Monday, November 9, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - November 9

Employment Trends Rise for 2nd Straight Month - By Rex Nutting - MarketWatch - "'The employment trends index has likely turned a corner in September, and the historical relationship between the index and employment suggests that job losses will end in early 2010,' said Gad Levanon, senior economist at the Conference Board. 'While layoffs have certainly declined in recent months, we still expect to see employers adding hours to their existing workforce before hiring will strongly increase.'

Oil Futures Rise on Weak Dollar, Hurricane Ida - Oil futures rose to close to $78 a barrel on the dollar weakening against other foreign currencies and Hurricane Ida. Ida had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane, and the forecast is that it will continue to weaken. If this persists, any run up in prices due to weather could quickly be erased.

GE, Comcast Agree on NBC Universal Value - According to reports from Reuters, GE and Comcast have agreed that a NBC Universal-Comcast deal would be valued at $30 billion. What remains in question is how much Vivendi's stake in NBC Universal would be worth.

So the basic agreement looks to be that Comcast would own 51% of joint venture with NBC Universal (49%), and GE would spin-off the NBC Universal part. GE would also like to buy Vivendi's share of NBC Universal, but that has not been valued either. Comcast will bring its cable assets and some channels to deal plus cash. In the end, this could still take a while...

McDonald's Same Store Sales Rise 3.3% - McDonald's reported that its October same store sales rose 3.3%. Comparable sales were down 0.1% in the US, up 6.4% in Europe and climbed 4.7% in Asia, Middle East and Africa. Total system wide sales rose 10.3% and were up 5.2% excluding the impact of currency translations.

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