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Top of the Morning – More Competition for Morgan Keegan

Apple iPhone 4S Pre-orders Tops One Million in One Day (WSJ)

Preorders for Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4S topped one million in a single day, surpassing the company’s previous records and setting the stage for another successful launch from the U.S. electronics giant.

The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX)

Wall Street to Lose More 10,000 Jobs by 2013 (WSJ)

New York City’s securities industry could lose nearly 10,000 jobs by the end of 2012, New York state’s comptroller predicted, a painful blow to the area’s economy and government budgets. In a report set to be released Tuesday, Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli also said bonuses are likely to shrink this year, reflecting lower profits on Wall Street.

Cargill Drops 66% (FT)

Cargill, the world’s biggest agricultural trader, blamed rapid money flows in commodity markets and deep uncertainty over the global economy as it reported a 66 per cent decline in net profit.

Trichet Warns Eurozone Crises ‘Systemic’ (FT)

Jean-Claude Trichet warned that Europe’s financial crisis had reached “a systemic dimension” as he unveiled steps by European supervisors to tackle dollar funding problems at large banks and clamp down on lending to householders in foreign currencies.

Competition for Morgan Keegan Fierce (FT)

Blackstone and Carlyle have teamed up to look at Morgan Keegan and are competing with Thomas H Lee, the private equity group, to buy the brokerage unit put up for sale by Regions Financial in June. The two shortlisted bidders are carrying out due diligence on the unit, which had about $1.3bn in revenues last year. No date has yet been set for final bids but people familiar with the matter said they expected offers to come in the next two to three weeks.

Sony to Take Full Ownership of Ericsson Joint Venture (WSJ)

A potential deal for Sony to take full ownership of its mobile-phone joint venture with Ericsson makes strategic sense. Whether Sony could pull it off successfully is less straightforward.

Technology Comes to the Grocery Store (WSJ)

Supermarkets—recognizing that many customers use their mobile telephones to compare prices and check lists as they shop—have begun to experiment with smartphone-related technology. The stores hope to use apps, high-tech bar codes called Quick Response Codes and other technologies to drive sales and lower costs just as millennials, who grew up using electronic devices, are becoming a bigger percentage of their shopping base.

Netflix Drops DVD/Online Streaming Split After Only Months (FT)

Netflix has buckled under pressure from investors and customers to make one of the most high profile US corporate strategic u-turns in recent years, backing off from a controversial plan to split its mail-order DVD and its online streaming media businesses.

Airlines Move to Add Wi-Fi (WSJ)

After years of experimenting with drop-down televisions and expensive seat-back monitors, airlines are looking to entertain passengers on the screens the travelers bring with them. The shift has led to a thriving market at 30,000 feet to provide Wi-Fi, movies and TV shows on travelers’ smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Banesto Falls 33.8% (FT)

Net profit at Banesto, the Spanish domestic lender controlled by Santander, fell 33.8 per cent in the first nine months of the year, worse than expected and in what the bank described as a “difficult year for the banking business”.

Dubai Consolidates Local Banking Sector (WSJ)

Dubai’s ruler on Tuesday ordered Emirates NBD, the largest bank in the Gulf by assets, to take over Dubai Bank, a local lender that was bailed out earlier this year, in a bid to consolidate the local banking sector.

NBA Cancels First Two Weeks of Season (WSJ)

NBA Commissioner David Stern canceled the first two weeks of the season after two straight days of last-ditch negotiating sessions failed to resolve the labor dispute. Mr. Stern said both sides were “very far apart on virtually all issues….We just have a gulf that separates us.” The cancellation came after a seven-hour meeting at a Manhattan hotel on Monday.

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