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Showing posts from May 19, 2013

Metso says U.S. appeal court reverses favourable ruling

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A U.S. appeal court has overturned an earlier verdict in a patent infringement case that found in favour of Finnish engineering firm Metso, the company said on Wednesday. _0"> Metso had sued U.S.-based rival Terex Corp and other firms of infringing on its patents involving lateral folding conveyors. It said it would seek a reversal of the appeals court's decision, and expects a final outcome in 2014.  

UPDATE 1-Amazon UK pays $3.7 mln tax on $6.5 bln sales

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Amazon.com's main UK unit paid $3.7 million of taxes on its 2012 income, it said on Wednesday, despite group UK sales of $6.5 billion (4 billion pounds), prompting criticism from lawmakers and competitors. Amazon.co.uk Ltd added in its accounts, published through the UK companies register, that it received 2.5 million pounds in government grants during 2012 - just ahead of the 2.4 million it paid in corporation tax, the UK form of corporate income tax.   Corporate tax avoidance has risen to the top of the political agenda in Europe following revelations in the past couple of years about how little big names like Apple Inc., Starbucks, Google and Microsoft pay in tax in markets where they reap billions of dollars in sales. The companies say they follow the rules but UK Prime Minister David Cameron has called for international action on the shifting of profits, which can help firms cut tax bills. Amazon.co.uk reported a small corporate income tax bill because all sales to Briti

US STOCKS-Wall Street holds flat after data; Deere weighs

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U.S. stocks slipped on Wednesday, as both the Dow and S&P 500 held near their most recent record highs after a flurry of economic data did little to upset investor expectations for central bank policies.   Data showed activity in New York state's manufacturing sector unexpectedly contracted to its lowest level in four months, falling to minus 1.43 from 3.05 in April, and below expectations for an increase to 4. In addition, industrial production fell 0.5 percent in April, more than the expected 0.2 percent decline for the month. But a separate report showed producer prices recorded their largest drop in three years in April, falling by a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent, the biggest decline since February 2010, which should enable the Federal Reserve to maintain its accommodative monetary policy. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 had rallied to fresh record highs in the prior session as investor expectations central bank stimulus measures will conti

Germany's Rewe seeks buyer for consumer electronics chain

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Rewe, one of Germany's largest retailers, said it is looking to sell its ProMarkt chain of consumer electronics stores because it is unable to compete with competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com. _0"> Rewe said the stores had little prospect of a profitable future, and that with a market share of just 1.4 percent in Germany , restructuring was not appropriate.   A spokesman declined to comment on whether interest had been shown in the chain, which has 70 stores. Rewe would consider the sales of stores individually or as a package, he said. Other European electronics retailers to feel the heat from online competition include Metro AG's Media-Saturn and Darty, which is closing loss-making operations in Spain . ProMarkt saw sales drop 15.5 percent last year. By comparison, Media-Saturn, which finally started selling products online in 2011 with the acquisition of Redcoon, reported a 4 percent rise in sales in Germany for 2012. Metro declined to commen

Saudi's Mobily denies asking for help to spy on customers

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Saudi Arabia's No. 2 telecom operator Mobily denied claims by a software engineer that the company had asked him to build surveillance tools to intercept customers' messages on Twitter and other services. Matthew Rosenfield, who uses the pseudonym Moxie Marlinspike, published emails on his blog purporting to be from Mobily which included a request for help in intercepting traffic over applications such as Twitter, Whatsapp, Viber and Line.   Marlinspike said the company wanted to be able to monitor or block mobile data on these applications and that Mobily had provided him with design documents to produce computer code - known as SSL certificates - that the company could use for interception. Marlinspike said on the blog he declined to help. Mobily, formally known as Etihad Etisalat and an affiliate of the United Arab Emirates company Etisalat, said the contents of the blog post, which have whipped up a storm of comments on social media, were false. "Mobily or its

