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Posted: Jun 5, 2012 1:26 AM

Updated: Jun 5, 2012 1:26 AM


Stocks mixed in Monday trading

NEW YORK (AP) Calm returned to the stock market Monday with the major averages settling mixed.

The Dow closed down 17.11 points, or 0.1 percent, at 12,101. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose a fraction to 1,278. The Nasdaq composite index rose nearly 13 to 2,760.

The S&P 500 has fallen nearly 10 percent since its recent peak of 1,419, reached on April 2. Traders call a decline of that size a market correction.

Since April, traders have grown increasingly nervous about Europe's finances. Spain's banks are in shambles, and Cyprus appears close to joining the club of bailed-out countries that already includes Greece, Portugal and Ireland.


Asia stocks regain their footing after big losses

BANGKOK (AP) Asian stock markets are seeing modest growth as a respite from major bad news is giving investors the pluck to get back into riskier assets.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.9 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5 percent and South Korea's Kospi gained 1.1 percent.

Traders brushed aside disappointing U.S. factory orders as falling bond yields for Spain and Italy boosted confidence that Europe can avoid a messy breakup of its currency union.

Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan, and Indonesia also rose. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.3 percent. Benchmarks in mainland China, Thailand and New Zealand fell.


Oil rises to near $85, bouncing off 8-month lows

SINGAPORE (AP) Oil is near $85 a barrel in Asia, recovering from an eight-month low amid hope Europe's leaders may contain the continent's debt and economic crisis.

Benchmark oil for July delivery was up 76 cents to $84.74 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 75 cents to settle at $83.98 in New York on Monday.

In London, Brent crude for July delivery was up 44 cents at $99.29 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Crude fell to below $82 in trading Monday, the lowest since October, as concern a global economic slowdown will undermine oil demand pulled prices down 23 percent in the last month.


Report due on services sector

WASHINGTON (AP) How's the white collar sector of the economy doing? We'll have a better idea today when the Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for May. That's at 10 a.m. Eastern.


US economic outlook darkens after jobs report

WASHINGTON (AP) Seeing Friday's disappointing jobs report, many economists have downgraded their forecasts for U.S. growth this year.

BNP Paribas economist Julia Coronado says she now expects growth of 2.2 percent this year, down from her previous forecast of 2.4 percent. She also revised down her estimate of growth in the April-June quarter to a 2.2 percent annual rate, from a 2.5 percent rate.

After the jobs report Friday, JPMorgan Chase sharply reduced its growth forecast for the July-September quarter to a 2 percent annual rate, down from 3 percent. It cited the weaker U.S. hiring and a likely drop in U.S. exports related to slower growth overseas.

And JPMorgan Chase now forecasts growth of 2.1 percent for 2012, down from 2.3 percent.

Forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers and Swiss bank UBS have also marked down their expectations since Friday's jobs report.

As a general rule, it takes about 2.5 percent growth to generate enough hiring to keep up with population growth. The reduced forecasts suggest that hiring may not strengthen much this year.


AIG settles DC, states' complaint for $146.5M

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) American International Group Inc. and its affiliates have agreed to pay $146.5 million to all 50 states and the District of Columbia to settle a complaint that it misreported billions of dollars in workers compensation premiums in past years.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, whose state was among those pressing the complaint, announced the settlement Monday.

AIG was accused of misreporting $21.1 billion in workers compensation premium as other lines of insurance in past years.

The company agreed to pay a $100 million national penalty and $46.5 million in additional premium taxes and assessments.

McCarty said Florida's share of the settlement will total $14.3 million. He said the misreported premiums had wrongly reduced AIG's taxes and assessments.

Telephones messages left for AIG by The Associated Press weren't immediately returned.


2 get federal prison terms in insider trading case

NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) A former stock trader has been sentenced to nine years in prison for what prosecutors say was a 17-year long insider trading scheme that reaped more than $30 million.

