Nov 5th

Hallmark to Cut 225 Jobs, Shut Down Part Supplies Business

By Betty
Hallmark to Cut 225 Jobs, Shut Down Part Supplies Business
 
Hallmark Cards announced on Tuesday it will reduce its payroll by at least 225 jobs over the next 20 months as it eliminates its party supplies business due to weaker-than-expected revenue performance.  According to the report, the nation's largest maker of greeting cards will cut between 125 and 150 jobs in the next 20 months, while also cutting another 100 or so jobs by streamlining its flagship greeting card business.
 
Nov 5th

Burger King Unveils Big Mac Rival Sandwich

By Dave Simmons
Burger King Unveils Big Mac Rival Sandwich
 
Burger King upped the ante this week in its ongoing efforts to capture market share from the world's largest fast food chain, McDonald's, introducing a rival to its competitor's popular Big Mac sandwich.  The smaller burger chain unveiled a revamped menu on Tuesday, featuring the “Big King,” a burger the company initially introduced as a limited-time item several years ago.  The initial incarnation of the Big King, however, did not include a bun in the middle, like the Big Mac, but the Miami-based burger chain is including the middle bun this time around, as well as making the sandwich a permanent menu item.
 
Oct 17th

Jobless Claims Decline Despite Partial Government Shutdown

By Betty
Jobless Claims Decline Despite Partial Government Shutdown
 
The US Labor Department reported Thursday that initial claims for unemployment benefits edged lower last week, but economists cautioned that the figure is still being distorted by an issue with government computers in California that6 created a backlog in that state's claims data.  The Golden State upgraded its computers last month, leading to delays in reporting applications for jobless assistance.  The state of Michigan also upgraded its systems recently, leading to a similar backlog, though that impact on the federal totals was not nearly as significant as the impact of California, the nation's most populous state.
 
Oct 10th

Israeli Drugmaker Teva to Cut Payroll by 10 percent

By Betty
Israeli Drugmaker Teva to Cut Payroll by 10 percent

Israeli drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries announced Thursday it is scaling back costs in an attempt to save about $2 billion a year, continuing a growing trend in the global pharmaceutical industry.  Rival Merck & Co. revealed a similar plan last week, vowing to save $2.5 billion a year by reducing payroll by 8,500 positions, about 10 percent of its global workforce, and Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sonafi have all taken similar measures at some point in the last two years.  Teva's plan, meanwhile, calls for about 5,000 layoffs, accounting for a payroll reduction of about 10 percent for the company.
Oct 10th

Men's Wearhouse Rejects Merger with Jos. A Bank Clothiers

By Ronnie
Men's Wearhouse Rejects Merger with Jos. A Bank Clothiers

Men's Wearhouse on Wednesday rebuked a buyout offer from rival Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, claiming the proposed deal would bring antitrust scrutiny.  Men's Wearhouse CEO Douglas S. Ewert also called the proposal “highly opportunistic,” and claimed that the retailer's current strategy would create more value for its shareholders than Jos. A. Bank's “inadequate, highly conditional proposal”.  Bank had extended the offer earlier this week, offering to pay $48 a share for its bigger rival.  The offer represented a 36 percent premium over the Tuesday closing price of Men's Wearhouse shares.
Oct 2nd

3,000 Airline Safety Inspectors Furloughed by Govt. Shutdown

By Mike Goldman
3,000 Airline Safety Inspectors Furloughed by Govt. Shutdown
Safety for American airline passengers will be a bit more of a concern this week as 3,000 air safety inspectors have been furloughed as a result of the partial government shutdown.  In all, the Federal Aviation Administration has furloughed nearly a third of its 46,000 employees, including about 3,000 members of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists union, which was “outraged” to learn of the furlough of its members.  The safety inspectors' duties include inspecting commercial jetliners and their pilots, verifying that there are no problems that could endanger passengers and crew aboard the planes.  A spokesman for the FAA said that it's business as usual, and that flights will not be affected by the furlough, but Congress could take action if there proves to be an insufficient number of safety inspectors to keep flights running.
Oct 2nd

BlackBerry Draws Interest from Private Equity Firms

By Kelly Curtis
BlackBerry Draws Interest from Private Equity Firms
Reports surfaced Wednesday that BlackBerry has drawn interest from several private equity firms including Cerberus.  The interest comes just a week after the ailing mobile OS firm posted a quarterly loss of nearly $1 billion.  The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the new interest in BlackBerry, which has declined to comment.  Several sources reported that Cerberus was just one of several parties interested in acquiring BlackBerry, though no other firms were named.  BlackBerry has struggled in recent years to keep up with Google's Android platform and Apple's iOS, prompting the company to accept a tentative buyout offer late last month.  The offer came from Fairfax Financial Holdings, which offered $4.7 billion for the smartphone maker, which is in the midst of a six-week shop period during which additional offers can be entertained.  None of the reports that surfaced Wednesday indicated whether Cerberus has made an offer yet.
Sep 17th

Consumer Prices Gain Just 0.1 Percent

By Ronnie
Consumer Prices Gain Just 0.1 Percent

The US Labor Department reported Tuesday that consumer prices rose in August, but not by enough to convince the Fed to speed up its plan for tapering its ongoing stimulus programs.  According to the report, the consumer price index gained 0.1 percent in August following a 0.2 percent gain in July.  Core prices also rose just 0.1 percent according to the report, indicating that tame inflation is affecting prices of more than just the volatile energy and food categories excluded from the core price reading.
Sep 17th

Household Incomes Little Changed in 2012

By Mike Goldman
Household Incomes Little Changed in 2012

Average household incomes in the US leveled off last year, according to a report from the US Census Bureau, issued Tuesday.  The report showed that incomes held steady from 2011 to 2012 after falling in each of the previous two years.  In 2011, according to the report, the median household income in the US was $51,100, less than $100 above 2012's median household income of $51,017.  The median is the midpoint of household incomes across the country, meaning half the reported incomes are above that point and the other half are below.
Sep 10th

Twitter Pulls Trigger on Biggest Acquisition Ever

By Frank Galvano
Twitter Pulls Trigger on Biggest Acquisition Ever

Twitter Inc. announced Tuesday it has agreed to purchase mobile advertising startup MoPub Inc. for $350 million in what will easily be the company's largest acquisition yet.  Both Twitter and MoPub revealed the agreement in blog postings, though neither responded to requests for interviews.  The deal will allow Twitter to add a real-time bidding process to its already successful advertising platform.  While Twitter would not comment, analysts said the move is a pivotal part of the microblogging giant's previously stated goal of surpassing $1 billion in annual revenue by 2014.

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