Dow Touches 11,000

The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly edged above 11,000 Friday, but finished just below the mark, as promising economic data and waning Greece debt fears helped power the assent, while investors began looking to company earnings next week.

The Dow, which finished the day after adding 70 points, or 0.6%, to 10,997, crossed the 11,000-point threshold near the closing bell for the first time since September 2008. The S&P 500 improved 8 points, or 0.7%, to 1194, while the Nasdaq went ahead by 17 points, or 0.7%, at 2454.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq also led the other major averages for the week, adding 2.1%. The S&P gained 1.4% since last Thursday’s close, while the Dow picked up 0.6%.

BofA CEO Ken Lewis pressured by Fed

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis heads to Capitol Hill on Thursday, and he’s likely to be grilled by lawmakers about the government’s role in ensuring that the bank complete its controversial merger with Merrill Lynch.

According to emails released Wednesday that pull back the curtain on heated negotiations, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke had suggested to another Fed official that “management is gone,” if BofA managers tried to flee the deal and later on needed further government assistance.
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Bernard Madoff sentenced to 150 years

NEW YORK ( — A federal judge sentenced Bernard Madoff, the convicted mastermind of the largest and most sweeping Ponzi scheme ever, to the maximum sentence of 150 years in federal court Monday.

Judge Denny Chin of U.S. District Court in New York announced the sentence just moments after Madoff apologized to his victims.

“I live in a tormented state for all the pain and suffering I created,” Madoff said. “I left a legacy of shame. It is something I will live with for the rest of my life.”

Turning to face some of his victims, he addressed them directly: “Saying I’m sorry is not enough. I turn to face you. I know it will not help. I’m sorry.”

Madoff said he was not asking for forgiveness and not offering any excuses for his behavior.

“How can you excuse betraying thousands of investors?” he asked. “How can you excuse deceiving hundreds of employees? How can you excuse lying to and deceiving your wife who still stands by you?”

Victims urged a judge to hand down the maximum life sentence against Bernard Madoff, the mastermind of the largest and most sweeping Ponzi scheme ever.

Michael Jackson dead at 50

Michael Jackson was pronounced dead at a Los Angeles hospital Thursday after the 50-year-old pop star was found not breathing at his home earlier in the day.

His death was caused by cardiac arrest, according to his brother Jermaine. But Jermaine Jackson cautioned that the cause of the singer’s death won’t be known until an autopsy is performed. He says the singer’s personal doctor and paramedics had tried to resuscitate him at his home.
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Health Insurance to get $1 Trillion boost

NEW YORK ( — Two key proposals to improve access to health insurance could reduce the ranks of the uninsured but cost $1 trillion over 10 years, according to preliminary estimates released Monday by the Congressional Budget Office.

The estimates are the first in a series over the next few months that will attempt to quantify the costs and benefits of various health reform options. President Obama, citing the huge part health care spending plays in the economy, has made passing reform this year a top priority.

BlackRock Agrees to Purchase BGI

On June 11, 2009, BlackRock announced it has agreed to acquire Barclays Global Investors (“BGI”), including its market-leading iShares ETF platform, from Barclays PLC. The combination of BlackRock and BGI would result in two market leaders in active and index strategies, forming one fully-integrated and independent asset management firm that will operate under the name BlackRock Global Investors (“BlackRock”). The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2009, subject to necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, with the initial integration of both firms’ operations shortly thereafter.
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