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Facebook soars as Zuckerberg’s cash-machine kicks into...

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a news conference at Facebook headquarters in Palo AltoFacebook shares are bounding higher this morning after the company posted its fifth straight better-than-expected quarter.

Mega miners set to reward investors after reining in costs

Australia's mining 'super tax' in doubtOutput growth, sharp cost cuts and asset sales will more than offset a slump in iron ore and coal prices, allowing the world's biggest miners to cut debt and boost payouts to shareholders in the next six months. Production reports from the world's two biggest miners, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, showed they have managed to boost output while slashing spending, with BHP particularly impressing the market. "BHP Billiton delivered one of the best production reports we have seen in years," analysts at Deutsche Bank said in a note on Wednesday, after BHP beat its own target for iron ore output and flagged an 11 percent rise in its share of West Australian iron ore output for the year ahead, outpacing broker forecasts. Its rivals Rio and Glencore Plc are expected to be in a position to consider share buybacks next February when they report their full year results, with Glencore to be armed with $5.85 billion from the sale of its Las Bambas copper project to China's MMG Ltd.

Jobless claims fall to lowest level since early 2006

People attend a job fair in DetroitBy Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in nearly 8-1/2 years last week, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining traction. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000 for the week ended July 19, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The data provided further confirmation that the labor market is tightening. "This is consistent with another payroll reading for July, but it will probably not be as strong as June," said Sam Bullard, senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bank settlements create windfall for US, wrangling over...

An employee counts U.S. dollar bills before changing it to Philippine Pesos inside a money changer in ManilaU.S. authorities' $8.9 billion settlement last month with French bank BNP Paribas for sanctions busting will pay for New York cops to get live computer feeds of street crime and for new carpets in the offices of prosecutors, among many other things.

Dow 17,000 more than just another 'big round number'

A trader's modified hat reads Dow 17K on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the morning of July 3, 2014 in New York City“The narrative that’s driving investor confidence and the decision making process is earnings,” says Clearpool Group’s Peter Kenny.

These deals may suffer in US 'inversion' crackdown

These deals may suffer in US 'inversion' crackdownPresident Barack Obama's push to deter U.S. firms from buying foreign companies for tax purposes will make several deals less attractive.

Obama wants limits on US company mergers abroad

Obama wants limits on US company mergers abroadPresident Barack Obama is tapping into growing misgivings about tax-driven overseas mergers by U.S. corporations, issuing a new call to end the practice quickly.

Ford profit up 6% to $1.3 billion

Ford 2Q net income rises 6 percent to $1.3 billionFord Motor's second quarter net income rose 6 percent to $1.3 billion as the company saw record profits in North America and made money in Europe for the first time in three years.

China regulator determines Qualcomm has monopoly:...

Visitors walk past the Qualcomm stand at the Mobile World Congress in BarcelonaChina's antitrust regulator has confirmed that Qualcomm Inc, one of the world's biggest mobile chipmakers, has a monopoly, the state-run Securities Times newspaper reported on Thursday, as Qualcomm's chief executive held talks in China. The regulator, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), is investigating Qualcomm's local subsidiary after it said in February the U.S. chipmaker was suspected of overcharging and abusing its market position in wireless communication standards, allegations which could see it hit with record fines of more than $1 billion. The Securities Times report, based on unidentified sources it said were close to the NDRC, did not say whether the regulator had determined that Qualcomm had abused its monopoly.

Nokia's fortunes brighten on heavy network spending

An illustration picture shows Nokia logo through a broken glassNokia surprised investors with strong quarterly earnings and raised its full-year profit margin forecast as network operators install more powerful systems to cope with surging mobile data traffic. The Finnish company sold its once-dominant phone business to Microsoft in April, leaving it more reliant on a mobile network equipment business that shrank by 8 percent in the April-to-June quarter. Much of the decline was due to foreign currency fluctuations and divestments and Nokia said it expected network sales to return to growth in the second half of the year after a period in which the company sought to exit unprofitable contracts. The company raised its profitability estimate for networks, saying its operating margin this year would be at or slightly above the high end of a long-term target of 5 to 10 percent.

