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Apple shares reach 2014 highs, Asian stocks lag
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:44:50 -0400 -

Man looks at an electronic board displaying Japan's Nikkei average and various countries' stock indices outside a brokerage in TokyoBy Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) - Shares in tech heavyweights Apple and Facebook held hefty after-hours gains on Thursday as their results handily outpaced Wall Street expectations, though Asian markets managed only a mumbled cheer on the news. South Korea's Samsung Electronics did gain 0.6 percent but the main KOSPI index dipped a fraction. Markets were mixed across the region with Japan's Nikkei off 0.6 percent but Singapore up 0.5 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged ahead by 0.1 percent.

Apple expands buybacks by $30 billion, OKs 7-for-1 stock split
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:59:23 -0400 -

Apple's iPad devices are displayed at its store in TokyoBy Edwin Chan SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc has approved another $30 billion in share buybacks till the end of 2015 and authorized a rarely seen seven-for-one stock split, addressing calls to share more of its cash hoard while broadening the stock's appeal to individual investors. Activist investor Carl Icahn, who had famously called on the iPhone maker to boost its buyback program, tweeted his approval of the move on Wednesday. On Wednesday, Apple reported sales of 43.7 million iPhones in the quarter ended March, far outpacing the roughly 38 million that Wall Street had predicted. But whether Apple can again produce a revolutionary new product remains the central question in investors' and Silicon Valley executives' minds.

Buffett: moving oil by rail safely major industry concern
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:54:59 -0400 -

Buffett, co-chair of the 10,000 Small Businesses Advisory Council, takes part in a panel discussion in Detroit, MichiganBy Luciana Lopez NEW YORK (Reuters) - Warren Buffett, chairman of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway , said on Wednesday that safety is a major priority for the rail industry, after a recent spate of accidents raised concerns about how to transport oil safely. He added that the delay in the construction of the Keystone pipeline was unlikely to prompt additional purchases of tank cars at Berkshire railroad unit BNSF. COCA-COLA COMPENSATION PLAN Buffett also said, in an interview with CNBC the same day, that he thinks Coca-Cola's equity compensation plan was excessive, but that Berkshire Hathaway abstained in a shareholders vote. Earlier on Wednesday, Coca-Cola said 83 percent of shareholders approved the plan.

Wall Street snaps six-day run; Apple to split stock
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:47:31 -0400 -

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dipped on Wednesday to snap a six-session winning streak as gains in Boeing and Gilead were offset by slides in AT&T and the wider biotech sector. AT&T Inc fell 3.8 percent to $34.92 a day after the Dow component reported earnings that beat expectations, offset by weak service revenue growth. Verizon Communications shed 1 percent to $47.43 while the S&P telecom sector index dropped 2.2 percent, easily making it the session's worst-performing sector. Biotech shares pulled the Nasdaq lower.

Qualcomm faces China bribery allegations from U.S. regulator
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:23:22 -0400 -

A Qualcomm sign is seen at one of Qualcomm's numerous buildings located on its San Diego CampusBy Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Leading mobile chipmaker Qualcomm said on Wednesday it could face a civil action from U.S. authorities over alleged bribery of officials associated with state-owned companies in China. With smartphone sales tapering off in the United States, China is a major market for Qualcomm, but doing business there has included disagreements over royalties and an antitrust investigation. In its fiscal second-quarter report, Qualcomm said it has received a notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission's Los Angeles office advising it of a preliminary determination to recommend an enforcement action against the company for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Qualcomm said the civil action could seek remedies including "disgorgement of profits, the retention of an independent compliance monitor to review the company's FCPA policies and procedures, an injunction, civil monetary penalties and prejudgment interest." Qualcomm said it first learned of and disclosed the SEC investigation in 2012.

Exclusive: White House considers former banking lawyer for Fed board - sources
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:06:06 -0400 -

The facade of the U.S. Federal Reserve building is reflected on wet marble during the early morning hours in WashingtonBy Jonathan Spicer and Emily Stephenson NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former lawyer with the American Bankers Association is being considered by the White House as a possible nominee to the board of the Federal Reserve, according to sources familiar with the efforts The lawyer's name emerged as the White House weighs candidates with community banking backgrounds to fill gaps on the Federal Reserve's powerful but depleted board, the sources said. People familiar with the White House's process said administration officials may fill one of the remaining openings with someone with banking experience, as opposed to an economist. Two sources said the administration is considering Diana Preston, a lawyer who recently left a post at the American Bankers Association, which represents many small banks.

