- Dow Chemical (DOW) and DuPont (DD) are in talks to merge and form a chemicals giant with a market value of around $120 billion, Reuters reports quoting sources. Dow Chemical is a holding of the Action Alerts PLUS charity portfolio, which is co-managed by Jim Cramer. The shares jumped more than 8% in pre-market trade.
- Yahoo! (YHOO) has abandoned plans to spin off its stake in Alibaba (BABA), according to a report by the Financial Times. Under pressure from shareholders worried about the tax consequences, the company will now consider spinning off its core business, along with its stake in Yahoo Japan, the report added.
- Morgan Stanley (MS) has cut 1200 jobs in its fixed income business and back office support for that business, as well as in commodity trading, according to reports. The bank says it would incur one-off charges of $150 million. Fixed income trading revenues have been shrinking at investment banks around the world.
- The Munich-based Ifo institute raised its forecast for German economic growth to 1.9% for next year vs. 1.8% in a forecast in the summer, saying that "as a whole, Germany is booming." Rising wages, falling unemployment and public spending on the one million refugees that Germany received this year will all contribute to growth.
- The British Chamber of Commerce has downgraded its growth forecasts for the U.K. for the next three years, due to weaker than expected net trade and manufacturing. Britain's economy is now expected to grow 2.4% in 2015, down from a previous estimate of 2.6%, the BCC said. It will then expand 2.5% in 2016 and 2017, the BCC said, down from its previous forecast of 2.7% for each of those years.
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