Could Apple be Eyeing Hulu?
The iPhone maker is currently in its early stage of the talks, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Bloomberg also reported that those talks may lead to an offer for Hulu. The article further stated that Hulu would give Apple a new subscription service and could be a possible challenge to Netflix.
Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and Comcast Corp.'s NBC Universal are the owners of Hulu, and are offering a five-year extension of program rights, including two years of exclusive access, those familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
U.K. Lawmakers Recommend To Stiffen Bribery Related Offenses
RTTNews - Tuesday, a Joint Committee on the Draft Bribery Bill recommended the British government to stiffen the offense by making a company or partnership strictly liable for any bribe paid by a person performing services on its behalf, except where the organization proves that adequate anti-bribery procedures were in place.
The Joint committee welcomed the draft Bill as an important step forward in tackling corruption and fulfilling the UK's international obligations. The proposals replace the draft Corruption Bill that was published by the Government in 2003.
Chairman of the Joint Committee, Viscount Colville of Culross said, While the draft Bill is not a cure for the many challenges of corruption both within the United Kingdom and in relation to international business, we believe that, with some key changes that we recommend, it is an essential step forward that should create an improved platform for the Government and the business community to build upon the increasing global commitment to tackle bribery.
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Asia stocks at 10-month high
Asian stocks hit a 10-month high for a seventh day on Tuesday as investors were lifted by improving corporate earnings, though the non-stop pace of the rally caused some to wonder if it was overdone.
The Australian dollar shot to its highest level since last September after the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia said the central bank does not have to wait for unemployment to peak before raising rates, adding to speculation the next move will be up.
Major European stock markets opened firmer as investors rode the wave of positive sentiment. U.S. stock futures were down 0.2 percent after the S&P 500 closed on Monday at its highest level since November 4.
An abundance of easy money and low bank deposit rates in Asia have been pushing retail investors to shift money from bank accounts to equities, scrambling for higher returns despite increasingly expensive price tags.
These strong liquidity conditions are pushing Asian equities to stretched valuation levels, in our view. We think a strong recovery in global final demand is now priced in, Henry Hon and Daniel McCormack, strategists with Macquarie in Hong Kong, said in a research note.
They recommended slowly cutting exposure to riskier stocks as prices rise further.
Japan's Nikkei share average edged down just 1.4 points to 10,087.26 after posting a nine-day rising streak, the longest winning run since 1988.
High-tech shares that had already rallied are pausing for now, and clues to further gains in the overall market will depend on the degree to which investors snap up laggard banking shares, said Takahiko Murai, general manager of equities at Nozomi Securities in Tokyo.
Valuations have been recovering from depressed levels in Japan. However, on a price-to-book basis, the Nikkei is trading at around 1.3 times compared with the five-year average of 1.8 times, suggesting there may still be pockets of value.
The MSCI index of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan rose 1.3 percent, racking up a 10-month high.
Gains have sharply outpaced global equity markets, with the regional index up 71 percent since March 9, when share markets began a bullish recovery, compared with a 45 percent gain in the MSCI all-country world index.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was trading 1 percent higher in a choppy session, with index heavyweight China Mobile up 3.6 percent.
Investors in mainland China awaited the trading debut on Wednesday of China State Construction Engineering Corp, which with proceeds of $7.3 billion, will be the biggest IPO this year.
The IPO market in China has heated up to the point of increasing fears of a stock market bubble -- only months after the worst of the financial crisis has passed.
Sichuan Expressway tripled in price on its first day of trade on Monday, though it was down 10 percent on Tuesday.
Merrill Lynch economists raised their 2009 Chinese gross domestic product growth forecast to 8.7 percent from 8 percent, and said winding down measures to boost the economy will happen beginning in the spring of 2010.
Though sustainability of China's recovery remains a concern for some investors, a new concern is when Beijing will tighten policies. The so-called strategy has become a new focus for investors, economists Ting Lu and TJ Bond wrote in a note.
The Australian dollar swiftly turned positive on the day, trading up 0.9 percent to $0.8300 after Australia's top central banker gave an upbeat assessment of the economy.
However, he also warned that low rates should lead to home building and not just higher prices.
The euro climbed against the U.S. dollar compared with late Monday in New York, trading at $1.4228, ahead of U.S. home price data and a consumer confidence report. The euro rose to an eight-week high overnight after a report showed U.S. new home sales rose 11 percent in June, the biggest monthly rise since 2000.
Oil prices edged up, cutting early losses as share markets turned higher. U.S. light crude for September delivery was up 0.5 percent to $68.70 a barrel, while Brent climbed 0.5 percent to $71.18.
(Additional reporting by Aiko Hayashi in TOKYO; Editing by Neil Fullick)
Downturn In Australia May Not Be Serious: RBA Governor
RTTNews - Tuesday, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said downturn in Australia may not turn out to be one of the more serious ones of the post-War era, in contrast to the experiences of so many other nations.
... we can much more easily imagine upside risks to the outlook, to balance out the downside ones, than was the case six months ago, he said in an address to the Anika Foundation Luncheon in Sydney. According to Stevens, the real challenge for Australia in the near term is to ensure ready availability and low cost of housing finance.
The pace of global growth and easy availability of credit seen during the period up to 2007 was not the norm and it is unlikely to be seen again any time soon. Regarding other major economies, Stevens holds the view that the path to economic health would still be a difficult one, because the legacy of the crisis will cast a shadow for some time.
Stevens added, The rise in household leverage, the much lower rate of saving out of current income, and the rise in asset values we saw since the mid 1990s, are far more likely to have been features of a one-time adjustment, albeit a fairly drawn-out one, than of a permanent trend. These risks are reasonably contained so far in Australia, but it would be prudent not to push our luck here, he stated.
Further, he said banks should reduce their reliance on the extended guarantees and stand on their own feet before too much longer. Recognizing that it is in their own interests, Stevens noted that banks in the U.S. and Europe are starting down on this path on wholesale issuance. He assessed that this would make sense for Australian banks, which accounted for 10% of global issuance of government-guaranteed bank debt over the last nine months.
Throughout the period of maximum global economic contraction, the flexibility in using macroeconomic policies and other steps such as guarantees for deposit-taking institutions has been used to underpin demand and maintain confidence in the economy. Because of these measures, the economy and the financial system have been traveling rather better than those of most of the peers through the crisis and the initial economic aftermath.
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Burning Man 2012Hallie McConlogue stays cool partially submerged in a fishbowl helmet on Friday during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.
Burning Man 2012Mark Gower, dressed as a samurai, dances at sunrise on Friday during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.
Burning Man 2012Rainbow Fish, left, and Ambidrextrous, their Playa names, enjoy a bottle of wine and a kiss at sunrise on Friday during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.
Burning Man 2012Ciberfy, his play name, dances at sunrise on Friday during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.
Burning Man 2012An aerial view shows the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada on Thursday.
Burning Man 2012A man is captured and tagged by members of Animal Control during the Billion Bunny March during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada on Thursday.
Burning Man may be one of the unique festivals in American history. Every year since 1986, as many as 60,000 people have gathered in a makeshift village in Nevada's Black Rock Desert to celebrate art, life, and radical individuality.
Burning Man 2012 came to its awe-inspiring climax on Saturday night, as participants set fire to "The Man," a huge wooden effigy. While seeing a giant burning effigy is certainly bizarre, it's hardly the most interesting thing at the festival.
Participants are encouraged to partake in surreal art experiments, leading to some pretty trippy visuals all around. Click "Start" to see some of the most artistic, interesting, and downright insane things at Burning Man 2012.