News In Brief

MID-DAY UPDATE: S&P downgrades U.S. outlook, Finland’s vote may ruin Portugal’s bailout

Katharine Crnko Apr 18, 2011
News In Brief

MID-DAY UPDATE: S&P downgrades U.S. outlook, Finland’s vote may ruin Portugal’s bailout

Katharine Crnko Apr 18, 2011

Here are today’s top headlines from the Marketplace Morning Report and from around the web

News just in from Standard & Poor’s. The U.S. will keep its AAA debt rating for now, but the outlook has been revised to negative. That means a downgrade is more likely down the road.

Bad news for Portugal, which is asking for a bailout from Europe. An anti-bailout party made big gains in Finland’s elections over the weekend. Finland is key for Portugal’s bailout hopes because using EU funds for a bailout requires unanimous approval. Here is Marketplace’s coverage.

Also today’s Financial Times reports European leaders are privately drawing up plans for Greece to default on its debts. The country got a $150 billion European bailout almost a year ago.

New steps to tackle inflation in China: The country is raising requirements for how much cash banks have to keep on hand. China’s economy is growing about 10 percent a year. Here is Marketplace’s coverage.

Citigroup says its profit fell 32 percent last quarter thanks in part to poor results in its investment banking business.

Nestle today said it’s agreed to take a majority stake in Yinlu, a big Chinese food company.

Saudi Arabia is raising concerns about its oil output. The country says there’s too much supply.

Also, Holland-based Phillips Electronics is ditching its TV business after disappointing sales. Phillips is having a tough time competing with low-cost rivals.

Samsung Electronics may be looking to sell its hard-disk drive business for $1.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. Samsung would use proceeds from the sale to invest in new, higher growth areas, the newspaper reported citing a person familiar with the situation.

To the Royal Wedding, which is less than two weeks away. Papa John’s Pizza is celebrating the occasion with a pie that’s a portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Kate has black olive hair and a cheese dress; William has a suit made of pepperoni and peppers. Papa John’s chief marketing officer says it “tastes as good as it looks.” Meanwhile The New York Post reports that NBC is going the opposite direction. Cutting back its “aggressive and comprehensive” coverage of the wedding because the happy couple are “too boring.”

In this age of electronic readers and downloadable e-books, what do you do if you want a signed copy? A new application called Autography will allow an author to e-mail a picture of him or herself with the reader… that could then be signed with a digital stylus pen. The app will debut next month. Now if they could only invent an app that stands in line for you at the bookstore.

You can read the rest of today’s stories from the Marketplace Morning Report here.

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