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July 26, 2014

Nevada gambling revenue jumps 14 percent in June

Filed under: business, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:20 am

LAS VEGAS • Nevada officials say casino revenues shot up more than 14 percent in June thanks to a banner month on the Las Vegas Strip.

The state Gaming Control Board reported Friday that Nevada casinos brought in about $907 million in June.

Las Vegas Strip casinos pulled in $532 million in June, up more than 22 percent from the same month a year ago. Downtown Las Vegas casino revenues of $41million were up 12 percent.

Reno casino revenues of $48 million were down 3 percent compared with June 2013, while South Lake Tahoe casinos brought in $12 million and were down 2 percent payday loans.

The state collected $44 million in taxes based on the June winnings, which is up less that 1 percent compared with a year earlier.

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July 24, 2014

Wal-Mart names new CEO of US discount division

Filed under: online ads, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 1:08 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says U.S. discount-store chief Bill Simon is stepping down.

The world’s largest retailer has named the head of its Asian business as his replacement.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer says that Greg Foran, 53, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Asia, will succeed Simon.

Simon helmed the Wal-Mart U.S. division since June 2010. The changes will take effect Aug. 9. The company says Simon will be available on a consulting basis for the next six months to ensure a seamless transition Internet Payday loans.

Foran will report directly to Doug McMillon, who took over as president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in February.

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July 19, 2014

NBA: Cavaliers now willing to include Andrew Wiggins in Kevin Love trade talks

Filed under: loans, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 4:20 pm

The Cleveland Cavaliers have finally shown a willingness to put Andrew Wiggins in a trade for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

While no deal is imminent, this development jump-starts the conversation between the two teams.

Minnesota has been adamant that any deal with the Cavs for Love include Wiggins. Cleveland had been reluctant to include the No. 1 overall pick in June’s draft in trade talks. It remains unclear what else the T’wolves would want in a trade and whether that will be enough to get a deal done.

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Right now, the T’wolves are playing hardball for teams who want the all-star power forward. Cleveland has numerous young players and several future draft picks to offer, but Wiggins is high on Minnesota’s priority list. USA TODAY Sports previously reported the Golden State Warriors balked at including shooting guard Klay Thompson in a trade for Love, but their interest remains.

Love is coming off the best season of his career, averaging 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds a game. He can opt out his contract after this season, meaning teams that look to trade for him may want a commitment that he won’t leave after one year. That option also puts pressure on the T’wolves to trade him before losing him for nothing.

But Wiggins was drafted No. 1 with considerable hype. He is averaging 13.7 points, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks in summer league action the past week and is expected to play well with LeBron James, who signed with the Cavs last weekend.

Love also would be a great fit with James, replicating the stretch big man role played so well by Chris Bosh for James’ Miami Heat’s four consecutive NBA Finals runs. Love played with James for Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics.

As for Wiggins, the 19-year-old Canadian is receiving a crash course in the NBA rumour mill.

Since he arrived in Las Vegas and found out LeBron James was coming to Cleveland with him, Wiggins has heard his name brought up in possible trade scenarios as the Cavaliers pursue Love. Two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the Cavaliers’ position has remained unchanged despite the reports Thursday and that no offer including Wiggins has been made to Minnesota.

“Rumours are rumours. That’s why they call them rumours,” Cavs coach David Blatt said. “Sooner or later in one’s career, you’re going to have to deal with it. If he has to deal with it now, then so be it. It’s summer league. He’s learning everything as he goes along.”

Wiggins scored 21 points in 31 minutes on Thursday night in a loss to the Houston Rockets. He showcased his superior athleticism by creating mismatches and getting to the free throw line at will, making 15 of 20 free throws and getting one jaw-dropping, chase-down block in transition.

Several fans made remarks during the game about the Cavaliers getting Love, but Wiggins was unfazed. He was unavailable to reporters after the game, but Blatt said he felt no need to talk to him about the speculation.

