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 Vote called in Staples merger; $6.3B deal prompts meeting in Boca
Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), May 19, 2015 Tuesday

 Office Depot shareholders will meet June 19 in Boca Raton to vote on the retailer's $6.3 billion proposed merger with rival Staples. In a regulatory filing Monday, Office Depot announced a vote on the proposed merger would take place at the company's annual meeting that begins at 8 a.m. at the Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel, 2000 NW 19th St. in Boca Raton.
 China to aid Brazil with Pacific rail link; Asia power touts investments in South America
The Boston Globe, May 20, 2015 Wednesday

 Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff greeted Chinese Premier Li Keqiang before a meeting in Brasilia Monday. BRASILIA — China's Premier Li Keqiang and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff agreed on Tuesday to embark on studies for an ambitious railway linking Brazil's Atlantic coast with a Pacific port in Peru and announced billions in other investments and trade deals. Rousseff emphasized the importance of the project to cut the time and cost to move commodities to the Asian market.
 Takata doubles air bag recall to 34m cars
The Boston Globe, May 20, 2015 Wednesday

 "As far as we know, this is the largest recall in auto history," said Mark Rosekind (above), head of the national highway traffic safety agency, referring to Takata's air bags. At top, a factory in Moses Lake, Wash. WASHINGTON — Air bag ­maker Takata Corp. gave in to US regulators on Tuesday, agreeing to what will be the largest automotive recall in history as investigators continue to search for the root cause of a defect that has killed at least six people.
 Stocks, oil prices slide lower
The Boston Globe, May 20, 2015 Wednesday

 Oil prices fell for the fifth day in a row as the stock market declined Tuesday. Walmart saw its stock fall 4 percent after it reported weak sales and lower quarterly earnings. The S&P 500 fell a sliver of a percentage point, though for this month it has gained 2 percent. The Dow edged up nearly 0.1 percent, its fourth straight day of gains. Stocks on the move included D.R. Horton, PulteGroup, and other builders, amid positive news on housing starts nationally. Take-Two Interactive, the company...
 Latest self-driving Google car heading to streets
The Seattle Times, May 16, 2015 Saturday

 MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - The latest version of Google's self-driving car - a podlike two-seater that needs no gas pedal or steering wheel - will make its debut on public roads this summer, a significant step in the technology giant's mission to have driverless cars available to consumers in the next five years.
 Air bag recall expands to 33.8M; 'This is the largest recall we know of,' safety board says
USA TODAY, May 20, 2015 Wednesday

 A Japanese maker of automotive air bags has agreed to nearly double the scope of its recall, making it one of the largest in U.S. history, the Transportation Department said Tuesday.
 Walmart rings up disappointment; Earnings drop in wake of wage hikes, currency woes
USA TODAY, May 20, 2015 Wednesday

 Walmart's (WMT) first-quarter earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations as higher worker pay and a stronger dollar hurt the retailer's profit.
 As Hootsuite fattens up, IPO could be on the menu
USA TODAY, May 20, 2015 Wednesday

 Shopify may not be the only Canadian tech start-up big enough to make the journey from the Great White North to Wall Street. Vancouver-based Hootsuite, whose software analyzes social media content for large businesses, has grown similar in size to Shopify, the Ottawa-based provider of e-commerce software whose IPO shares are likely to debut this week.
 I.R.S. Look at Spinoffs May Affect Yahoo Plan
The New York Times, May 20, 2015 Wednesday

 Marissa Mayer's plan to spin off Yahoo's $34 billion stake in Alibaba tax-free could run into resistance from federal tax authorities. An official from the Internal Revenue Service told tax lawyers in Washington on Tuesday that the agency was weighing potential changes to how it treats some kinds of tax-free spinoffs. The I.R.S. is particularly concerned about spinoffs in which the operating business comprises only a small portion of the new publicly traded company, according to the official.  ...
 Vodafone Returns to Quarterly Growth
The New York Times, May 20, 2015 Wednesday

 LONDON -- The British telecommunications giant Vodafone reported its first quarterly revenue gain in almost three years on Tuesday, as the carrier's European operations started to show signs of recovery.
 Lane Bryant Parent to Buy Ann Taylor for $2.16 Billion
The New York Times, May 19, 2015 Tuesday

