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  • Wal-Mart Tops Fortune 500 - 5 June 2014
  • First published in 1955 by Fortune magazine, the Fortune 500 ranks the top 500 privately held and publicly traded companies in the United States by gross revenue. Created by Fortune editor Edgar P. Smith, the report only lists companies that make their revenues publicly available, and gross revenue excludes excise taxes incurred by individual companies. In addition to the Fortune 500 list, Fortune magazine also compiles the Fortune Global 500, Fortune India 500, 40 under 40, and Fortune 500 Computer Software and Information Companies. Initially the Fortune 500 was restricted to companies in the manufacturing, mining and energy exploration sectors, but in 1994 the magazine included service companies, resulting in 291 new entrants on the list, three of which were counted in the Top 10 – Wal-Mart Stores Inc., AT&T Corp., and Sears, Roebuck & Co.

  • FOMC Minutes Boost Market - 22 may 2014
  • Stocks on Wall Street rebounded Wednesday, partly in response to minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting held on April 29-30 which were released in the afternoon. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 158.75 points to close at 16,533.06, while the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 15.20 points to 1,888.03 and the Nasdaq composite index gained 34.65 points to 4,131.54. The Russell 2000 index for small-company stocks also picked up by 5.73 points to close at 1,103.63. All ten of the S&P 500's industry sectors rose, with consumer discretionary and energy stocks in the lead. While not to the extent experienced in 2008, the market has been seesawing day-to-day for up to 60 percent of the time since the beginning of the year.

  • Pharmaceutical Sector Shake-up - 8 may 2014
  • In an effort to boost share prices and profits, thereby keeping shareholders satisfied, major pharmaceutical companies are currently negotiating mergers, acquisitions and hostile takeovers which will essentially narrow their focus, allowing them to specialize in various fields. This latest trend of divesting assets is quite a turnaround from a few years ago when drug companies were diversifying through acquisitions to avoid an 'eggs-in-one-basket' scenario. Analysts note that deals currently underway are focusing on cutting costs and boosting sales to produce results investors have come to expect based on performance over the last two decades or so. However, the bullish activity in the pharmaceutical sector has been driven, in large part, by marketing of new products. With patents expiring and generic medicines flooding the market, many drugmakers have seen their revenue level out, or dip in recent months and will be hard-pushed to match past performances.

  • SOPA Triggers Tech Sector Backlash - 17 November 2011
  • With tech and social media companies continuing to grow in size and influence in the US economy, investors take note when companies like Google and Facebook make waves about proposed legislation affecting these market sectors. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) introduced in the House of Representatives at the end of last month, has these tech giants up in arms as they criticize the proposals for being too stringent, noting that it opens up possibilities for a host of unintended consequences. As the name of the act suggests, its intention is to deal with trademark and copyright issues by targeting foreign sites that facilitate piracy of copyrighted materials such as music, films and television shows.

  • US & Global Economies Still Under Spotlight - 3 October 2011
  • As Wall Street enters the final quarter of 2011, investors need to come to grips with some of the fears that drove stocks down on Friday, ending what has been declared as the worst quarter since the beginning of the financial crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 240 points to close at 10,913, the S&P 500 fell by 30 points to close at 1,131, while the Nasdaq Composite slid 65 points to close at 2,415 – recording declines of 2.1 percent, 2.5 percent and 2.6 percent respectively. For the Dow it was the worst quarter since the first three months of 2009, while for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq it has been the worst since the final quarter of 2008. While investors are, of course, hopeful for improvements moving ahead, indications are that the problems plaguing the US economy, as well as the global economy, are likely to continue unabated for some time.

  • AT&T/T-Mobile Face Antitrust Issues - 1 September 2011
  • In the current economic climate, mergers and acquisitions offer potential for growth, as well as a means to cut costs by the laying off of staff and sharing of resources. The danger in M&A activity is the domination of markets by monopolies, and this is where antitrust authorities step in to ensure that markets remain competitive and consumers have a choice in products and services. The proposed takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T has been big news recently and it is no secret that AT&T was counting on this acquisition to compete with Verizon. But yesterday, the Department of Justice stepped in to block the $39 billion takeover in its current form, noting that the deal would push up prices for consumers and reduce competition.

  • NVCA – Funding Innovation - 21 July 2011
  • The stated primary goals of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) are:"Funding Innovation" and "Empowering Entrepreneurs", and while large corporate companies may become bogged down in red tape and bureaucracy, entrepreneurs have a vested interest in productivity and growth, making these fledgling companies a valuable asset in job creation and economic recovery. Venture capitalists identify innovative entrepreneurs and invest in them, giving them the capital, and often the expertise and mentorship, to overcome barriers to entry and establish their business in the sector of their choice. Turning good ideas into reality and helping them to grow is what venture capital investment is all about.


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