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 Market Off Slightly, Despite Decent Earnings Reports
The New York Times, April 17, 2015 Friday

 Netflix soared, big corporations turned in quarterly results, and investors welcomed new companies into the market. There was plenty of news, but major indexes finished the day just short of where they started. Stocks drifted lower at the start of trading, followed oil prices higher in the early afternoon, then flipped back to slight losses in the last hour before the closing bell.   David Lebovitz, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said investors were perhaps trying to...
 Citigroup Exceeds Expectations With 16 Percent Rise in Profits
The New York Times, April 17, 2015 Friday

 Citigroup was able to take a rare victory lap on Thursday, reporting first-quarter results that were devoid of the kind of scandal, losses and regulatory missteps that have come to plague the bank. Profit rose 16 percent, to about $4.8 billion, or $1.52 a share, after adjusting for various derivatives and fixed-income holdings. Those results easily beat analysts' expectations of $1.39 a share. That compared with $4.15 billion, or $1.30 a share, on the same basis in the period a year earlier....
 Etsy's I.P.O. Tests Pledge to Do Good
The New York Times, April 17, 2015 Friday

 The online craft bazaar Etsy made its debut on the Nasdaq stock market Thursday, signaling the birth of an unusual public corporation -- and not just because its employees carry around compost on bicycles, or because its regulatory filings are peppered with phrases like, ''We keep it real, always.'' Etsy is one of a growing number of companies, called B Corps, that pledge to adhere to social and environmental accountability guidelines set by a nonprofit organization called B Lab. And Etsy on...
 Data on Home Construction Is Below Forecasts, but Jobs Figures Are Steady
The New York Times, April 17, 2015 Friday

 WASHINGTON -- Housing starts in the United States rose far less than expected in March and factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region grew modestly this month, suggesting the economy could struggle to rebound from a soft patch in the first quarter. The economy stumbled at the start of the year under the weight of a harsh winter, a resurgent dollar, weaker global growth and a labor dispute, which has been resolved, at the West Coast ports.
 Etsy, Virtu and Party City All Climb in Their Stock Market Debuts
The New York Times, April 17, 2015 Friday

 Three prominent companies -- Etsy, Virtu Financial and Party City -- made promising stock debuts on Thursday, potentially providing a jolt to the market for initial public offerings that has been slow so far this year.
 Goldman's Improved Returns Come at Higher Risk
The New York Times, April 17, 2015 Friday

 Goldman Sachs is replacing one earnings problem with another. The bank left behind years of ho-hum profit with an estimate-beating $2.75 billion in the first quarter. That equates to an annualized return on equity of 14.7 percent, which is arguably at the upper end of what a player like Goldman can expect to earn. The firm kept costs down, but trading accounted for much of the increase. That means the improved returns come at a higher risk.
 Blackstone Results
The New York Times, April 17, 2015 Friday

 Blackstone, fresh off its real estate deal with General Electric, continues to mint money in its two largest areas of focus: private equity and global real estate. In the first quarter, Blackstone's core profit -- fees and its share of investment returns -- grew by an impressive 169 percent, to $1.2 billion, the firm announced on Thursday. Over a 12-month period, core profit stands at $3.8 billion.
 Stronger Dollar Drives Revenue Down at American Express
The New York Times, April 17, 2015 Friday

 American Express, the world's largest credit card issuer, reported quarterly revenue that fell short of analysts' estimates, hurt by a stronger dollar and the loss of several co-branded tie-ups.
 MARKET ROUNDUP; Netflix soars as stocks slip slightly
Los Angeles Times, April 17, 2015 Friday

 Netflix soared, big corporations turned in quarterly results and investors welcomed new companies into the market. There was plenty of news, but major indexes finished the day just short of where they started.
 Belk CEO receives 2015 World Citizen Award
Charlotte Observer (North Carolina), April 16, 2015 Thursday