“What you’ve got to like about the kid is that it doesn’t make a difference if it’s the fourth game of summer league in seven or eight days, or if people are keying on him or the crowd has funny things to say to him,” Blatt said. “He goes out there and really plays and has a nice calm about him and a real good demeanour. Andrew’s going to be a high-level player. It’s good to see.”

The Cavaliers and Timberwolves have been engaged in discussions since before the draft for Love, who can opt out of his contract next summer. That stipulation gives Love tremendous influence on where he ends up, and he initially balked at joining a Cavaliers team that appeared to be in rebuilding mode after missing the playoffs and firing coach Mike Brown.

That all changed when James decided last week to leave the Miami Heat and return to Cleveland, where the Akron native played for the first seven seasons of his career. James’ signing changed Love’s mind about going to Cleveland and the Cavaliers again started conversations with the Wolves.

General manager David Griffin, Blatt and owner Dan Gilbert have to this point refused to include Wiggins in any offer.

That has been a deal-breaker for the Wolves, who want Wiggins to headline any package that the Cavs would offer.

It’s not known if James would prefer the Cavs to hold onto Wiggins in any deal for Love, his U.S. Olympic teammate. But what’s certain is that the Cavaliers will take James’ feelings into consideration before making any move. The four-time MVP is hugely influential, and his return to the Cavaliers has restored hope in a franchise that has been down and out since he left for Miami in 2010.

Wiggins has yet to sign his rookie contract, which has led to speculation that the Cavaliers were stalling on that front to make it easier to execute a trade. The minute Wiggins does sign the deal, he cannot be traded for 30 days under league rules.

But keeping him unsigned also gives the Cavaliers more flexibility to pursue free agents. They have already agreed to terms with veteran shooters Mike Miller and James Jones, and have reached out to Ray Allen as well.

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July 16, 2014

U.S. homebuilder confidence surges in July

Filed under: canada, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 3:32 pm

U.S. homebuilders’ confidence in the housing market surged this month to the highest level since January, reflecting a pickup in sales of new homes and heightened expectations for sales the second half of the year.

The brighter sales outlook suggests home construction could pick up in coming months after a sluggish start this year.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Wednesday rose this month to 53, up four points from a revised reading of 49 in June.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. The latest reading is the first above 50 since January, when it was 56.

Builders’ view of current sales conditions for single-family homes, their outlook for sales over the next six months and traffic by prospective buyers each increased since June.

Higher mortgage rates and the bad weather weighed on home sales in late 2013 and early this year. Harsh winter weather also contributed to a sluggish start to this year’s spring home-selling season.

But sales of new homes have picked up in recent months.

New home sales jumped 18.6 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, the highest level in six years. That followed a 3.7 percent increase in April. The gains came after declines in February and March.

Even with the big overall gain, sales of new homes are still running at just about half the pace of a healthy real estate market.

Still, the recent pickup in sales suggests that the housing recovery may be regaining its footing after slowing earlier this year.

Economists say there is significant pent-up demand for homes as many potential buyers put off purchases over the past few years because of concerns about the economy paydayloans.

Solid job gains this year also bode well for housing.

Employers added 288,000 jobs last month, the fifth straight month of gains above 200,000. The national unemployment rate has slid to 6.1 percent, a 5 1/2-year low.

“An improving job market goes hand-in-hand with a rise in builder confidence,” said David Crowe, the NAHB’s chief economist. “As employment increases and those with jobs feel more secure about their own economic situation, they are more likely to feel comfortable about buying a home.”

That optimism is reflected in the latest NAHB index, which is based on responses from 241 builders.

In the latest survey, builders’ view of current sales conditions for single-family homes rose four points to 57. A measure of traffic by prospective buyers increased three points to 39. And builders’ outlook for sales of single-family homes over the next six months jumped six points to 64, the highest level since September.

Housing, while still a long way from the boom of several years ago, has been recovering over the past two years.

Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to NAHB data.

The builder confidence survey sent shares in U.S. homebuilders higher in morning trading Wednesday. M/I Homes Inc., based in Columbus, Ohio, led the pack. The stock rose 72 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $23.63.

