US stocks posted massive losses on Monday, putting a damper on what was nonetheless the best in years for the markets after Greek officials indicated they would call for a referendum vote to decide whether to submit to austerity measures included as a stipulation of the latest bailout proposal. Despite Monday's losses, the Dow gained nearly 10 percent in October, its best month since October 2008, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 each gained about 11 percent. The S&P finished the month with its biggest gain since December 1991.
According to a report issued Monday from Fiserv, a financial analytics company, prices in the US housing market are in very real jeopardy of going through a triple-dip, as prices are expected to fall another 3.6 percent by next June. If those forecasts hold true, prices would then be a staggering 35 percent below where they were in early 2006, when the market peaked before the recession took hold.
According to a story in The Telegraph, British scientists are currently developing a super laser capable of emitting a beam as powerful as all the power the Earth receives from the sun. Scientists believe the laser will be capable of ripping apart the very fabric of time and space. While such a powerful laser sounds like a new, frightening death-ray, the scientists developing it insist it will not be used as a weapon.
Sony Corp announced on Monday it will split its television business into three divisions in order to make each operation more accountable as it struggles to improve the under-performing business. With the unit headed for its 8th consecutive annual loss, the split is a part of a broad overhaul designed to make the segment profitable again. According to sources close to the deal, the plan involves the sale of Sony's nearly 50 percent stake in a joint LCD venture with Samsung.
YouTube announced over the weekend that it is planning on getting into the original entertainment game, launching a collection of over 100 new channels on the site to broadcast content from some 100 different content providers, a list that includes pop legend Madonna as well as the Wall Street Journal. Partners in the venture include celebrities, Hollywood production companies, media outlets, and more that will produce mainly niche-oriented content to appear exclusively on the video-streaming site.
After reporting staggering customer losses a week ago, which resulted in a massive drop in stock price, Netflix finally had some good news for investors when it reported Monday morning it has agreed to an extension of its licensing agreement with Disney-ABC Television Group. The extension allows Netflix to continue streaming arhived episodes of popular ABC television shows, as well as titles from the Disney Channel and ABC Family channel, while also new content to the Netflix library.
Health insurer Humana Inc issued its third-quarter results Monday, posting a 13 percent surge in profit as elderly Americans flocked to its Medicare Advantage program. The company also issued an upbeat forecast that exceeded Wall Street estimates, prompting shares of the company to rise more than 7 percent during the first half of the trading session.
One week after posting its biggest-ever quarterly loss, MF Global Holdings filed for bankruptcy protection in a US Bankruptcy Court this week, citing declared assets of $41.05 billion and debt liabilities of nearly $40 billion. MF Global, run by former New Jersey governor and Goldman Sachs head Jon Corzine, said that of its four largest unsecured creditors, four are vehicles set by Germany's Deutsche Bank, while the biggest is JP Morgan Chase, who purchased more than $1.2 billion in bonds from the securities firm.
The organizers of the Occupy Wall Street protests have reportedly filed to trademark the name, according to an application filed October 24th. The unincorporated group filed the request, indicating that it would like to use the slogan on merchandise such as T-shirts and bags, in magazines and newspapers, and on a website that will contain “ photographic, audio, video and prose presentations” related to the movement.
Hotels across the country are beginning to charge fees for everything from access to a workout room or pool to early check-ins to holding your luggage, all of which used to be free services. All of these hidden fees can add up fast, and the total amount expected top be brought in by US hotels this year is $1.8 billion, a new record-high and about 80 percent higher than 10 years ago.