Opening Bell: 12.7.07

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U.S. Retailers May Struggle to Boost December Sales on Prices (Bloomberg)
What's that? Retailers may have to cut prices in order to hit their number? We thought were were told that this was the year that no unexpected price cuts were expected during the holidays. Guess not. Let's hope there's a big flood of Europeans still yet to come this year, looking for 50 percent off bargains in US stores. When you add in sales, a trip across the pond will look quite tempting.
Congress Moves Toward Agreement on Blocking U.S. Minimum Tax (Bloomberg)
We may have mentioned it before, but we're incredibly paranoid about the AMT. Seirously, every year, we're convinced that this is the year we fall into it and pay out the nose in taxes. Legitimate? Who knows, we're not that up on the details of it. So every year we're hopeful that they'll can the damn thing. We don't really think it'll happen, but there's some glimmer of hope, since the Democrats have apparently dropped their demand that an AMT elimination be connected to some new tax on hedge funds.
Ex-CEO Agrees To Give Back $620 Million (WSJ)
Realistically, there's probably no amount of money we wouldn't be willing to pay to avoid a long prison sentence. Seriously, just not worth the risk. Anyway, William McGuire, ex-CEO of United Health is paying $620 million to put backdating issues behind him. probably a good choice.
Macrovision to Acquire Gemstar (WSJ)
Sic transit the TV guide (as a standalone entity).
Web Access and E-Mail on Flights (NYT)
Can we dare to dream? don't get too excited yet. jetBlue will be offering a very limited "internet" service, that basically consists of being able to connect to Yahoo! Mail (dumb), it should've been Gmail. The challenge is to figure out how to get the most from Yahoo Mail. You really just need two things: your rss feeds sent to your email address (doable) and the ability to post blogs via email (also doable). If you could do those things, you'd pretty much have access to everything that you need on the net.

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