Despite Protests, NBC Grabs Ratings Gold and other top headlines investors should pay attention to on July 30, 2012
Despite Protests, NBC Grabs Ratings Gold
Nearly 29 million viewers watched NBC’s primetime coverage Saturday, the first day of competition, the network announced. Saturday’s audience was two million more than watched the first day of competition during the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. An average 12.3 million U.S. viewers watched Olympics on Saturday morning—a 56 percent increase over the same viewing period for the Beijing games four years ago. NBCUniversal paid $1.18 billion for the U.S. rights to broadcast the London games. The network drew a record 40.7 million for Friday’s opening ceremony. Tarnishing the coverage are complaints from viewers over the network’s online streaming efforts, which were not functioning properly, causing delays in broadcasting key events.
HSBC's $2 Billion Apology
Stuart Gulliver, the chief executive of Europe's largest bank apologized Monday for its role in "shameful and embarrassing" mistakes made on anti-money laundering controls, Reuters reports. The bank set aside $2 billion to cover the cost of U.S. investigations and to compensate UK customers for mis-selling. The action comes in the wake of a U.S. Senate report this month that criticized HSBC's "pervasively polluted culture" that allowed for the shifting of funds from dangerous and secretive countries, Reuters says.
Trial Set to Begin in Patent Battle
The patent dispute between Apple and Samsung Electronics will get its hearing in court beginning Monday in a San Jose, Calif. federal court. The global dispute began more than two years ago, and pits Apple against rival smartphone makers whose headsets are powered by Google’s Android software, mainly Samsung, HTC and Motorola Mobility, which Google purchased last year, The New York Times reports. Dozens of lawsuits and countersuits have been filed in courtrooms around the world. Last June, Judge Lucy H. Koh, who will preside over the jury trial that commences this week, issued a preliminary injunction against Samsung, ordering it to cease selling its Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the U.S.
Gas Prices on the Rise
This news will not pump you up. U.S. gasoline prices have gone up by nearly a dime a gallon in the past two weeks, CNN reports. A new nationwide Lundberg survey finds that the average prices of a gallon of regular gasoline jumped about 9.6 cents per gallon to just under $3.51. Gas prices have been falling since April 6 and by mid-July had fallen 56 cents a gallon, Lundberg said. Lower gas prices lead to more consumers spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy.
Lights! Camera! Collectibles!
One of the largest movie memorabilia collections is headed for the auction block, the Associated Press reports. Over 73 years, Movie Star News, a legendary Manhattan store, amassed a staggering cache of nearly three million film stills, posters and negatives, thousands of which have never been reproduced. A Las Vegas collectibles company has bought the entire inventory and is expected to sell it in a series of sales to begin in 2013. It spans four decades beginning in 1939, considered by many to be Hollywood’s greatest year. It covers 11,500 movies and 5,000 actors are represented. The collection’s value could reach $150 million.