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.

The SEC and the Department of Justice are investigating Oracle (NAS: ORCL) , one of the largest software companies, on antibribery allegations. The government has been conducting a criminal investigation for at least a year over suspicions that the tech company broke antibribery laws while selling software to western and central African countries.

In recent years, the government has been enforcing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act more strongly. The Department of Justice brought 24 of these cases in 2010, up from five in 2004. Seven have been brought up so far this year.

Other companies under fire include Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) , which allegedly paid bribes to Russian and other government agencies. In March, IBM (NYS: IBM) paid $10 million to the SEC to settle allegations of bribes paid to Asian governments in exchange for computer gear. Read more atThe Wall Street Journal.

(NYS: T) , whose $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile is under fire, is trying to push a new selling point for the deal: jobs. AT&T is expected to say that it will bring back 5,000 call-center jobs it had outsourced. The communications giant has vowed to also keep its and T-Mobile's more than 25,000 call-center jobs in the U.S.

The move comes after critics of the deal said a merger between these two companies could be considerably detrimental for the job market. Though AT&T said it would create jobs, the company is also hoping to save $3 billion. AT&T said the deal would be the first step to create the next generation's network, which could cost $8 billion. Read more atDealbook.

decided to give one final boost of life to its TouchPad after announcing it would kill the product when it failed to compete with Apple's (NAS: AAPL) iPad. After the company announced it would discontinue the tablet, it lowered the price to a flat $99 from $399 and $499. Customers lined up at stores to get the tablets at a bargain despite that they'd been on store shelves for six weeks. HP executives said the demand was so overwhelming they would produce one more round of the device to fulfill some orders. But the company may be losing money on every tablet, which has a materials billing of $318 for the 32GB version. Read more atReuters.

(NYS: SI) announced it would join Volvo in a strategic agreement to develop electric cars. The focus will be to integrate some of Siemens' technologies into existing Volvo C30 electric cars. The company said the first vehicles could roll out by the end of this year. The move follows a partnership between General Motors and LG Electronics to develop electric SUVs. Read more atThe Wall Street Journal.

Stocks have been on the rise today, erasing the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) loss for 2011. The Dow has added 0.6% while the S&P 500 has pumped things up by 0.7%. A government report about factory orders exceeding expectations and private reports that showed American companies added 91,000 jobs in August helped the market toward what could be its fourth straight "up" day. Read more atBloomberg.

So there you have it, the top financial stories for this afternoon. If you are interested in getting all the news and commentary on these stocks sign up to My Watchlisthere-- it's free!

At the time thisarticle was published Michelle Zayed doesn't own any stocks mentioned.The Motley Fool owns shares of Oracle, Apple, and International Business Machines.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Apple and AT&T; and 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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