By Angela Moon NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks pulled back on Friday, with the Nasdaq extending losses in late afternoon trading as investors adjusted their positions ahead of the weekend and caution prevailed because of the simmering crisis in Ukraine. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 retreated from session highs. "It seems that the decent February employment report, although a step in the right direction, has resolved little," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut. That, in turn, has prompted further defensive demand for the protection afforded by options." The CBOE Volatility Index or the VIX , Wall Street's fear gauge, reversed course from its decline in earlier trading.
By Richard Weizel NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (Reuters) - A federal jury found former Jefferies Group Inc trader Jesse Litvak guilty of defrauding clients on mortgage bond trades, a victory for the government as it probes whether banks cheated their customers in the years after the financial crisis. Litvak, 39, was found guilty on Friday on all 15 counts he faced, following 1-1/2 days of deliberations by jurors in the federal court in New Haven, Connecticut. Prosecutors accused Litvak of cheating clients out of more than $2 million by inflating bond prices, lying about how much Jefferies paid for them, and even inventing imaginary sellers. They said he did this to boost Jefferies' profit and his pay.
By Ben Klayman DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co needs to get through its ignition-switch recall and the resulting federal investigation quickly to avoid any lasting damage to its brand, but the federal probe could keep the problem in the public eye for at least six months. Analysts and academics warn that a misstep by GM could leave it with a lingering headache, something Toyota Motor Corp experienced from 2009 to 2011 with recalls linked to sudden acceleration. GM is currently interviewing employees dating back to the discovery in 2004 of the problem with the ignition switch, which has since been linked to 13 deaths, sources previously said. GM Chief Executive Mary Barra on Tuesday in a letter to GM employees said she deeply regretted the circumstances but was pleased with the company's response and the focus will be on customer safety and satisfaction.
Bill Gross, the co-founder and co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co, has accused departing CEO Mohamed El-Erian of seeking to "undermine" him by talking to The Wall Street Journal about deepening tensions between the two executives who have been jointly running the world's largest bond house. Gross told Reuters that he had "evidence" that El-Erian "wrote" a February 24 article in the Journal, which described the worsening relationship between the two men as Pimco's performance deteriorated last year, including a showdown in which they squared off against each other in front of more than a dozen colleagues at the firm's Newport Beach, California headquarters. Gross, who oversaw more than $1.91 trillion in assets as of the end of last year and who is known on Wall Street as the 'Bond King', said in a phone call to Reuters last Friday: "I'm so sick of Mohamed trying to undermine me." When asked if Reuters could see the evidence about El-Erian and the allegation he was involved in the article, Gross said: "You're on his side.
A whistleblower will be paid $63.9 million for providing tips that led to JPMorgan Chase & Co's agreement to pay $614 million and tighten oversight to resolve charges that it defrauded the government into insuring flawed home loans. The payment to the whistleblower, Keith Edwards, was disclosed on Friday in a filing with the U.S. district court in Manhattan that formally ended the case. In the February 4 settlement, JPMorgan admitted that for more than a decade it submitted thousands of mortgages for insurance by the Federal Housing Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs that did not qualify for government guarantees. JPMorgan also admitted that it had failed to tell the agencies that its own internal reviews had turned up problems.
By Jonathan Spicer NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is not about to back off its highly accommodative policy, though investor predictions of a rate rise by midway through next year are reasonable, an influential U.S. central banker said on Friday. New York Fed President William Dudley outlined some bright spots in the long U.S. recovery from recession, calling U.S. economic prospects "reasonably favorable." But Dudley, a key Fed decision-maker alongside Chair Janet Yellen, stressed that the labor market is still hobbled, saying in a speech he would like to see faster economic growth and more rapid progress in lowering unemployment and raising inflation. Dudley did not comment specifically on the Fed's bond-buying policy.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer credit grew in January but was held back by a contraction in credit card usage that could be a negative sign for the economy. Total consumer credit rose by $13.7 billion to $3.1 trillion, the Federal Reserve said on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer credit to rise by $14 billion in January. Revolving credit, which mostly measures credit-card use, fell by $226 million during the month. Revolving credit figures can be volatile. ...
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - British financier Guy Hands has ended his long-running U.S. lawsuit accusing Citigroup Inc of defrauding him into buying music company EMI Group Ltd but plans to keep pursuing the case in England. Citigroup and Hands' private equity firm, Terra Firma Capital Partners, agreed to the dismissal of all claims in the U.S. case, "without prejudice to plaintiffs' rights to re-file those claims in England," according to a Friday court filing. The filing ends more than four years of U.S. litigation over Terra Firma's 4 billion pound (US$6.7 billion) purchase in 2007 of EMI, whose catalog has included artists like the Beatles, David Bowie, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Pink Floyd and Snoop Dogg. "Terra Firma and Citigroup have together decided that their disputes should be resolved in one set of proceedings," the parties said in a joint statement.
Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc said they had launched a cross-industry group to improve security for card transactions and press U.S. retailers and banks to meet a 2015 deadline to adopt technology that would make it safer to pay with plastic. The move follows several data breaches at U.S. retailers, including one at Target Corp late last year involving the theft of about 40 million credit and debit card records. The new group - which includes banks, credit unions, retailers and industry trade associations - will initially focus on the adoption of 'EMV' chip technology, MasterCard and Visa said in a statement on Friday. However, the National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail trade association, said it had not joined the group because there were no plans to immediately implement the PIN option, making for a "half-baked solution." "They're not serious about reducing fraud, unless they put a pin on," said Mallory Duncan, the NRF's general counsel.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Brutal winter weather snarled traffic, canceled flights and cut power to homes and factories in February. Yet it didn't faze U.S. employers, who added 175,000 jobs, far more than the two previous months.
NEW YORK (AP) — Samsung on Friday unveiled a new free music service for its phones that it touts as a significant improvement from the apps already on the market.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were directionless in late-afternoon trading Friday as tensions built in Ukraine, where the region of Crimea was preparing for a referendum on whether to split away and become part of Russia. Those concerns offset an encouraging pickup in hiring by U.S. employers last month.
DENVER (AP) — Frustrated and angry, more than 100 cabbies pulled up outside the Colorado Statehouse early this legislative session to protest tech startups known as ridesharing services.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto said Thursday that he is not the creator of bitcoin, adding further mystery to the story of how the world's most popular digital currency came to be.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers increased their borrowing in January on autos and student loans but cut back on their credit card use.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — American media mogul Ted Turner has been hospitalized for an undisclosed ailment in Argentina's capital.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit widened slightly in January as a rise in imports of oil and other foreign goods offset a solid increase in exports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy has been skating on an icy patch in advance of the February jobs report being released Friday.
"Exodus on the Parkway," a new 36-page paper on the impact of tax rates on New Jersey's economic health begins by noting that it "does not provide proof or hard evidence that high income or high net worth residents are leaving New Jersey because of high tax rates." (Emphasis added.) It's odd, then, that the report goes on to build a case counter to that finding, implying that New Jersey's wealthy are frequently signing mortgage documents and hiring moving vans in order to pay less in taxes.
People from multinational corporations head off and volunteer for weeks or months in another country, leaving their work behind for others to do. Building a better world is good for business.
It is now clear that while Governor Christie is embroiled in 'bridgegate', which is about clogging and blocking of traffic movement over a bridge, another scandal is brewing.
In general, that maxim may be true. However, if you're in competition with someone who is using authority marketing strategies, you'll find yourself at a huge disadvantage. In this specific case, all things are not equal.
There is one law in the media industries today from which all others derive: Attention is the currency of our culture. With attention, you can move markets. Without it, you blip and fade -- at best.
It would be Ayn Rand's dream come true: separate states for rich people and poor people. A proposal to split California into six states, introduced by billionaire investor Tim Draper in December, would formally create state lines between the haves and the have-nots. "You'd be creating one exceptionally wealthy state and others with dire poverty," Corey Cook, a political science professor at the University of San Francisco, said to The Huffington Post. "You'd create massive inequality. ...
When 1 in 5 owners saying they've had to lay off employees, it's time to sit up and take notice.
It's the latest craze, the emerging brand-sponsored content site where companies pump out content off of their corporate website with the hopes of connecting to their target consumer in a way that doesn't feel "Salesy."
How do you go about creating content that's not only good, but also catches people's attention and makes them want to learn more?
One of the saddest truths about the so-called economic recovery is that the middle-class jobs lost in the recession are being replaced by low-paying ones. But the even sadder truth is that the situation isn't going to improve for a while. Over the next decade, a significant number of the fastest-growing jobs in America will be in low-wage sectors, according to projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. ...
Could San Francisco's economy make a case for Obama's proposed minimum wage hike? New research suggests that the city's decision to raise the minimum wage above federal standards a decade ago has paid off and may be a model for change at the federal level. Published as a book by University of California, Berkeley economists in January, "When Mandates Work: Raising Labor Standards at the Local Level" takes aim at one of the main arguments levied against raising the national minimum wage from $7.25 to Obama's proposed $10. ...
Obamacare has not yet turned America into a nation of part-time workers, as many of its strongest critics have long said it would. In fact, the opposite seems to be happening, according to new government numbers published Friday: The number of part-time jobs is actually shrinking, and full-time jobs are being created instead. Specifically, the number of part-time workers in the U.S. fell in February to about 27.3 million, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. That number is down by about 300,000 since March 2010, when the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, became law. ...
Here's how to write content to maximize the likelihood of being found in search engines and get your prospects to take action.
It took a mandatory Securities and Exchange Commission filing, but McDonald's appears to have finally acknowledged the obvious in its recently-issued 2013 annual report: it may have to pay its workers more money.
In a report that has both good and bad news for the American workforce, February payrolls appeared to shake off analysts' cold-weather concerns, adding a solid 175,000 jobs and revising job counts for the prior two months up by a total of 25,000.
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