US STOCKS-Wall St extends rally as tech shares lead

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The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose for a fourth straight day on Wednesday as tech shares gained and offset some weak economic data.   Equities have rallied in recent weeks, with both the Dow and S&P 500 hitting all-time highs as investors expect central bank stimulus measures will keep supporting market gains. Such policies have helped spur advances of about 15 percent in major indexes this year despite data showing signs of slowing growth. Activity in New York state's manufacturing sector unexpectedly contracted in May, falling to minus 1.43 from 3.05, below expectations for an increase to 4. Another report showed that U.S. industrial production fell 0.5 percent in April, more than expected. "It's disconcerting that the data was so much lower than what we were looking for, but there's no reason for investors to sell," said Michael Binger, senior portfolio manager at Gradient Investments in Minneapolis. "The main things driving the market - the Fed

BRIEF-Google says 900 million android devices activated as of now

Google Inc : * Says 900 million android devices activated as of now * Says revenue per user for app developers in Google play store now 2.5 times _0"> what it was a year ago

Google to face UK lawmakers again over tax

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Google Inc faces another grilling over its tax affairs from a committee of British lawmakers on Thursday who have called the company back after questions were raised about testimony given in an earlier hearing. Corporate tax avoidance has become a major issue in Britain, where there are concerns over rising government debt and accusations from lawmakers that the UK tax authority has adopted a light touch approach to taxing big businesses.   Google's Northern Europe boss, Matt Brittin, was called to testify to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in November about Google's low UK tax bill. From 2006 to 2011, Google generated $18 billion in revenues from the UK, according to statutory filings, and paid just $16 million in taxes. Brittin told the PAC Google was not taxed on the profits of its core advertising business in Britain, because all UK sales were conducted from Ireland . Reuters revealed that the Internet search giant had described its London offices on its website

Google says 900 mln Android mobile devices activated

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Some 900 million smartphones and tablets running Google Inc's Android software have been activated since the platform's inception in 2010, executives said at the company's annual developers' conference on Wednesday. _0"> Google said revenue from Android, the software used by Samsung and other mobile device makers that competes with Apple Inc, is also gaining momentum. Google executives said revenue per user for Android applications developers is now 2-1/2 times its year-earlier level.   Roughly 5,500 software developers are attending this year's "Google I/O" convention at San Francisco's Moscone Center from Wednesday through Friday.

UPDATE 3-EU warns China it is ready to launch telecoms dispute

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The European Commission has told China it is prepared to launch an investigation into anti-competitive behaviour by producers of mobile telecoms equipment, opening a new front in a multi-billion-euro trade offensive against a critical partner.   European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said he and fellow commissioners had agreed in principle to open an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy case against China, but would first seek to negotiate a solution with Chinese authorities. "The clock is ticking. We have had an open-door policy for negotiations with our Chinese partners for approximately one year now and we hope that the Chinese authorities step forward and engage with us in a serious manner," De Gucht's spokesman told a news briefing on Wednesday. While no companies were named in the statement from De Gucht, officials have in the past said Huawei and ZTE Corp, the world's second- and fifth-largest telecoms equipment makers, were the objects of their concern. In

M&S's make-or-break clothing strategy gets early thumbs-up

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Fashion media and analysts broadly welcomed Marks & Spencer's new clothing strategy and a preview of autumn/winter fashion ranges, giving the firm's boss some respite from pressure over falling sales. Britain's biggest clothing retailer said on Tuesday it would focus on better quality and styles in womenswear, deliver more compelling and clearer sub-brands, and make shopping easier in stores, as it tries to reverse nearly two years of declining sales.   On Wednesday, shares in the 129-year-old firm, up 20 percent over the past year after periodic bouts of bid speculation, rose up to 4 percent, hitting a five-year high of 438 pence. However, bookmaker Ladbrokes still made Chief Executive Marc Bolland odds-on at 8/11 to have left his position by the end of the year. "The changes outlined contained a variety of enhancements based on detailed customer feedback that even the bears will find hard to completely ignore," said analysts at N+1 Singer, arguing tha

