What's Important in the Financial World (10/2/2012)


Ban on Galaxy Tab Sales Lifted

Despite efforts by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) to shut down the sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the United States, a court has decided that Samsung should not be prevented from doing so. Apple has won a series of patent infringement actions against Samsung, its mortal enemy in the tablet PC and smartphone wars. Samsung has not wasted any time striking back at Apple through the legal system. It claims the iPhone 5 has infringed on some of its intellectual property. Nearly everyone who has watched the battles believes that they will go on for years, played out in courts in Asia, the U.S. and Europe. Reuters reports:

The injunction on the Galaxy tablet had been put in place ahead of a month-long trial that pitted the iPhone maker against Samsung in a closely watched legal battle that ended in August with a victory for Apple on many of its patent violation claims.

However, the jury found that Samsung had not violated the patent that was the basis for the tablet injunction and Samsung argued the sales ban should be lifted.

Union Rejects Boeing Deal

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) lost a round in its effort to settle labor issues with its engineers. The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace said that more than nine in 10 of its members who voted on a four-year deal voted no. Boeing still has a little time to come to an agreement. The workers cannot strike until November. Boeing management must remember that a similar fight with unions slowed the production of its troubled 787 Dreamliner. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The contract guaranteed wage increases of 2.5% – 3.5% over each of the contract's four years. But the union says the offer wouldn't keep pace with inflation, and it reduces medical and retirement benefits. Boeing called the offer "competitive" and "market-leading."

Retail Group Optimistic About Holidays

The National Retail Federation believes there will be a surge in holiday activity. Its forecast is particularly optimistic in light of worries about the fiscal cliff, an apparent slowing of the number of companies and governments adding news jobs, as well as GDP improvement that is anemic. Nevertheless, the NRF predicts:

Tempered by political and fiscal uncertainties but supported by signs of improvement in consumer confidence, holiday sales this year will increase 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion. NRF's 2012 holiday forecast is higher than the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 3.5 percent. Actual holiday sales in 2011 grew 5.6 percent.

"This is the most optimistic forecast NRF has released since the recession. In spite of the uncertainties that exist in our economy and among consumers, we believe we'll see solid holiday sales growth this year," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "Variables including an upcoming presidential election, confusion surrounding the 'fiscal cliff' and concern relating to future economic growth could all combine to affect consumers' spending plans, but overall we are optimistic that retailers promotions will hit the right chord with holiday shoppers."

Douglas A. McIntyre

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Market Open Tagged: AAPL, BA, featured