Money Minute: GE Clears Last Hurdle To Buy France's Alstom

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GE Clears the last hurdle to buy France's Alstom.

There were a lot of twists and turns but General Electric (GE) has just cleared the way to buy most of French power equipment-maker Alstom's assets. The French government was less than enthusiastic at first as it saw the deal as a threat to French jobs. At one point France encouraged a joint bid from Siemens-Mitsubishi -- then did a 180 and Alstom rejected that offer. What sealed the deal? The French government is going to buy a 20 percent stake in Alstom to maintain its influence and Alstom will become an equal partner in a series of joint ventures with GE.

This could be a big milestone week for the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) -- it's nearing the 17,000 mark for the first time ever. If it does get to that peak, it will have jumped 20,000 points in just over a year. Historically, that's a fast ascent that is being driven by a five-year bull market. High net worth individuals who tend to invest in stocks though don't feel that great about the market. A new survey of wealthy families done by U.S. Trust finds only 40 percent of them feel "bullishly optimistic" about the market. 10 percent said they feel downright pessimistic.

On Wall Street last week, the Dow and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) hit new records. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 1 percent to close at 16,947 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rallied 1.3 percent as did the S&P 500.

American Apparel (APP) founder, Dov Charney, who was ousted by the board last week for what it says was misconduct, isn't planning on exiting gracefully. He has hired a lawyer who is demanding a meeting Monday with the board to have Charney fully reinstated to his positions. Charney has been the subject of numerous sexual harassment lawsuits over the years.

And finally, the latest book by a superstar in financial reporting is getting the Hollywood treatment. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys," which claims the stock market is rigged by high-frequency traders is going to be adapted for the big screen by Aaron Sorkin, the creator of "West Wing" and writer of "The Social Network." The two have worked together before -- Sorkin was a co-writer on the movie adaptation of Lewis' "Moneyball."

-Produced by Karina Huber.


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