Posts Tagged ‘Aviva’

The Week Unpeeled

Big news week all around, with headlines too close to home on the shooting outside the Empire State Building on Friday to a big week for Apple, which first became the largest US company ever by market-cap value, besting Microsoft at nearly $625 billion, making the company an economic but also social powerhouse.  Apple then won a “sweeping victory” in its court battle against Samsung ($1.05 billion in damages) when jurors found Samsung infringed on several patent issues, which may affect how competing smartphones are designed.

Elsewhere:

  • Prince Harry exposes himself and most of the media did anything but help him cover up, despite palace warnings (pleas) to keep what happened in Vegas for Harry in Vegas;
  • Lance Armstrong was stripped of all his record seven Tour de France titles after announcing that he will no longer fight anti-charges against him (and The Wall Street Journal on Saturday distastefully repeated a joke from one comic on Lance that he now doubts “Amstrong’s story that he walked on the moon” even though Neil Amstrong had just died);
  • The Dow declined for the week despite a Friday rally to end to close down 0.9 percent to 13,157;
  • “The Office” announced that it this was its last season and that Dwight no doubt will end up a beet farmer;
  • Phyllis Diller, American comedienne died, and Augusta National admitted its first two female members (In interesting juxtaposition, a Diller tribute on the front page of The New York Times Tuesday showed a picture of Ms Diller pointing right and apparently laughing to the neighboring story on Masters story on finally admitting women;
  • The U.K. economy shrank less than initially estimated in the second quarter after construction and production output were revised to show a smaller slump;
  • Thousands of Aviva's UK employees are in fear for their jobs after the FTSE 100 insurer released a statement warning it could currently guarantee only 70pc of their jobs;
  • Standard & Poor's has downgraded its outlook for HSBC Holdings from stable to negative. HSBC has already set aside $700m (£442m) to cover potential fines for channeling funds from countries such as Iran, Mexico and Syria, in breach of US anti-money laundering regulations; and
  • Diageo, the world's biggest producer of spirits, has reported a big jump in annual profits, thanks in part to strong sales and acquisitions in emerging markets. End of Story
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It pays to scream in pastel colors, with Munch’s Home-Alone-ish piece selling for $119 million, the most expensive artwork at auction ever, signaling a hot art market unlike a not hot stock market last week with the Dow recording its largest drop in a month amid a weak jobs picture.  Blue chips ended down 1.4 percent for the week at 13,038.  The jobless rate inched down to 8.1 percent in April from 8.2 percent in March (reflecting job seekers saying uncle more than job seekers finding jobs), with non-farm payroll adding a much weaker-than-expected 115,000 jobs.

Elsewhere:

  • Facebook prepped for its IPO scheduled for May 18 with a targeted valuation of $96 billion (that’s a lot of Screams);
  • Carlyle priced its IPO at $22 per share, below initial estimates, and stayed near that level throughout opening day;
  • Yahoo CEO is under fire (mostly from a hedge-fund investor) for fudging on his resume;
  • Rupert Murdoch was called by parliament as “not a fit person” to lead a big media company like News Corp;
  • Buffett hosted his annual meeting amid succession talk;
  • Bosses at insurance giant Aviva were left humiliated after their multi-million pound bonuses were rejected by investors at their annual meeting;
  • The Coalition government suffered at the local elections; Labour made key breakthroughs in the best night for the party since 1997;
  • The Bacs Family Finance Tracker, which analysed the spending habits of almost 5,000 families, revealed that the downturn has led to Brits becoming more savvy and frugal when it comes to their cash; and
  • I’ll Have Another wins the Kentucky Derby. CJP
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