Market Musings With Market Master Robert Hum
Stocks mixed to start the week, but S&P 500 closed at another record high, Nasdaq ended day at another 12.5-year high and Dow Industrials traded in a 48-point range, its narrowest range in 8.5 months.
Dow Transports closed at a record high for first time since mid-March. Crude oil rose 0.6 percent, and settled back above $96 since April 2.
Casino revenue in the U.S. up nearly 5 percent in 2012.
Eli Lilly CEO to have surgery, full recovery expected.
Senate passes bill allowing states to collect sales taxes for Internet purchases.
Anadarko Petroleum handily beats estimates.
First Solar earnings miss estimates, but revenues beat.
Norwegian Cruise beats estimates.
The Word on the Street
EA and Disney in Multi-Year Star Wars Games Deal/Reuters: "Electronic Arts and Walt Disney sealed a multi-year licensing deal under which the video game publisher will develop games for mobile devices, PCs and consoles based on the "Star Wars" movies. Disney, which bought George Lucas's Lucasfilm and the blockbuster sci-fi franchise for $4.05 billion in October, will retain the rights to develop online and mobile games, both companies said in a statement on Monday. They did not reveal the financial terms of the agreement."
Adobe Systems Goes All In on the Cloud/CNBC: "Adobe Systems placed a big bet on the cloud Monday, saying all new versions of its flagship creative software will be delivered by subscription only. The move toward cloud-based delivery is the boldest yet from a major software company. Adobe said it will continue to sell an older version of its software, CS6, indefinitely; but the company will no longer update it. For investors, customer reaction will be key. If creative software users embrace the changes, the subscription model should accelerate Adobe's shift toward more stable revenue growth. If they balk at the shift and interpret it as an attempt to force customers into a long-term billing relationship, Adobe might have to do some damage control."
Alwaleed's Kingdom on Prowl for Acquisitions, Plans Hotel Sale/Reuters:"Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal will hold onto his most high-profile investments, which range from stakes in Citigroup and News Corp to microblogging site Twitter, while seeking out new targets to diversify his global portfolio. Kingdom Holding 4280.SE, Alwaleed's investment vehicle, has asked investment banks to identify possible acquisition targets around the world and plans to sell its stake in 20-30 hotels in the next two years, he told Reuters on Monday."
California Agency: PG&E Should Pay $2.25 Billion for Fatal Pipeline Explosion/AP: "The California agency investigating the deadly 2010 gas pipeline explosion in a San Francisco Bay Area neighborhood recommended Monday that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pay a $2.25 billion fine for its negligence leading up to the blast. The penalty would be the largest ever assessed by a state regulator, officials said. The California Public Utilities Commission recommended the fine and said the company's shareholders should shoulder it, not the utility's customers."
Companies Cook the Books to Meet Tough Targets-Survey/Reuters: "Hard-pressed company bosses across much of the world are under so much pressure to deliver on growth that many have resorted to cooking the books, Ernst & Young ERNY.UL says in its latest Fraud Survey published on Tuesday. One in five of almost 3,500 staff quizzed in 36 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India said they had seen financial manipulation in their companies in the last 12 months, the accounting and consultancy firm said. In addition 42 percent of board directors and top managers surveyed said they were aware of "some type of irregular financial reporting".
Friend of Ex-KPMG Auditor Pleads Guilty in Insider Case/Reuters: "The California jeweler who gave a former KPMG auditor cash, an expensive watch and concert tickets in exchange for inside information about public companies agreed on Monday to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, according to court papers. Bryan Shaw, the jeweler who took tips on Herbalife, Skechers and other companies from his one-time golfing buddy Scott London, agreed to pay around $1.3 million in restitution and will continue to cooperate with the government as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors, according to the documents. Shaw is expected to appear in federal court later this week to formally enter the plea."
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Makes Malibu Real Estate His Own: Ellison has bought nearly two dozen properties in the beach community during a decade-long shopping spree, including at least nine homes on coveted Carbon Beach/LA Times.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss Hit Hole-in-One While Playing With Obama/USA Today: "U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss hit a hole-in-one while playing a round of golf with President Barack Obama on Monday. Obama was playing with the Georgia Republican and his fellow senators, Mark Udall, D-CO, and Bob Corker, R-T at Andrews Air Force Base. ... In Golf Digest's 2011 rankings of golfing Washingtonians, the 69-year-old Chambliss ranked No. 2 among senators with a 7.4 handicap index. (Obama is thought to have an index of 17.)
Lauryn Hill Sentenced to 3 Months in Prison for Not Paying Taxes/AP:"Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill has been sentenced to three months in prison for failing to pay taxes on about $1 million in earnings. She was also sentenced Monday in Newark to three additional months of home confinement.The 37-year-old South Orange resident pleaded guilty last year in the case. During a forceful statement to the judge, Hill explained she had always meant to eventually pay the taxes but was unable to during a period of time when she dropped out of the music business."