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  • Asian stocks subdued on Ukraine caution, dollar firms vs. yen

    A man smokes a cigarette outside The London Stock ExchangeBy Shinichi Saoshiro TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stock markets were subdued on Monday, as tensions in Ukraine kept investors cautious amid an absence of catalysts as several markets remained closed for the Easter holiday. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched down 0.1 percent. Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.3 percent on the back of a weaker yen. Share markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt are closed for the Easter holiday.

  • U.S. insider trading cases face test at appeals court

    Michael Steinberg arrives at the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New YorkBy Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court is set hear a case whose outcome could make it harder for the government to prosecute insider trading and potentially jeopardize several high-profile guilty verdicts, including that of SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager Michael Steinberg. The question facing the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Tuesday is one that has divided lower court judges: whether to be convicted of insider trading, the recipient of non-public information must know that the source of the tip benefited from the disclosure. The issue is at the heart of the appeal brought by Todd Newman, a former portfolio manager at the hedge fund Diamondback Capital Management, and Anthony Chiasson, co-founder of the hedge fund Level Global Investors.

  • AstraZeneca cancer pipeline seen as draw for Pfizer

    Pedestrians walk past the world headquarters of Pfizer in New YorkBy Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Pfizer may come back to bid for British drug company AstraZeneca after its reported 60 billion pound ($101 billion) takeover approach was rejected, since a deal could make sense for the U.S. pharmaceuticals giant as it seeks to build up its cancer franchise. In addition to adding promising - though still risky - experimental medicines known as immunotherapies that boost the body's immune system to fight tumors, acquiring AstraZeneca could also generate significant cost savings, according to industry analysts. As a result, a deal at around a 25 percent premium to the current share price funded by cash, cheap debt and some stock could boost Pfizer earnings immediately, they believe. Both companies have declined to comment on a report in the Sunday Times, which cited senior investment bankers and industry sources saying that Pfizer approached the British pharmaceuticals group about a deal.

  • Kraft recalls 96,000 pounds of hot dogs due to undeclared allergen

    An exterior view shows the Kraft Research and Development facility in Morton Grove, Illinois(Reuters) - Kraft Foods Group Inc is recalling about 96,000 pounds of Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners because the packages may instead contain Classic Cheese Dogs made with milk, a known allergen. The product labels are incorrect as they do not reflect the ingredients associated with the pasteurized cheese in the cheese dogs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said in a statement on Sunday. The products were formulated with milk, which is not declared on the product label, the FSIS said. FSIS and Kraft have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

  • Futures edge up as investors await earnings onslaught

    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Ryan Vlastelica NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were very slightly higher on Monday as investors found few reasons to keep buying following a strong rally last week and ahead of a heavy week of corporate earnings releases. The S&P 500 had its best week since July last week, boosted by strong results from such names as General Electric Co and Morgan Stanley . However, thus far the earnings season has been mixed, with technology names like Google Inc and IBM struggling to impress investors. Hasbro Inc reported adjusted first-quarter earnings that topped forecasts, though revenue was below expectations.

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