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Wall St. gains on Apple; S&P up for fourth straight day

21 Oct

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Ryan Vlastelica NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 on track for a fourth straight session of gains as Apple and Texas Instruments rallied after their results. The results lifted the tech-heavy Nasdaq index up more than 1 percent, while the Dow’s gains were limited following disappointing results from Coca-Cola. The S&P 500 has gained 3.2 percent over the past four sessions, rebounding after a four-week decline that took the benchmark index down nearly 10 percent from its intraday record. …

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Valeant says may raise Allergan bid; beats on profit

20 Oct

The head offices of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. are seen in Laval, QuebecBy Rod Nickel and Ashutosh Pandey (Reuters) – Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc VRX.TO VRX.N said on Monday that it may raise its bid for Botox maker Allergan Inc AGN.N after the Canadian company posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit. Valeant CEO Michael Pearson said a possible revised stock and cash bid would be worth more than $200 per share, assuming that Valeant’s stock rises, and would include more cash. The current bid is worth about $52.7 billion or $176 per share. Shares of Laval, Quebec-based Valeant were up 3 percent at C$139.51 in Toronto on Monday. …

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S&P, Nasdaq advance but IBM results weigh on Dow

20 Oct

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as the market closes in New YorkBy Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were mixed on Monday, as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq advanced, but the Dow fell as quarterly results from IBM disappointed. IBM shares slumped 6.9 percent to $168.56 as the biggest drag on both the Dow and S&P 500 after the company’s third-quarter earnings fell well short of Wall Street expectations. IBM had earlier said it would pay Globalfoundries $1.5 billion in cash over the next three years to take its loss-making semiconductor unit. …

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Beyond earnings, buybacks to give market support

18 Oct

Man carries an umbrella in the rain as he passes the New York Stock ExchangeBy Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) – It is a tossup whether the market found a bottom this week, but bulls could find some support as corporations, mostly on the sidelines as the market tumbled, step up their stock purchases in the coming weeks. The equities selloff had its climax on Wednesday afternoon when the S&P 500 set its low for the week as concern over the global economy, conflicting views on the timing of the next policy move by the Federal Reserve, and headlines about the Ebola virus made investors even more skittish. …

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Another Music website gets bought by a big boy

17 Oct

This is another example of a company who is capitalizing on the music marketplace that continues to expand. If you have a music Idea check out 500startups they like music concepts and have had some success in the past with their seed investments in this space. For more information about them visit their we website http://www.500startups.com

In early July we reported exclusively that Spotify community and playlist sharing site Playlists.net was in acquisition talks, with one suitor – a prominent music industry company – in the lead. Well, today comes official confirmation that the UK startup has indeed been acquired by WEA, the artist and label services company owned by major record label Warner Music Group. Terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

According to the official announcement, Playlists.net will continue to operate as a stand-alone company based in Newcastle, England and run by founder and CEO Kieron Donoghue.

In a statement, Donoghue says: “We were approached by WEA earlier in the year to discuss ways in which we could collaborate and it became apparent that there was much to be gained by us joining forces. What’s really exciting is that WEA have committed to support Playlists.net as an independent platform, invest in its future and grow the team to take advantage of new opportunities in the streaming ecosystem. There is a huge appetite in WEA to further embrace streaming, develop new concepts and really innovate in this growing sector.”

Founded in 2009, Playlists.net had raised a rather modest £600,000 from various private backers, including Mark Pearson (Markco Media), and Steve Brown, Dave Brown, Malcolm Cowley and Paul Fellows (the original team behind www.Buy.at, which in 2008 was sold to AOL for $125m and subsequently offloaded to Digital Window.)

Originally named ShareMyPlaylists, the UK startup was one of the first companies to jump head-first into the Spotify ecosystem (and before it was clear Spotify could sustain an ecosystem), providing users with a place to upload and share playlists. It subsequently added music discovery features, including launching a playlist generator powered by EchoNest, in addition to iOS, Android and Spotify apps that emphasised consuming music curated by its core users.

As of July this year, Playlists.net claimed 1 million users per month, amounting to 4.5 million “listening sessions” per month, and 1 billion Spotify streams per year. As we wrote at the time, depending on which way you slice it, that’s a not-insignificant dent in the music curation space, especially for a rather moderately funded company.

Why would a major record label buy a Spotify community and playlist sharing site?

The answer lies in both the relative success of Playlists.net itself and a recent industry change that means streaming music now counts towards the official music charts in the UK.

Playlists.net is thought to have compiled the biggest database of independent Spotify playlists, so there’s a potential opportunity for a major record label to leverage the platform to ensure playlists featuring their acts are more prominently promoted, or that acts they’ve signed feature on the most popular playlists.

In addition, thousands of curated playlists uploaded and listened to gives you all sorts of interesting data, which could be leveraged by a record label’s A&R and marketing departments as a signalling tool for spotting up and coming trends related to its own artists or further afield.

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/16/playlists-net-acquired/?ncid=rss

 
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U.S. housing recovery rolls on as groundbreaking rises

17 Oct

A "for sale" sign is seen outside a home in New YorkBy Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. housing starts and permits rose in September, a signal the market’s modest recovery is supporting what appears to be growing strength in the broader economy. Groundbreaking rose 6.3 percent to an annual 1.02 million-unit pace, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a slightly smaller gain. Housing is clawing back after it imploded during the 2007-2009 financial crisis and recession. It suffered a setback last year when interest rates spiked, but rates have been falling lately. …

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Data show U.S. economy's pulse is still strong

16 Oct

A man grabs his briefcase as he waits in line to speak with employers at the UJA-Federation Connect to Care job fair in New YorkBy Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell to a 14-year low last week and industrial output rose sharply in September, positive signals that could help ease fears over the economic outlook. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 23,000 to 264,000, the lowest level since 2000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. A separate report from the Federal Reserve showed production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities advanced a larger-than-expected 1.0 percent last month, the biggest gain since November 2012. …

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US stocks rise, breaking a three-day slump

16 Oct

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, file photo, Donald Civitanova, a floor official with Knight Capital, works at the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after a three-day slump that marked the worst start to a year since 2005. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are higher on Wall Street, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 index its first up day of the new year.

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Data show U.S. economic pulse still strong

16 Oct

A man grabs his briefcase as he waits in line to speak with employers at the UJA-Federation Connect to Care job fair in New YorkBy Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell to a 14-year low last week, while industrial output rose sharply in September, positive signals that could help ease fears over the economic outlook. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 264,000, the lowest level since 2000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. A separate report from the Federal Reserve showed production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities advanced a larger-than-expected 1. …

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U.S. retail sales, producer prices give cautionary signs on economy

15 Oct

A combine drives through a field of soft red winter wheat during the harvest on a farm in Dixon, IllinoisBy Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. retail sales declined in September and producer prices also fell, worrisome signals on the economy’s health that heightened financial market worries over faltering global growth. The two reports on Wednesday could deepen concerns at the Federal Reserve over the readiness of the U.S. economy to absorb a hike in interest rates that many policymakers have said would likely come around the middle of next year. Retail sales, which account for about one-third of consumer spending, dropped 0.3 percent last month after a 0. …

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