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Lowe’s To Buy Rona in Canada

Lowe’s Companies Inc the home improvement retailer based in the U.S. said it had agreed to purchase Rona Inc based in Canada in a deal worth C$3.2 billion or US$2.28 billion. Lowe’s previous bid was rebuffed by Rona, dealers as well as politicians in Quebec. The unsolicited proposal for C$1.8 billion by Lowe’s to acquire Rona was withdrawn back in September of 2010. Lowe’s said on Wednesday it had come to an agreement on key commitments that included moving the Canadian business headquarters of Lowe’s to Quebec where the Rona home base... 
 

Rumored Small iPhone Could Bring Apple a Big Moment

A new iPhone 5se is rumored to be in the works and could find just the right spot amongst smartphone users for its size, features and price. The iPhone 5c could be Apple’s most confusing iPhone made. Released together with its sibling the iPhone 5s back in 2013, the handset that was unapologetically plastic was seen as a less expensive alternative by many to the higher priced flagship and a way for Apple to attack the midrange market share much like the iPod nano did. However, that did not happen to be the case. The iPhone 5c basically was nothing... 
 

Honda Operating Profit for Third Quarter Slides on Recalls

Honda Motor Co posted an operating profit for the third quarter that dropped 22%, which was more than had been expected due to an increase in costs for the massive recall of vehicles worldwide due to air bag problems. The third largest Japanese automaker is the biggest clients of Takata the air bag manufacturer. Its vehicles represent close to half of the 50 million vehicles recalled around the world because of air bags that exploded with an excessive force and spray the interior of cars with shrapnel, which has led to at least 10 deaths and over... 
 

United Technologies Beats the Street on Profit

On Wednesday, United Technologies Corp reported profit for the fourth quarter that exceeded estimates of Wall Street analysts as the building systems and aerospace manufacturer lowered its costs to counter a global economy that has become sluggish. UT’s adjusted earnings ended the quarter at $1.53 per share, the company announced in a prepared statement on Wednesday. That compares to analyst estimates of $1.52 per share. Sales ended just over $14.3 billion, which misses the average estimates by analysts of more than $15.3 billion. United Technologies... 
 

New Google Tax Deal Does Not Silence Critics

Under a great deal of pressure, Google buckled and agreed it would pay millions to the government of the UK in back taxes. However, critics of the search giant remain unsatisfied. Google is the most recent global company targeted over taxes and it agreed to pay over £130 million or $185 million that covers taxes that were unpaid since 2005. The company is also going to start paying taxes on the sales from its advertisers based in the United Kingdom to reflect its size and scope in Britain, said Google. While the tax payment in arrears might look... 
 

El Salvador Urging Against Pregnancies Due to Spread of Zika Virus

On Thursday, El Salvador urged women leaving in the Central American country to avoid becoming pregnant until 2018 in order to avoid their babies from developing birth defects due to the Zika mosquito borne virus that has rampaged across the Americas. The Zika virus is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito that is known to also carry the yellow fever, Chikungunya and dengue viruses. Health officials are not sure why this virus, which was detected first in 1947 in Africa but not known to the Americas until 2015, is spreading in such a rapid fashion... 
 

GM Purchases Ride-Hailing Sidecar’s Assets

General Motors has increased its expertise in the ride-sharing/hailing arena. The Detroit-based automaker hired some employees and purchased the assets of recently shuttered Sidecar Technologies, a ride-sharing/hailing company that closed last month. According to a company statement, GM has hired employees of Sidecar to integrate them into the urban mobility GM team, and acquired a certain amount of assets to help in the global mobility programs. A spokesperson for GM did not comment on the deal’s details, including how many employees had been... 
 

Raw Cashew Pieces Recalled by Trader Joe’s for Risk of Salmonella

Lovers of cashews might need to read this one. Trader Joe’s has issued a recall that went out on January 15 for the product known as Raw Cashew Pieces, due to a possibility of salmonella poisoning. The company sent an alert out to the supplier that one of its lots of products might have been contaminated by the bacteria. The products that were affected are those, which have labels reading – BEST BEFORE 07/17/2016F4. The raw cashew pieces have been distributed to 31 states including Georgia, Kentucky, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and... 
 

