Top 10 News Items for 12/10 to 12/14: Treasury Nets on AIG; FOMC Quantifies Expectations; Sprint Moves on Clearwire

December 14, 2012 4:36 PM EST
1. The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that it would sell all of its remaining 234,169,156 shares of American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) common stock at $32.50 per share in an underwritten public offering. Proceeds on the offering were about $7.6 billion.

After making a $182 billion commitment to AIG, the Treasury has profited $5 billion and the Fed about $17.7 billion for a total gain of $22.7 billion. That's a nice 12.5 percent return and hammers down the point to buy when others are selling.

2. The Fed issued a statement from its December meeting. Following the expiration of Operation Twist, the Fed will move into buying Treasuries versus mortgage-backed securities at a rate of $45 billion per month. The Fed also said it would keep rates low until unemployment hit about 6.5 percent, the first time the Fed has quantified that sort of action.

For more from the official statement, click here.

3. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A)(NYSE: BRK-B) got some attention this week on two bits of news: 1) an investor sold 9,200 Class A shares for $131,000 apiece, or total value just north of $1.2 billion, and 2) Berkshire raised the price limit for repurchases by 10 points to 120% of book value. Some speculation surrounds who sold the shares, click here for more color.

4. Liberty Interactive (Nasdaq: LINTA) announced acquiring 4,799,848 shares of TripAdvisor, Inc. (Nasdaq: TRIP) this week. The stock was purchased for $62.50 per share. Giving effect to the transactions, Liberty owns and controls 18,159,752 shares of common stock and 12,799,999 shares of Class B common stock of TripAdvisor, representing approximately 22 percent of the equity and 57 percent of the total votes of all classes of TripAdvisor common stock.

5. Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) entered into an agreement to acquire 49 percent of Virgin Atlantic from Singapore Airlines. Total value on the deal was $360 million and Sir Richard Branson will retain control of the rest. The move gave Delta access to London-Heathrow, a key hub for the airline. For more on the deal, click here.

6. Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR) saw some activity following disclosure by majority holder Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) that it proposed to acquire the rest of Clearwire for $2.90 per share. The move is a little controversial, with some expecting a price of $5 or even $6.10 per share for Clearwire.

For more on the filing, click here.

7. Google, Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) got a little redemption this week, as its Google Map app for iOS 6 finally made it to the Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) App Store. The move comes as Apple snubbed Google with the latest update to its popular iPhone operating system, which ended up biting the tech giant when its own map application became a dud.

In the long run, Google Maps will only help Apple sell more iPhones. For a little more color, click here.

8. The Richard Schulze/Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) drama continued this week. Reports had founder Schulze lining up a bid at $5 billion to $6 billion, with the bid expected to be submitted on December 16th. Later on, some speculation surrounded whether or not Schulze was able to secure financing, though he'd still be able to place a bid with preliminary approval.

Friday, Best Buy affirmed that it extended the period in which Schulze would be able to submit a proposal until next October, from the previous cut-off if August 2013. For more on the ongoing saga, click here.

9. UBS AG (NYSE: UBS) was said to enter a settlement with U.S. and U.K. regulators for about $1.9 billion. the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the U.K. Financial Services Authority (FSA), and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) may announced fines as much at $1 billion for the role UBS played in manipulating key lending rates, such as the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR). The amount would be double that levied on Barclays (NYSE: BCS) over the summer, which was about $454 million.

10. McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) redeemed itself in November. The fast-food giant reported that global comparable-store sales rose 2.4 percent last month, reversing a 1.8 percent dip in October. The number compares with consensus estimates calling for a nearly-flat 0.2 percent jump. For more on the numbers, click here.

The news charged shares up during the week, but McDonald's ended up closing just about flat from last Friday's close.

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