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AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has made a tentative new labor contract agreement that covers 22,000 wireline employees with the Communications Workers of America in the Southeast. The three-year contract, which covers billing and utility operations, includes raises in salaries and pensions. However, staff at AT&T West and AT&T East have now begun a strike over contracts which expired in April. The West area covers 17,000 workers with the East covering 3,000.
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Opening offers for bankrupt Eastman Kodak’s patent portfolio were in a range between $150 million and 250 million, which was far below the $2.6 billion that the company predicted they could be worth, according to the Wall Street Journal. With the auction scheduled for Wednesday, the offers originated between two consortia, one of which included Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), with the other containing Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Samsung.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) gets into online gambling with Tuesday’s intro of a Bingo Friendzy application in the United Kingdom, in line with Gamesys, with players being allowed to play the game for cash prizes. The firm promises the addition of slot-machine games over the next few weeks, as it searches out more sources of monetization.
Acer Inc. (ASIYF.PK) Chief Executive J.T. Wang says that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) should “think twice” before introducing Surface, predicting that the tablets will “create a huge negative impact for the personal computer ecosystem.” The latter has already commented about a potential backlash from original equipment manufacturers in its 10-K, and its worries might be a reason why only Microsoft’s online and retail stores will see initial Surface sales. It’s also thought that fears of channel conflict might impact the company’s pricing.
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It is possible that one of Nokia Corporation’s (NYSE:NOK) first Windows Phone 8 devices has been spotted on a Chinese site that has posted photos of what appears to be a yellow Lumia phone with an oversized display. Expectations have increased that Nokia will unwrap WP8 hardware, perhaps with a PureView phone, at a September 5th Nokia World event.
Shares of First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) move up on the news that the White House will expedite some 7 solar and wind projects, among them the First Solar’s Silver State South Nevada project. Wind turbine component manufacturer American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:AMSC) shares are among Tuesday’s big winners as well. First Solar is currently up more than 35 percent since it posted a huge second quarter beat, but shares are still down considerably on the year.
A major rally in chip stocks was underway Tuesday, subsequent to their upgrades by Goldman: Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT), Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (NYSE:FSL), and LSI Corporation (NYSE:LSI), are leading the way. As for Freescale, Goldman contends that any downsides to estimates are limited, given soft guidance and a lean supply chain, and also the firm predicts earnings per share to be “up significantly” in 2013 and 2014 due to a new chip industry ‘up’ cycle.
Analysts such as MG Siegler are wondering if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will separate itself from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) search, as YouTube is removed along with Google Maps, from iOS . However, reasons why Apple will not do this include the fact that Google dominates mobile search, possesses far more user data than Microsoft, and is also paying Apple large revenue-sharing fees.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) wins a tactical victory in its legal war with Samsung (SSNLF.PK) as Judge Lucy Koh allows a 132-page document of the latter that compares the original Galaxy S with the iPhone to be placed in evidence. The document shows a feature-by-feature comparison of the two devices and even suggests that the Galaxy S needs to be more like the iPhone.
Shares of Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) move up after the company denies that it has plans to make an offer for its clinical transcription rival M*Modal Inc. (MODL), which will be acquired by JPMorgan’s private equity arm for $14 a share. M*Modal’s disappointing second quarter results posted on Tuesday might be why Nuance has backed away. The former also previously divulged that it turned down a $17 per share offer from a rival widely believed to be Nuance because of timing and antitrust matters.
Pandora Media (NYSE:P) Executive John Trimble reports that his company might work to create an ad exchange platform which would serve third-party content providers, specifically in the mobile area where Pandora has had monetization difficulties. In addition, Trimble says that his firm is aggressively strengthening its local ad sales endeavors and aims to take advertising dollars from traditional radio.
Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) plans to equip almost 7,000 of its stores with Square’s tiny card readers, thereby investing $25 million in the payments behemoth. The coffee giant will also support Pay With Square later in 2012, which is an application-based solution that allows users set up a tab. Card-reader competitors Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN), PayPal (NASDAQ:EBAY), and Verifone Systems, Inc. (NYSE:PAY) will have to hustle to gain momentum now that Square, which is already quite popular with small businesses, has signed its first large retail chain.
Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) reports that it expects a fiscal third quarter earnings per share of $1, beating a consensus of 97 cents. In the meantime, Enterprise Services Chief John Visentin is exiting the company (to pursue personal interests), and the EMEA services head Mike Nefkens will become interim Enterprises chief. Additionally, Hewlett-Packard will take an $8 billion goodwill impairment charge, originating in a lower stock price and Services business conditions. The fiscal third quarter results are scheduled for Aug. 21st.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is experiencing increased rivalry from both clothing start-ups and eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY). The start-ups’ strategy includes cutting out ‘middle men’ and producing items to order which obviates warehouses and this allows them to even undersell Amazon. eBay competes by aiding retailers by putting store fronts on its site as Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE:BKS), and GNC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:GNC) have already done.
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Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) continues to progress with its self-driving car initiative as the firm says in a blog post that select employees will commute to work in the cars and they can “take over” if the algorithm falters. This self-driving idea has the attention of the industry as a whole, but Google selecting the Lexus RX450h for its test runs could give Toyota a hand as well.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) will shell out $22.5 million to resolve a Federal Trade Commission complaint concerning the placing of tracking cookies on systems that employ Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Safari browser, with the purpose of delivering targeted ads. It is said that the FTC still possesses many outstanding complaints against Google.
The bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. (EKDKQ.PK) won a patent infringement ruling last week against Apple, but the latter can appeal, as it declares the judge to be responsible for the ruling. The downside for Eastman is that such a move could further delay the auction of its valuable patent portfolio, although considering how low the initial bids were, the company might decide to let that go for a while.
More executive changes have been announced at Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO). Michel Protti, who served as chief of staff for the departed interim Chief Executive Ross Levinsohn, is said to have exited the company. However, current Chief Executive Marissa Mayer has made her second Google hire , bringing in the ex-project manager Patricia Moll Kriese to become Yahoo’s senior director for corporate projects.
Brian White at Topeka has the crystal ball on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), as his “Apple Monitor” is said to have accurately predicted a soft June quarter and now proclaims that the monitor predicted the “best July on record,” with sales of the Apple suppliers it tracks increasing by 14 percent month-over-month against an historical average of 8.5 percent. Already, Cirrus Logic’s guidance is driving hopes of strong autumn sales for Apple and its suppliers.
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Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) shares move up notably on the news that its strategy chief Keith Cowan will be exiting as of Sep. 30th; the language is said to imply that Cowan may have been sacked, as in March, the Wall Street Journal said that shareholders were worried about Cowan’s “tough style” not being okay with potential partners.
PayPal’s (NASDAQ:EBAY) deal with the top Chinese e-commerce platform DHGate.com has come undone, as the latter, which claims to have over 3 million buyers and 20 million product listings, announced that it no longer accepts PayPal as a payment method, citing ‘mutual disagreements’. The arrangement represented PayPal’s biggest such deal in China, whose online payments market is dominated by Alibaba.Com Limited (ALBCF.PK), Tencent Holdings Adr (TCEHY.PK), and China UnionPay.
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Dish Networks Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) has invested $396 million in Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) debt, UBS thinks, based on its study of Dish’s most recent 10-Q. Other analysts have calculated that Dish might have nearly $737 million invested, with the expectation tha tin return it will expect Clearwire to support its 4 gigabyte network plans.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares are up Friday, and Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) shares are way up, as shorts might be covering ahead of the weekend. Facebook’s gains precede a lock-up expiration on 10 percent of outstanding shares in five days. David Faber at CNBC says that the firm has been meeting with institutional investors to push up interest in shares ahead of the expiration.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is about to redo its Kindle lineup, says Gizmodo, after seeing some significant discounts for the hardware on the company’s site. For example, the 9.7 inch Kindle DX is reduced by 29 percent, and Amazon’s hourly Lightning Deals are replete with Kindle merchandise. A third quarter refresh is expected by many observers, and also considered necessary due to weak e-reader sales and the Kindle Fire’s travails with its rivals iPad and the Nexus 7.
Friday’s court battle saga between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF) involves the huge amount of data regarding the firms’ domestic sales the case is dredging up. One Apple document claims that 19 million iPhones were sold in the United States during the first half of the year, which comprised 31 percent of its total sales, along with 10.2 million iPads (35 percent). At he same time, first half domestic sales of the Samsung smartphones declared by Apple to be infringing its IP amounted to a mere 4.5 million.
Mobile payments competitors Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), PayPal (NASDAQ:EBAY), Isis, and Intuit, Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) are partnering to create the Mobile Payments Committee, which will comprise a task force that will seek to appraise the interoperability, regulatory, and consumer awareness matters they believe have prevented consumers from paying for purchases by other means than cash or plastic. Square, surprisingly, is not a part of the deal and is perhaps celebrating its recent good fortune with Starbucks.
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