New York markets were ahead as of midday on the back of lower-than-expected inflation. Bloomberg reports: “The S&P 500 added 11.8, or 0.8 percent, to 1,414.84 at 12:43 p.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 110.49, or 0.9 percent, to 12,942.67. The Nasdaq rose 24.12, or 1 percent, to 2,519.24, its highest level since January.”
Inflation is pushing pet food makers to decrease the size of their packaging. "We're getting price increases and package downsizing. People are paying the same amount for less product," said Michael Sapp, Petsmart’s vice president of cat and dog consumables.
Student loan company Sallie Mae misreported borrowers on graduated or extended payment plans to credit agency Equifax as being on partial payment plans, causing their credit scores to be inaccurately lowered by 100 points. Sallie Mae is working to remedy the situation.
Mobile Internet firm Openwave’s stock dropped 6 percent on news that the company filed an application to the Securities and Exchange Commission to delay filing first-quarter reports in light of internal investigations allegedly brought by a company whistleblower.
Wal-Mart’s first-quarter earnings per share were up 6.9 percent year on year, to $3.02 billion from $2.83 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2007. The company attributes part of its growth to its recently introduced Express for Less apparel line. The retail fashion sector as a whole was not as bullish, with Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Macy’s and J.C. Penney expected to report first-quarter losses this week.
Investopedia’s Ben McClure advises investors to look at the upcoming spin-off of Time Warner Cable as a source of the conglomerate’s “hidden value.” He writes, “Doing the math with a sum-of-parts valuation, Time Warner's parts are worth much more on their own than if they are lumped together.”
Yahoo’s shares jumped to their highest level Tuesday since Microsoft abandoned its takeover offer, as expectations rose that the company was about to come under renewed pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn to consider a deal. Icahn is considering proposing nominees to the company’s board “as a way to force Yahoo’s hand,” according to The Financial Times.
Hillary Clinton won the West Virginia primary by a wide margin. But despite the win, “most observers expect Obama to prevail for the Democratic nomination and the right to face Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain in the general election in November,” according to West Virginia newspaper The Charleston Gazette.
Members of Chicago’s city council are expected to push for an overturn of a 2006 city ordinance banning the sale of foie gras. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley called the ban "the silliest law the City Council has ever passed.”
"Just over half of 88 hospitals got top marks under a new rating system created by two national gay-rights organizations which hope the standards will result in more compassionate treatment of gay and lesbian patients,” reports USA Today.
Representatives of Lebanese pro-government groups and Hezbollah reached an agreement to allow Hezbollah’s communications systems to operate and reinstate the head of airport security, who is closely tied to the militant group. The opposition group told Al-Jazeera that it will back away from combat as soon as the agreement is fulfilled.
A curfew has been imposed in the old city in Jaipur in western India after a series of bombs Tuesday evening that killed 63 and left roughly 200 wounded. The head of police said he believes it was a terrorist attack.
As Myanmar struggles to recover from the cyclone that left 60,000 dead or missing two weeks ago, a new cyclone is forming off the coast. Officials are not yet sure where landfall will be or if the storm will become a full-fledged cyclone.
The UN has warned that postelection violence in Zimbabwe is reaching “crisis levels.” Tensions have been escalating since the March 29 parliamentary and presidential elections that have still not produced a clear winner.
“Barry Bonds was charged in a new indictment Tuesday with 15 felony counts alleging he lied to a grand jury when he denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs use and that he hampered the federal government's doping investigation,” reports ESPN.
The Vatican says believing that the universe contains alien life does not contradict a belief in God. "How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?" said Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory. "Just as we consider earthly creatures as 'a brother,' and 'sister,' why should we not talk about an 'extraterrestrial brother'? It would still be part of creation."
The season finale of the medical drama “ER” this Thursday marks “the beginning of the end” for the television giant, reports CNN. “ER,” which will expire next February, is one of prime time’s longest running shows and the most Emmy-nominated series ever.
A climate change study released today shows continent-by-continent “that global warming is already changing the life cycles of thousands of animals and plants—as well as hundreds of physical systems.” NASA’s Cynthia Rosenzweig, one of the lead authors of the study says that this study differs from earlier ones in that they examine “single phenomena or smaller areas.”