Afternoon Roundup: Today's Top Stories


AtThe Motley Fool, we know our readers like to be informed. 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.

In a bold move, Google (NAS: GOOG) announced it would buy Motorola Mobility (NYS: MMI) for $12.5 billion in cash. The purchase of Motorola Mobility will give Google its own handset maker for its Android operating system in addition to some key patents. But the deal will not be an easy feat considering Google has raised questions of antitrust violations with the Department of Justice. The Internet giant has also made some enemies out of partners that license the company's Android operating system. The deal is expected to be completed by early 2012 with a $2.5 billion retraction fee if the deal falls through.

The addition of Motorola Mobility will help Google become a stronger competitor against Apple (NAS: AAPL) and Microsoft, while building a stronger patent portfolio. Both companies' boards approved the deal even though many say this will hurt Motorola since it relies on patents to compete. Read more atThe Wall Street Journal.

In one of its biggest acquisitions, Time Warner Cable (NYS: TWC) agreed to buy Insight Communications for $3 billion. The deal will help Time Warner Cable expand its service in the Midwest. Insight Communications, a part of the Carlyle Group, is the 10th largest cable operator in the country.

The deal was reached after an auction held by the Carlyle Group failed to attract a bidder. Time Warner Cable dropped out of the auction when it felt the Carlyle Group was asking too much. Read more atReuters.

(NYS: BAC) , the country's largest bank, agreed to sell a Canadian card unit to Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYS: TD) for $8.6 billion. TD will pay $7.6 billion in cash for Bank of America's MBNA Canada and assume about $1.12 billion in liabilities. The bank will also exit the U.K. and Irish card markets in hopes of meeting the new capital requirements.

The sell-off falls in line with the bank's new strategy of focusing in the U.S. market and lowering risk. Some analysts have shown concern that exiting the Canadian, U.K., and Irish markets may lower the amount of capital needed to comply with the new Basel III requirements. Read more atBloomberg.

(NYS: LOW) , the home improvement store, saw its second-quarter earnings decrease by 0.2% as store closings and weak consumer spending hit the company. The store lowered its end-of-year estimates once more, expecting $1.48 to $1.54 per share in earnings and an increase in sales of 2%. In May, Lowe's had trimmed the forecast to $1.56 to $1.64 per share and sales growth of 4%.

The struggles of the home improvement store are an indicator of a continuing weak economy where consumers postpone renovations. Lowe's also dealt with higher prices in lumber and gasoline -- two of its most important business components. Read more atThe Wall Street Journal.

So there you have it, the top financial stories for this afternoon. Check throughout the day for commentary on these and other stories. Also, follow us onTwitter, onFacebook, or through ouremail digests.

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At the time thisarticle was published Michelle Zayed doesn't own any stocks mentioned.The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. The Fool owns shares of and has opened a short position on Bank of America.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Google, Lowe's Companies, and Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended writing covered calls in Lowe's Cos. 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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