Google, Groupon merger talks fall apart: report(GOOG) by John Letzing
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Merger talks between Google Inc. (GOOG) and daily coupon Web site Groupon Inc. have ended, according to a report Friday on the AllThingsD blog. The reason for the collapse of talks about an acquisition of Groupon that could have been valued at as much as $6 billion is not yet clear, according to the report, which cited anonymous sources. Groupon is now likely to pursue a new funding round, the report said. Chicago Breaking Business first reported on Friday that Groupon has opted to stay independent. AllThingsD, like MarketWatch, the publisher of this report, is a News Corp. property.
Bond funds see outflows as global concerns mountby Ashley P. Lau
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Bond funds saw fresh outflows for the week ended Wednesday as global concerns over a European debt crisis, uncertainty in U.S. fiscal policy and China's efforts to keep property prices in check all weighed on investor demand, EPFR Global analysts said in a report Friday. Global bond funds posted outflows for the second time in three weeks; high-yield bond fund redemptions hit a 26-week high; and emerging-market bond funds saw their first two-week outflow streak since early April 2009. Outflows from emerging-market bond funds were most concentrated in funds with "hard currency mandates," the analysts said.
Massey's Phillips to become next CEO(MEE) by Wallace Witkowski
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Massey Energy Co. (MEE) said late Friday that Baxter Phillips will succeed Don Blankenship as chief executive officer at the end of the year. Phillips, who has been with Massey since 1981, currently serves as president. Blankenship will retire from the company on Dec. 30. Admiral Bobby Inman, Massey's lead independent director, will succeed Blankenship as chairman.
Allergan Lap-Band label expansion recommended(AGN) by Wallace Witkowski
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Allergan Inc. (AGN) said late Friday it received the backing of a panel that advises the Food and Drug Administration to expand the availability of the medical-products maker's Lap-Band weight-loss surgery device. The FDA's advisory panel for gastroenterology and urology devices voted 8 to 2 recommending that the agency approve use of the Lap-Band in people with a body-mass index of 30 to 35, compared with the current indication of obese patients with a body-mass index of 35 to 40. Allergan shares rose 3.1% to $70.90 on light volume in after-hours action.
Allergan Lap-Band gets added panel backing: report(AGN) by Wallace Witkowski
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Shares of Allergan Inc. (AGN) rose in after-hours activity Friday after the medical products company reportedly got a nod from a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel for a wider use of their weight-loss surgery device. Allergan shares rose 3.3% to $71.05 on light volume in after-hours activity. The FDA's Gastroenterology and Urology Devices advisory panel voted 8 to 2 recommending that the FDA approve use of Allergan's Lap-Band device to treat less-severe obesity, according to media reports. The FDA is not bound to follow their advisory panels' recommendations but often does. The expanded labeling on the device could make it available to 27 million more Americans, according to reports.
Fitch cuts Dean Foods' rating to 'B'(DF) by Sue Chang
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Fitch Ratings on Friday cut Dean Foods Co.'s (DF) issuer default rating to B from B+ and placed the IDR on Rating Watch Negative for possible additional action. "The downgrade is due to materially higher than expected declines in operating earnings and cash flow along with Fitch's expectation that financial leverage will remain elevated through 2011," the ratings agency said in a statement.
Dollar sinks further on Bernanke previewby Carla Mozee
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- The dollar lost more ground against the euro Friday, with the euro topping the $1.34 level in evening trade after CBS News said Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke will tell "60 Minutes" that he won't rule out expanding the Fed's $600 billion bond-purchase plan. The euro (CUR_EURUSD) recently traded at $1.341 after spending much of Friday's session trading in the $1.33 range. U.S. financial markets rallied in closing minutes of the regular-trading session after CBS' preview of the program was sent out shortly after 3:30 p.m. ET.
Money managers bet gasoline prices will go higherby Claudia Assis
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch)-- Money managers' bets that gasoline futures will go up have inched closer to their record in the week to Nov. 30, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Commission showed late Friday. Gasoline prices, which surged 8.8% this week, saw net long positions grow to 65,400 contracts; positions hit a record 71,000 contracts in May. "Gasoline is the most overbought of the petroleum markets," said Tim Evans, an analyst with Citigroup's Citi Futures Perspective.