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Top Headlines - part 71

Shaky Kodak Moment as Bankruptcy Fears Stir

Shaky Kodak Moment as Bankruptcy Fears Stir

FINANCE

  • Shares drop by 54% as Kodak hires bankruptcy expert
  • Shareholders reassured bankruptcy not imminent
  • Last profit posted in 2007

Eastman Kodak saw its shares drop by over half following news it had taken on the legal services of a renowned bankruptcy expert. In a statement, the former photography pioneer said it had “no intention of filing for bankruptcy”, saying it had hired the Jones Day law firm in relation to restructuring prospects.

The company reassured shareholders it would meet its financial responsibilities, but it was unable to quell speculation, with stock plummeting as much as 68% before settling at 54% down on 78 cents per share in New York on Friday.

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IBM Overtakes Microsoft as Second Most Valuable Tech Company

IBM Overtakes Microsoft as Second Most Valuable Tech Company

WORLD

  • IBM’s market value has risen while Microsoft’s has fallen
  • Microsoft remains most valuable software company with 60% of revenue from software
  • IBM CEO says there is more to computing than computers

International Business Machines overtook Microsoft as the world’s second most-valuable technology company when its market value hit $214 billion, leaving Microsoft behind at $213.2 billion. In 1999, Microsoft was valued at $600 billion and has been on a slow decline ever since. Apple Inc surpassed Microsoft as the top technology company in 2010.

To date in 2011, IBM has gained 19% on the New York Stock Exchange, while Microsoft dropped 11% on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Shares in IBM have increased by 35% since May 2010.

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Nokia Forges Ahead With Additional 3,500 Job Cuts

Nokia Forges Ahead With Additional 3,500 Job Cuts

BUSINESS

  • Nokia seeks to increase competitivity, cuts 3,500 jobs on top of 7,000 already announced
  • Romanian manufacturing plant shutdown cuts 2,200 jobs, other plants to follow
  • Nokia ups innovation, launching Symbian Belle smartphones in India

Nokia Corp. will cut 3,500 jobs worldwide by 2012 in an effort to reduce costs and better compete in the global smartphone market. Rivalry from Apple, Research In Motion and Google, as well as several Asian handset manufacturers, prompted the Finnish cell phone maker to attempt to slash operating expenses by €1 billion (US$1.5 billion) before 2013. years.

These new layoffs are on top of the 7,000 jobs already cut by Nokia earlier this year.

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Consumer Spending Slows With Drop In Personal Income

Consumer Spending Slows With Drop In Personal Income

ECONOMY

  • Personal income fell $7.5 billion in August, disposable income down $5 billion
  • Wages and salaries fell $12 billion in August, after a $24 billion rise in July
  • Knock-on effect of falling wages sees savings rate fall 4.5%

Personal income fell close to $7.5 billion, with disposable personal income (DPI) down $5 billion in August while personal consumption expenditure (PCE) rose almost $23 billion.

Though the August dip represents a 0.1% overall decline in personal income, in July the figure rose more than $17 billion. DPI rose almost $14.5 billion in the same month and PCE was up by close to $77 billion. The dip in real disposable income in August was 0.3%, higher than the 0.2% decline in July.

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Telstra Launches World’s First Combined Core 2G/3G/4G Network in Australia

Telstra Launches World’s First Combined Core 2G/3G/4G Network in Australia

BUSINESS

  • EPC technology to “improve mobile broadband experience for consumers”
  • 4G LTE service promises download speed up to 40 Mbps and upload speed up to 10 Mbps
  • 4G-ready smartphones may be available in 2012, but for now new network focused on laptop users

Australian telecommunications operator Telstra, together with Ericsson, has launched the world’s first all-IP combined core network to carry not only data for its new LTE network, but also its existing 2G and 3G traffic.

Ericsson’s Evolved Packet Core (EPC) technology, which powers the system, allows mobile broadband traffic to be seamlessly handled across Telstra’s GSM, WCDMA/HSPA and LTE networks, resulting in what the company says will be an “improved mobile broadband experience for consumers.”

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China's PMI Suggests

China's PMI Suggests

ECONOMY

  • HSBC index 49.9% since August, contraction likely
  • CFLP index shows four-month export high despite demand concerns
  • Global PMI falls to 50.1%, growth forecast reduced to 4%

The HSBC purchasing managers' index (PMI) was 49.9 in September and has remained under 50 for the past three months, indicating a contraction in the manufacturing sector.

The HSBC PMI is a reading of small Chinese firms, while the Chinese Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) PMI reads the larger, state-owned companies.

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Overview: Debt Crisis in Europe

Overview: Debt Crisis in Europe

ECONOMY

  • Greek debt of €340 billion creates uncertainty for Germany
  • Germany's unemployment drops below 2008 levels
  • EESC President supports Eurobonds, further EU integration

Europe's sovereign debt crisis has been spreading throughout Euro zone nations, leading to the bailout of three countries.

Italy has become the latest casualty of the recent European downgrades outbreak, as leaders struggle to swiftly resolve the debt crisis. As Ireland, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, and Italy deal with their ratings cut, the future of the Euro seems more uncertain. The nations that have endured the most these past two years are those who have been downgraded and bailed out.

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Bank of America: Debit Cards The New Cash Cow

Bank of America: Debit Cards The New Cash Cow

BUSINESS

  • Customers to pay $5 a month in debit card fees, to be phased in from 2012
  • Regulation cuts debit-card fees cap from 44 cents to 24 cents per transaction
  • Banks stand to lose $6.5 billion per year due to new debit card cap

Bank of America intends to apply a fee of $5 a month to its debit cards, from early 2012, to offset costs incurred due to a new stipulation that limits bank charges on debit-card transaction. The bank expects the cap to shave $2 million off its annual revenue.

Banking competitors, such as Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase, intend to test, or are already testing, comparable fee plans. The number 22 bank in the US, Regional Financial, plans to apply a $4 monthly fee on some debit-card accounts from October 2011.

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Microsoft Signs Windows Phone Deal With Samsung

Microsoft Signs Windows Phone Deal With Samsung

BUSINESS

  • Microsoft’s seventh patent-licensing deal since June
  • Samsung deal to expand Microsoft’s smartphone campaign
  • Mango platform update expected before end 2011

Microsoft has secured a new patent agreement with Samsung in the latest of a series of deals to boost the presence of the Windows Phone 7 platform.

In recent months the Redmond, Washington-based software company has secured deals with seven smartphone manufacturing companies that use Google’s Android platform, pressuring them into signing patent-licensing deals through existing business agreements and threats of legal action.

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Boston Scientific: Court Refuses Johnson & Johnson Subsidiary’s Patent Appeal

Boston Scientific: Court Refuses Johnson & Johnson Subsidiary’s Patent Appeal

BUSINESS

  • US Court of Appeals concurs with Delaware infringement ruling
  • Boston Scientific paid out $9.25 million in Guidant lawsuit for over-billing
  • Lobbying costs for Boston Scientific stand at $810,000 to date in 2011

A federal appeals court ruled against Johnson & Johnsons’s Cordis unit’s appeal for a lower court ruling that had found Boston Scientific Corp did not infringe upon one of Cordis Corp’s patents. The original court hearing, in Delaware, ruled against Cordis’s claim that Boston Scientific had infringed a patent protecting an expandable metal stent granted in 1999. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, headquartered in Washington, concurred with the Delaware court ruling.

The ruling is good news for the medical leader who recently shelled out $9.25 million in a lawsuit that charged Boston Scientific’s Guidant LLC unit with over-billing private hospitals in the US for defibrillators and heart pacemakers.

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