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Media Navel Gaze: May 11, 2015

Mark Kollar  Follow

The Week Unpeeled

The US unemployment rate fell to 5.4% in April with employers adding some 223,000 jobs, a rebound much need for the economy and markets alike, with the Dow and other gauges staging a strong rally; the blue chips closed up 1.5% on Friday alone and 0.9% for the week to end at 18,199, just shy of a record for both the average and S&P 500 index. The Fed is still expected to hold back on raising rates although tightening expected at sometime this year.

Elsewhere:

  • Prime Minister David Cameron of the Conservative party surprisingly and overwhelming surged to victory in the polls last week, giving the Tories big support in government;
  • From the Scottish National Party, 20-year Mhairi Black wins a Labour seat to become the youngest member of Parliament since 1667;
  • US appeals court found that the NSA program of collecting the phone records of millions of Americans is illegal;
  • Al Jazeera America remained part of the news cycle instead of contributing to it when the operations announced that it was replacing its chief executive who had served in that role since the network launched two years ago, the recent in a line of departures with one saying on the way out that a "culture of fear" existed in the newsroomblaming part of that feeling on the ousted CEO; more to come no doubt;
  • Third Point founder Dan Loeb found himself in the spotlight again when the hedge-fund chief took aim at Warren Buffett saying there was a "disconnect" between the investor's words and actions in a rare "chewing out" (WSJ) at the popular SALT conference in Las Vegas;
  • ESPN decided not to renew Bill Simmons contract, but outspoken columnist and analysts kept silent; and
  • Deflategate re-inflated.

LATAM GAZE M&A

  • HSBC is exploring selling its Brazilian operations to financial services company BTG Pactual, a move that would double the latter in size.

Politics

  • Chilean president Michelle Bachelet is dissolving her entire cabinet 14 months into her second term following a corruption scandal involving her son.

Economy

  • Argentina this week lowered taxes for those making $33K or less, which the government says will yield a 5-6% wage increase;
  • Brazil reported April inflation growth of 71 basis points, bringing the annual rate to 4.56%, the highest start to the year since 2003; and
  • Chile's Center for Commerce projects online sales in the region will increase 15% to $2.3 billion by year's end. End of Story

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