Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday morning

AlphaNinja - US Stocks are up a bit this morning. Analyst upgrades of Sandisk (SNDK), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Chevron (CVX) are giving a lift to shares.

Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell find a very friendly governemtn in Australia.
Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc agreed to invest in the $37 billion Gorgon natural gas venture only after Australia’s government assumed liability for potential damages hundreds of years from now. That may set a precedent in this resource-rich nation.
“Letting taxpayers ultimately take responsibility for any problems with the CO2 sequestration is a calculated risk by the government,” said Craig Wallace, a senior associate of Lavan Legal in Perth who has advised companies on Australia’s draft climate-change legislation.

Yesterday's SEC meeting resulted in a ban of "flash" trading, and tougher regulation of the ratings agencies.
The S.E.C. on Thursday proposed banning what are known as flash orders, which use powerful computers to glimpse at investors’ orders. The practice is often associated with a controversial corner of finance called high-frequency trading, which has grown, largely hidden from view, into a potent force in the markets.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, still fighting it, may lose control of Charter Communications.
Billionaire Paul Allen is in danger of getting his cable cut off. The Microsoft co-founder may lose control of bankrupt cable company Charter Communications after talks with the company's senior lenders to restructure the firm's massive debt load appear to have broken down, according to sources on both sides.

Wow. BofA is in a bit of a row with defrauded hedge fund investors.
In a ruling last week, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of United States District Court in New York refused to dismiss the case, meaning it will go to trial unless it is settled.
According to her decision, it was “standard procedure” at Bank of America Securities “to enter data about restricted stock with the same ticker in the same way as the trading stock unless otherwise instructed by the client.” By doing so, the restricted shares automatically were valued at the same price.
According to the judge, a Lancer fund bought restricted stock in one company for a bit more than four cents a share and told Bank of America to record them as being worth $1.50 each, which it did. The result was that a $1.7 million investment was shown as rising 3,384 percent, to $60 million.

Continuing on offense, Google will poach more display ads from Yahoo.
The company has built its fortune almost entirely on the back of small text ads, which appear alongside its search results and on sites across the Web. Now it is stepping up efforts to make inroads into graphical display ads, a business long dominated by Yahoo.
On Friday, the company plans to introduce a long-awaited new version of an ad exchange, like a stock market, where advertisers and publishers can buy and sell advertising space, filling spots in Web pages on the fly.

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