Facebook first-quarter revenue grows 72 percent on rising mobile ads
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:07:16 -0400 -

The loading screen of the Facebook application on a mobile phone is seen in this photo illustration taken in LavignyBy Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's mobile advertising business accelerated in the first three months of the year, helping the Internet social networking company top Wall Street's financial targets. Shares of Facebook were up nearly 3 percent at $63.05 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Facebook said that mobile ads represented 59 percent of its ad revenue in the first quarter, up from 30 percent in the year-ago period. Facebook's overall revenue grew 72 percent year-on-year to $2.5 billion in the first quarter, above the $2.36 billion expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. "They've got the right products for what advertisers are looking for and that's manifesting itself in the results you're seeing," said JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey.

Exclusive: Marubeni says Chinese authorities detain three staff at grain unit
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:28:15 -0400 -

A logo of Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp on headquarters in TokyoBy James Topham and Niu Shuping TOKYO/BEIJING (Reuters) - Three employees at one of Marubeni Corp's grain trading units in China have been detained by authorities, the Japanese trading house said on Thursday, a move sources told Reuters was prompted by allegations the unit evaded taxes on soy bean imports. The employees worked at a Chinese unit of Marubeni's Columbia Grain, Inc, a spokesman at the trading company said. The detentions may signal further complications in strained relations between Japan and China. Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd has paid almost $40 million to Chinese claimants, stemming from a wartime claim after the seizure of one of its ships by a court in Shanghai, media in Japan said on Thursday.

U.S. new home sales hint at prolonged housing weakness
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:26:24 -0400 -

New home is being built next to a home with a for sale sign on a street in Vienna, on the morning the National Association of Realtors issues its Pending Home Sales for February report, in VirginiaBy Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sales of new U.S. single-family homes tumbled to their lowest level in eight months in March, dashing hopes for a quick turnaround for a sector that fell into a soft patch last summer.

Wal-Mart says former CEO Scott to retire from board
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:07:38 -0400 -

A man stands on a skateboard outside a Wal-Mart store in Williston(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said former Chief Executive Officer Lee Scott and board member Chris Williams will not stand for re-election to the retailer's board. Scott will complete his service as director at the company's annual shareholders' meeting on June 6, "in line with Walmart`s historical practice for its prior CEOs' Board service," the company said in a statement on Wednesday. Scott had joined Wal-Mart in 1979 and served as its chief executive officer from 2000 till 2009. Williams, chief of The Williams Capital Group, is stepping down from the board after 10 years, in accordance with the company's corporate governance guidelines, Wal-Mart said.

Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:11:15 -0400 -

FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2013 file photo, a woman using a phone walks past Apple's logo near its retail outlet in Beijing. Apple reports quarterly earnings on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is doling out more of its cash to shareholders and preparing to split its stock for the first time in nine years in an attempt to win back investors fretting about the iPhone maker's slowing sales growth and pace of innovation.

Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:36:00 -0400 -

FILE - This Tuesday, July 16, 2013 file photo shows a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook reports quarterly earnings on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook's earnings nearly tripled and revenue grew sharply in the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations thanks to an 82 percent increase in advertising revenue.

Russian social media CEO quits, flees country
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:28:38 -0400 -

A user of Russia’s leading social network internet site VKontakte, poses holding an iPhone showing the account page of Pavel Durov, the former CEO and founder of VKontakte, in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The network’s founder, Pavel Durov, described as Russia’s Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook), left his post as CEO on Tuesday April 22, 2014, and is reported to have left Russia, one week after he posted online what he said were documents from the security services demanding personal details from 39 Ukraine-linked groups on VKontakte.(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)MOSCOW (AP) — The founder of Russia's leading social media network — a wunderkind often described as Russia's Mark Zuckerberg — has left his post as CEO and fled the country as cronies of President Vladimir Putin have made steady inroads into the company's ownership.

Asian stocks mixed on Obama visit, US dip
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:39:01 -0400 - TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares lacked a clear direction in early Thursday trading as players took a mostly wait-and-see view ahead of talks between Japan's prime minister and visiting President Barack Obama.
US stocks edge lower after a six-day rise
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:08:50 -0400 -

Trader Gregory Rowe, left, and specialist Frank Masiello work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The stock market slipped Wednesday after rallying for six straight days as investors worked through another round of quarterly earnings reports from U.S. companies. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged mostly lower Wednesday, breaking a six-day winning streak, as investors were disappointed by the latest round of earnings from U.S. companies.

China to open 8 state industries for investment
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:09:42 -0400 - BEIJING (AP) — China's government says it will open 80 projects in eight state-run industries to private and foreign investors as part of efforts to make its slowing economy more productive.
Wellness programs grow more popular with employers
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:59:08 -0400 -

In this Thursday, April 10, 2014 photo, Dominion Resources Inc. nuclear power station plant manager, Roy Simmons talks about his participation in a wellness program at the plant in Surry, Va. Dominion started offering a $400 premium credit a couple of years ago for employees who agreed to have a health assessment. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)That little voice nagging you to put down the cake and lace up the running shoes is increasingly coming from your employer and is likely to grow louder with a looming change under the federal health care overhaul.

