Economic Calendar

Thursday, June 7, 2012

HTC Said to Be Shut Out of Next Version of Windows

By Ian King, Tim Culpan and Dina Bass - Jun 7, 2012 8:23 AM GMT+0700

HTC Corp. (2498) is being shut out of the introduction of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s next Windows software, people with knowledge of the matter said, cutting off another source of revenue after HTC reduced its second-quarter sales forecast by 13 percent. The shares fell to the lowest in two years.

Microsoft locked out HTC from the development of products using the newest version of its operating system on concern that HTC doesn’t sell enough devices or have ample experience making tablets, said the people, who asked not to be named because negotiations between HTC and other companies are private.

The HTC J smartphone in Tokyo. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Microsoft’s decision will keep HTC, maker of the first Google Inc.-branded smartphone, from participating in the electronics industry’s latest attempt to erode Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s lead in tablets. The Taiwanese company, whose stock has dropped 68 percent in the past year, is also facing shortages from chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), highlighting the challenge of competing with Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) -- two companies whose dominance in manufacturing and software are increasingly marginalizing smaller rivals like HTC.

“Every consumer knows about Samsung’s Galaxy platform and the iPhone, and you are starting to see consumers coalesce around them,” said Matthew Thornton, an analyst at Avian Securities LLC, who yesterday cut his rating on HTC to negative. “Things just get worse from here. It’s a very bleak outlook.”

Windows RT

Microsoft plans to release its next Windows operating system, the first to run on chips with technology from ARM Holdings Plc (ARM), in time for the holiday shopping season. The ARM version of the new software, designed for tablets that compete with the iPad, is called Windows RT. Other tablets and computers will be made using chips based on Intel Corp. (INTC)’s technology. The software, also called Windows 8, will appear in devices from companies like Toshiba Corp. (6502) and Asustek Computer Inc. (2357) later this year.

HTC is a strong partner now and for the future, said Frank Shaw, a spokesman for Microsoft, in an e-mailed statement. He declined to discuss specifics. HTC intends to support future versions of Windows and isn’t commenting on the details of its product plans, said Sally Julien, a U.S.-based spokeswoman at HTC, in an e-mailed statement.

HTC has been unable to either develop its own software or hardware or sell enough devices to make it the first in line for its suppliers, said Ramon Llamas, an analyst at IDC.

“Controlling the supply chain or influencing the supply chain is one of the things that takes you to success,” said Llamas. “It can very quickly turn on you if you’re not controlling everything in-house.”

Product Delays

HTC said yesterday that second-quarter sales would be NT$91 billion ($3.05 billion), below a previous forecast of NT$105 billion because of product delays in the U.S. and lower-than- anticipated sales in Europe. Besides smartphones, HTC also makes tablets with Google (GOOG)’s Android operating system.

The company’s shares plunged 6.9 percent to NT$378, the lowest in two years, in Taipei trading today after the guidance.

Microsoft, which has tightly controlled the number of ARM- based devices it is supporting at first to ensure quality, opted not to work with HTC after initial discussions with the company, said the two people familiar with the matter. The world’s largest software maker decided to work with other vendors that had greater sales volume and more tablet experience for the first round of devices, the people said.

HTC engineers wanted to build a Windows device with a customized home screen that would be distinctive to its devices, as manufacturers are allowed to do with Android. Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft refused, said the people, and HTC was left off the list of companies the software maker provided with early versions of the software.

Sales Decline

HTC may release a Windows device later, in a second round of products to come next year, one of the people said.

After surging 90 percent in 2010 and 65 percent last year, HTC’s sales will decline 12 percent this year, according to the average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

In the first quarter, HTC’s smartphone shipments dropped 23 percent as Samsung’s more than tripled and Apple’s increased 89 percent, according to IDC. Samsung and Apple account for 53 percent of the market. HTC has a 4.8 percent share, according to the market researcher, placing it fifth behind Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) and Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM)

Participating in the introduction of Windows RT tablets would be unlikely to solve all that ails HTC. The machines will be starting from a zero-market-share position, without the advantage of popular, older Windows applications that won’t run on ARM hardware.