Dollar bulls gain ground on Fed first-mover status

A woman counts her U.S. dollar bills at a money changer in JakartaCurrency traders are betting the Federal Reserve has stolen a march against rival central banks on the road to higher interest rates. While Fed Chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers last week the U.S. still needs accommodative monetary policy, she also said borrowing costs may rise sooner than expected. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi last month cut a key rate below zero, and the Bank of Japan is buying about 7 trillion yen ($69 billion) of government debt a month to try to banish 15 years of deflation. The U.S. currency strengthened versus nine of its Group of 10 peers this month, and the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index is on course for its biggest advance since January.

In China, Apple's focus pays off while Samsung feels squeeze

Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in TokyoThe mobile industry has long held that Samsung's broad range of mobile devices makes it nimble in changing markets, while Apple loses out by rigidly sticking to its high-end gadgets. Apple Inc's latest quarterly results showed sales of its high-end phones in China grew at nearly twice the pace analysts had expected. Meanwhile, budget offerings from Chinese firms won at the cheaper end, effectively squeezing industry leader Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work

Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't workAfter spending nearly $300 million on a new computer system to handle disability claims, the Social Security Administration still can't get it to work. And officials can't say when it will. Six years ago, ...

GM's profit falls on recall costs, victims' compensation...

The Chevrolet logo and the U.S. flag are seen in Gaithersburg, MarylandGeneral Motors Co (GM.N) reported a much lower second-quarter profit on Thursday due to numerous recalls and the expected cost of at least $400 million for a compensation fund for those killed or injured by a defective ignition switch linked to at least 13 deaths. GM also reiterated that it expected a moderately improved operating profit this year and that its future recall costs would be slightly higher than historic rates. "We're on or ahead of the plan we shared in January," Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens told reporters. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said strong vehicle pricing in North America "saves the quarter."

Jobless claims fall to lowest level since early 2006

People attend a job fair in DetroitThe number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in nearly 8-1/2 years last week, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining traction. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000 for the week ended July 19, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The data provided further confirmation that the labor market is tightening. "This is consistent with another payroll reading for July, but it will probably not be as strong as June," said Sam Bullard, senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Barclays files to dismiss New York lawsuit against 'dark...

A "no parking" road sign is seen in front of a Barclays branch in downtown RomeBarclays Plc (BARC.L) filed a motion on Thursday to throw out the New York attorney general's lawsuit that alleged the bank lied to clients over its high-speed trading venue, saying many of the state's allegations were taken out of context. Barclays' motion to dismiss the lawsuit against the bank's private trading venue – or "dark pool" – was based on procedural and case law grounds. The bank said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman did not have the authority to accuse the bank of fraud and deceit under New York's Martin Act, which aims to protect investors when the purchase, sale or exchange of a security is misrepresented.

Boeing's stock could see more turbulence

This August 3, 2011 Boeing handout photo shows a KC-46A tanker refueling F15'sWhy today's selloff in Boeing is just the beginning.

Survey shows big city dwellers trade happiness for money

The 1,776-foot tall, One World Trade Center is seen in the New York skyline from a helicopter traveling with President Barack Obama to speak in Tarrytown, N.Y., near the Tappan Zee Bridge, Wednesday, May 14, 2014, about the need for a 21st Century Transportation Infrastructure. (AP Photo)If you’re feeling unhappy with the daily grind of city life, you’re not alone. In fact, residents across some of America’s largest cities - including New York - are feeling the same way according to a new survey.

Facebook is officially a mobile company

Un IPhone de Apple muestra la aplicación Facebook en su pantalla, frente a la página de acceso, el 10 de mayo de 2012 en WashingtonIt wasn't long ago that Facebook was widely seen as having a "mobile problem." Those days are gone. Facebook reported Wednesday that mobile ads accounted for about 62% of its ad revenue.

Apple pushes S&P 500 to record close; Boeing hits Dow

Specialist trader Geoffrey Friedman gives a price just after the opening bell on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeStocks ended mostly higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 closing at a record on Apple's bullish results, though Boeing weighed on the Dow and conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip kept the broader market's gains in check. The Nasdaq Biotech index jumped 2.2 percent in its fourth straight day of gains. Apple Inc gave one of the biggest lifts to the market, rising 2.6 percent to $97.19 as concerns faded about the iPhone maker's margins. Dow component Microsoft Corp rose 0.1 percent to $44.87 after the company said it aimed to get its money-losing Nokia phone unit to break even within two years.

3 best defensive sectors to play now

An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near CalgaryKomal Sri-Kumar, President of Sri-Kumar Global Strategies is getting defensive. Here are the three sectors he’s playing right now.