Xiaomi Misses Sales Target for 2015 But Sells 70 Million Smartphones

On Friday, Xiaomi the China-based smartphone maker announced that it had shipped more than 70 million smartphones during 2015. Although a very high number, it was short of the company’s ambitious target of 80 million. Growing competition and a high dependence on the market in China were factors that might have contributed to the company missing its target. The company sold over 34.7 million of its handsets the first six months of the year, and could not reach the targeted 80 million. Growth in sales of smartphones is starting to slow down across... 
 

Yum! Brands Sales in China Rose 1% During December

Yum! Brands Inc, which operates KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, announced that December sales at same stores were up 1% across China, where a spinoff of operations will take place this year. Sales at comparable stores for KFC were up 5% in China, said the company based in Louisville, Kentucky in a Tuesday filing. Although, they fell by 11% for Pizza Hut, sales performance showed an improvement from the numbers in November, when China’s sales dropped by 3%. Yum!, crumbling under activist investor pressure, announced in October it would spin off its... 
 

David Bowie Dies at 69

Ultra talented musician David Bowie has died. The musician’s death was confirmed by his representative who said Bowie was 69. The singer was battling cancer for over the past year according to a post on his Facebook page. The statement, dated January 10, said that Bowie died peacefully surrounded by family following his 18-month courageous battle with cancer. Bowie, a songwriter, singer, fashion icon and actor, has been influential in some way to close to every modern artist, from Madonna to Lorde to Lady Gaga to U2. His influence is felt in new... 
 

White House Top Security Officials and Tech CEOs to Meet

Much of the leadership of the White House administration will fly to California and seek the help of tech firms to figure out the way to thwart terrorists who are using the Internet as a way to recruit as well as radicalize people to plan out attacks, said U.S. officials. Amongst those that are set to attend a Friday meeting with top executives in Silicon Valley are Loretta Lynch the Attorney General, James Comey the FBI Director, Lisa Monaco the counterterrorism adviser, James Clapper Jr. the Director of National Intelligence, Michael Rogers the... 
 

Profit from KB Home Misses Wall Street Expectations

KB Home the homebuilder missed expectations for the most recent quarter ended following deliveries that were softer than had been expected and contract abandonment and inventory impairment charges, though its sales continued to reflect a housing market in recovery. Shares were down 9.7% trading early Thursday, including that drop, the stock is 27% down the last three months. The builder based in Los Angeles reported a rise of 24% in its overall revenue ending the quarter at $985.7 million with another quarter of gains in the double-digits in both... 
 

Twitter Ready to Expand the 140-Character Limits

Twitter appears as if it is ready to loosen a restriction that goes back a decade on the length of its messages in an attempt to make the service appeal to a broader audience accustomed to  the freedom that is offered by social media giant Facebook as well as other forums. Jack Dorsey a co-founder and current CEO telegraphed the intentions of Twitter in a Tuesday tweet he posted after the Re/Code tech news site reported that Twitter was exploring the increase of its limits on texting from just 140 character up to as high as 10,000. Dorsey did not... 
 

Factory Activity in Euro Zone Ends with Growth in 2015

The factory activity across the euro zone ended this past year with growth in each of the countries that were included in a survey that was made public on Monday, suggesting that growth in manufacturing over the past year in general averaged above the last three. However, despite companies cutting their prices for a fourth straight month and a euro that that is weaker, making the manufactured goods across the bloc cheaper abroad, growth remained albeit tepid. Markit’s final Purchasing Manager’s Index for manufacturing increased to a high of... 
 

Cancer and Sugar: Tumor Growth Risk Increased with Western Diet

Large amounts of dietary sugar, more commonly found in a Western diet, might increase the risk of developing cancer, University of Texas researchers studied mice that were genetically predisposed to cancer of the breast and found those who were fed more sugar had larger tumors in comparison to those receiving less sugar or just starch. The authors of the study conducted four separate studies in which mice were randomized into diet groups and fed one of four different diets. The authors of the study said they had been careful to expose the mice to... 
 