Relationship Shift

The situation underlines the shift in the relationship between Microsoft and HTC, which once relied on each other to prop up early efforts in the mobile-phone market. The two companies started working together on Microsoft’s mobile phones early in the last decade and the first Windows-based phone was manufactured by HTC. At the time, Microsoft had virtually no experience in the area, and HTC was a maker of unbranded generic phones for other companies.

HTC recently has placed more emphasis on its better-selling Android phones, and Microsoft has forged a closer relationship with HTC competitor Nokia.

Still, HTC has seven Windows Phone models on sale globally. The operating system has about 2 percent share of the market, according to IDC.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at; Tim Culpan in Taipei at; Dina Bass in Seattle at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at


House Adopts Measure to Halt Light-Bulb Efficiency Law

By Jim Snyder - Jun 7, 2012 5:32 AM GMT+0700

Republicans in the U.S. House adopted a provision designed to save traditional incandescent light bulbs by blocking what one lawmaker called the “energy police” from enforcing an efficiency standard.

Even if the House language approved last night survives in the Democratic-led Senate, the impact for consumers probably will be limited because manufacturers such as Royal Philips Electronics NV (PHIA) and General Electric Co. (GE) have revamped manufacturing to comply with the law, making bulbs that use less electricity to generate the same amount of light.

A General Electric Co. 26 watt compact flourescent bulb is displayed for a photograph on a case of 100 watt light bulbs at the Kennedy Webster Electric Co. warehouse in Downers Grove, Illinois, U.S.. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

The first phase of the federal efficiency standard, which was passed in 2007 during President George W. Bush’s administration, went into effect this year. It has become a symbol of government excess to Tea Party-aligned lawmakers, who say consumers should be able to buy the bulbs they want.

“People are sick of the government treading where it just doesn’t belong,” said Representative Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican who sponsored the light-bulb amendment, which was added to a broader energy-spending bill.

Burgess’ provision was adopted last night by voice vote. A similar provision was in the spending bill covering the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, which was passed in the House in December.

“The law couldn’t be enforced,” Burgess said of his amendment in an interview. “‘We don’t need no stinkin’ badges. We’re the energy police.’”

Measure Passes

The House today passed, 255-165, the energy-spending bill that includes the light-bulb provision.

Democrats, environmental groups and lighting manufacturers such as Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE support the efficiency law.

Blocking the Energy Department from enforcement might let unscrupulous foreign manufacturers push non-compliant products, including to bulk buyers such as builders. Those sales are difficult to track.

“Some in Congress are willing to put U.S. jobs at risk for political positioning,” said Joseph Higbee, a spokesman for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, a Rosslyn, Virginia-based group. “This is an example of a few politicizing light bulbs at the risk of American workers and the economy.”

Plants Retooled

Companies have retooled plants to make compact fluorescent lights, light-emitting diodes and a halogen version of the pear- shaped incandescent product that meets the efficiency standard. Some of the more efficient bulbs are made in the U.S.

Burgess said consumers should be able to choose for themselves which bulbs they want to buy.

“I’m smart enough to make my own decisions about the purchase of energy, and the government should not feel the need to do that for me,” he said.

The underlying bill would spend $32.1 billion on energy and water-development programs, about $965 million less than what President Barack Obama requested, according to the House Appropriations Committee. It would put more money into fossil- fuel programs than Obama’s budget.

The president’s advisers said May 31 they would recommend the president veto the bill because of cuts to efficiency and clean-energy programs, including to the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy that funds innovative technologies, and language intended to keep Yucca Mountain in Nevada viable as a repository for the nation’s nuclear waste.

The House spending bill is H.R. 5325.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Snyder in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at


Obama Re-Election Map Shaken After Walker’s Wisconsin Win

By John McCormick - Jun 7, 2012 3:16 AM GMT+0700

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said today his victory in yesterday’s recall election sets the stage for Mitt Romney to be competitive in his state in November’s election, while the presumptive Republican presidential nominee saw broader national implications to the result.

