Today's Intel

Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011


Top lawmakers from both parties are proposing to offset the cost of extending a U.S. payroll tax cut, establishing markers for negotiations over how to prevent the break from expiring Dec. 31.

Herman Cain worked to keep his Republican presidential campaign on track after fresh allegations of sexual indiscretions raised questions about whether he can sustain the backing to continue his bid.

Companies added more workers than anticipated in November, 206,000, easing concern the job market is stagnating in the third year of the U.S. recovery, according to a private report.

The productivity of U.S. workers advanced at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter, more slowly than previously estimated, a signal that efficiency gains are contributing less to growing corporate profits.

Planned firings dropped 13 percent to 42,474 from November 2010.

Pfizer Inc.'s long dependence on the cholesterol pill Lipitor to produce almost one-fifth of the company's revenue begins eroding today when the drug's patent protection ends in the U.S.

Iran faces new hurdles to getting paid for its oil as the U.S. tightens financial sanctions to deter buyers from the world's third-largest crude exporter.

The number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes rose 10.4 percent, more than forecast in October as buyers took advantage of falling prices and low borrowing costs.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said today its business barometer increased to 62.6 in November from 58.4 the prior month as orders and production strengthened. Readings above 50 signal growth.

The Brazilian real advanced the most in a month after the Federal Reserve cut the cost of emergency dollar funding for European banks as part of a globally coordinated response to alleviate a dollar shortage.

Irish homes may sell for as little as $28,000 today as owners dispose of foreclosed properties in the country's biggest residential auction.

The Federal Reserve cut the cost of emergency dollar funding for European banks as part of a globally coordinated central-bank response to the continent's sovereign-debt crisis. The interest rate has been reduced to the dollar overnight index swap rate plus 50 basis points, or half a percentage point, from 100 basis points, and the program was extended to Feb. 1, 2013.

AP Top Stories

More than 1,400 police officers, some in riot gear, cleared the Occupy Los Angeles camp, driving protesters from a park and arresting more than 200 who defied orders to leave.

Teachers, nurses and border guards protesting over pension reform staged Britain's first mass strike for more than 30 years in a confrontation with the government over its austerity measures.

A new Census report shows child poverty up since 2007. With many benefits for the poor - such as the Earned Income Tax Credit - expiring at the end of the year, things could get worse.

Vice President Joe Biden said his trip to Baghdad ahead of the U.S. military pullout marks a new beginning between Iraq and the United States, but protests in Iraq against his visit demonstrated the difficulties the relationship will face.

China's central bank cut reserve requirements for commercial lenders for the first time in three years, a policy shift to ease credit strains and shore up an economy running at its weakest pace since 2009.


US police find one of the most sophisticated drug-smuggling tunnels to date on the border with Mexico, complete with lighting and transport carts.

Amnesty International calls on the US to stop jailing minors for life without parole, and ratify a UN convention on the issue.

Turkey's foreign minister announces sanctions on Syria over its crackdown on protests, saying Syrian leaders have reached "the end of the road".


Following Fitch Ratings decision to lower the US outlook from stable to negative, the S&P has thrown yet another bombshell after it informed in an official release post NY close that it had just downgraded 37 global banks. Goldman, BofA, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, BNY Mellon were amongst the cuts based on a new reviewing critera it applied. Japanese and UK banks were either cut or the outlook lowered as well.

The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.

A stunning Planned Parenthood document that includes radical ideas such as compulsory abortion and sterilization; special "permits" to have children; penalizing parents; and encouraging homosexuality dovetails with some Obamacare mandates, according to a former Planned Parenthood director.

The Obama administration rejected two states' requests for waivers from the healthcare reform law. The decision could rekindle the controversy over the waiver process, as the two states that were turned down, Indiana and Louisiana, have Republican governors.

A rising number of parents in more than half of states are opting out of school shots for their kids. And in eight states, more than 1 in 20 public school kindergartners do not get all the vaccines required for attendance, an Associated Press analysis found.

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