Garrett Bauer was sentenced in federal court in Newark on Monday, shortly after co-conspirator Matthew Kluger, a former attorney, received a 12-year term.

A third member of the scheme, former mortgage broker Kenneth Robinson, faces sentencing this week.

The three admitted using information Kluger provided on pending company mergers to make approximately $37 million from the mid-1990s through 2011.

Bauer, a New York resident, pleaded guilty last year to counts including securities fraud and conspiracy.


Google buys Meebo to help social networking push

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Google is buying Silicon Valley startup Meebo to help expand its social networking service.

The acquisition announced Monday will mean more tools for Google Plus, an alternative to Facebook's popular online hangout. Meebo started out as a system for connecting people on instant messaging, but has since built other communications features that are now used by about 100 million Web surfers in the U.S.

Both companies are based in Mountain View, Calif.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Meebo has raised $70 million in venture capital since its inception in 2005.

Google Inc. has spent more than $16 billion buying 140 companies since the end of 2009. That includes the biggest deal in Google's 14-year history, a just-completed $12.5 billion acquisition of cellphone maker Motorola Mobility Holdings.


Facebook stock down 3 pct to new low for close

NEW YORK (AP) Facebook's stock fell 3 percent and closed Monday at a new low.

Shares of Facebook Inc. slid 82 cents to close at $26.90, after briefly trading as low as $26.44. The previous low for the closing price was $27.72, on Friday.

Facebook's stock is down 29 percent from its initial public offering price of $38.

Facebook began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on May 18. The day was marred by trading glitches and general investor confusion. The highly anticipated IPO capped the worst week for the U.S. stock market so far this year.

Since the IPO, Facebook's stock has fallen on seven of the 11 trading days. At the same time, many analysts hold upbeat long-term opinions on Facebook.

The company is based in Menlo Park, Calif.


Starbucks buys bakery to improve food offerings

NEW YORK (AP) Starbucks looks to expand its food business with a $100 million cash deal to buy a small bakery chain.

The Seattle-based coffee chain says baked goods from La Boulange will start replacing its current lineup early next year, starting with French pastries such as the croissant.

Starbucks also says it plans to make the San Francisco-area bakery into a national presence in the years ahead.

Food has become an important part of Starbucks' revenue stream in recent years, with the segment now generating $1.5 billion a year. About a third of the purchases in its U.S. locations include a food item.

La Boulange, which also serves salads and sandwiches in a casual sit-down setting, has 19 locations in the Bay Area.

The deal positions Starbucks to enter a fast-growing segment of the restaurant industry currently dominated by Panera Bread.


Salesforce.com buying Buddy Media in $689M deal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Salesforce.com is buying marketing company Buddy Media for $689 million. The deal underscores growth in both social media and the delivery of software over the Internet.

As more companies promote themselves on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, Salesforce has been looking to add more products that can help its customers manage their marketing campaigns. Salesforce makes software designed to make it easier for companies to track their current customers' needs and identify new sales opportunities.

Buddy Media, which is based in New York, allows customers to create content on social-media sites, place ads there and measure the effectiveness of such campaigns.

Founded in 2007, Buddy Media has almost 1,000 customers, including Ford Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Mattel Inc. Salesforce has more than 100,000 customers.


Playboy Club at Las Vegas casino closes

LAS VEGAS (AP) The Playboy Club at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas has closed.

Nightclub management firm N9NE (NINE) Group issued a statement confirming the permanent closure.

A company spokeswoman says there has been no announcement yet about other plans for the space at the high-rise casino west of the Strip.

The casino and Playboy Enterprises said in March that the closure was amicable, and that the parties planned to "pursue new brand opportunities in Las Vegas nightlife."

The Playboy Club at the Palms opened in October 2006, with women dressed in bunnies dealing cards.

At the time, it was the first Playboy Club to open since 1988, when patriarch Hugh Hefner closed the last one in Lansing, Mich.

Others have since opened in Macau, Cancun and London.

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