Talk sends stocks up
ROUND ROCK, Texas — Dell's stock soared 13 percent Monday on a report that the struggling personal computer maker is in talks to take the company private. Citing unidentified people familiar with the situation, Bloomberg News said Dell has discussed a potential sale with at least two firms that specialize in buying companies that have fallen out of favor with investors.
Treasury rates are mixed
WASHINGTON — Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were mixed in Monday's auction with rates on three-month bills rising to the highest level in three weeks while rates on six-month bills were unchanged. The Treasury Department auctioned $28 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.075 percent, up from 0.065 percent last week. Another $32 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.105 percent, the same as last week. The three-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 0.085 percent on Dec. 26. The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,994.69, while a six-month bill sold for $9,998.10.
UPS scraps acquisition
UPS scrapped plans to grow in Europe through the acquisition of Dutch delivery company TNT Express because European regulators were getting ready to reject the $6.9 billion deal. It would have been the largest acquisition in UPS history. UPS offered in March to buy TNT, Europe's second-largest delivery company, to better compete with Europe's largest, Deutsche Post's DHL. Regulators objected, saying the deal would reduce competition in the market for express delivery of small packages.
Bonds show growth
BOSTON — Investors pulled money from stock mutual funds in 2012 for the sixth year in a row, despite the stock market's strong performance. Bond funds attracted the most cash since 2009, another illustration of how conservative investors have become with their money since the financial crisis. A net $90 billion was withdrawn from U.S. stock mutual funds last year, industry consultant Strategic Insight said on Monday.
Bank to make changes
WASHINGTON — JPMorgan Chase & Co. has been ordered to take steps to correct poor risk management that led to a surprise trading loss last year of more than $6 billion. Federal regulators also on Monday cited the bank for lapses in oversight that allowed the bank to be used for money laundering. JPMorgan, the nation's largest bank by assets, will not pay a fine under the agreements with the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, a Treasury Department agency. The bank promised to strengthen its policies and procedures to control risk and to screen customers to prevent money laundering.
United accused of fraud
CHICAGO — The lawsuit filed against United Airlines, alleging that the company falsely claims to buy jet fuel in a rural Illinois community in order to skirt tens of millions of dollars in sales taxes, hinges on whether a transportation agency can prove the monumental purchasing task couldn't have been done from inside the airline's tiny office 70 miles from Chicago. Throughout the lawsuit — which alleges the office doesn't have a computer and is only staffed by one part-time employee — the Regional Transportation Authority's argument boils down to this: United's contention that it is buying fuel in Sycamore is absurd. It won't be enough for the RTA to show that United set up shop in the DeKalb County community of Sycamore to avoid paying close to $300 million in sales taxes. Rather, it must show that the work United says is going on in Sycamore is really being done at United's headquarters at Willis Tower in downtown Chicago.
Watchmaker to buy rival
GENEVA — Switzerland's biggest watch maker, Swatch Group AG, will pay about $1 billion to buy Canada's Harry Winston watch and jewelry brand, officials from both companies said Monday. The Biel, Switzerland-based company agreed to pay $750 million to acquire the brand from Toronto-based Harry Winston Diamond Corp. and will also assume as much as $250 million in debt, a joint statement said. The acquisition includes the Harry Winston production company in Geneva and more than 500 employees globally.
From Wire Reports