Q&A: A French economist's grim view of wealth gap
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:58:02 -0400 -

This undated photo provided by Harvard Press shows French economist Thomas Piketty. In his new book, Piketty, who helped popularize the notion of a privileged 1 percent, sounds a grim warning: The U.S. economy is beginning to decay into the aristocratic Europe of the 19th century. (AP Photo/Harvard Press, Emmanuelle Marchadour)NEW YORK (AP) — In a new book, Thomas Piketty, the French economist who helped popularize the notion of a privileged 1 percent, sounds a grim warning: The U.S. economy has begun to decay into the pattern of aristocratic Europe of the 19th century. Hard work will matter less, inherited wealth more. The fortunes of the few will unsettle the foundations of democracy.

FCC to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:28:25 -0400 - LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new open Internet rules that would allow content companies to pay for faster delivery over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes, but enhance scrutiny of such deals so they don't harm competition or limit free speech.
Amazon snares classic shows in deal with HBO
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:34:15 -0400 -

FILE - In this file photo, originally released by HBO in 2007, Edie Falco portrays Carmela Soprano and James Gandolfini is Tony Soprano in a scene from one of the last episodes of the hit HBO dramatic series "The Sopranos." Amazon is teaming up with HBO, the first such streaming arrangement agreed to by the cable network, in a deal that will make available to Amazon Prime members some classic TV like "The Sopranos" and "The Wire." (AP Photo/HBO, Craig Blankenhorn, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Fans of classic HBO shows like "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" will soon have access to those series and more through Amazon Prime in the first online streaming deal signed by the cable network.

Samsung to Host “Samsung Gear App Challenge” for Gear 2 Apps
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:55:27 -0400 -

Samsung to Host “Samsung Gear App Challenge” for Gear 2 AppsSummary: Samsung Gear App Challenge, a worldwide app challenge for Gear 2 apps, will be held, vitalizing the wearable app market. From May 8, developers can apply for the challenge by registering their apps developed …

Anatomy of an Overnight Success
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:49:24 -0400 - As I know all too well, managing group activities can be difficult. Of course, in crisis there is opportunity. These days, nearly 7 million people around the world use TeamSnap to manage sports and other activities, is hitting its stride. The company raised a $7.5 million venture capital round led by the Foundry Group at the beginning of the year. It's no understatement to claim that it is becoming a must-use app for everyone involved in youth sports: "Before TeamSnap, did kids ever make it to their soccer games?" Earlier this week, I sat down with Dave DuPont, CEO of TeamSnap, to find
Business Is Nothing But the Blues
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:47:33 -0400 - This week, I released a collection of new recordings on Amazon. While my six-song EP is unlikely to set any sales records, it's one of my biggest personal achievements -- on par with starting my own company.
Building a Successful Brand
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:45:29 -0400 -

Building a Successful BrandElton is on top of his game and proves that you really can have it all, on and off the court. Read along and find out what it takes to reach entrepreneurial success and achieve all around greatness.

Five Keys To BRAVE Innovation
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:27:44 -0400 - In most industries, the lowest cost player makes money selling large quantities of product or service at a low price with great discipline. The differentiated player makes money selling smaller quantities of product or service at a relatively high price fueled by value-creating innovation. Those in the middle lose. This note provides a look at the five keys to BRAVE Innovation, a cross between the ideas in Peter Skarzynski and David Crosswhite's The Innovator's Field Guide, with my own BRAVE leadership framework. ...
All Reputation Management Tools Are Not Created Equal
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:22:36 -0400 -

All Reputation Management Tools Are Not Created EqualAn over-reliance on a familiar tool is a concept made famous by American psychologist Abraham Maslow who in 1966 said: "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail." Recently, I worked on two interesting yet vastly different online reputation problems, and the experiences affirmed to me that even though online reputation management issues are diverse, "hammers" are very popular. The first involved a company that was fighting a disparaging and defamatory online forum posting. ...

8 Simple Steps to Acquiring a Small Business
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:48:18 -0400 -

8 Simple Steps to Acquiring a Small BusinessHaving bought a number of small companies and frankly having sold my companies to bigger companies a number of times, I have found the following eight steps to be essential in this process.

