Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie EngagedA first look at Angelina Jolie's engagement ring, designed by fiance Brad Pitt.
Wall Street gains on bank rally, jobs data
Stocks rose on Friday after the government's stress test results on big banks increased optimism about financial stocks, and data showed employers cut fewer-than-expected jobs in April.
U.S. regulators told top banks after the close on Thursday to raise $74.6 billion to build a capital cushion that officials hope will restore faith in financial companies and set a course out of the deepest recession in decades.
Several of the large banks have announced equity and debt offerings in an attempt to raise capital.
The 539,000 jobs cut by employers in April was the smallest reduction since October, and hinted at some improvement in the labor market, but the unemployment rate soared to 8.9 percent, the highest since September 1983.
The results came out and it was less (capital) need than feared, and even less need than generally expected, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in Bedford Hills, New York
It shows that the banking system is not only solvent, but improving and well capitalized.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 123.70 points, or 1.47 percent, to 8,533.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 15.50 points, or 1.71 percent, to 922.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 9.55 points, or 0.56 percent, to 1,725.79.
Shares of several major banks rose, with JPMorgan Chase Inc
up 8.7 percent at $4.14.
The KBW Bank index <.BKX> jumped 9.6 percent.
Bank of America Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis said in an interview on CNBC that he anticipates about $10 billion in asset sales and that he is pretty confident the bank will do better than the stress test results indicate. Bank of America's stock shot up 5 percent to $14.19.
Crude oil futures prices jumped above $58 a barrel and bolstered energy shares, as Chevron
The Nasdaq remains on track for its ninth straight weekly advance, the longest such streak for the index since an 11-week climb at the end of 1999.
Since hitting a 12-year closing low in March, the S&P has surged 36.4 percent, driven by optimism about the financial system's condition and hopes the recession may be waning.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)
Moldova bans wheat exports
The Moldovan government imposed a ban on the export of wheat on Wednesday in response to what Prime Minister Vladimir Filat said was a need to prevent a shortage of grain in the country.
A panic has started in society. Bread prices are expected to soar, he told a cabinet meeting.
Moldovan experts forecast a 15-45% rise in the price of bread in the near future.
Agriculture Minister Vasily Bumakov said in late January bread price rises were inevitable given the rise in energy and fuel costs, as well as excessive wheat exports.
He said wheat exports in the past six months had almost trebled, year on year.
Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie EngagedJanuary 2006: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador U.S. actress Angelina Jolie (L) and U.S. actor Brad Pitt (R) arrive at their hotel in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2006. Jolie will take part in the Open Forum Davos 2006, which is part of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss city.
Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie EngagedOctober 2006: Actors Brad Pitt (R) and Angelina Jolie (3rd R) travel with their adopted son Maddox in a three-wheeler autorickshaw in the western Indian city of Pune October 8, 2006. Jolie said she and Pitt are disappointed they are not shooting "A Mighty Heart," a film about U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl, in Pakistan where he was abducted and murdered in 2002. Security concerns there caused officials to suggest they work elsewhere. So with the exception of a few background scenes shot in Pakistan, "A Mighty Heart" will be made in the western Indian city of Pune.
Morning Crude Oil Market Report for 2/2/2011
March crude oil traded higher during the early morning hours but turned flat heading into the US session. Some traders suggested that positive action in global stock markets this morning and early weakness in the US Dollar lent some support to March crude oil. Meanwhile, price differentials between Brent and WTI remains a highlight within the energy markets, especially after a $2.50 premium widening Tuesday. While Bent crude oil garners support from ideas of tightening North Sea supplies and uncertainty in Egypt, WTI crude is having to deal with growing US stockpiles. Private industry data Tuesday afternoon projected a larger build in weekly inventories then previous expectations that called for a 2.75 million barrel build. The Egyptian uncertainty remains a hot topic with both the US and Turkish leaders urging President Mubarak to step down sooner rather than later, especially after protestors seemed disappointed that he would remain in power until the September election. For now, the Suez Canal appears to be operating normally, with no major disruptions in the Sumed pipeline or Egypt's Alexandria and Damietta ports.
Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie EngagedJanuary 2007: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie pose at the Golden Globe Awards as one of Hollywood's hottest new couples.
