US FINANCIAL MARKET
U.S. stocks edged lower at the open on Wednesday, with indexes pulling back from record levels, though analysts viewed the market’s recent uptrend as intact
- The World Bank cut its forecast for global growth due to the impact of the Ukraine crisis and a harsh U.S. winter. It left the estimate for world growth in 2015 unchanged at 3.4 percent.
- Global M&A deal volume this quarter is $992 billion, not seen since before the global financial crisis, is back.
Amazon isn’t accepting pre-orders for Warner Bros. movies on its website, the latest of the online retailer’s contract feuds to spill into public view
- Customers trying to pre-order films such as “The Lego Movie,” “300: Rise of an Empire” and “Winter’s Tale” are instead asked to sign up to be notified with the item becomes available.
- Digital downloads of the movies are available for purchase through Amazon Instant Video.
- On a separate note, Amazon.com plans to launch a marketplace for local services, from babysitting to party clowns, beginning with a single market.
CBS Corporation Launches the Split-Off of CBS Outdoor
- CBS plans to fully divest its 81% ownership in CBS Outdoor Americas through an exchange offer that is expected to be tax-free for participating shareholders in the U.S.
Bank of America has reached an impasse in negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice
- The talks stalled on Monday after the bank’s latest offer of more than $12 billion to resolve state and federal investigations into its sale of mortgage investments fell far short of prosecutors’ demands, the New York Times reported.
MasterCard expects big growth from ‘big data’ insights
- MasterCard, which handles payments for 2 billion cardholders and tens of millions of merchants, uses that information to generate real-time data on consumer trends.
- MasterCard’s “other revenues”, which include the sale of data, grew 22 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to $341 million, outpacing the growth of total revenue dominated by payments processing, which rose 14 percent to $2.177 billion.
Uber Protests snarl Paris traffic as London cabs gather
- Traffic snarled in parts of Madrid and Paris today, with a total of more than 30,000 taxi and limo drivers from London to Berlin.
- Uber is fighting its biggest protest yet from European drivers who say the smartphone application threatens their livelihoods.
Goldman says keeping U.S. oil-export ban helps economy
- A 1975 federal law bans most shipments overseas, with only deliveries of refined products including gasoline and diesel allowed.
- A four-decade-old U.S. ban on crude exports should remain until a “saturation” point when domestic refining capacity becomes insufficient to absorb increased oil production.
- Supporters of the ban say keeping U.S.-produced oil at home helps reduce fuel prices for industry and consumers.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
Lew says as U.S. economy gains traction, income equality stands as ultimate test
- U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that the lack of progress on wages and employment remains disappointing.
EUROPE & WORLD
The World Bank cut its global economic growth forecast for 2014 to 2.8 percent from 3.2 percent due to the impact of the Ukraine crisis and a harsh U.S. winter
- The U.S. forecast was reduced to 2.1 percent from 2.8 percent.
- Russia forecast was reduced to 0.5 percent from 2.2 percent.
- The bank sees Ukraine contracting 5 percent.
- The forecast for Japan was trimmed to 1.3 percent from 1.4 percent.
- The forecast for Brazil was reduced to 1.5 percent from 2.4 percent.
- The forecast for China was trimmed to 7.6 percent growth from 7.7 percent.
- The forecast for India was reduced to 5.5 percent from 6.2 percent.
EU investigates tax rulings on Apple, Starbucks, and Fiat
- The EU is checking whether the tax deals in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are illegal state aid.
- The EU inquiry comes amid a global crackdown on tax-avoidance as governments struggle to increase revenue and reduce deficits.
Emirates cancels 70-plane A350 order in blow to Airbus and Rolls
- Airbus suffered what could be the jet industry’s worst cancellation and a setback to its newest aircraft on Wednesday when Dubai’s Emirates scrapped a $16 billion order for the A350.
- Rolls-Royce makes the engines for the plane.
- Both Airbus and Emirates said the decision to cancel the A350 resulted from a review of Emirates’ fleet requirements, but the airline did not give specific reasons.
- Airbus and Boeing have dismissed warnings of a ‘bubble’ in commercial aircraft orders, which remained robust throughout the financial crisis.
E Zara owner Inditex and H&M report strong sales growth
- The world’s two top fashion retailers are benefiting from a recovery in consumer spending in their core markets in Europe.
Gazprom moves gas prepayment deadline for Ukraine to June 16
- Ukraine wants to change the 2009 contract that locked it into buying a set volume of gas, whether it needs it or not, at $485 per 1,000 cubic metres – the highest price paid by any customer in Europe.
- Ukraine rejected a Russian proposal that would reduce the price it pays Moscow for natural gas by more than 20 percent and ruled out paying its gas debts until a pricing deal is reached.
TODAY in HISTORY
- Capt. James Cook discovered the Great Barrier Reef off Australia (1770)
- Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first horse to capture the Triple Crown (1919)
- Seattle Slew won the Belmont Stakes, capturing the Triple Crown (1977)
- Timothy McVeigh, the 1995 Oklahoma City bomber, was executed (2001)
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