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July 11, 2014

Person of interest gets bail in case of missing Calgary boy

Filed under: finance, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 6:44 pm

CALGARY—A Calgary judge has granted bail to a man police call a person of interest in the disappearance of a 5-year-old boy and his grandparents.

Douglas Garland, appearing in court via video, was to be released Friday on $750 bail.

He was ordered to live in transitional housing such as a hotel, motel or a homeless shelter and must report to authorities three times a week.

He is not allowed to return to his home northeast of Airdrie, which is still being searched by police.

He was being held on identity theft charges unrelated to the disappearance of Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents Alvin and Kathy Liknes.

The three family members were last seen on June 29, after what police say was a violent incident in the Liknes home.

The couple had an estate sale at their home before they disappeared and Nathan was there for a sleepover. When his mother went to pick him up the next day, no one was home.

About 500 people turned out Thursday night for an emotional candlelight vigil at a nearby community centre.

Nathan’s mother, Jennifer O’Brien, said there’s no doubt in her mind that the three are out there somewhere.

“We’ve just got to find them and the police are doing everything they can do,” she said. “I’m hopeful in every way and we all are. I hope this turns out to be a happy story and I think it’s going to.”

Garland was taken in for questioning in the case last weekend and kept in custody on the unrelated charges. Officers have said they have other leads in their investigation, but he’s the only person of interest police have spoken about publicly.

Police have said Garland’s sister is in a relationship with a Liknes relative.

Court documents show he has a criminal history involving drugs and identity theft.

In 2000, he was sentenced to 39 months for making amphetamines at his parents’ farm. Before he went to prison, he jumped bail and lived for several years in Vancouver using the identity of a dead person.

Records show he also has a history of mental problems and breakdowns.

Police have also said they are looking into business dealings involving the Liknes family.

Alvin Liknes was involved in several oil and gas companies, including Winter Petroleum Ltd., which media reports say was forced to close a few weeks ago.

The CBC has quoted a police source as saying Garland and Alvin Liknes had a dispute over a patent for a gas device. Online records with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office show Liknes filed a patent in 2000 for a “method and apparatus for de-watering producing gas wells.”

Source

June 23, 2014

Tokyo Dealer Likes Odds as Abe Embraces Plan for Casinos - Bloomberg

Filed under: technology, term — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 8:05 pm

For trainee dealer Taichi Yahagi, the odds of making a better living turning cards at a baccarat table in Tokyo are looking up.

The 41-year-old tutor paid about $5,000 for a three-month course at the Japan Casino School, betting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will succeed in his push to allow gaming houses to be built in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Discussions on the bill to legalize casinos started last week, with debate to resume in the parliament

August 31, 2012

Stocks: Good news is bad news

Filed under: loans, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 8:56 am

U.S. stocks fell Thursday as a string of positive economic reports dimmed hopes that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would announce new stimulus on Friday.

The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq lost between 0.8% and 1%.

Analysts said a steady string of positive economic indicators this week — including a report that the U.S. economy grew slightly faster than initially reported as well as signals that the housing market is recovery — is dashing expectations that Bernanke will come out strong on support for new economic stimulus during his Jackson Hole, Wyo., speech tomorrow.

Although Thursday’s jobless claims report wasn’t as good as economists expected, the news wasn’t as bad as it could have been, either. A separate report showed that both personal income and spending rose in July.

“Jackson Hole is the elephant in the room today, as the market is starting to adjust its expectations that QE3 might not happen,” said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at ING Investment Management. “Investors aren’t digesting that the economic fundamentals are strong and that we don’t need it. Instead, they’re focusing on the fact that they don’t want the punchbowl taken away.”

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart further cooled stimulus expectations, telling CNBC Thursday that he sees “limited benefits from more action.” However, he added that there “wouldn’t be much of a question about policy” should the climate worsen.

Europe remained in focus Thursday, following an auction of 5- and 10-year Italian bonds. Italy’s borrowing costs fell, signaling that investors are more confident that the European Central Bank will stage a major intervention in the bond market.

