The following is a round-up of news likely to affect stock prices today:
BP (BP) is finally seeing some success in capturing oil leaking from its damaged Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. The company said Monday that as of Friday the cap it attached to the top of the leaking well captured 10,500 of the estimated 12,000 to 19,000 barrels of oil spewing from the wellhead. Still, the company faces huge clean-up costs and its political woes have only just begun.
Apple (AAPL) will today unveil the latest version of its wildly popular iPhone, which features longer batter life and a better display. Apple CEO Steve Jobs will unveil the new device at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The fourth-generation iPhone may also feature a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip, giving users the ability detect other phones (and even identities, if you make that public). Over 51 million iPhones have been sold since the product launched in June 2007. Details of this latest version recently leaked out after an Apple engineer left a prototype model in a bar.
A study has shown that use of the anti-cancer drug Avastin may keep ovarian cancer in check, but only if used for a long time -- as much as 10 months, researchers reported Sunday at a gathering of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago. Avastin, made by the Genentech unit of Roche (RHBBY), slows the development of blood vessels that nourish tumors and is perhaps the world's best-selling cancer drug, The New York Times reported. It is already approved for use in treating colorectal, breast, lung, kidney and brain cancers.
U.K.-insurer Prudential (PUK) says it has no plans for a renewed bid for AIA, the Asian business of American International Group (AIG), based in New York. A deal to buy the unit collapsed last week after Prudential failed to negotiate a lower price for AIA. Reports Sunday suggested Prudential had reworked its proposal yet again, BBC News reported. Shares of Prudential were down about 1% in midday trading in London. AIG stock headed lower in premarket action, down nearly 2%.
Oceaneering International (OII) reduced its 2010 earnings forecast to $2.80 to $3.10 a share "in light of the (U.S. government's) six-month moratorium on deep-water permitting and drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico," the company said in a statement Monday. The underwater oil-drilling company said it expects the government's action will cut second-half earnings by 45 cents a share. Analyst estimates anticipated the company will earn $3.42 a share, according to a consensus estimate of 14 analysts by Zacks.com.
Exxon Mobil (XOM) warned Monday that "premature" changes to deep-water drilling laws may harm industry growth and damage long-term investment decisions. The oil giant urged the world's governments to take time to assess the reasons for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, news services reported from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, site of the annual Asia Oil & Gas Conference.
North Carolina-based Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdings (TLCR) agreed Monday to be acquired by Spain's Grifols (GIKLY) for $3.4 billion, forming a global producer of plasma protein therapies. Under the terms of the deal, Barcelona-based Grifols agreed to pay $19 cash and 0.641 non-voting share for each Talecris share. In premarket trading on Wall Street, shares of Talecris were up by nearly 40% to around $22 each.
Yahoo (YHOO) has unveiled new details on how it will implement an agreement announced last December to integrate information from Facebook on a variety of the company's pages, Barron's reports. Yahoo said people who use both sites can link their accounts and updates with friends across both networks.
Google (GOOG) has announced its Linux-based Chrome operating system will ship in the fourth quarter of this year. The Internet search-engine giant first announced the Chrome OS, not to be confused with the Chrome browser, about a year ago. Compared to Microsoft (MSFT) Windows, it's expected to be leaner, with less code.
Shares of Societe Generale (SCGLY) fell sharply along with other European stocks as Friday's disappointing jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor combined with comments from Hungary, which said its economy is in a "very grave" situation, reignited concern the region's debt crisis is spreading, Bloomberg News reported. In premarket action in New York shares of the French banking giant were up a fraction.
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