Clean Energy to buy Exterran's gas station business
Natural gas provider Clean Energy Fuels Corp (CLNE.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it will acquire oilfield services company Exterran Holdings Inc's (EXH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) natural gas fueling station business for $5.9 million.
Besides the immediate volume and revenue benefits for Clean Energy, this strategic acquisition expands our participation in the transit industry nationwide, Chief Executive Andrew Littlefair said.
He added that with more than 20 percent of United States transit buses running on natural gas fuel, the deal would also help the company position itself better to qualify for new contracts, renewals and extensions with transit agencies.
Thecompany said the deal includes Exterran's natural gas station operations and maintenance contracts for four transit operators.
Seal Beach, California-based Clean Energy said that of the total deal value, it has already paid $3.2 million on closure of contract sales related to transit agencies in Los Angeles and Massachusetts.
Shares of Clean Energy closed at $8.71 Thursday on Nasdaq, while Exterran shares closed at $20.01 on the New York Stock Exchange.
For the alerts, double-click [ID:nWNAB6318] (Reporting by Shradhha Sharma in Bangalore; editing by Akshay Lodaya)
Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie EngagedJune 2007: Cast member Brad Pitt (C), co-star George Clooney (R) and actress Angelina Jolie arrive at the premiere of "Ocean's Thirteen" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California.
Pre-Opening Corn Market Report for 2/2/2011
March corn was up 4 1/2 cents late in the overnight session. Outside forces look mixed. Signs of firm demand and ideas that grains will need to compete for planted acres plus the inflationary undertones to agricultural markets helped drive corn to a new high for the move overnight. March corn closed moderately higher on the session yesterday with active buying in agricultural markets and a positive tilt to equity markets helping to support new buying and short-covering. December corn pushed to new highs for the move to its highest level since September of 2008, with the market closing up 22 3/4 cents from Monday's lows. Strength in the other grains, weakness in the US dollar and ideas that livestock consumption could bounce over the short term helped to support solid gains early in the session yesterday. And news of some new export business and a general bullish attitude to most agricultural markets added to the positive tone. The USDA announced export sales of 120,000 tonnes of US corn to an unknown destination for the 2010/11 season. The strike at the ports in Argentina is also seen as a potential positive force. The government called off the strike late yesterday, and government officials will meet with unions to try to resolve the pay issues. Weather has been more favorable in Argentina but looks to be drying out over the next week.
BHP Billiton says growing iron ore spot market eroding benchmark
Traditionally, annual iron ore prices are set through often bitter and lengthy negotiations between steelmakers and world's top miners -- Brazil's Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.
Exxaro workers may strike on benefits, jobs -union
South Africa's trade union Solidarity said on Wednesday workers at diversified miner Exxaro (EXXJ.J) could strike before mid-2011 over benefits and planned retrenchments.
Exxaro said in November that it might cut up to 300 jobs as a result of a proposed restructuring to improve productivity and reduce costs of services and operations. [ID:nWEA6204]
Employees are tired of waiting for Exxaro to make good on its promises, and the planned retrenchments are the last straw, said Louis Pretorius, Solidarity spokesman, in a statement, adding that a strike could take place before June.
Pretorius said the employees were also concerned with the disparities between different Exxaro mines' pension and medical benefits.
Employees on the same job level at the various plants receive different benefits, causing a great deal of tension. he said.
Solidarity, the National Union of Mineworkers and UASA declared a dispute with Exxaro over the retrenchments on Monday. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda, editing by Jane Baird)
Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie EngagedFebruary 2009: Angelina Jolie, best actress nominee for "Changeling," and Brad Pitt, best actor nominee for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," share a moment on the red carpet at the 81st Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 22, 2009.Pitt is in a classic Tom Ford tuxedo while Jolie is in an Elie Saab gown.
Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie EngagedDecember 2010: U.S. actors Angelina Jolie (R) and Brad Pitt pose for pictures as they arrive for the Spanish premiere of the movie "The Tourist" in Madrid.
Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie EngagedMay 2011: Cast member Brad Pitt (R) is reflected on the top of a car as he and actress Angelina Jolie leave the Festival Palace after the screening of the film "The Tree of Life", by director Terrence Malick, in competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival.
Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie EngagedJanuary 2012: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie strike a glamorous pose at the 2012 Golden Globe Awards.
