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Dow Jones News Top Stories Of The Day – January 5, 2007 January 5, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Economic News.
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US DECEMBER JOB GROWTH SURGES DESPITE HOUSING SLUMP

Non-farm payrolls increase by 167,000 jobs in December, after growing a revised 154,000 in November and 86,000 in October, in another sign the economy is weathering the nation’s housing slump and manufacturing sector weakness. Jobless rate is unchanged at 4.5%, while average hourly earnings rise 0.5% to $17.04. Economists had expected a 115,000-job increase in payrolls and a 0.3% rise in hourly earnings.

MOTOROLA SLIDES ON 4Q PROFIT WARNING

Shares fall 8% as Motorola warns it will miss 4Q targets because of poor sales in mobile phone division. It now expects EPS of 13c-16c, on revenue of $11.6 billion to $11.8 billion. Warning portends continued struggles for wireless handset makers.

BEST BUY, CIRCUIT CITY POST SALES GAINS

Electronics retailers post better-than-expected December sales, boosted by heavily discounted sales of flat-panel TVs. Best Buy same-store sales rise 7%, while Circuit City’s increase 4.2%. Best Buy shares up 1%; Circuit City falls 3%.

FED’S MINEHAN EXPECTS INFLATION TO COOL

Boston Fed President Cathy Minehan says the U.S. economy appears set for rising growth and slowing inflation in 2007, but what happens with price pressures still remains the central bank’s biggest challenge.

INTEL SLIPS AFTER CUT ON COMPETITION CONCERNS

Shares fall 1% after Credit Suisse downgrades chip maker to underperform from neutral, citing valuation and competition concerns. South Korea also announces that Intel will close its only research and development center there.

COWEN FALLS AS END OF LOCKUP NEARS

Shares of Cowen Group, the U.S. investment bank spun off from France’s Societe Generale last summer, fall 5% as investors expect fallout from the expiration next week of a lockup on stock sales by the French bank.

DELPHI $4.5B REFINANCING APPROVED

Judge approves Dephi’s bid to refinance its bankruptcy reorganization with a $4.5 billion loan, which company says will save it $8 million a month. Deal includes terms relating to possible struggle for control of Delphi.

TENNECO NAMES SHERRILL CHAIRMAN, CEO

Tenneco names Gregg Sherrill its new chairman and CEO as the auto parts supplier prepares for a year in which it expects double-digit sales growth but also challenges such as high raw material costs. Shares down 1%.

WAL-MART NAMES HOLLEY EXEC VP, FINANCE

Retail giant promotes Charles Holley to executive vice president, finance and treasurer. Steve Whaley also promoted to senior vice president, controller.

FDA APPROVES PFIZER DRUG TO TREAT OBESE DOGS

Food and Drug Administration approves the first prescription drug to treat obese dogs. The drug, Slentrol, is made by Pfizer and is designed to reduce appetite and fat absorption in order to produce weight loss.

EX-MERRILL ANALYST GETS 37 MONTHS IN PRISON

Stanislav Shpigelman is sentenced to 37 months in prison after pleading guilty last year to an insider-trading charge. Prosecutors say the scheme netted more than $6 million in illicit gains.

BERNANKE SAYS FED’S SUPERVISORY ROLE KEY

Fed chairman defends the central bank’s dual role of setting monetary policy and supervising banks, arguing that each role helps the Fed deal with potential threats to financial stability.

FREDDIE MAC PUTS 3Q LOSS AT $550M

Mortgage giant estimates a 3Q loss of $550 million, compared to a profit of $880 million a year ago, which CEO says reflects interest-rate volatility. Firm also predicts 4Q loss. Shares fall 1%.

XM SATELLITE ENDS YEAR WITH 7.6M SUBSCRIBERS

The country’s largest satellite-radio provider adds 442,000 new net subscribers during 4Q. Analysts are modestly disappointed with the subscriber number, but say it reflects a soft retail market for satellite radios. XM shares up 2%.

LIFEPOINT LOOKS TO RESUME ACQUISITIONS

Hospital operator expects to refocus on acquisitions this year, possibly with hospital purchases. LifePoint expects 2007 EPS of $2.42-$2.52, on revenue of $2.68 billion-$2.69 billion. Analysts expect EPS of $2.62 on revenue of nearly $2.67 billion.

ANHEUSER SHIPMENTS TO WHOLESALERS UP 1.2%

Nation’s largest brewery sells more beer than ever in 2006, with U.S. shipments to wholesalers up 1.2% to 102.3 million barrels. Anheuser-Busch says increase is due to efforts to grow core brands and addition of Rolling Rock brands.

FRENCH COURT RULES AGAINST ABBOTT

Private medical-device firm, Evysio, gets ruling in its favor in a stent patent-infringement lawsuit against affiliates of Abbott Laboratories. Meanwhile, U.S. Appeals Court upholds Abbott’s request for injunction against generic copies of Biaxin XL.

BUSH RESHUFFLES NATIONAL SECURITY TEAM

President nominates intelligence veteran Mike McConnell to be national intelligence director and chooses former top spymaster, John Negroponte, to be deputy secretary of state. Bush will name Thomas P. D’Agostino to be acting head of nuclear agency.

======= DOW JONES NEWSWIRES ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARIES =======

WEEK AHEAD
Alcoa Kicks Off 4Q Earning Reports

Alcoa kicks off the quarterly earnings season Tuesday, an event that has implications for the broader debate about the health of the U.S. economy. Investors also will be digesting news of product plans from major trade shows.

BROKER’S WORLD
A Little Paranoia Can Save A Client

For financial advisors taking a broad view of clients’ affairs, thinking about dangers like a sudden storm that takes out a client’s vacation hideaway can be just as crucial as pruning risk in the investment portfolio, writes Scott Stearns.

============ U.S. MARKETS ACTION ===========
DJIA down 79.71 points to 12401.46
NASDAQ down 18.74 points to 2434.69
S&P 500 up 1.71 points to 1418.34
10-year T-note down 11/32 at 99 25/32 yield 4.618
NYMEX Spot Crude up $0.72 at $56.31/bbl at close
Dollar/Euro down 0.0088 at 1.3004

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