Ashley Madison Rebounds with Millions of New Users

They say that no publicity is bad publicity and for Ashley Madison, the site for men who want to have an affair that might very well be the case. A massive breach of data that exposed information of millions of spouses who were unfaithful apparently has not kept the site from going down. It turns out that the infamous site that attracts adulterers has added over 4 million new members since the breach became very public, when data was dumped onto the Internet. This past August, when the breach took place, Ashley Madison claimed it had more than 39... 
 

Rare Diseases Start to Show Their Face Again

Diseases that have been considered rare, nearly wiped out or eradicated, especially across developed nations, are making a surprise and deadly comeback according to a just published study in London. Referred to by many as Victorian diseases, since they appeared normally during that period, the diseases include scarlet fever, measles, whopping cough and tuberculosis. The NHS in Britain found that these types’ diseases have been significantly increasing over the past five years. For instance, Public Health England confirmed that scarlet fever cases... 
 

Northrop Wins Deal for $93 Million to Manufacture Drone

Northrop Grumman Corp won a contract of just over $93 million to manufacture a full-scale demonstrator of an unmanned spy drone, a flying wing that has large counter rotating propellers, which could take off as well as land on frigates, and destroyers, said the Pentagon late this week. Northrop has worked on the design for this new drone for a number of years under the joint program the company is involved with known as Tern that is led by the Office of Naval Research at the U.S. Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Officials... 
 

FDA Overturns Ban of 30 Years on Gay Men Donating Blood

The government of the U.S. overturned on Monday its ban of 30 years on gay men donating blood saying they are now allowed to donate 12 months after having their last sexual contact with another male. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that its decision to reverse its policy that is based upon examination of the latest science that shows an indefinite ban is not needed to prevent HIV transmission. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. This move brings in line the U.S. with other countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand,... 
 

New Hack Has Government Officials Worried over Infiltration

A major breach of the Juniper Networks computer system has officials in the U.S. worried that the hackers are working for a foreign government that has been able to spy on encrypted communications of the government as well as private companies for the last three years. The FBI started its investigation of the breach, which involved the hackers installing a back door on the computer equipments, said U.S. officials. Juniper disclosed the breach on Thursday as well as a security patch that it was urging its customers to use to update all their systems... 
 

Netflix Re-launches App for Windows 10 for Tablets and PCs

Netflix released a new Windows 10 app that is designed to work with a myriad of devices with Windows 10. Added to the Windows Store at Microsoft Wednesday the updated app now supports Windows 10 tablets and PCs from the start and will be able to support Windows 10 smartphones soon, said Netflix in a post on their blog. The app by Netflix will take advantage of different specifics for Windows 10, such as voice activation through the virtual assistant Cortana by Microsoft. The new app from Netflix taps into the Universal App concept by Microsoft,... 
 

Merck Does Not Gain Backing from FDA Panel for Vytorin

Merck & Co should not be given the ok to claim Vytorin, its drug for lowering cholesterol, reduces the risk of strokes or heart attack in patients that have coronary heart disease, said an advisory committee on Monday to the United States Food and Drug Administration. The advisory panel evaluated the data from a trial of 18,000 patients whose results showed the combination treatment of Vytorin, which comprises Zetia as well as simvastatin an older drug that lowers cholesterol reduced rates of stroke, heart attack and death compared to using... 
 

Chemo with Suicide Gene Therapy Kills Cancer Cells in Prostate

The results of a clinical trial show that combining a treatment referred to as suicide gene therapy with chemotherapy successfully and safely kills tumor cells in the prostate. The suicide gene therapy involves a technique of genetically modifying cancer cells in the prostate so they will trigger the immune system of the body to attack them. In this study, which was published this past week, researchers at Houston Methodist Hospital manipulated cancer cells in the prostate through using a mix of viruses as well as adenovirus, which is the virus... 
 

United Reintroducing Free Snacks for Economy Passengers

Months after it announced a new Chief Executive who promised to hear feedback from customers, United Airlines responded, it will reintroduce free snacks beginning in February. Breakfast snacks, which the airline calls a small piece of caramel heavy between crispy wafers, are amongst the free snacks that United will be providing its economy fliers. The airline has not served any free snacks since 2008. In 2010, Continental merged with United and quit offering snack service just after the merger took place. Food represents an important part of the... 
 

