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China November factory output up 10 percent year-on-year, retail sales up 13.7 percent
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's industrial output rose 10.0 percent in November from a year earlier, slightly below market expectations, while retail sales were up a stronger-than-expected 13.7 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. Fixed-asset investment, an important driver of economic activity, climbed 19.9 percent in the first 11 months from the same period last year, the bureau said. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast industrial output to rise 10.1 percent and retail sales to rise 13.3 percent. ...
Boeing must decide on F/A-18 production in March 2014: executive
By Andrea Shalal-Esa NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland (Reuters) - Boeing Co must decide in March 2014 whether to invest tens of millions of dollars to continue production of the F/A-18 fighter jet, a senior Boeing executive said on Monday, underscoring his confidence that sufficient orders would emerge to keep the plane in production until beyond 2020. "I know where my money is betting," said Mike Gibbons, vice president of F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18 Growler programs at Boeing, told reporters after a U.S. Navy ceremony at the headquarters of the Navy's aviation command celebrating the 35th anniversary of the first flight of the original F/A-18 Hornet. "We have been extremely bullish about how much of a future we think we have on Super Hornet and Growler production," Gibbons said, noting that Boeing recently invested substantial amounts in new tools to reduce the cost of building the airplanes at its facility in St. Louis, Missouri. Boeing and its backers have launched a major campaign to press the U.S. military to buy more Super Hornets at a cost of about $51-52 million per plane, including engines, radars and electronic warfare equipment, especially since the Navy's version of the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter will not be ready for combat use on an aircraft carrier until 2019.
U.S. exits GM stake in $10 billon loss for taxpayers
By Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government sold its last shares of automaker General Motors Co on Monday, marking an end to a historic bailout of one of America's most storied companies. "This important chapter in our nation's history is now closed," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said. The government took a loss of more than $1 billion on its investments in Detroit automaker Chrysler, while taxpayers remain intertwined with GM's former lending arm, Ally Financial Inc . "When things looked darkest for our most iconic industry, we bet on what was true: the ingenuity and resilience of the proud, hardworking men and women who make this country strong," President Barack Obama said.
Some claims against Madoff feeder funds, sons' wives are curbed
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - The trustee seeking money for Bernard Madoff's victims may be unable to pursue some claims against investment firms that fed client funds into the swindler's Ponzi scheme, a Manhattan federal judge said. In a decision released on Monday, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff also said the trustee Irving Picard could not pursue "unjust enrichment" claims against spouses of Madoff's sons Andrew and Mark, saying the women did not qualify as "insiders" who could be held liable for fraud. Amanda Remus, a spokeswoman for Picard, said the trustee is reviewing the decision. Lawyers for Deborah Madoff, who married Andrew Madoff in 1992, and Stephanie Mack, who married Mark Madoff in 2004, were not immediately available for comment.
SAC agrees to sell reinsurance business to investor group
(Reuters) - A group of investors led by insurance-industry veteran Brian Duperreault struck a deal to buy billionaire trader Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors LP's reinsurance business. The deal for Bermuda-based SAC Re Ltd. is expected to close in December, a spokesman representing Duperreault and the investor group said on Monday, declining to specify terms. SAC Re will be renamed Hamilton Re upon the deal's closing, with Duperreault becoming chief executive officer. The sale of SAC Re, which began operations in 2012 with $500 million in capital from Cohen, Capital Z Partners and other investors, had been expected.
Policy centrist says ready to taper Fed bond buys
A top Federal Reserve official who is sometimes seen as a bellwether for U.S. monetary policy on Monday offered his voice to a growing contingent at the central bank that has argued for reducing the Fed's bond buying at a meeting next week. The remarks from St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard voicing support for a "small taper" were unexpected. But he said reducing the bond buying at the December 17-18 meeting would acknowledge the vast improvement in the job market since the program began last September, while still giving the central bank the flexibility to reverse course if inflation continues to linger too far below the Fed's 2 percent target. Bullard said investors would probably not be caught off guard if the Fed started to wind down the purchases in the near future.
U.S. exits GM stake, taxpayers lose about $10 billion
The U.S. government sold its last shares of General Motors Co on Monday, leaving taxpayers saddled with a total shortfall of about $10 billion on the automaker's 2009 bailout. "With the final sale of GM stock, this important chapter in our nation's history is now closed," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said. The government's exit could benefit GM in several respects. The company has carried a certain stigma since taking $49.5 billion in government money four years ago.
Fed's Fisher wants December taper, clear path to end of QE3
By Tom Polansek CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve should start to trim its massive bond-buying program next week, and spell out a clear path for phasing it out altogether, a top Fed official said on Monday. "It is time to taper," Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher said in remarks prepared for delivery to the DTN/The Progressive Farmer Ag Summit in Chicago. The Fed next meets to decide policy Dec 17-18 and most economists expect it to defer any change until next year. Saying that the cost of the Fed's $85-billion-a-month asset-purchase program "far exceeds" its benefits, Fisher urged reducing it "at the earliest opportunity," and to articulate a clear, well-defined path for ending it by a certain date.
Analysis: Bond funds end bad year with another headache: tax-loss selling
With the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 Index up around 25 percent for the year, financial advisors are looking to sell some of their worst-performing bond funds before the end of December, in order to book losses to offset capital gain taxes on their stock portfolios. While tax-motivated selling is common at the end of any year, what makes 2013 different is that investors are offloading popular bond funds offered by giants like Pimco, T. Rowe Price and Vanguard, rather than riskier stock funds. The broad bond market is down more than 4 percent for the year, hurt by expectations that the Federal Reserve would soon begin pulling back on its $85 billion a month stimulative bond purchases. Some advisors say they may not move money back into bond funds in 2014, even after the 30 days they are required to wait before repurchasing an investment on which they claimed a loss.
Twitter shares soar, near all-time high
By Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter shares soared more than 9 percent on Monday to their highest level since the company's initial public offering after a spate of product announcements that could boost its revenue prospects. Twitter has mostly traded in the low-$40 range in recent weeks since November 7, when shares briefly topped $50 in the hours following its highly anticipated IPO. Twitter on Thursday officially began allowing marketers to show individually-tailored ads on Twitter, based on websites the user has previously visited. Apple Inc announced last week it would acquire Topsy, an analytics company that mines Twitter data, for $200 million, according to media reports.
American Air to seek more corporate customers after merger
By Karen Jacobs DALLAS (Reuters) - American Airlines Group , the world's biggest airline after AMR Corp's merger with US Airways Group, intends to take advantage of its broad global network to win more corporate customers, the company's president said. American Airlines parent AMR Corp and US Airways sealed their $18 billion merger on Monday. Because of that, we have more ability to compete for corporate customers," said Scott Kirby, the former president of US Airways who has that role at the new American.
Sysco to buy US Foods from private equity, shares leap
Sysco Corp will buy US Foods Inc for about $3.5 billion from its private equity owners in a deal that will combine the top two U.S. food distributors and create a company commanding about a quarter of the $235 billion North American market. Sysco, whose shares jumped about 25 percent to a record high in early trading, will also assume US Foods' debt of about $4.7 billion as it combines its supply chain expertise with the strong consumer-facing technologies of US Foods. Shareholders of US Foods, owned by affiliates of private equity firms Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and KKR & Co , will own about 13 percent of Sysco after the closing of the deal, which creates a company with revenue of $65 billion. "Combining and maximizing the significant strengths of two outstanding companies is certain to be of tremendous advantage in supporting our customers," US Foods Chief Executive John Lederer said in a statement on Monday.
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