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U.S. Existing Home Sales Fall As Investors Leave By Clip Syndicate U.S. home resales unexpectedly fell in August as investors stepped away from the market, but the decline probably does not signal renewed weakness in the housing sector. The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales dropped 1.8 percent to an annual rate of 5.05 million units. The decline followed four straight months of gains and the sales pace was still the second highest for the year. Investors who have been propping up the market almost deserted the market last month, accounting for only 12 percent of transactions, the smallest share since November 2009.

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Futures Lower After China Policy Comments; Housing Data Due By Clip Syndicate Sigma-Aldrich shares were surging on Monday, up 34.4 percent to $137.60 after German drugs and chemicals maker Merck KGaA said on Monday it agreed to acquire Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion in cash to boost its life science business. Volume of over 208,000 shares made it the second-most active Nasdaq listed stock in premarket and was more than 60 percent of its day-average volume of about 334,000. ...Read More »
After China, GlaxoSmithKline Faces Pressure For Change By Clip Syndicate GlaxoSmithKline may have closed one chapter in a saga of corruption allegations by accepting a $489 million fine in China, but the drugmaker has its work cut out to win back skeptical investors. That means continued pressure on Chief Executive Andrew Witty, seen not so long ago as one of the sector's star managers, who is under fire for allowing the erosion of GSK's all-important U.S. business just as much as for the woes in China. John Bennett, a director of European equities at Henderson Global Investors, which has a holding in the drugmaker said, "I think GSK is a buy when the CEO of that business goes." Other disgruntled shareholders believe an accelerated change of chairman would be an important signal that the company is acting to address their concerns and working to improve financial returns.

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Volkswagen Seeks Higher Margins With China-only Luxury Sedan: Sources By Clip Syndicate Two people with knowledge of the plan said, Volkswagen AG will launch a VW-badged luxury sedan designed solely for China next year in its pursuit of higher margins, in a move that could put it in direct competition with its premium brand Audi. The people said, declining to elaborate on the vehicle's China-specific elements, the car will be based on Audi AG's A6, the country's top-selling luxury sedan. The A6 in China has a longer body than A6s elsewhere, allowing more leg room and out-sizing many of its rivals.

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Microsoft Delays Launch Of Its Xbox One Console In China By Clip Syndicate Microsoft has delayed the launch of its Xbox One game console in China, which had been set for release on Tuesday, but the world's biggest software company said it would be released by the end of the year. Microsoft did not give a reason for the delay in a statement on Sunday. The delay is the latest in a series of setbacks for Microsoft in China, where it is under investigation for suspected anti-trust violations related to the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office.

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SoftBank Estimates $4.6 Billion Gain From Alibaba Listing By Clip Syndicate Japan's SoftBank Corp said it expected a gain of about $4.6 billion from Alibaba Group Holding's share listing in New York, where the Chinese e-commerce leader surged 38 percent on its first day of trade. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son also told CNBC that he would want to own more of Alibaba, although he reiterated that the Japanese mobile carrier and Internet media company was happy with the current 32 percent stake, which made it the Chinese company's biggest shareholder. Asked if he would like more of Alibaba, Son told CNBC on Friday: "Of course." Pressed on the likelihood of buying more shares, Son added: "Anything is possible but we are happy the way it is."

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Floyd Mayweather -- 6 BODYGUARDS ... For Chicken & Waffles Run By Clip Syndicate He's the best fighter in the world -- by far -- but Floyd Mayweather still invests in protection ... bringing SIX huge dudes to watch his back at one of the most famous chicken joints in the world. Floyd and his posse hit up Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles in L.A. on Friday -- and on the way out, Money hid behind his wall of muscles as he and his lady friend made their way to a waiting SUV. Shockingly, nobody messed with Floyd in the restaurant ... or in the street.

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Health Law, Medicare Remain Hot Topics In Campaign Commercials By Clip Syndicate It may not pack the punch it did a few years ago, but health care is still a potent issue in the battle for the Senate this fall. So says an analysis Thursday by the Republican data firm Deep Root Analytics that reported the issue -- which includes Obamacare and Medicare -- has been the subject of more campaign commercials than any other. Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates turned their attention to Medicare on Thursday with a pair of statewide TV ads targeting the state's roughly 800,000 seniors who benefit from the government health insurance program. Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes turned to her grandmother once again for a starring role, only this time it was a serious discussion about her grandfather's stroke in 2000.

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U.S.: BofA Bid To Void $1.27B Fraud Verdict Defies Common Sense By Clip Syndicate The U.S. government said Bank of America Corp's bid to throw out a jury verdict finding it liable for the sale of questionable loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the financial crisis, which led to a $1.27 billion penalty, defies common sense and should be rejected. In a court filing on Thursday night, the U.S. ...Read More »
Obama Administration: 7.3 Million Who Picked Health Exchange Plans Paid Their Premiums By Clip Syndicate That number, which reflects the tally of people who obtained insurance via the health law, fell slightly from the estimated 8 million mark that was released in the spring. It means that at least 700,000 consumers who initially signed up for a health plan let it go. The New York Times: Health Care Act Still Covers 7.3 Million The Obama administration said Thursday that 7.3 million people who bought private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act had paid their premiums and were still enrolled. Marilyn B. Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, disclosed the latest count at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

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