U.S. corn farmers plant crop before rain arrives

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Warm and dry weather in the U.S. Midwest on Wednesday will help boost corn plantings that have fallen to a record low pace, which poses a threat to production prospects, an agricultural meteorologist said.   "Today will be the best day," said Andy Karst, meteorologist for World Weather Inc. "Then showers develop tonight, with scattered showers into the weekend." Karst said heavier rainfall would develop beginning Saturday and continue through Wednesday next week, further stalling corn seedings. "The heaviest rains will be Saturday through Monday in the west and Monday through Wednesday in the east," he said. Drier weather late next week should allow farmers to resume plantings, he said. "It's not ideal, but not bad either. They need to get corn planted soon." After a cold and wet spring in most of the U.S. crop belt, farmers have seeded 28 percent of their intended corn acres, up from 12 percent a week earlier but far behind the five-ye

UPDATE 2-Taiwan imposes sanctions on Philippines over killing

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Taiwan imposed sanctions against the Philippines on Wednesday, rejecting as unacceptable a Philippine apology for the killing of a fisherman from Taiwan last week. The row is the latest flare-up in tension in Asian seas where disputes in various places between various countries have raised fears of conflict in the economically vibrant region where competition for resources is intensifying.   Earlier on Wednesday, Taiwan recalled its envoy to the Philippines. The sanctions included the freezing of applications for work permits, the cessation of economic exchanges and military exercises in waters between the two sides. A spokesman for Philippine President Benigno Aquino had said a formal apology was being offered to the "appropriate authority" in Taiwan over the "unfortunate loss" of the fisherman. But Taiwan's Premier Jiang Yi-huah said the apology was inadequate because it called the fisherman's death unfortunate and unintentional, according to a stat

CORRECTED-Beef prices soar as U.S. grilling season finally heats up

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A turn to warmer weather in the United States and pent up demand for steaks and burgers ahead of the traditional grilling season sent wholesale prices for choice-grade beef to a record high of $205.91 per hundredweight on Tuesday, up 36 cents from the previous record set late last week. Beef prices normally rise in the spring but this year's smaller beef supply coupled with the late arrival of warm spring cookout weather, triggered a strong increase in the beef market, analysts and traders said.   "Beef is seasonally strong this time of year. It usually tops out about now but what is different this year from past years is the beef supply is lower, so there is some question if the top is in," said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities, Des Moines, Iowa. The cold soggy start to spring put outdoor cookouts on hold throughout most of April and early May, but with forecasts for more typical spring weather this week, grocers stocked up for a seasonal bump in sales of s

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Beef prices soar as U.S. grilling season finally heats up

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A turn to warmer weather in the United States and pent-up demand for steaks and burgers ahead of the traditional grilling season sent wholesale prices for choice-grade beef to a record high of $206.09 per hundredweight on Tuesday, up 60 cents from the previous record set late last week.   Beef prices normally rise in the spring but this year's smaller beef supply, coupled with the late arrival of warm spring cookout weather, triggered a strong increase in the beef market, analysts and traders said. "Beef is seasonally strong this time of year. It usually tops out about now but what is different this year from past years is the beef supply is lower, so there is some question if the top is in," said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities, in Des Moines, Iowa. The cold soggy start to spring put outdoor cookouts on hold throughout most of April and early May, but with forecasts for more typical spring weather this week, grocers stocked up for a seasonal bump in sales

UPDATE 1-India monsoon may arrive late as southwest thirsts

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India's monsoon rains may arrive on the southern coast around June 3, the weather office forecast on Wednesday, a late debut that will raise fears any revival for drought-hit tracts of southern and western farmland could be delayed.   The rains, which run from June to September, are vital for the 55 percent of farmland without irrigation in India, one of the world's largest producers and consumers of food. "The date of onset of southwest monsoon over Kerala is likely to be on 3rd June," the India Meteorological Department said in a statement, adding the forecast has an error margin of four days, a time frame treated as normal. Last year, the monsoon hit Kerala four days after the June 1 date forecast by the weather office, and the season brought below average rainfall across the country, leaving several key sugar and cotton-growing states parched by drought. A poor monsoon could be bad news for the coalition government as it gears up for a series of state electi