No More Dental Fillings, No Drill Dentistry Stopping Decay

Researchers in Australia found a way to prevent and stop tooth decay without the need to use the drill and the fill technique. A study of seven years showed preventive dental care is able to reduce the necessity for any dental fillings by up to 50%. The study’s lead author Wendell Evans an Associate Professor with University of Sydney said that fillings are not necessary because many decay in teeth do not require it. The findings have shown that a preventative dental program has more benefits compared with the current technique. The drill and... 
 

TAG Heuer Connected Has Production Increase Due to Demand

One month ago, when TAG Heuer Connected was first launched, there were some people wondering if there was a market for a luxury Android smartwatch that cost $1,500. Apparently, the answer is yes since TAG Heuer said it must increase its production for the watch to meet its demands. CEO Jean-Claude Biver from TAG Heuer revealed recently that the production of the smartwatch TAG Heuer Connected would be increased to 2,000 per week from 1,200. Biver says retailers as well as other sellers have asked for close to 100,000 units and to help meet that... 
 

To Help Merger AB InBev Selling Some Brands in Europe

Anheuser-Busch InBev on Thursday said it was planning to sell several of the premium brands of SABMIller in Europe including Grolsch and Peroni, which it hopes will ease concerns of regulators about the proposed merger of the two brewers. The move will be the second major sale of assets that the two companies announced as they begin to create a giant in the industry with revenue annually of close to $64 billion that would represent close to 30% of the global beer sales. The combination will give AB InBev, which is already the largest brewer in the... 
 

Consortium from China Buying 13% Share in Manchester City Club

A consortium of company from China will invest $400 million for a minority share of the Manchester City FC football (soccer) franchise, as buyers from China search the globe for assets involved in entertainment. Citic Capital Holdings and China Media Capital Holdings are acquiring just more than 13% of the football group that owns Manchester City, which plays in the English Premier League the top professional league in England and other assets related to the sport. This deal would put a value of $3 billion on the City Football Group. The group is... 
 

Lazard Working with Sanofi on Deal for Animal Health Segment

Lazard the investment bank is working with management at Sanofi to prepare a sale or a listing of animal health unit Merial. That could value its business at as much as $12 billion euros or $12.7 billion, said source close to the matter. Lazard will likely win the role for the dual-track process as it is called, having helped management of Sanofi with its ongoing review, said sources speaking on the condition of anonymity. If this is successful the deal would play a big role in getting the most valuable company in France back on the right track... 
 

Raspberry Pi Computer Will Cost You Only $5

British company Raspberry makes learning to program the same price as a double latte. The new educational micro-computer by Raspberry Pi is the cheapest it has made to date – a device that is pocket-sized designed for teaching kids coding for only $5. The new Raspberry Pi Zero was unveiled Thursday and is the most recent computer from the company that for the past couple of years has had a mission to make computing accessible to all children that want learn. Manufactured in Wales, the computer features RAM of 512 MB, an ARM processor that is 1GHz,... 
 

Tiffany Misses on Profit As Sales Hurt by Dollar

Tiffany & Co posted a profit for the third quarter that disappointed and cut its forecast for the year as the strong U.S. dollar and the choppy economic conditions weighed on luxury jewelry sales. Profit reached 70 cents per share, excluding special items, said the company based in New York in a prepared statement on Tuesday. Analysts were expecting profit of 75 cents. Per share earnings will drop 5% to 10% in 2015, which is more than forecasted earlier for a drop of no more that 5% said the statement. These results underline the challenge that... 
 

Microsoft Deals for Black Friday Beginning Now

The holiday deals from Microsoft have begun and run until the weekend of Thanksgiving. Some of the digital deals only cost 10 cents. The latest deals for Black Friday are underway at the software giant. Microsoft is on a 10 cent kick because of its new operating system Windows 10, which the company said has already passed the 110 million mark for installs. Therefore, the 10 days of different deals will run through the end of the business day November 29, with prices on certain items as cheap as 10 cents. Songs, movies and apps are all available... 
 