Morning Cattle Market Report for 2/2/2011
April cattle closed 60 higher on the session yesterday and near the highs of the day, but stayed inside of Monday's wide trading range. The market saw choppy and two-sided trade early in the session, before moving up to slightly higher for the day into the mid-session. Ideas that poor weather will cause lower restaurant and consumer demand for beef on a temporarily basis were seen as pressuring the market early, but thoughts that cattle weights would decline and slow beef production due to the severe winter storm in the plains were seen as supportive factors for the market. In addition, the perception that death loss could increase above normal due to harsh weather for eastern feedlot areas as well the possibility that cold weather may reduce weights for much of the feedlot region were also thought to have supported the market yesterday and again during overnight trading. The large premium of futures to the cash market as well as a potential for slower demand due to the storm's impact were seen by some traders as limiting the strength of this recovery. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 123,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 243,000 head, down from 255,000 head last week at this time and down from 249,000 head a year ago. Boxed beef cutout values were up 38 cents at mid-session yesterday and closed 14 cents lower at $172.93. This was down from $173.28 the prior week.
Hollywood's hottest A-list couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, officially announced their engagement after photos were snapped of the beautiful actress sporting a large diamond ring on a very important finger on Wednesday.
After seven years together, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have decided to get married. Yes, it's confirmed. It is a promise for the future and their kids are very happy, Pitt's manager Cynthia Pett-Dante told the Associated Press Friday. There's no date set at this time. Brad designed the ring.
Pitt designed the ring for Jolie with jeweler Robert Procop, who has designed pieces for the actress in the past. I can confirm that, yes, Robert Procop did indeed design an engagement ring for Angelina Jolie, designed in collaboration with Brad Pitt, a rep for the jeweler told Us Weekly of the engagement ring that took a whole year to create.
The rep gave further details to Us Weekly about the design of the engagement ring: Working closely with Brad Pitt to realize the star's vision for the ring, Robert Procop was able to source a diamond of the finest quality which was then transformed using Pitt's unique designs, cut with distinctive faceting to a shape and size that perfectly suits Angelina's long, slender fingers. Throughout, Brad Pitt remained heavily involved, overseeing every aspect of the creative design process from the perfect cut of the diamond centerpiece - an elongated tablet shape - to the finishing touches such as the mounting of a galaxy of smaller stones which are graduated in size and faceted to match, adding a crowning lustre to the ring. The full creative journey - from conception to completion - took a year, with Brad Pitt waiting until the perfect moment to unveil this special jewel to Angelina Jolie.
In January, Brad Pitt revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that an engagement looked promising.
We'd actually like to, he said of making Jolie his wife, and it seems to mean more and more to our kids. We made this declaration some time ago that we weren't going to do it till everyone can. But I don't think we'll be able to hold out. It means so much to my kids, and they ask a lot. And it means something to me, too, to make that kind of commitment.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's romance has certainly been a whirlwind. What began seeped in steamy scandal has evolved into something of love and fruitfulness. Here is a timeline of their romance from filming Mr. & Mrs. Smith to six children later.
Summer 2004: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie meet and begin filming the action thriller, Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Rumors quickly circulate that the two are involved in a real-life romance, despite the fact that Brad Pitt was married to actress Jennifer Aniston at the time. Both deny the gossip.
January 2005: Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston announced that they are separating after five years of marriage.
March 2005: Jennifer Aniston files for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.
April 2005: Photos are printed of Pitt and Jolie frolciking on a beach together in Kenya with Jolie's adopted son, Maddox. These images solidified the romance rumors for many.
July 2005: W magazine featured a 30-page editorial spread of Jolie and Pitt playing house in a feature entitled Domestic Bliss. Mr. & Mrs. Smith was a film about a glamorous husband and wife who are hired to assassinate each other. In the W spread, which Pitt helped shoot, the actor wanted to tell a darker tale that explored the unidentifiable malaise that haunts a seemingly-happy couple. You don't know what's wrong, he says, because the marriage is everything you signed up for. To may this art-imitating-life venture was a slap in the face to Aniston.
July 6, 2005: Pitt and Jolie travel to Ethiopia where Jolie adopts her second child, 6-month-old Zahara Marley. Though the couple continues to neither confirm nor deny their romance, all signs point to yes.
October 2, 2005: Aniston's divorce from Pitt is finalized.
January 11, 2006: Angelina Jolie confirms to People magazine that she is pregnant with her first child with actor Brad Pitt. This is the first official confirmation that the two are, in fact, a couple.
