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Jobs data to be a big deal for record-high stocks

Job seekers fill out applications during 11th annual Skid Row Career Fair the Los Angeles Mission in Los AngelesWall Street will fixate on a wave of U.S. economic data next week, crested by payrolls data on Friday that could sway expectations about the timing of future interest rate hikes and spark volatility in record-high stock prices. Fresh data about employment and consumer confidence could help investors solidify expectations for a December interest rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve, or lend weight to a minority of strategists predicting a rate rise as early as next month. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the case for a rate hike is strengthening, but she left open the timing of what would be the first increase since December 2015.

Sat, 27 Aug 2016 06:11:36 -0400
Fed's Yellen sees stronger case for interest rate hike

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen attends a news conference after chairing the second day of a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee to set interest rates in WashingtonThe Federal Reserve is getting closer to raising interest rates again, the head of the U.S. central bankand other policymakers said on Friday in comments that left the door open for a hike as early as next month. Fed Chair Janet Yellen told a global monetary policy conference that the case for a rate increase had grown stronger, while Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer suggested a move could come at the central banks September policy meeting if the economy was doing well.

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 16:54:35 -0400
For the Fed's Yellen 'conventional' unconventional policy is enough

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen holds a news conference in WashingtonBy David Chance WASHINGTON (Reuters) - For all the talk of a radical shift in central banking policy, from the permanent use of negative rates to helicopter money drops, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen appears to believe she can tackle any future downturn using the tools currently at her disposal. Speaking in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday after a Fed policymaker and other economists proposed a radical overhaul of central banking, Yellen argued that bond purchases and the ability to pay interest on excess reserves as well as forward guidance would be enough to combat any downturn. "Our current toolkit proved effective last December (when the Fed raised rates)," Yellen said in a speech in which she firmed up expectations of a second rate rise from the Fed, possibly as soon as September.

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:45:13 -0400
Exclusive: Iraq plans to sell oil through Iran if talks with Kurds fail

Iraqi Deputy Oil Minister Fayadh al-Nema talks to journalists before a meeting of OPEC oil ministers in ViennaBy Stephen Kalin BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's government would consider selling crude through Iran should talks with the autonomous Kurdish region on an oil revenue-sharing agreement fail, a senior oil ministry official in Baghdad told Reuters. Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) plans to hold talks with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), possibly next week, about Iraqi oil exported through Turkey, Deputy Oil Minister Fayadh al-Nema said in an interview on Friday evening.

Sat, 27 Aug 2016 07:33:18 -0400
Fed could use reserves payments to stimulate U.S. economy: paper

The facade of the U.S. Federal Reserve building is reflected on wet marble during the early morning hours in WashingtonThe Federal Reserve could push banks to lend more by paying Wall Street smaller returns on money stashed at the U.S. central bank when inflation is low, according to an academic paper presented on Saturday. The proposal was one of several discussed at an international gathering of central bankers who are looking for ways to stimulate economies even after they have cut interest rates to near zero and flooded banks with money. In his paper, economist Ricardo Reis put forward a new way for the Fed to pay banks returns on the money they keep at the central bank, a tool that could potentially put the Fed's goal of keeping inflation at 2 percent on autopilot.

Sat, 27 Aug 2016 11:02:17 -0400
Redstone granddaughter agrees to case dismissal, helps broader deal

Sumner Redstone arrives at premiere of The Guilt Trip in Los AngelesThe granddaughter of Viacom Inc's controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone has agreed to let a Massachusetts court dismiss claims brought by former company leaders, a step that will help end a battle over the fate of the media empire. Lawyers for Keryn Redstone said at a Massachusetts court hearing on Friday they have also agreed to mediate remaining parts of her family dispute and that she will have an in-person meeting with her 93-year-old grandfather. "There will be peace in the Redstone valley" said Keryn Redstone's attorney Pierce O'Donnell, speaking to reporters after the hearing at Norfolk County Probate and Family Court in Canton, Massachusetts.

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 16:29:56 -0400
Icahn denies attempt to sell Herbalife stock, buys more shares

Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network's Neil Cavuto show in New YorkHerbalife shares rose 4 percent in extended trading, reversing course after Icahn said he had bought 2.3 million shares on Friday. "Completely contrary to what Bill Ackman stated on television today, I have never given Jefferies an order to sell any of our Herbalife shares," Icahn said in a statement after market close. Ackman, who unveiled a $1 billion short bet against Herbalife in 2012, said on CNBC earlier in the day that Icahn's planned stake sale would accelerate the company's downfall.

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 17:49:37 -0400
Sycamore Partners, liquidators bid on bankrupt U.S. teen retailer Aeropostale

A customer enters the Aeropostale store in BroomfieldBankrupt U.S. teen retailer Aeropostale Inc received bids this week for its business from private equity firm Sycamore Partners, as well as liquidators, firms that wind down businesses, according to people familiar with the matter. Investment firm Versa Capital Management LLC did not submit a bid for the business, the people said. Versa had been preparing a stalking horse offer for Aeropostale as a going concern business, and the retailer had received court approval to pay some of the expenses incurred by Versa in putting together the proposal.

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 19:24:11 -0400
St. Jude says report by short sellers 'false and misleading'

The ticker and trading information for St. Jude Medical is displayed where the stock is traded on the floor of the NYSEThe report, which caused St. Jude shares to fall 5 percent after its release on Thursday, alleged there were significant security bugs in the company's Merlin@home device for monitoring implanted heart devices. St. Jude chief technology officer Phil Ebeling on Thursday said "the allegations are absolutely untrue" but provided no specific examples of errors. St. Jude on Friday said most of the observations in the report applied to older versions of its Merlin@home devices, which had not been patched with security upgrades that the company automatically pushes out to customers.

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 17:18:48 -0400
Caesars must face $11 billion in lawsuits: U.S. judge

Las Vegas Strip casinos are seen from the 550 foot-tall (167.6 m) High Roller observation wheel, the tallest in the world, in Las VegasCaesars Entertainment Corp must face lawsuits from bondholders seeking some $11 billion in claims, a U.S. judge ruled on Friday in a decision the casino company had warned could plunge it into bankruptcy alongside its operating unit. Caesars Entertainment Operating Co (CEOC), which filed for Chapter 11 protection in January 2015, was asking for a third court shield from lawsuits against its parent to protect a multibillion-dollar contribution to its reorganization plan. The high-stakes CEOC bankruptcy has been plagued by a complex web of litigation pitting some of the most aggressive investors on Wall Street against each other.

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 18:34:17 -0400
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