 Ascena fashion labels like Dressbarn or Lane Bryant are not known as a favorite among hip urban millennials, the generation influencing the future of shopping. Nor does the retailer market athletic wear, perhaps the only fast-growing category in women's clothing. Instead, Ascena has accumulated brands over the years that cater mainly to suburban or older shoppers, a strategy that has kept it a wallflower player in the flashy world of retail.
 Wall St. Puts Crisis Behind, and Prospers
The New York Times, May 19, 2015 Tuesday

 Major investment banks have raised their standard base salary this spring for recent college graduates to $85,000, the first rise after five years in which the salaries hovered near $70,000. At the complex in Lower Manhattan formerly known as the World Financial Center, the vacancy rate -- which soared to 41 percent after Merrill Lynch consolidated offices after the financial crisis -- is now less than 5 percent.   And in a return of high-stakes deal-making, large American companies executed...
 Charter and Bright House Renew Their Merger Plans
The New York Times, May 19, 2015 Tuesday

 Charter Communications announced Monday that it was going ahead with its $10.4 billion deal for Bright House Networks, signaling the start of a new push to consolidate the country's cable operators.
 With Most Earnings Reported and Little to Sway Investors, the Market Inches to a Record
The New York Times, May 19, 2015 Tuesday

 The stock market crept to a record high in a quiet session on Monday. Investors had little news to weigh because most major companies have finished reporting first-quarter results.
 Drug Maker Merger Would Create Powerhouse in Generics
The New York Times, May 19, 2015 Tuesday

 LONDON -- Endo International said on Monday that it had agreed to buy the privately held Par Pharmaceutical Holdings for $8.05 billion in cash and shares. The deal would create a specialty pharmaceutical company that would be one of the five largest generic drug makers based on sales in the United States, Endo said. Par shareholders would receive $6.5 billion in cash and 18 million Endo shares worth about $1.55 billion.
 Apple Patent Victory Upheld, but Samsung Will Pay Less
The New York Times, May 19, 2015 Tuesday

 An appeals court on Monday upheld the bulk of Apple's patent victory against Samsung Electronics in 2012, but overturned part of the decision and said that a lower court should reduce the total amount that Samsung would have to pay.
 Icahn says Apple stock still a real moneymaker; Investor declares shares of company are worth $240
USA TODAY, May 19, 2015 Tuesday

 Apple stock is up big again Monday -- breaking the $130-a-share barrier. But some investors -- including Carl Icahn -- are convinced you can still make money on this juggernaut. How? Normally, investors might think Apple is a stock that got away from them. Its shares are up more than 17% this year --and a whopping 260% over the past five years. The massive run in Apple shares almost makes the historic bull market in the Standard & Poor's 500 look underwhelming. Shares of Apple were up $1.40,...
 FAO Schwarz to close Manhattan flagship store
The Seattle Times, May 16, 2015 Saturday

 The FAO Schwarz toy store in midtown Manhattan will close in July because of rising rents, leaving the 153-year-old brand without a retail outlet. Toys "R" Us, which owns the store in the heart of Fifth Avenue across from the Plaza Hotel, said it's looking for another Manhattan location for the shop. A new outlet could open in late 2016, a person familiar with the situation said.
 Fiat Chrysler faces recall hearing
Los Angeles Times, May 19, 2015 Tuesday

 The U.S. government's highway safety agency says it will hold a rare public hearing in July to determine whether Fiat Chrysler failed to notify customers and fix safety problems in 20 recalls covering more than 10 million vehicles.
 Exelon, Pepco merger OK'd; Utility vows benefits to Pepco, BGE users; critics see rate hikes
The Baltimore Sun, May 16, 2015 Saturday

 Despite continuing opposition from critics that include Maryland's attorney general, state regulators approved a $6.9 billion merger between Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. parent Exelon Corp. and Pepco Holdings in a split vote Friday. In applying for the merger, Exelon argued the deal would bring a host of benefits to both Pepco and BGE customers, including a faster response to power outages during storms and smaller rate hikes than might occur otherwise. Critics worry, however, that...
 In globalization, the costs are just too high, some say
The Boston Globe, May 18, 2015 Monday

 Tracy Warner earned $37,000 a year at the Galesburg, Ill., Maytag factory. Years after the factory closed in 2004, she makes $21,000 from two jobs. GALESBURG, Ill. — Even in this city of abandoned factories, it is possible to see some of the benefits the United States reaps from increased foreign trade: at the rail yard, where boxcars of bargain-price Asian goods are routed to US consumers; at the nearby slaughterhouse, where pigs are packaged for the global market; and at Knox College, where...

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