Design: Matching Innovation Types to Organizational Capabilities
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:24:12 -0400 - Corporations and governments proclaim that design and innovation, are the twin engines for future progress, especially within the Creative Economy. Nothing new here, - since innovation has fueled the explosive development of the last two hundred years. However, most are still unclear on exactly what innovation entails. ...
Macy's, the Gap, Walmart: Does Customer Service Really Matter?
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:20:16 -0400 -

Macy's, the Gap, Walmart: Does Customer Service Really Matter?Does customer service really matter? It seems like an obvious question to answer, but, given the results of a consumer survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI), "conventional wisdom" may be wrong on this one. From a consumer PR perspective, and by examining consumer buying habits, a large majority of people, based on their practices care more about other aspects of their shopping experience than customer service. Here are five companies which the survey said had bad customer service -- and why they still manage to clean up at the cash register: 1. ...

Why Marketing and Sales Are Inseparable?
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:11:24 -0400 -

Why Marketing and Sales Are Inseparable?Your content marketing will attract customers seeking to solve the problems you are best at solving. When that happens, your sales efforts will be about determining if you can help, not convincing them of your talents.

The Bond Market Disagrees With The Fed: So What's New About That?
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:58:42 -0400 -

The Bond Market Disagrees With The Fed: So What's New About That?Bond traders seem to have seen Steve Martin's The Man With Two Brains so often they have forgotten it was a comedy. And these are the folks the equity markets are supposed to pay attention to?

Judith Rodin: Director of the Day
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:35:00 -0400 -

Judith Rodin: Director of the DayJudith Rodin is president of The Rockefeller Foundation, which held $3.7 billion in assets as of its 2012 annual report. That year, the foundation distributed $130 million in grants and charitable activities while taking in a net investment income of $283 million.

Women in Business: Q&A with Mandy Edwards, Owner, ME Marketing Services
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:48:11 -0400 - Mandy Edwards is the owner of ME Marketing Services, a social media marketing company that provides consulting, management and coaching to businesses in the United States and Canada. A graduate of the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, Mandy has 12+ years of sales & marketing experience. Mandy is a founding board member of the online social media organization, the Social Solutions Collective.
9 Tools for Engineering Growth
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:13:28 -0400 -

9 Tools for Engineering GrowthAs technology continues to evolve, so does the way users interact with it, making new and innovative user acquisition strategies necessary as well. Growth engineering requires equal parts marketing, technology and creativity, which is why the best toolboxes are as diverse as they are ever-changing.

Demystifying Credit Scores
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:33:24 -0400 -

Demystifying Credit ScoresFortunately, if your credit score has taken a hit, you can initiate several actions that will begin improving it almost immediately. Just be aware that it can take many years to recover from severe credit-damaging situation such as bankruptcy or foreclosure.

Putin Is Losing Eastern European Energy Gamble
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:22:31 -0400 - Russian President Vladimir Putin said he doesn't think the European community can do without the natural gas it gets from energy monopoly Gazprom. With a Russian economy starting to decline, however, it may be Gazprom that's too strongly interconnected to the European market to break free.
What's Wrong With Silicon Valley's No-Poach Rule?
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:27:34 -0400 -

What's Wrong With Silicon Valley's No-Poach Rule?What's revealed in these arrangements is striking: a belief that, once you've hired someone, you have bought the power to control their future when they work for you -- even after they've quit. In other words, you own them.

The One Chart That Explains Our Grim Economic Future
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:07:41 -0400 -

The One Chart That Explains Our Grim Economic FutureIf you're looking for somebody to blame for rising inequality, blame babies. A drop-off in population growth is a big reason why global economic growth is going to slow down in the decades ahead, French economist Thomas Piketty points out in his new book, Capital in the 21st Century. The top-selling book on is getting a lot of attention for its predictions of soaring wealth concentration and inequality and its call for a massive global tax on the wealthy.

Growing Discount Airlines Learn The Hard Way You Can't Leave Workers Behind
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:03:29 -0400 -

Growing Discount Airlines Learn The Hard Way You Can't Leave Workers BehindJetBlue and Southwest Airlines are starting to look less like innovative upstarts -- complete with low fares and unusual perks -- and more like their stodgy competitors. As they age, they may have less room to treat workers well, and employees are starting to respond. JetBlue’s pilots voted to unionize Tuesday, ending the airline’s status as the biggest U.S. carrier without organized labor groups. ...

These 11 Genius Business Cards Put Everyone Else's To Shame
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:57:30 -0400 -

These 11 Genius Business Cards Put Everyone Else's To ShameIf you think the Internet has rendered business cards obsolete, it probably just means you need a better idea. The fact is, the vast majority of Americans still exchange cards when they first meet, according to a recent survey by DesignCrowd, a crowdsourcing site that sells business card designs. You just need make sure your card stands out among the rest. If you're struggling to think outside the box, here's some inspiration. For the fitness guru who wants to show off those downward-facing digits. Or the yoga instructor who is ready to roll. For the plastic surgeon who is well-endowed.

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