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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. Nikkei Hits Three-Month High; Obama to Small Banks: Step Up the Lending; Tax Credit Fuels 7.4% Gain in November Home Sales; OPEC Leaves Oil Output Unchanged; WSJ: Apple Approaches CBS, Disney About Internet Television Service; Report: Computer Hackers Stole Millions of Dollars from Citi; Federal Court Upholds Ruling on Patent Infringement by Microsoft; Buffett Adds Comcast COO to Berkshire Board A weaker yen and strong technology stocks helped Japan's Nikkei 225 finish 1.9% higher at 10,378.03 yesterday (Tuesday), the highest level in three months. Most shares of tech companies gained after Barclays Capital (NYSE ADR: BCS) upgraded its rating on Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) from overweight to market weight on Monday. "The U.S. dollar strength is undoubtedly helping out the Nikkei," Cameron Peacock, an analyst at IG Markets told MarketWatch.com. "With Japan being such an export-focused economy, the weaker yen is a real positive for Japanese companies' earnings." The White House will seek to remove bureaucratic barriers that prevent community banks from lending so they can help businesses seize "enormous opportunities" for growth, U.S. President Barack Obama told the heads of a dozen small lenders yesterday (Tuesday). The president encouraged the bankers to keep the nascent recovery of the U.S. economy going by increasing their lending to small businesses and supporting the financial reform measures being proposed on Capitol Hill.

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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.

GM Hires Former Microsoft CFO; French Drug Maker Buys U.S. OTC Firm; Ford Looks to Reduce Workforce by 41,000; Galleon's Rajaratnam Pleads Innocent; China Backs Out of Investment In U.S. Gold Miner; Gold Falls Amid Interest-Rate Speculation; Recovery Hopes Send Treasury Yield Curve to Record High

  • General Motors Co. hired Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell to the same position, GM said yesterday (Monday). Liddell replaces Ray Young, who will be transferred to China as the automaker's vice president of international operations. "Chris will lead our financial and accounting operations on a global basis and will report directly to me," said GM Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer Ed Whitacre."We're also looking to his experience and insights in corporate strategy as a member of the senior leadership team in helping our restructuring efforts." Liddell, who already announced his Dec. 31 departure from Microsoft, will begin at GM sometime next month.
  • French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis SA (NYSE ADR: SNY) has agreed to buy U.S. consumer healthcare group Chattem Inc. (Nasdaq: CHTT) in a deal valued at roughly $1.9 billion in cash, or $93.50 per share, a premium of 34% to Chattem's Friday closing price. The deal should give Sanofi a presence in the over-the-counter U.S. drug market. "It looks for me an interesting deal to generate a lot of synergies," Landesbank Baden- Wü rttemberg analyst Timo Kuerschner, told Reuters.

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FTC Sues Intel in Antitrust Action as EU Settles With Microsoft

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) yesterday (Wednesday) accusing the world's leading computer chipmaker of illegally using pricing deals and other tactics "to stifle competition and strengthen its monopoly."

The complaint says Intel tried to block "superior" products by rivals and deprived consumers of choice and innovation for 10 years.

"Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly," said Richard A. Feinstein, the FTC's director of competition.

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Investment News Briefs

AOL Goes It Alone; Citi to Pay Back TARP Funds; Jim Rogers: Audit, Then Abolish The Fed; Goldman Sachs Adopts "Say on Pay" Policy; GE Gets Contract for World's Largest Wind Farm; Weekly Jobless Claims Rise, Trade Gap Narrows; Gold Bounces Back; U.S. Households' Net Worth Gains in Q3

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Investment News Briefs

Existing Home Sales Up 10% in Oct.; IMF: Dollar Not at Risk; Cadbury Stock Gains On Rumors of Competing Bid; Microsoft and News Corp. in Discussing Possible Pact; Tyson Earnings Beats Street; Campbell Soup Raises Forecast; Holiday Shoppers Preparing to Pare Spending; Twitter IPO a Possibility

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Buy, Sell or Hold: Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Is Winning the Race for Cloud-Computing Dominance

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) reported a strong quarter at the end of October on the back of resurgent demand in the PC market. But the key issue to watch is the important transition in the company’s major technologies.

Microsoft just launched its very successful Windows 7 operating system, which has produced a major new upgrade cycle in the industry. In England, for example, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) had more success selling Windows 7 packages than it did Harry Potter books.  Windows 7 has major advantages over Vista, including speed, simplicity and booting time.  This is prompting Vista users, as well as those who skipped Vista, to upgrade.

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Microsoft Releases Windows 7, Opens First Retail Store

As Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) released its much-talked about Windows 7 operating system, the software giant quietly opened its first retail store in Scottsdale, Arizona. It's no coincidence that the store's opening coincided with the launch of Windows 7, but the true goal of the Microsoft Store is to put the Microsoft brand back into […]

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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. Yum Beats Estimates, Raises Forecast; Exxon Considering $4 Billion African Oilfield Stake; Phone Manufacturers Targeting iPhone; Worldwide Mobile Subscriptions To Hit 4.6 Billion; Costco Profit Down, Family Dollar's Up; ING […]

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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 Blocks Another China Majority Stake; Avtovaz Cutting 27,600 Jobs; WSJ: Citigroup Focusing on Six Metros; Experimental HIV Vaccine Raising Eyebrows; Nintendo Knocks $50 Off Wii; SEC Charging Insider Trading […]

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Microsoft, Yahoo May Finally Come to Terms

By Bob Blandeburgo Associated Editor Money Morning While its attempt to take over Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) failed last year, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) is reportedly back in talks with the search engine company and a deal could be announced later this week.  Executives from the Redmond, Wash. Microsoft traveled to Silicon Valley late last […]

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Microsoft, Intel to Cut up to 11,000 Jobs

By Mike Caggeso Associate Editor Money Morning Microsft Corp. (MSFT) and Intel Corp. (INTC) yesterday (Thursday) announced they will cut up to 11,000 jobs and could no longer give quarterly forecasts with global economic uncertainly, after the two tech giants announced declines in the final three months of 2008. Microsoft posted a profit of $4.17 […]

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Microsoft Turns to Facebook After Failed Yahoo Bid

By Jason Simpkins Associate Editor Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) bankers recently contacted Facebook Inc. and made inquiries about purchasing the popular social networking site, the Wall Street Journal reported.   Story continues below… No active discussions have been held between the two companies, but Microsoft has been on the prowl since withdrawing its bid for Yahoo Inc. […]

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Microsoft Adds to Asian Operations with $280 Million R&D Center in Beijing

By Jason Simpkins Associate Editor Less than a week after withdrawing its bid Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) broke ground on a $280 million research and development campus in Beijing. The center, to be completed in 2010, will be the company's largest outside the United States with enough room for 5,000 employees, according to […]

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What's Next For Microsoft and Yahoo?

By Jason Simpkins Associate Editor Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) tumbled 15% yesterday (Monday) to close at $24.37 a share as investors responded to Saturday's news that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) would drop its $47.5 billion dollar bid for the beleaguered search engine firm. But the tough times are just beginning for Yahoo, which must now […]

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Microsoft Withdraws Yahoo Bid

From Staff Reports Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) last Saturday yanked its $44.6 billion bid for struggling Internet-search pioneer Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) after the two companies were unable to come to terms over the buyout price. In a statement, the software giant said it failed to win over Yahoo's board of directors – even after boosting its […]

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