Afternoon Roundup: Today's Top Stories

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At The Motley Fool, we know our readers like to be informed. So we have scouted out today's most relevant news items and brought them to you all on one page. We hope you find this midday edition informative and useful.

After Societe Generale's stock price dropped to the lowest it's been in years, the governments of France, Belgium, Spain, and Italy banned the practice of short-selling. The ban prompted a rally in European markets, but critics say it will be short-lived until a major reform is passed. However, the ban could be a template for policies to be passed around in all stock exchanges, including the U.S. Read more atBloomberg.

After speculation on whether Google's (NAS: GOOG) social-networking site would add games, the wait is over, with games popping out Thursday. For now, the game options include some of the most popular ones, like Rovio's Angry Birds, Bejeweled Blitz from Popcaps and Zynga poker. For companies like Zynga, more social platforms mean more business, and after making millions just off Facebook users, Google+ just made its upcoming IPO even stronger. Meanwhile, Facebook invited the media to an event for gaming developers. Google has said each individual user can tailor the presence of the games. Read more atThe New York Times.

will not take "no" for an answer in the continuing war of the tablets. On Aug. 25, the South Korean company will appeal an earlier decision in Germany banning the sale of its Galaxy tablet in most of the European Union. The ban came as a court injunction after Apple (NAS: AAPL) claimed the Samsung tablet represented patent infringement. The Galaxy tablet, which runs on Google's Android operating system, has been deemed the best competitor for the Apple iPad. In April, Apple filed a lawsuit in a California court. Read more atThe Wall Street Journal.

The biggest motorcycle maker announced it would expand its presence in India by 25% and introduce new models. Honda (NYS: HMC) is expanding in the country after splitting with its partner Hero MotoCorp, the second-largest motorcycle maker, to focus its efforts. Sales of 100-cc motorcycles account for 50% of sales in India. If the expansion goes as planned, Honda will double the capacity of its second plant to 1.2 million motorcycles. Overall, the company hopes to increase its output to 4 million units. Read more atBloomberg. 

After hitting rock-bottom prices during the week, the stock market seems to be rising again from its ashes. Friday reflected the volatility of the whole week with a rise at the opening, a slump after disheartening consumer confidence reports, and then a move back up again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 107 points after losing earlier morning gains. The increase was led by Walt Disney (NYS: DIS) and Caterpillar (NYS: CAT) , with an increase of 4.2% and 3.7%, respectively. The S&P rose eight points, led by energy and industrial stocks. With a higher spending index for consumers, which might indicate a better economic environment, yet lower consumer confidence, the market is struggling to solidify a trend. Read more atThe Wall Street Journal.

So there you have it, the top financial stories for this afternoon. Check Fool.com throughout the day for commentary on these and other stories.Also follow us on Twitter, on Facebook, or through our email digests.

At the time this article was published Michelle Zayed doesn't own any stocks mentioned.The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Apple, Walt Disney, and Google.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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