Starboard Urges Yahoo Not to Spinoff Alibaba

Starboard Value, the Jeff Smith operated activist fund is urging Yahoo Inc to drop its plan of spinning off its share in Alibaba the e-commerce giant based in China. Starboard said instead that Yahoo should sell its display and search advertising businesses. The company should maintain its stakes in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba, Starboard said in its letter addressed to the board and management of Yahoo dated Thursday. Yahoo should also hire a strong financial adviser to sell its core businesses, added Starboard. The market, said Starboard does not have... 
 

Urban Outfitters Shares Fall After Announcing Pizza Purchase

Urban Outfitters Inc is going to enter the restaurant business and that has not pleased its investors. Shares fell by 7.4% Monday after Urban announced it has acquired Vetri Family a group of restaurants that includes the chain Pizzeria Vetri. Broader concerns related to a slump in retail were weighing on shares, and the surprise purchase might have put its shareholders on edge, says an analyst on Wall Street. Retailers from Fossil Group to Nordstrom have posted results for the third quarter that have been woeful and made poor projections for the... 
 

Facebook Activated Safety Check While Attacks Took Place in Paris

Users of Facebook, who at the time of the Friday terrorist attack were in Paris, were able to notify family and friends about their whereabouts and safety through the tool on the social media site know as Safety Check. Users started receiving notifications that friends who had been in Paris were safe early Friday evening as the people in the French capital were able to check in. This Safety Check tool was first launched last year and on five occasions has been used. Its activation on Friday night was the first time it had been activated for a disaster... 
 

Kohl’s Stock on the Rise as Sales Increase

On Thursday, Kohl’s Corp posted a profit that fell by 15% during the third quarter amid worries that the retailer’s plan for a turnaround was faltering. Nevertheless, the retailer had earnings that were higher than Wall Street expectations and its stock rallied during premarket trading by almost 10%. Kevin Mansell the CEO attributed the slight increase in quarterly sales to a strong season for back to school and late October sales periods that were offset slightly by weak September figures. Most of the key initiatives for the company were a... 
 

Russia Calls Doping Allegations Groundless

Russia has sharply rejected the allegations that it has a state sponsored doping program for its athletes dismissing those claims by the overseers of sport as groundless and not supported by and evidence that is clear cut. This response points to what will be deepening battles between officials in global sports and the Kremlin after a very powerful agency of anti-doping charged that Russia relied on its drug program to give its athletes an upper hand in all international competitions, which would include the Olympics. The accusations, which are... 
 

Alibaba Acquires Youku for $4.8 Billion

Alibaba Group Holding agreed to acquire Youku Tudou the video service in a deal that is said to be $4.8 billion, as Jack Ma the billionaire is seeking to stream additional content to Internet users in China through control of the site that is compared to YouTube. Net of the cash Youku has, the price is approximately $3.7 billion, said one person who is familiar with this transaction and who asked not to have his name used. Alibaba, which is the largest online shopping business in China, raised its offer for Youku to cash in the amount of $27.60... 
 

Toyota Cuts Sales Forecast for the Full Year

Toyota Motor Corp has cut its revenue forecast for the full year on Thursday as the company based in Japan expects weaker sales of vehicles in emerging countries in Asia, where the demand for their cars has been rocked by a slowdown in growth. The slowing sales could knock Toyota from the No. 1 spot as the biggest selling automaker in the world, a title it held for the past couple of weeks after it unseated Volkswagen AG in a close, ongoing race. Hit by a sales slump in Thailand and Indonesia during the quarter from July through September, Toyota... 
 

Sprint Suffers Deeper Loss Than Was Expected

Sprint Corp posted a bigger than had been expected loss on Tuesday and a drop in its revenue for its fiscal first quarter, while it said it is planning to cut costs by $2 billion over the next fiscal year. Shares dropped 4.5% in trading before the market opened even while the company logged its first increase in number of phone customers in over two years. Sprint said it was also expecting its earnings prior to taxes, interest, amortization and depreciation for the 2015 year to be nearer its lower end of is estimated range of between $7.2 billion... 
 

Peet’s Coffee Buying Majority Share of Intelligentsia

Peet’s Coffee & Tea has announced that it will acquire a majority share of Intelligentsia Coffee, which is based in Chicago. It is the second deal for Peet’s with the last month. Once only a single store, Peet’s, based in Berkeley, California is now acquiring boutique coffee roasters that are smaller. Earlier in October, it acquired Stumptown Coffee Roasters based in Oregon. Intelligentsia will operate independently with new opportunities to growth nationally, particularly in grocery stores that are high-end, Peet’s Dave Burwick the... 
 