GM issues 6 more safety recalls

Gm: altri sei richiami per un totale di 717.950 auto in UsaGeneral Motors issued six more recalls on Wednesday, bringing its annual total to 60 recalls covering almost 30 million vehicles. The latest recalls cover nearly 823,000 cars, trucks and SUVs mostly in ...

McDonald's growth is over

A McDonald's sign is seen at sunrise in Arundel Mills, Maryland March 8, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/FilesFor McDonald's, something important has been lost -- the ability to grow in an era when diners are looking for food variety at a fair price.

Private equity giants are looking to auto body shops

angie's list: finding reliable car repairBlackstone is buying a majority stake in an auto repair chain, Service King Collision Repair Centers, from Carlyle, though Carlyle will still be a significant shareholder.

Senate bill targets companies that move overseas

Senate bill targets companies that move overseasThe Senate voted Wednesday to advance an election-year bill limiting tax breaks for U.S. companies that move operations overseas. But big hurdles remain.

Facebook beats Wall Street targets, stock hits record high

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Dell laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of ZenicaFacebook Inc's (FB.O) fast-growing mobile advertising business helped drive a 61 percent increase in revenue during the second quarter, beating Wall Street's financial targets and sending shares to a record-high in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Facebook now counts 1.5 million advertising customers and the company's ad business saw strong growth across all of its geographic regions, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. Investors bid up shares of Facebook roughly 5 percent to $75.13 in after-hours trading on Wednesday, giving the Internet company a roughly $190 billion valuation, putting it on par with IBM Corp (IBM.N). Facebook's operating margin expanded to 48 percent of revenue in the second quarter, up from 31 percent in the year-ago period.

The big money still loves hedge funds

The big money still loves hedge fundsBig investors plan to keep pouring money into hedge funds despite mixed returns.

Yum cuts ties to owner of China meat plant after scandal

A security personnel stands guard in front of an OSI's food processing plants in LangfangSHANGHAI/LANGFANG China (Reuters) - Yum Brands Inc severed ties with OSI Group after Shanghai police detained five people from the supplier's China meat-processing factory at the center of a food-safety scare that has ensnared several major Western brands. Shanghai police said on Wednesday the five individuals being held included the head of Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd as well as its quality manager. "Yum China has decided to immediately terminate all procurement from OSI China," including Shanghai Husi, Yum said in a statement. OSI China and its Shanghai Husi business are part of Aurora, Illinois-based OSI Group LLC, which said in a statement that local Chinese authorities have inspected all of its other facilities in China and found no issues.

Beef surge hits wallets, boosts chicken appeal

Beef surge hits wallets, boosts chicken appealMove over, beef. Chicken demand is jumping as beef prices rise and health-conscious consumers gravitate toward poultry.

No new 'Bond King' for Pimco when Gross reign ends

Bill Gross, co-founder and co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), speaks at the Morningstar Investment Conference in ChicagoWhen Bill Gross eventually retires as chief investment officer of California-based asset manager Pimco, his "Bond King" crown will go with him. Allianz (ALVG.DE), the German insurer which owns Pimco, wants to ensure that in a post-Gross era the asset manager he co-founded will not be so reliant on the investment decisions of one person. Jay Ralph, the Allianz board member with responsibility for Pimco, told Reuters a new management structure introduced earlier this year, which saw six executives appointed as deputies to Gross, signaled the way forward. “Pimco is now better positioned with a broader investment leadership composed of Bill as CIO and six well-respected deputy CIOs,” Ralph said in a telephone interview.

U.S. regulators, states sue law firms over mortgage...

Mortgage applications rise as refinancing picks upU.S. regulators and 15 states announced a wave of lawsuits on Wednesday against law firms and mortgage assistance companies they said have scammed borrowers since at least 2011 by falsely promising home loan modifications and other foreclosure relief. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission together filed nine lawsuits against people and companies they said misled consumers about their eligibility for modifications and inflated the amounts borrowers could save. "Not only do they collect hundreds or thousands of dollars in upfront fees from homeowners and then not deliver any results, but they make the loss of people's homes even more likely by telling consumers not to pay their mortgage or to talk to their lenders or servicers," Katie Fallow, the FTC's deputy director for consumer protection, said on Wednesday.

Is Fannie Mae too optimistic?

A U.S. flag decorates a for-sale sign at a home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of WashingtonMortgage-finance giant Fannie Mae grew a bit more optimistic this month about sales of new homes, but the company has had to slash its outlook over the past year.

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