January 19, 2006: A judge grants Jolie's request to change the surnames of her children, Maddox and Zahara, from Jolie to Jolie-Pitt.
May 27, 2006: Angelina Jolie gives birth to her first biological child with Brad Pitt, daughter Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, in Swakopmund, Namibia. Shiloh's first photos were sold exclusively to People magazine and OK! magazine for $4.1 million and $3.5 million, respectively. The money was donated to charities providing aid to African children, according to MTV News. In December, OK! magazine reports that the couple will have a fairytale Christmas wedding in South Africa.
October 2006: Brad Pitt shoots down any rumors of marriage in an Esquire interview. The couple supports gay marriage. Pitt said they will marry when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able.
March 15, 2007: Angelina Jolie adopts son Pax Thien from Vietnam. She adopts him as a single parent, as Vietnamese law does not allow unmarried couples to adopt. One month later, Jolie files a request to have his surname changed to Jolie-Pitt.
May 2008: After much public speculation, Jolie confirms that she is expecting twins with Brad Pitt while promoting the film, Kung Fu Panda.
July 12, 2008: Angelina Jolie gives birth to twins, Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline, in Nice, France. The couple sells the rights for the first photos to People and Hello! for $14 million. This sale makes the most expensive celebrity pictures ever sold. The couple donates the proceeds to their Jolie-Pitt Foundation.
October 15, 2008: Jolie stirs controversy after telling The New York Times that she is excited for her children to see Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the film where she and Pitt first met. She said, Not a lot of people get to see a movie where their parents fell in love. However, many saw a problem with this statement, as the couple previously denied any romance while filming the movie.
November 2008: Jennifer Aniston breaks her silence on her divorce and Pitt's new relationship, telling Vogue that Jolie's comments were completely uncool. I felt those details were a little inappropriate to discuss, Aniston said. That stuff about how she couldn't wait to get to work every day? That was really uncool. As for Pitt, she said, I have nothing but absolute admiration for him, and I'm proud of him. We have exchanged a few very kind hellos and wishing you wells and sending you love and congratulations on your babies.
Winter 2010: Rumors swirl that Pitt will a cameo appearance in Jolie's directorial debut film, In the Land of Blood and Honey. When the film came out at in 2011, the rumors were squashed as Pitt never made an appearance.
September 2011: Brad Pitt is criticized after telling Parade magazine that his life in the 90s was pathetic, while Jolie reinvigorated him. I spent the '90s trying to hide out, trying to duck the full celebrity cacophony. I started to get sick of myself sitting on a couch, holding a joint, hiding out. It started feeling pathetic. It became very clear to me that I was intent on trying to find a movie about an interesting life, but I wasn't living an interesting life myself. I think that my marriage [to actress Jennifer Aniston] had something to do with it. Trying to pretend the marriage was something that it wasn't, he said. I put much more emphasis on being a satisfied man. I'm satisfied with making true choices and finding the woman I love, Angie, and building a family that I love so much. A family is a risky venture, because the greater the love, the greater the loss... That's the trade-off. But I'll take it all.... ? One of the greatest, smartest things I ever did was give my kids Angie as their mom. She is such a great mom. Oh, man, I'm so happy to have her.
December 2011: While promoting In the Land of Blood and Honey, Jolie tells Christiane Amanpour that her children want a wedding. The kids asked me the other day, and I asked them if it was just because they wanted to have a 'big cake,' Jolie said. They see movies that have the people getting married in the movies ... you know, the happily ever after. Shrek and Fiona are married. ... We've explained to them that our commitment when we decided to start a family was the greatest commitment you could possibly have. Once you have six children, you're committed.
January 2012: Pitt co-signed Jolie's statement that their children were pushing them down the aisle. We'd actually like to, he told The Hollywood Reporter of marrying Jolie, and it seems to mean more and more to our kids. We made this declaration some time ago that we weren't going to do it till everyone can. But I don't think we'll be able to hold out. It means so much to my kids, and they ask a lot. And it means something to me, too, to make that kind of commitment.
April 2012: It is announced that Pitt and Jolie may reunite on film for Sir Ridley Scott's, The Cousenlor. If true, this will be the first time the couple shares the silver screen since meeting during Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
April 13, 2012: Brad Pitt's rep confirms that he and Angelina Jolie are engaged to be married.