Wall St ends flat; Disney, retailers dip on sales worries
(Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes ended little changed in light trading on Friday, with consumer stocks falling as investors fretted over early reports on the U.S. holiday shopping season and Disney's subscriber losses weighed on the market.
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:48:39 -0500
Black Friday crowds thin in subdued start to U.S. holiday shopping
CHICAGO/PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - America's annual Black Friday shopping extravaganza was short on fireworks this year as U.S. retailers' discounts on electronics, clothing and other holiday gifts failed to draw big crowds to stores and shopping malls. Major retail stocks including Best Buy and Wal-Mart closed lower while Target, picked out by one analyst for its promotion strategy, saw its shares tick up. Some had already shopped Thursday evening, reflecting a new normal of U.S. holiday shopping, where stores open up with deals on Thanksgiving itself, rather than waiting until Black Friday.
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:33:29 -0500
Exclusive: Lazard works with Sanofi on $12.7 billion animal health unit deal - sources
By Pamela Barbaglia, Olivia Oran and Arno Schuetze LONDON/NEW YORK/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Investment bank Lazard is working with Sanofi's management to prepare a sale or listing of its Merial animal health unit, aiming to land the leading advisory job for the deal, which could value the business at up 12 billion euros ($12.7 billion), sources familiar with the matter said. Lazard is expected to win the role for the so-called dual-track process having helped Sanofi's management in the ongoing review, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Sanofi and Lazard declined to comment.
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:51:04 -0500
HSBC whistleblower Falciani sentenced to five years in prison
(Reuters) - Herve Falciani, an ex-employee of HSBC's Geneva private bank who leaked information on clients and their tax situation, has been sentenced to five years in prison for aggravated industrial espionage, the bank said on Friday. HSBC said it welcomed the ruling on Falciani, a 43-year old French citizen who had been on trial in Switzerland. HSBC's Swiss unit has been in the spotlight since 2008, when Falciani, a former IT employee there, fled Geneva with files that were leaked to the media and were alleged to show evidence of tax evasion by clients.
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 10:10:47 -0500
Holiday shopping unlikely to cheer many investors
The holiday shopping rush that kicked off on Friday is unlikely to bring much cheer to investors looking for a revival in retail stocks. After months of uninspiring sales growth and recent disappointments from Macy's and Nordstrom , shareholders of apparel sellers have had little to be thankful for and face a challenging holiday season. Early indications suggested this year's holiday season was off to a slow start.
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:22:35 -0500
Musk's Tesla faces German battle over battery-powered homes
By Vera Eckert and Christoph Steitz FRANKFURT (Reuters) - If Elon Musk's vision of millions of households producing all their own power becomes a reality, it will probably happen first in Germany. The South African-born entrepreneur's company Tesla, best known for its electric cars, sparked global interest in the idea of self-powered homes in April, when it said it would start selling lithium-ion batteries for households next year. The batteries, called Powerwalls, connect to solar panels on the roof of a house and aim to store enough power during the day to drive kettles and washing machines at night, raising the prospect that households one day will be able to rely fully on clean energy and become independent of the power grid.
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:01:13 -0500
Halliburton refiles bid for EU approval of $35 billion Baker Hughes buy
U.S. oil services provider Halliburton Co has refiled a request for EU antitrust approval of its $35 billion bid for smaller rival Baker Hughes , four months after regulators rejected an earlier application because of insufficient data. The European Commission will decide by Jan. 12 whether to clear the deal or open a full investigation, according to a filing on its website. Halliburton has said it is prepared to sell three drilling businesses in Mexico and an expandable liner hangers unit as well as three Baker Hughes businesses which includes offshore cementing activities in Australia, Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, Norway and the United Kingdom.
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 11:02:38 -0500
Class action suit against Barclays alleges forex rigging losses
The suit by Axiom Investment Advisors LLC, filed in a Manhattan federal court, follows a pact on Nov 18 in which Barclays agreed to pay New York State's financial regulator an additional $150 million to settle allegations stemming from allegations about the bank's forex practices. A Barclays spokesman declined to comment. Barclays, in some instances, used a feature called Last Look on its forex trading platform to automatically reject client orders that would be unprofitable for Barclays because of price swings in milliseconds-long hold periods the bank imposed after trades were placed, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has said.
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:45:52 -0500
EU wants to give national privacy regulators more clout in new U.S. data pact
By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union wants to enhance the power of the bloc's national privacy regulators in policing a planned new EU-U.S. data pact after the previous one was struck down by a top EU court on concerns about mass U.S. surveillance. Brussels and Washington are locked in negotiations to forge a new framework enabling data transfers from Europe to the United States, which are otherwise subject to cumbersome and lengthy legal processes under EU data protection law. The previous pact, known as Safe Harbour and used by over 4,000 U.S. and European companies, was declared invalid by the European Court of Justice in October because U.S. national security needs trumped the privacy of Europeans' data.
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 14:15:19 -0500
Dutch government to appeal EU ruling on Starbucks tax deal
The Dutch Finance Ministry said on Friday it will appeal against a European Commission ruling ordering it to recover up to 30 million euros ($31.8 million) in taxes from Starbucks. Antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager ordered the Netherlands in October to recover 20 million to 30 million euros ($23 million to $34 million) in back taxes from Starbucks, accusing the U.S. coffee shop chain of benefiting from an illegal tax deal. Starbucks has already said it would appeal the EU's decision.
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 11:41:12 -0500
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