PODCAST: McDonald’s gets the boot, housing starts hit a new roof
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Nike said this morning it has severed its endorsement deal with Lance Armstrong. Armstrong also says he is stepping down as chair of the Livestrong cancer charity he founded. He says he doesn’t want the doping allegations against him to distract from its mission.
Markets are up in Europe after Moody’s kept its credit rating for Spain right where it was. Spain has also been sending increasing signals it will ask for a bailout. A major Spanish index, the IBEX 35, ended the day up 2.3 percent. New construction on apartments and single family homes reached the highest point in September in more than four years. New mortgage applications for home purchases were lalso up last week.
Bank of America reports an official quarterly profit of essentially “nothing-per-share.” The bank got hammered by a legal settlement related to buying up Merrill Lynch during the financial crisis. Apple has scheduled a mystery event for next Tuesday. Most folks expect it’ll be the debut of the iPad Mini — half the size and half the price.
The biggest for-profit college in the country is about to get a lot smaller — at least physically. The University of Phoenix says it will close half of its locations. It’s parent company announced yesterday fourth quarter profits fell almost 60 percent.
Citigroup starts the day with a new CEO, and everyone’s asking, who’s the new guy? Yesterday the head of the country’s third largest bank suddenly resigned, Vikram Pandit said it was time for new leadership. Pandit’s been replaced by Michael Corbat, who was leading Citigroup’s Europe, Middle East and Africa division.
Last night’s presidential debate on Long Island was fiery, and full of pocketbook issues — posed by real undecided voters from the area, selected by the Gallup organization. It didn’t come up in last night’s conversation about energy issues, but before the campaign is over odds are decent you’ll be hearing about A123. That’s an electric car battery company that took government grants, and this week declared bankruptcy. And, who won the debate is an open question, but Mitt Romney is clearly winning the Internet meme battle. At the first debate, he scored huge in the Twitterverse with Big Bird. The meme everyone’s talking about today: “Binders full of women.” Romney was talking about good faith efforts to achieve gender balance for his cabinet as governor.
In Italy get ready for the case of Mickey-D’s vs. Milan. After 20 years, McDonalds is being evicted from its location in the upscale Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. McDonalds is suing the city — there doesn’t appear to be an obvious reason for its eviction beyond than obvious theory that is just wasn’t classy enough. As if to rub it in, McDonalds is being replaced in the Galleria by Prada.
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