GoPro Stock Plummets Thursday

GoPro is amidst its biggest plunge to date. The maker of wearable cameras nosedived by over 16% Thursday to its lowest price since its initial public offering. The stock is not just on track to have its worst overall day ever, but is coming very close to its price of the IPO of $24. The amazing story of GoPro is in the process of crashing to earth, as the market for extreme sports lovers who have money for the devices must not be big enough. The sales of GoPro that were defying gravity are coming back too fast to earth. Sales exploded by 72% during... 
 

Ford Motor Posts Solid Quarterly Earnings

Ford Motor Co posted net income of $1.9 billion during the just ended third quarter equal to 48 cents per share, which is over double the $835 million that it reported in the same period one year ago, as strong results in its core market in the U.S. offset weaknesses across emerging markets. North American business for Ford, which benefited from higher prices per transaction and demand for trucks that are more profitable, reached a recorded operating profit of just over $2.7 billion for the quarter, up steeply from its $1.4 billion during the same... 
 

Panel for FDA Votes in Favor of Gout Drug from AstraZeneca

A panel of medical advisers that is independent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted on Friday 10 to 4 in favor of approval for a gout drug from AstraZeneca. All of the 10 who supported the drug, known as lesinurad, qualified the vote by urging the U.S. regulatory agency to ask the pharmaceutical company for studies following the launch of the drug to gauge safety and long term effectiveness. Gout is a type of arthritis that is caused by an excess of uric acid, which forms crystals in different joints as well as some tissues, causing extremely... 
 

Dunkin’ Brands Posts Results That Top Estimates

Dunkin’ Brands Group posted results that were better than had been expected for its most recent quarter, despite lackluster traffic and sales at its U.S. locations of Dunkin’ Donuts. For the most recent quarter, sales at same-stores grew 1.1% at locations in the U.S., below the reported 2.9% during the second quarter and growth of 2% seen during the same period one year. The company cited a decline of 0.7% in traffic at the stores and said K-Cup in restaurant and its packaged coffee categories had a negative impact. The parent company for both... 
 

Housing Starts Increase in U.S.

Construction of new homes in the U.S. was up in September, which is a sign that residential real estate will help bolster the largest economy in the world. Housing starts were up 6.5% to an annualized rate of 1.21 million, more than what had been forecasted and the second highest in eight years, showed figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce on Tuesday. However, a fall in the number of building permits means the rebound could be slow in materializing. American consumers, driven by the improving jobs market, are maintaining the U.S. as they... 
 

Consumer Sentiment Bounces Back in U.S.

The consumer sentiment in the U.S. was able to bounce back strongly during the early part of October, suggesting the economic recovery had remained in place despite some headwinds due to weak demand globally and a strong U.S. dollar that have been weighing on the country’s industrial sector, in particular manufacturing. The uptick in sentiment was reported Friday and underscored the robust demand domestically and offered new hope that consumer spending would stay solid enough to support growth in the economy, which slowed by a significant amount... 
 

UnitedHealth Beats Estimates on Profit As Costs Stabilize

UnitedHealth Group, the largest health insurer in the U.S. posted profit that was better than had been expected during the third quarter. The results were helped by medical costs that stabilized in its different health plans and more revenue from its pharmacy management business Optum. The company announced that trends in medical costs were as had been expected, an indication that the use of the medical services by patients had not been increasing in an unexpected manner. The percentage of premiums paid for the services dropped by 80 basis points... 
 

Batteries Will Power Office Buildings in Orange County

Orange County’s biggest landlord is having energy systems that are battery powered at over a dozen different office buildings as part of California’s initiative to fight against global warming and to rebuild capacity lost when the nuclear plant San Onofre was shut down. Irvine Co. is planning to install these systems, which use batteries purchased from Tesla owned by Elon Musk, to provide the electricity during periods of the area’s peak demand, typically summer days that are hot when tenants increase the power of their air conditioners. The... 
 
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