study Abroad“Maybe it’s an ego trip or something, but people love the idea of owning 10,000 shares of a terrible $2 or $3 stock,” says trader Jonathan Hoenig.

Chobani to expand beyond top-selling Greek yogurt

Chobani Accused of Stealing Yogurt Recipe From FageChobani plans to expand beyond its Greek yogurt cups this summer as it faces intensifying competition in the fast growing category. Starting in July, the company plans to offer Chobani Oats, which is yogurt ...

Unemployment rates fall in 21 US states last month

Unemployment rates fall in 21 US states last monthMore than two-thirds of the states reported job gains in March, as hiring has improved for much of the country during what has been a sluggish but sustained 4 1/2-year recovery. The Labor Department said ...

Inequality looks like Europe before WWI: Thomas Piketty

The Big Picture on Inequality, China and the U.S.Thomas Piketty, author of "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" talks with The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task about the rise of inequality in the U.S.

Millennials and investing: How to avoid the pitfalls

Visitors to Coney Island ride the Cyclone at Luna Park in the Brooklyn borough of New York Sunday, April 13, 2014. The rides of Coney Island opened for another season with the 1920s wooden roller-coaster being christened with a dousing of a traditional egg cream drink. It marked the opening of the 40 rides of Luna Park, where 750 local residents are employed. (AP Photo/Julie Walker)If you’re invested in this market, you may feel like 2014 has been one long ride on a roller coaster. Although the S&P 500 is flat for the year, it’s been one bumpy ride getting here.

Facebook’s existential crisis

No more Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg has a vision says Ben HorowitzIs Facebook’s main service still relevant? An argument for why it feels fusty, and why Mark Zuckerberg seems to know it.

Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

Obama: 8 million signed up for health careEight million people have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges and the proportion of younger applicants has increased, President Barack Obama said Thursday. The enrollments exceeded ...

Is Barbie passé?

Is Barbie passé?Barbie sales are down 14 percent. Is this sign of a change?

GM could benefit, too, from an ignition-switch victims fund

A man walks past a row of General Motors vehicles at a Chevrolet dealership on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, MichiganBy setting up a fund, GM could avert years of civil litigation and limit its financial and reputational harm. GM has retained Kenneth Feinberg, a Washington lawyer who has overseen compensation funds for victims of high-profile catastrophes like the BP Plc oil spill and the September 11, 2001, attacks. Feinberg told CNBC on Wednesday that GM is "asking me to help develop some sort of program that might be used to compensate eligible claimants." A spokesman for GM, Jim Cain, said Feinberg is "highly respected for his handling of compensation issues, and we've hired him to explore and evaluate all options." That work is ongoing, and no decisions have been made, Cain said.

Asia stocks rise in abbreviated trading

Tech sell-off roils global marketsAsian stocks were mostly higher in trading muted by Good Friday observance. Markets in Europe, the U.S. and many countries in Asia were closed for the holiday. Oil trading also was suspended. Among the ...

China home price inflation cools to 8-month low

A garbage collector walks past residential and office buildings in construction, in HefeiChina's home price inflation slowed to an eight-month low in March, extending to a third month a loss of momentum in a property market that has been a strong spot in the world's second-largest economy. Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities rose 7.7 percent in March from a year earlier, easing from the previous month's 8.7 percent rise, according to Reuters calculations based on data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Friday. Analysts said the cooling of the property market is an initial indication of stabilisation and they expected the easing trend to continue this year. China's property market has lost steam since late 2013 as authorities tightened controls on speculative buying, and as banks made it harder for home buyers and small developers to get loans.

China says one-fifth of its farmland is polluted

The IMF forecasts China's growth at 8.2% this year, above the government's own 7.5% predictionFaced with growing public anger about a poisonous environment, China's government released a yearslong study that shows nearly one-fifth of the country's farmland is contaminated with toxic metals, a stunning ...

NFL, lawyers at work on $765M concussion deal

The future of Aldon Smith and Colin KaepernickA judge overseeing thousands of NFL concussion-linked lawsuits says lawyers are still working to address her concerns about a proposed $765 million fund. U.S. District Judge Anita Brody says she fears ...

Nasdaq threatens first breakdown since 2009

Tech drags Nasdaq to worst loss since November 2011When the world of finance starts speaking in the language of self-help it's time to tune out your emotions and study the charts. National treasure and friend of Breakout Louise Yamada of LY Advisors is here to tell us what the technicals are saying about the market's mental health.

Tech IPO bubble? 'It's hard to see'

megatron, bubbles, happy, blowing bubblesOn Thursday, Chinese messaging service Weibo and Sabre Holdings, the parent of Travelocity, made their public debuts. But it's hardly the stuff bubbles are made of, according to venture capitalist and former tech CEO Ben Horowitz.

Obama: 8 million signed up for healthcare

President Barack Obama speaks about health care, Thursday, April 17, 2014, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. The president said eight million have signed up for health insurance under Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Barack Obama says 8 million people have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges. That's 1 million more than congressional scorekeepers had initially projected.

Weibo shares jump in market debut

Weibo, el "twitter chino", debuta en alza en Wall StreetChinese social media company Weibo Corp.'s shares soared in their U.S. market debut Thursday. Weibo was launched four years ago by Chinese online media company Sina Corp. Weibo provides a Twitter-like ...

CBO: Minimum wage boost would cost firms $15B

Reid, Pelosi, Labor Secretary Perez Hold Event With Raise The Wage CoalitionThe Congressional Budget Office estimates that a Senate Democratic proposal gradually boosting the minimum wage to $10.10 hourly would force businesses to spend $15 billion more in salaries in 2017. The ...

