Rumors – March 24, 2008

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J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., moving to quell a shareholder rebellion over its takeover of Bear Stearns Cos., agreed to quintuple the price it is offering for the ailing investment bank. In return, J.P. Morgan won new terms that will make it more difficult to torpedo the deal.

U.S. securities regulators on Monday charged Biovail Corp. and a handful of its top executives with accounting fraud at the Canadian pharmaceutical company. Biovail agreed to pay $10 million to settle the matter without admitting or denying the claims.

Share prices of banks and brokerage firms rebounded after stunning declines that culminated in the collapse of Bear Stearns Cos. The Federal Reserve rescue efforts that followed appear to be calming investors and that could send the market higher, led by financial stocks. Long term prospects appear the worst is yet to come.

Former Countrywide President Stanford Kurland launches a mortgage firm in competition with CFC. PennyMac seeks to raise more than $2 billion to buy distressed mortgages on the cheap, work with borrowers to restructure them, and then resell them as performing mortgages at a profit.

South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. plans to build a $670 million plant to make mobile-phone handsets in northern Vietnam.

Analysts say ad spending on video games cannot remain impervious to the state of the overall economy. “There's no question that a gloomy economy tends to exert downward pressure on entertainment spending overall,” says Paul Verna, senior analyst with eMarketer.

A source following the embattled New York-based commercial finance company, which on Thursday was forced to draw on its entire $7.3 billion emergency revolving credit line in order to pay down debt, says CIT has been on Warren Buffett's radar for a possible cash infusion or outright purchase. Really, Is Buffett buying CIT Group?

Is it time to buy Best Buy (BBY)?

Portable navigation device maker Garmin (GRMN) may have a deal in the works with Nokia (NOK) for global positioning system-enabled handheld devices.

If you think Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is drawing a line in the sand with inflation and is therefore unlikely to cut interest rates much more, then the US dollar’s misery is probably over. If not, then you don’t know what misery is.

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