 Tim Belk, chairman and CEO of Belk Inc., received the 2015 World Citizen Award Wednesday for his work to grow the regional department store's impact in the global community.
 Publicis CEO: No regrets; 'We have avoided ... a huge mistake' by calling off merger
Chicago Tribune, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 Nearly one year after calling off the megamerger that would have created the world's largest advertising company, longtime Publicis Chairman and CEO Maurice Levy still thinks it was a great idea. But he has no regrets over its failure. The deal between New York-based Omnicom and Paris-based Publicis was billed as a merger of equals when it was struck in the summer of 2013. It proved to be an epic culture clash, with irreconcilable differences over how to run the combined company leading to a...
 Survey: McD's franchisees in U.S. unhappy
Chicago Tribune, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 It might be time for an intervention between McDonald's and its franchisees, according to a new survey. A report released Wednesday by Janney Capital Markets analyst Mark Kalinowski said that a survey of a small number of McDonald's U.S. franchisees suggests the relationship between the burger giant's corporate office and its franchisees is at its all-time worst.
 Southwest: Wider seats on new jets
Chicago Tribune, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 Wider airplane seats. You read that right. In an era of shrinking aircraft legroom and personal space, at least in economy class, Southwest Airlines plans to add the widest seats in the industry to its new Boeing 737s.
 Target, MasterCard settle data breach suits
The Boston Globe, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 NEW YORK — Target and MasterCard say they've agreed to settle lawsuits over the discounter's pre-Christmas 2013 massive data breach. Target said late Wednesday it has set aside up to $19 million for banks and credit unions issuing MasterCards that were caught in the data breach that compromised 40 million credit and debit card accounts between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013.
 Google target of EU on two legal fronts; Favoritism in searches and bullying on Android alleged
The Boston Globe, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 BRUSSELS — The European Union's escalating legal attack on Google is likely to ignite a debate about whether the Internet search leader makes life more convenient for consumers or abuses its power to squeeze out rivals who might have something better to offer.
 Delta to cut flights abroad as sales weaken
The Boston Globe, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 Delta's quarterly net income nearly tripled to $746 million, it said Wednesday. Delta Air Lines will cut back its overseas winter schedule by 3 percent as demand for flights weakens in some places. Delta will use smaller planes or fly less often on routes to Japan, India, Brazil, Africa, and the Middle East and suspend winter flights to Moscow. Delta's fuel bill fell 22 percent in the last quarter, but low oil prices plus a strong US dollar are hurting ticket sales in some foreign markets....
 With Toyota, Mexico scores again; New $1B plant adds to production boon there
USA TODAY, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 Toyota Motor said Wednesday it will invest $1 billion in a new Mexican car factory, a striking investment that is, after all, just another good day for Mexico. Ford Motor plans to say Friday it will put as much as $2.5 billion into expanding two powertrain plants in Mexico. Honda Motor recently opened a plant there. Volkswagen delayed the U.S. launch of its redesigned Golf until it finished an expansion at a Mexico plant that builds the Jetta for the U.S. Audi, not content to share a factory...
 Netflix adds 4.9M viewers in Q1
USA TODAY, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 Netflix, the online video-streaming service, reported revenue of $1.57 billion in its first quarter, on earnings of 38 cents per share.
 Microsoft Cash Seen as Factor in Google Case
The New York Times, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 BRUSSELS -- Not long ago, Microsoft was the scourge of European antitrust regulators. It was fined not once, not twice, not thrice but four times. Finally, after Microsoft paid more than $3 billion, Europe left it alone.   Now, Google is firmly in Europe's cross hairs: Antitrust regulators on Wednesday formally accused the company of abusing its dominance. And Microsoft is relishing a second act in Brussels, playing the role of scold instead of victim.  Microsoft has kept its coffers full...
 Intuit Statement on Tax Policy
The New York Times, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 In this week's State of the Art column, Farhad Manjoo writes about the software company Intuit's opposition to ''return-free filing,'' a plan that would allow the government to pre-calculate people's tax returns with financial information that is already collected from employers, banks and other financial institutions. In response to a series of questions about its position on the program, David Williams, Intuit's chief tax officer, sent the following statement outlining the company's positions...
 During G.E. Deal, Blackstone Chief Focused on a Scholarship Fund
The New York Times, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 Many Blackstone executives worked grueling seven-day weeks for a month to put together last Friday's $23 billion acquisition of mortgages and office buildings from General Electric. But Blackstone's chief executive says he has been spending twice as much of his time on an entirely different project: the scholarship fund he started at a top Beijing university. Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone's chairman, chief executive and co-founder, said that he had been immersed in a welter of details for...
 Freddie and Fannie to Lower Some Fees
The New York Times, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 The federal regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plans to lower the mortgage fees paid by some borrowers, but the move would amount to only modest help for risky buyers with checkered credit histories.
 A.I.G. Invests Again in Kroll Family, With a Focus on Online Threats
The New York Times, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 In 1993, the Kroll family, one of the most prominent practitioners of corporate intelligence, reached out to the American International Group, the insurance giant, about investing in its firm. Nearly a quarter-century later, the Krolls and A.I.G. are doing it again.   A.I.G. plans to announce on Thursday that it has made an investment in K2 Intelligence, the investigations firm that Jules B. Kroll and his son Jeremy founded about five years ago, renewing what both sides say is a relationship...
 Rivals Join to Compete in Telecom Equipment
The New York Times, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 LONDON -- The Finnish telecommunications company Nokia said on Wednesday that it had agreed to an all-stock deal to acquire Alcatel-Lucent that valued its French rival at about $16.6 billion. The combined company is expected to become the world's second-largest telecom equipment manufacturer, behind Ericsson of Sweden, with global revenues totaling $27 billion and operations spread across Asia, Europe and North America.   The companies are betting that, by joining forces, they can better...
 Nestlé in Talks to Sell Its Davigel Frozen Food Business
The New York Times, April 16, 2015 Thursday

 LONDON -- The food giant Nestlé said on Wednesday that it had entered exclusive negotiations to sell its Davigel frozen foods business to Brakes Group, the British food service provider owned by the private equity firm Bain Capital.
    

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