A Wednesday op-ed by ECB president Mario Draghi added to that optimism, as he reiterated that “exceptional measures” are justified to stabilize financial markets. The ECB will hold its next policy meeting on Sept. 6 and investors are keen to hear Draghi’s plans.

World Markets: European stocks closed in the red Thursday. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.4%, the DAX in Germany fell 1.6% and France’s CAC 40 edged lower 1%.

The European Commission’s Economic Sentiment Indicator fell in August, as European consumers continue to lose confidence in the eurozone, particularly when it comes to retail trade and construction managers.

The Business Climate Indicator, however, edged higher, helped by an improvement in managers’ assessments of exports and past production Same day payday loans.

Meanwhile, Asian markets ended lower Thursday. The Shanghai Composite was flat, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.2%, and Japan’s Nikkei fell 1%.

Economy: The U.S. Labor Department reported that number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment claims totaled 374,000 during the week ending August 25, unchanged from the previous week’s revised figure. Claims were expected to total 370,000, according to a survey of analysts conducted by Briefing.com.

The Bureau of Economic Analsysis said personal income increased $42.3 billion, or 0.3%, in July, in line with Briefing.com’s consensus.

Personal consumption expenditures increased $46 billion, or 0.4%, for the month. That was slightly below the 0.5% increase expected by economists polled by Briefing.com.

Companies: The Nasdaq and S&P 500 were being dragged lower by , Fortune 500), which is getting kicked out of the S&P 500 next week. ), which manufactures chemicals and refines crude oil, will replace Sears, when it leaves the S&P 500 after the closing bell on Sept. 4.

) shares jumped 14%, as the music streaming service said it broke even in its most recent quarter.

) named Antony Jenkins as the bank’s new chief executive Thursday morning. Jenkins currently leads Barclays retail and business banking business. Former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond resigned in July amid a scandal over the manipulation of Libor rates. Shares of the bank were edged lower.

Same-store sales data from several leading retailers, including , Fortune 500), , Fortune 500), , Fortune 500) and , Fortune 500), exceeded expectations.

A voluntary recall of Mr. Coffee Single Cup Brewing System Units prompted ) to clarify that the recall will not have an impact on its Keurig brewers. Despite the fact that the recall will not affect Green Mountain’s brand, shares of the company fell by 3.4% Thursday.

Shares of network equipment maker ) fell 19.5% following disappointing second-quarter earnings.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar rose against the euro, but lost ground against the British pound and the Japanese yen.

Oil for October delivery fell by 94 cents to settle at $94.62 a barrel.

Gold futures for December delivery lost $5.90 to end at $1,657.10 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, pushing the yield down to 1.61% from 1.65% late Wednesday.

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July 6, 2012

Lagarde Says IMF to Cut Growth Outlook as Global Economy Weakens - Bloomberg

Filed under: online ads, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 11:32 pm

The International Monetary Fund will reduce its estimate for global growth this year on weakness in investment, jobs and manufacturing in Europe, the U.S., Brazil, India and China, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.

July 5, 2012

German Factory Orders Unexpectedly Rose on Euro-Area Demand - Bloomberg

Filed under: money, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:48 am

German factory orders unexpectedly rebounded in May, driven by demand from the euro region.

Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, rose 0.6 percent from April, when they declined a revised 1.4 percent, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said today. Economists forecast orders would hold steady in May, according to the median of 36 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. From a year earlier, orders fell 5.4 percent when adjusted for work days.

German exports and record-low unemployment have helped insulate Europe

June 23, 2012

Anna Schwartz, Economist Friedman

Filed under: mortgage, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 3:00 pm

Anna Schwartz, an economist and co- author with Milton Friedman of a book on monetary policy that shaped the views of central bankers including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, has died. She was 96.

She died today at her home in Manhattan after a long illness, said her daughter, Naomi Pasachoff.

The first book that Schwartz wrote with Friedman,

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