Paltrow dad's cancer: Paltrow says Dad's Cancer Diagnosis Inspire her Healthier Diet

Paltrow dad's cancer: Paltrow says Dad's Cancer Diagnosis Inspire her Healthier Diet. Star Gwyneth Paltrow, the wakeup call to eat healthier came when her late father, director Bruce Paltrow, was diagnosed with cancer 15 years ago. Appearing on the cover of Beach magazine's debut issue, the Iron Man 3 actress spoke of how seeing her own father's health dwindle made her open her eyes. "I began to consider the effects of food when my father was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998," she told the magazine. "I started to research anti-cancer diets in hopes that he would try to hit it from all angles." Bruce Paltrow died in October 2002 at age 58 due to complications of cancer and pneumonia. But Paltrow, 40, used his health struggle as a catalyst for change -- eliminating dairy and gluten in her diet. "It's about being mindful about what you are putting in," she explained. "Good whole foods are the way we have eat

UPDATE 1-End of line for fish dumping as EU agrees to boost stocks

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European fisheries ministers agreed on Wednesday to end decades of overfishing and the discarding of fish in European waters in an effort to restore devastated stocks.   The agreement, which needs the approval of the European Parliament, could end haggling over annual fishing quotas and introduce long-term plans to replenish fish stocks, which have been all but wiped out in some European waters. But environmental groups said the plan was not ambitious enough and there were immediate concerns that the European Parliament could raise objections. "This decision ... is a major conciliatory step in the direction of the European Parliament and hopefully paves the way for successful conclusion of the ... negotiations," said Ireland's fisheries minister, Simon Coveney, who chaired the talks. Ireland holds the EU presidency. "The historic package agreed this morning will prepare the way for a European-wide discards ban," and pave the way for more sustainable fishi

Venezuela's Maduro buries hatchet with billionaire businessman

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Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro and the billionaire boss of Venezuela's biggest private company have buried the hatchet after a war of words over food shortages and other economic problems in the South American nation.   Perpetuating the hard-line rhetoric of his predecessor Hugo Chavez, newly-elected Maduro turned on Empresas Polar president Lorenzo Mendoza in recent days, accusing him of hoarding products as part of an "economic war" on the state by private business. Mendoza, whose company is Venezuela's biggest beer- and flour-maker, denied that and pointedly challenged the government to sell production plants nationalized under Chavez back to the private sector to boost efficiency. On Tuesday night, the pair met to discuss their differences in a spat seen by Venezuelans as a bellwether for state-business relations going forward under Maduro's government. Both sides came out of the meeting sounding reconciliatory and pledging to work together to overcome

Bottle hits singer: Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert Injured By Bottle on Stage At Concert

Bottle hits singer: Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert Injured By Bottle  on Stage At Concert. Officials claims the leader of the reggae band Toots and the Maytals was injured when a 19-year-old man threw a bottle and hit the singer during a concert in Richmond. Police said Sunday the man has been charged with aggravated assault. Authorities have not identified him. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that ( ) Frederick "Toots" Hibbert was treated at a hospital for a cut to his head and released. http://bit.ly/17PhlkD Hibbert was treated for a laceration on his forehead which he sustained during the incident. Police say the incident occurred around 10:15 p.m. Saturday, and the concert was stopped 15 minutes early. Hibberts son, a bass player in the band, told reporters that his father had to get 8 to 10 stitches on his head after he was struck by the flying vodka bottle. He has been released from the hospital. Hibbert was hit by a glass bottle thrown from the crowd S

'Iron Man 3' kicks off US, Canada run with $15.6 mln ticket sales

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International hit "Iron Man 3" flew into U.S. and Canadian theaters, kicking off Hollywood's summer blockbuster season with $15.6 million in ticket sales late Thursday and early Friday. _0"> The superhero sequel from Walt Disney Co's Marvel studio is expected to finish the weekend with one of the biggest debuts in film history. Box office analysts predict the movie will bring in $150 million or more from Friday through Sunday, likely ranking in the top five all-time openings.   The opening night sales fell short of the $18.7 million earned a year ago by Disney's "The Avengers," which brought together Iron Man, The Hulk and other Marvel superheroes. "Avengers" went on to earn $207 million in its first three days, a record for the North American (U.S. and Canadian) market. "Iron Man 3," starring Robert Downey Jr. as billionaire businessman Tony Stark, has pulled in $345.4 million in overseas markets since it debuted April

