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U.S. consumer confidence, house prices offer hope for economy

Employees wait to greet shoppers during British clothing retailer Topshop's grand opening of the chain's New York flagship storeU.S. consumer confidence rebounded strongly in March amid optimism over the labor market while house prices increased in January, hopeful signs that a recent sharp slowdown in economic activity was probably a blip.

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:53:32 -0400
Strong case for June rates liftoff, says Fed's Lacker

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker testifiesThe Federal Reserve will have a "strong" case to hike U.S. interest rates in June, a hawkish Fed official said on Tuesday, dismissing recently weak economic data as transitory and perhaps due to unseasonable weather. Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, who has long called for a prompt tightening of monetary policy, said consumer spending, the labor market and other economic conditions have improved significantly over the last year. A voting member this year on Fed policy who made many familiar arguments, Lacker predicted more improvement in the labor market and wages in the months ahead, and 2.0 to 2.5 percent GDP growth for the year. "Given what we know today, a strong case can be made that the federal funds rate should be higher than it is now," Lacker said in prepared remarks to the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce.

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 08:20:12 -0400
Wall Street dips after rally; indexes set for quarterly gain

The outside of the New York Stock Exchange is seen in New YorkExxon Mobil Corp fell 0.7 percent to $85.06. Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd agreed to buy reinsurer Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd for about $1.83 billion, while Charter Communications Inc agreed to acquire Bright House Networks in a roughly $10 billion deal.

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 11:21:01 -0400
Wall Street sees lower stock market gains due to rate worries

Street signs for Wall St. and Broad St. hang at the corner outside the New York Stock ExchangeU.S. stocks are forecast to post more modest gains this year than in 2014 as rising interest rates and a firmer dollar partly offset strong economic growth, a Reuters poll found. Strategists are optimistic about U.S. economic prospects for 2015, but they said the market could pull back once the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. The Fed is expected to do so for the first time in almost a decade later this year if the economy, especially the labor market, keeps improving. Strategists lowered their midyear target for the S&P to a median of 2,073 from 2,103 in a December poll and reduced the Dow Jones Industrial Average estimate to 18,000 from 18,500.

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 11:46:00 -0400
Oil drops to $55 as Iran nuclear talks intensify

cabGeneral view shows oil treatment facilities at Vankorskoye oil field owned by Rosneft company north of KrasnoyarskBrent crude oil dropped towards $55 a barrel on Tuesday as Iran and six world powers entered a final day of talks over a nuclear deal that could see the energy-rich country increase oil exports to world markets. With a self-imposed deadline set for the end of the day, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China ramped up the pace of negotiations with Iran in Switzerland over an outline deal on Tehran's nuclear programme. Disagreements on enrichment research and the pace of lifting sanctions remained as hurdles that could scupper a deal to end a 12-year standoff between Iran and the West. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow he believed the talks had a good chance of success.

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 09:44:42 -0400
Exclusive: Cablevision to make $1 offer for New York Daily News

Dolan, President and CEO of Cablevision Systems and Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden Company, speaks during a news conference to announce details of a newly renovated Madison Square Garden in New YorkU.S. cable T.V. operator Cablevision Systems Corp is planning to make an offer for the New York Daily News as early as this week, valuing the troubled tabloid at just $1, according to a person familiar with the matter. The offer would come one month after New York media and real estate magnate Mortimer Zuckerman said he was considering selling the newspaper and had hired Lazard Ltd to assist with the process. Cablevision's $1 bid takes into account the New York Daily News' reported $30 million annual loss and $150 million investment in a printing press, and declining circulation that relies heavily on newsstand sales rather than on subscriptions, the source said. Cablevision declined to comment while a representative for the New York Daily News could not immediately be reached for a comment.

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 06:41:20 -0400
Comcast to form investment company with CFO at helm

View of the headquarters of Comcast on JFK Boulevard in Philadelphia(Reuters) - Comcast Corp , the largest U.S. cable operator, will form a company to invest in growth-oriented companies both in the United States and international markets, and it said its finance chief would leave his post and head the new company. The new company will have total capital commitments of up to $4.1 billion, of which $4 billion will be invested by Comcast and at least $40 million by Chief Financial Officer Michael Angelakis. Angelakis, whose resignation will be effective upon the earlier of the date on which Comcasts new CFO commences employment or June 30, 2016, will also work with Comcast as senior adviser. Comcast, which already owns and operates a venture capital arm through Comcast Ventures, said the newly formed company would begin operations in 2015 or early 2016.

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 09:17:00 -0400
Pao faces tough court if she appeals Kleiner bias lawsuit

Ellen Pao speaks to the media after losing her high profile gender discrimination lawsuit against venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers in San FranciscoBy Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Ellen Pao faces an uphill battle should she choose to appeal her defeat last week in a gender discrimination lawsuit against former employer Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm. Not only did a San Francisco Superior Court judge side with Pao on some key evidentiary disputes in the run-up to trial, but employers have been highly successful litigating in the California appeals court where Pao's case would land. Conversely, the court - which covers San Francisco and 11 other Northern California counties - handed victory to employers in more than half of the cases they lost in the lower courts, reversing 10 of 18 cases. Pao's lawsuit helped spark a wide-ranging debate about the treatment of women in Silicon Valley, which has continued after a jury last Friday decided she had not proved Kleiner broke the law when it passed her over for promotion.

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:57:43 -0400
HP and Autonomy co-founder Lynch sue each other in London

A Hewlett-Packard logo is seen at the company's Executive Briefing Center in Palo AltoBy Paul Sandle LONDON (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co has lodged a claim in London against Michael Lynch and a former colleague for damages of about $5.1 billion over their management of Autonomy, the company it bought in 2011. Lynch will counter sue, seeking in excess of 100 million pounds ($149 million) for loss and damage caused by HP's accusations, his representatives said in a statement on Tuesday. Autonomy was supposed to be the $11. ...

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:58:53 -0400
Former Bombardier CEO's pay cut 12 percent after missed targets

A plane flies over a Bombardier plant in MontrealBombardier Inc's former chief executive, Pierre Beaudoin, suffered a small pay cut in 2014 as the company struggled to complete development of its new CSeries jet, filings showed on Tuesday. Beaudoin, who has since stepped down as chief executive and become the Canadian plane and train manufacturer's executive chairman, received direct compensation of $5.1 million, down from $5.8 million in 2013. His compensation had been linked to financial and nonfinancial targets for the company's aerospace and transportation segments, as well as adjusted earnings per share and an undisclosed "specific value-added project for Bombardier Aerospace." In all four areas, Beaudoin was paid less than target bonuses set for him by the board, and he received no payment at all for the special project.

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 11:33:27 -0400
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