Obama would cut deficits by another $1 trillion

Obama dice sì all'invio di aiuti "non letali" a esercito UcrainaThe official nonpartisan take on President Obama's 2015 budget proposal is in: He would curb deficits even more than today's policies. Of course, the budget wheels for next year are already in motion in ...

No more Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg has a vision

No more Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg has a vision says Ben HorowitzTwo years after Facebook’s tumultuous IPO the company has found success once more with strong financials and an ever-growing user base. Nearly one-fifth of time Americans spend on their smartphones is spent using Facebook and the company has been successful in its acquisitions of Instagram (for $1 billion), Whatsapp ($19 billion) and virtual reality platform Oculus ($2 billion).

Aereo CEO defends antenna, slams broadcasters

Aereo’s Fate Rests on Supreme Court DecisionControversial Internet television service Aereo is much like other popular high-tech entertainment products that courts have found to be legal, the company’s chief executive, Chet Kanojia, maintains. Broadcasters have sued, saying Aereo is distributing their programming without paying the licensing fees required by copyright law.

Yellen signals she's less concerned about this economic...

U.S. Federal Reserve chair Yellen speaks to the Economic Club of New York in New YorkFed chair Janet Yellen's speech Wednesday was as interesting for what she didn't say as what she did, points out FT Alphaville's Cardiff Garcia.

Is America giving up?: Wharton professor

Is America giving up?: Wharton professorFewer Americans are working-or trying to work. Reversing this trend has to be a priority for the next administration, says Wharton Prof. Joao Gomes.

Google gashed; IBM getting hit; Goldman shines

Google gashed; IBM hurting, Goldman on the riseToday's trending tickers highlight moves in Google, IBM and Goldman Sachs.

Home price slowdown leaves millions underwater

Home price slowdown leaves millions underwaterA rebound in home prices has slowed in recent months, so has the recovery process for those still submerged with negative equity.

Twitter goes after a Facebook cash cow

A Twitter logo made from Californian license plates is shown at the company's headquarters in San FranciscoThe social network will begin offering “app install ads,” which prompt smartphone users to try new games and other apps. The category has been a lucrative franchise for Facebook.

3 sectors to watch in an aging bull market

115791721BH025_NEW_YORK_CITHeritage Capital's Paul Schatz says buy these 3 sectors as the bull market heads into the final stages.

Wal-Mart takes on money transfer companies with new service

The Money Center is pictured at a new Wal-Mart store in ChicagoWal-Mart said on Thursday that Euronet Worldwide Inc's Ria Money Transfer subsidiary would begin running the service, called "Walmart-2-Walmart," next week. The new service, which Wal-Mart says will charge lower fees than those currently offered by competitors, will enable shoppers to send and receive cash from family members and friends at more than 4,000 U.S. discount stores. Wal-Mart, which will not offer the service online or in its international stores, hopes consumers will turn around and spend at least some of that money at the stores. Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart U.S., said Walmart-2-Walmart "challenges the status quo and drives down prices."

Jobless claims hover near lowest level since 2007

A man looks at a job board posted at a job fair in TorontoJobless claims increased by 2,000 to 304,000 in the week ended April 12 from a revised 302,000 the prior period that was the lowest since September 2007, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort (COMFCOMF) Index climbed from a nine-week low, reflecting more upbeat views on the economy, finances and buying climate. "The labor market is getting better," said Brian Jones, senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York, who forecast 305,000 claims. Stocks were little changed, after the best three-day rally in two months, as disappointing sales from Google Inc. and IBM offset earnings from Morgan Stanley and General Electric Co. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up less than 0.1 percent to 1,863.12 at 10:38 a.m. in New York.

Home Depot joins the shale rush

A customer wheels a cart through a Home Depot store in WashingtonHome Depot Inc. has all but given up on opening new stores in the U.S., but the home-improvement retailer made an exception in January to open a store in an area it said it couldn't pass up: Minot, N.D., in the heart of the American shale oil and gas boom. "If you had said to me seven years ago, you'll be opening a store in Minot, North Dakota, I would have asked, Why?" Chief Executive Frank Blake said in an interview. The 100,000 square-foot store is more than a four-hour drive from Home Depot's nearest location and is the only U.S. store Home Depot opened in the fiscal year ended Feb. 2. Home Depot is among a number of retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and GameStop Corp. targeting oil and gas towns in North Dakota, Texas and Louisiana, in an otherwise dour environment for retail real estate.

Citigroup received mixed signals on 'stress test'

Citigroup anuncia un segundo caso de fraude en MéxicoThe Federal Reserve's New York office indicated to Citigroup that the bank would have more time to fix certain "stress test" planning problems before Fed officials in Washington last month gave it a failing grade, said people close to the company.

GE earnings fall, outlook strong

General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt speaks before a panel discussion in WashingtonGeneral Electric's new focus on oil and gas equipment helped the company to post strong first-quarter results. GE posted lower overall first-quarter net income than a year ago, but that's only due to the ...

Clash over high-frequency trading starts in foreign...

Eemployee of a foreign exchange trading company works behind monitors in TokyoForeign-exchange dealers say they have the solution to the high-frequency trades eroding banks' profits across financial markets. A currency-dealing platform known as ParFX, established in 2011 by firms from Deutsche Bank AG to Citigroup Inc., was approached last month by banks asking if its technology could be applied to other asset classes, Chief Executive Officer Dan Marcus said. "These banks do need to trade foreign exchange because it's their business and they're hedging their currency exposure across the world," London-based Marcus said in an April 15 interview. High-frequency trading is coming under unprecedented scrutiny with the publication last month of Michael Lewis's book "Flash Boys," investigations by U.S. regulators and tough new rules approved this week by the European Union.

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