UPDATE 1-'Iron Man 3' soars with huge $175.3 mln in US, Canada debut

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Superhero sequel "Iron Man 3" rocketed to the top of U.S. and Canadian box office charts, kicking off Hollywood's summer movie season with $175.3 million in weekend ticket sales for the second-biggest film opening of all time. Combined with international sales, the movie from Walt Disney Co's Marvel studio brought its global haul to an estimated $680.1 million, Disney said on Sunday.   The film stars Robert Downey Jr. as billionaire businessman Tony Stark, whose superhero alter-ego spars with an evil extremist. "Iron Man 3" fed off the success of the first two installments plus last year's "The Avengers," a superhero mashup that united Iron Man, The Hulk and other Marvel characters. "Avengers" opened on the same weekend last year with $207.4 million over its first three days, a record for the United States and Canada. "Iron Man 3" finished second on the all-time list behind "Avengers" and ahead of the July 2

Paltrow dad's cancer: Dad's Cancer Diagnosis Inspired My Healthier Diet

Paltrow dad's cancer: Dad's Cancer Diagnosis Inspired My Healthier Diet. Gwyneth Paltrow, the wakeup call to eat healthier came when her late father, director Bruce Paltrow, was diagnosed with cancer 15 years ago. Appearing on the cover of Beach magazine's debut issue, the Iron Man 3 actress spoke of how seeing her own father's health dwindle made her open her eyes. "I began to consider the effects of food when my father was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998," she told the magazine. "I started to research anti-cancer diets in hopes that he would try to hit it from all angles." Bruce Paltrow died in October 2002 at age 58 due to complications of cancer and pneumonia. But Paltrow, 40, used his health struggle as a catalyst for change -- eliminating dairy and gluten in her diet. "It's about being mindful about what you are putting in," she explained. "Good whole foods are the way we have eaten for generations. It's a

Losses widen in Q1 at indebted Spanish media group Prisa

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Indebted Spanish media group Prisa , owner of the country's best-read generalist newspaper El Pais, said on Thursday that losses widened nearly 50 percent in the first quarter from a year ago to 12 million euros ($15.7 million). _0"> Falling advertising revenues in Europe have been squeezing Prisa in the past year, despite growth in Latin America. Prisa, which has television, radio and publishing assets across Europe and Latin America, said advertising revenue fell by 10.9 percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago.   Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 25 percent from a year ago to 78.4 million euros. The company, which said its net bank debt stood at just over 3 billion euros at the end of the first quarter, made a full year loss of 255 million euros in 2012. ($1 = 0.7637 euros) (Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Julien Toyer)

Bottle hits singer: Singer Reggae was hit with bottle on stage

Bottle hits singer: Singer Reggae was hit with bottle on stage. Police have arrested a 19-year-old man after he threw a bottle onto the stage hitting Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, of the reggae band Toots and the Maytals, during a concert at the Dominion Riverrock in Richmond Saturday. According to WTVR's report on May 19, William C. Lewis has been charged with aggraved assault and public intoxication. Hibbert was treated for a laceration on his forehead which he sustained during the incident. Police say the incident occurred around 10:15 p.m. Saturday, and the concert was stopped 15 minutes early. Hibberts son, a bass player in the band, told reporters that his father had to get 8 to 10 stitches on his head after he was struck by the flying vodka bottle. He has been released from the hospital. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Jack Berry, executive director of Venture Richmond, which produced the three-day music-and-sports event with Richmond Sports Backers stated

