President Barack Obama added an unexpected twist to the patent wars when he took the extraordinarily rare step of vetoing the International Trade Commission's own trade sanctions against Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) last week.
The trade commission had ruled that Apple violated some of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd's patents, and the commission was set to ban outright several key Apple products, such as the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and the iPad 2 and 3G models - all sold by AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), among others.
This marks the first time in 25 years that an American president has overruled an ITC ban or set of sanctions in such a way, drawing the White House - along with the rest of the Executive Branch - into the bitter patent dispute between the two technology titans.
Keith Fitz-Gerald on Samsung, IBM and Why Businesses Won't Borrow
Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald joined FOX News' Neil Cavuto for a "Biz Blitz" segment April 26. On tap were these three hot issues of the moment:
- Issue #1: Samsung profit is soaring, while tech king Apple is on the decline. Is this because of buzz Samsung is creating for its phones, or are we witnessing a major consumer shift for the hottest tech products? Does Samsung have a shot at winning over Apple lovers?
- Issue #2: IBM CEO in an internal company video tells employees after a weak earnings report to get their act together - or get out. Is this too harsh, or a necessary tactic to turn the company around? Can it work?
- Issue #3: Outstanding loans by the biggest banks to U.S. companies fell 9% in the first two weeks of April compared to the end of March. What's behind the decline - and what does it tell us about the U.S. economy in 2013?
South Korea Raises Interest Rates, Joining Asian Movement to Reduce Stimulus
South Korea on Friday joined a chorus of Asian countries in cooling their economies by raising its benchmark interest rate and removing monetary stimulus from its financial system.
The Bank of Korea (BOK) joined counterparts across Asia by notching its rate up by 0.25 percentage point to 2.25%, lifting its key policy rate for the first time since August 2008 - the beginning of the global financial crisis.
But the BOK stressed it is just nudging rates up from emergency levels to counter the threat of inflation and curb a rise in household credit. Asia's fourth-biggest economy joined other economies during the global financial crisis by slashing interest rates, knocking them down three times and shaving a total of 325 basis points off the benchmark rate.
Apple Goes "Island-Hopping" in its War Against Google
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) on Tuesday took aim at rival Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and its Android operating system by filing a patent-infringement complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) against smartphone manufacturer HTC Corp.
Taiwan-based HTC is the largest maker of phones that use Google's Android operating system, such as the Nexus One. Apple involved the ITC in hopes of banning U.S. imports of HTC devices made with the technology in question. However, that filing was paired with a suit filed in federal court in Delaware that claimed infringement on 20 patents.
"We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it," said Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs. "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."
Buy, Sell or Hold: Government's HeavyHanded Plans Spawn Profits With These Three Top Stocks for 2010
When government boosts its involvement in the economy, there's a predictable impact on interest rates, taxes, inflation, the country's currency and even its stock market. As a veteran global investor, I've seen this play out time and again in emerging-market economies, where it's commonplace for government to play an active and heavy-handed role.
I know from my years of experience just what to expect each and every time this story plays out. And that's not all.
I also know how to turn this special knowledge into beat-the-market profits.
Here in the United States, the Obama administration and the U.S. Federal Reserve are like two elephants that have been put to work brutishly reshaping the U.S. economy. We're already experiencing the effects of big government involving itself in the private sector. Expect the dollar to fall even more - after year-end profit-taking ends. Also expect a further deployment of government-stimulus money to industries where the United States has a large competitive advantage and can generate domestic jobs.
We'll be only too happy to ride the resulting economic shifts for profit.
In fact, as part of this installment of "Buy, Sell or Hold" - I've identified three of the best profit opportunities for the New Year. The three "must-own" companies - each poised to benefit from these shifts - are: Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW), The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) and Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY). We offer them to you here as part of a Money Morning "Outlook 2010" Special Report.
Hot Stocks: The Three Roadblocks to Sony's Turnaround
Sony Corp. (NYSE ADR: SNE) is facing the first consecutive annual loss of its 63-year history. The Tokyo-based company lost $1.1 billion (98.9 billion yen) last year, and it expects to lose another $1.4 billion (120 billion yen) in its fiscal year ending March 31. That would be Sony's first back-to-back annual loss since the [...]
Investment News Briefs
With our investment news briefs, Money Morning provides investors with a quick overview of the most important investing news stories from all around the world. Australia Raises Rates; Societe Generale Raising $7.1 Billion; GrainCorp. Buying United Malt Holdings; Caterpillar Raising Prices 2% in Jan.; Samsung 3Q Profit Doubles; Merrill Bull Logo Returning; Euro Leaders Want [...]