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Yellen tone suggests choppiness for markets ahead

23 May

A street sign for Wall Street hangs in front of the New York Stock ExchangeU.S. stock investors have been enjoying an extended period of low volatility and steady gains, but with the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates this year and major indexes near records, the market could get a bit choppier in coming weeks. Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday said she expected the U.S. central bank to raise rates in 2015, though the process was expected to be gradual, with the timing of the first hike dependent on the strength of economic data. Some weak reports have pushed back the expected lift-off, but Yellen’s words suggest the Fed is still headed to rate increases later this year.

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Exclusive: Altice seeks financing for Time Warner Cable bid: sources

22 May

Time Warner Cable office is pictured in San DiegoSAN FRANCISCO/LONDON (Reuters) – French telecommunications group Altice SA is talking to several banks about raising debt for a potential bid for Time Warner Cable Inc, the second-largest U.S. cable operator, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks are an important step for Altice in putting together a bid for Time Warner Cable, which is also being courted by Charter Communications Inc after Comcast Corp abandoned its $45.2 billion offer for Time Warner Cable last month over U.S. antitrust concerns. Altice is in discussions with banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Nomura Co Ltd, BNP Paribas SA, Societe Generale, Barclays Plc and Royal Bank of Canada about a financing package to support a proposed acquisition, the people said.

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Greece sees reforms deal with lenders in next 10 days

22 May

Greek flag flies behind a statue to European unity outside the EU Parliament in BrusselsGreece expects to reach a cash-for-reforms deal with its creditors in the next 10 days and aims to meet all its payments in June, the government’s spokesman said on Friday, after the prime minister met with EU leaders. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande held talks on the sidelines of an EU summit in Riga late on Thursday with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, hoping to speed the resolution of Athens’ debt crisis. “We think conditions have matured for (talks) to progress further and in the next 10 days, in May, for the deal to be sealed,” government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis told Skai TV.

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Wall Street shrugs off weak data to inch higher

21 May

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York“There is a malaise in the market as investors re-adjust their expectations of a Fed hike,” said Andrew Barber, chief market strategist at Eagleview Capital in Delaware. The Fed has kept interest rates at near zero for almost a decade, which has made funds cheaper and helped the stock market reach record highs.

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A Tech Boom Aimed at the Few, Instead of the World

21 May

The industry once thought big, but today’s wave of start-ups is characterized by a rise in services aimed at the wealthy and the young.

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CVS to buy pharmacy services provider Omnicare for $10.1 billion

21 May

File photo of a CVS pharmacy is seen in New York CityThe number of people aged between 55 and 64, commonly called baby boomers, having two or more chronic conditions that require medication grew 39.2 percent in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest report. Baby Boomers surpassed all other age groups as the highest-cost medication users in 2014, according to a report from Express Scripts, the largest U.S. pharmacy benefit manager. CVS offered $98 per Omnicare share, representing a premium of 4 percent to Omnicare’s closing price on Wednesday.

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Five global banks to pay $5.7 billion in fines over rate rigging

20 May

The dollar sign is seen alongside the signs for other currencies above a currency exchange shop in Mongkok shopping district in Hong KongBy Karen Freifeld NEW YORK (Reuters) – Five of the world’s largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc, were fined roughly $5.7 billion, and four of them pleaded guilty to U.S. criminal charges over manipulation of foreign exchange rates, authorities said on Wednesday. A fifth bank, UBS AG, will plead guilty to rigging benchmark interest rates, the U.S. Justice Department said. U.S. banks JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup will pay $550 million and $925 million in criminal fines, respectively, as part of their guilty pleas.

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Wal-Mart same-store sales miss estimates as shoppers cut spending

19 May

A shopper pushes a cart in front of a Wal-Mart store in Mexico CityWal-Mart forecast second-quarter earnings of $1.06-$1.18 per share, largely below the average analyst estimate of $1.17. “Based on recent surveys, we know that many of our U.S. customers are using their tax refunds and the extra money from lower gas prices to pay down debt or put it into saving,” CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. Wal-Mart said in February it would invest $1 billion to increase wages and provide training to U.S. store employees.

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Wall Street down as homebuilder confidence slips

18 May

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeThe National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market index fell to 54 from 56 the month before. The U.S. economy is struggling to rebound strongly enough for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates before September, analysts have said. The Federal Reserve could look at a rate hike in June if the economy is strong enough, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said on Monday, although he argued for rates to start rising in early 2016. At 10:50 a.m. ET (1450 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 18.63 points, or 0.1 percent, at 18,253.93, before hitting a record high of 18,289.54 earlier in the session.

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U.S. home builder sentiment slips in May: NAHB

18 May

Construction workers on a building site in downtown Los AngelesU.S. homebuilder sentiment fell in May but still showed more builders view market conditions as favorable, the National Association of Home Builders said on Monday. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index fell to 54 from 56 the month before, the group said in a statement. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view market conditions as favorable than poor. “Consumers are exhibiting caution, and want to be on more stable financial footing before purchasing a home,” NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said in a statement.

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