'Iron Man' beats strong 'Gatsby' in movie box office showdown

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Tony Stark's superpowers lifted blockbuster "Iron Man 3" back to the top of movie charts in the United States and Canada, beating out a strong debut over the weekend for lavish Jazz Age drama "The Great Gatsby." _0"> Coming off a gigantic opening a week earlier, "Iron Man 3" commanded $72.5 million in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday in its second weekend. "Gatsby," starring Leonardo DiCaprio as millionaire Jay Gatsby in the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald tale, earned a strong $51.1 million, according to studio estimates.   "Iron Man 3" stars Robert Downey Jr. as Stark, a billionaire businessman with a superhero alter ego. The movie from Walt Disney Co's Marvel Studios opened last weekend with $174.1 million for the second-biggest movie opening of all time. In distant third place, dark action comedy "Pain & Gain" grossed $5 million. The film stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson as bodybuilders-t

UPDATE 1-'Iron Man' beats strong 'Gatsby' in box office showdown

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Tony Stark's superpowers lifted blockbuster "Iron Man 3" back to the top of movie charts in the United States and Canada, beating out a strong debut over the weekend for lavish Jazz Age drama "The Great Gatsby." Coming off a gigantic opening a week earlier, "Iron Man 3" commanded $72.5 million in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday in its second weekend. "Gatsby," starring Leonardo DiCaprio as millionaire Jay Gatsby in the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald tale, earned a strong $51.1 million, according to studio estimates.   Domestic ticket sales for "Iron Man 3" dropped 58 percent from a week earlier, when the film hauled in $174.1 million for the second-biggest movie opening of all time. The film from Walt Disney Co's Marvel Studios stars Robert Downey Jr. as Stark, a billionaire businessman with a superhero alter ego. International sales for "Iron Man 3" reached a massive $664 million through Sunday after adding

US STOCKS-Wall Street to dip at open after Empire State data

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U.S. stocks were set to dip at the open on Wednesday, indicating the S&P 500 may ease from its most recent record high after weaker-than-expected manufacturing data.   Data showed activity in New York state's manufacturing sector unexpectedly contracted to its lowest level in four months, falling to minus 1.43 from 3.05 in April, and below expectations for an increase to 4. But a separate report showed producer prices recorded their largest drop in three years in April, falling by a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent last month, its biggest decline since February 2010, which should enable the Federal Reserve to maintain its accommodative monetary policy. "Empire (State general business conditions index data) is bad and that is consistent with what we have been seeing at the national level and the regional level," said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist, at Federated Investors in New York. "Could that number spark some profit taking today? Absolutely.

UPDATE 1-Malaysia's Najib packs new cabinet with conservatives

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose poor showing in a general election earlier this month has left him vulnerable to the conservative wing of his party, announced a cabinet on Wednesday that was packed with the traditionalists. The 57-member cabiner was also strikingly short of representatives from the Chinese minority.   Najib's coalition recorded its worst ever result in the May 5 election, and lost the popular vote for the first time. Its majority in parliament was reduced, throwing an economic reform programme into doubt. Although Najib included some younger elements from his Barisan Nasional coalition and a non-partisan banker and an anti-corruption activist in the cabinet line-up, most of the key posts were retained by established leaders of his United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). Muhyiddin Yassin remained deputy prime minister while Zahid Hamidi was named home (interior) minister, swapping portfolios with Najib's cousin Hishammuddin Hussein, who is

UPDATE 2-MegaFon muscles ahead in Russian mobile market

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MegaFon has overtaken its main competitor in Russia's cut-throat mobile phone market, posting bumper earnings on Wednesday to help crown it leader by market value and put its other rival in the shade.   MegaFon, owned by Russia's richest man Alisher Usmanov, lags New-York listed MTS in terms of revenues and subscriber numbers, but as a result of an aggressive cost-cutting campaign launched last year, it was able to hike its margin forecast and announce a dividend of $1.3 billion, helping its shares rise. Its results put Vimpelcom, Russia's third-biggest mobile phone provider with assets in emerging markets and Italy , firmly in its place. It failed to impress analysts by reporting a below-forecast 28 percent rise in net profit on Wednesday. "MegaFon has probably shown the strongest results that any other operator is unlikely to match," said Anna Lepetukhina, analyst at Sberbank Investment Research. Since its November initial public offering, shares in Mega