“I think he’d acknowledge he’s an underdog, particularly here in Wisconsin,” Walker said of Romney on MSNBC. “But I think anyone looking at the results last night would also acknowledge that it’s now competitive in Wisconsin.”

Republican Gov. Scott Walker greets supporters at an election night rally on June 5, 2012 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Photographer: Brian Kersey/UPI/Landov

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Alberta Darling, a Republican state senator who survived a recall attempt last year, talks with Bloomberg's Mark Niquette about the outlook for the state after Republican Governor Scott Walker survived a recall election last night. They speak at Walker's victory party in Waukesha. (Source: Bloomberg)

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg's Al Hunt discusses Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker surviving a recall election, the boost it gives to Republicans across the country and what impact it may have on the presidential election in November. He speaks on Bloomberg Television's "InBusiness." (Source: Bloomberg)

Romney, speaking at a fundraiser today in San Antonio, Texas, said the Wisconsin vote will “echo” throughout U.S.

“Yesterday was won by the people of Wisconsin doing the right thing and voting for conservative principles,” he said. “I think people recognize we just can’t keep going down the same path that we’re on. It ends up in calamity.”

Walker’s win prompted Democratic and Republican strategists to reassess Wisconsin’s political landscape and the role the state will play in the presidential race. Until earlier this week, target states listed by President Barack Obama’s campaign didn’t include the state, which has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, albeit narrowly at times.

In a campaign video released June 4 -- the day before the recall -- Obama campaign manager Jim Messina listed Wisconsin as “undecided,” along with Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Virginia.

Downplaying Results

White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One today that he hadn’t yet spoken extensively with Obama about the Wisconsin outcome.

“I certainly wouldn’t read much into yesterday’s results,” he said, adding that Obama’s message about growing the economy and jobs “will resonate in Wisconsin.”

It remains an open question whether Romney can capitalize on Walker’s momentum. So far, his campaign has yet to announce any travel plans to Wisconsin.

“It tends to be a blue state in presidential elections, we don’t win a lot in Wisconsin,” Romney said today.

“The key for Governor Romney to be competitive enough to win is I think he’s got to lay out a clear platform -- something similar to what our friend Paul Ryan has done,” Walker said, pointing to the U.S. House Budget Committee chairman whose proposed overhaul of Medicaid and Medicare and suggested government spending cuts is being used by Democrats to rally support.

Make Compelling Case

Walker said that if Romney “makes a compelling case to the people of Wisconsin that he’s willing to take those kinds of risks to get America back on track for our kids and our grandkids’ kids, he can win.”

Romney said today the Wisconsin results show voters support leaders who seek to curb the government’s size and challenge organized labor, and that those attitudes would surface in November’s vote.

Voters in Wisconsin “said we’ve seen a conservative governor; he cut back on the scale of government and has held down taxes and stood up to the public sector unions and we want more of that, not less of it,” Romney said during a telephone town hall meeting with members of the National Federation of Independent Business. “And I think you’re going to find that in the decisions being made in November.”

Big Names

Three of the biggest names in Republican politics today call Wisconsin home: Walker, Ryan and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Even before the recall results were in, Democrats and Republicans were working to spin the significance of the outcome for the matchup between Obama and Romney, a former Massachusetts governor.

The organization and mobilization of Wisconsin Republicans to protect Walker could provide Romney a boost, should he decide to compete aggressively in the state.

If Romney were able to make Wisconsin a competitive state, it could make a major difference in this year’s campaign. Winning a Midwest industrial state such as Wisconsin or Michigan, which both backed Obama in 2008, would provide him an easier path to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.

Wisconsin’s History

A victory wouldn’t be an easy task for Romney, 65. The state, which has 10 electoral votes, hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since President Ronald Reagan carried it in his 1984 re-election against Democrat Walter Mondale, who won just one state, his native Minnesota.

Obama, 50, in the 2008 election beat Republican John McCain in Wisconsin, 56 percent to 42 percent. An exit poll of recall election voters conducted yesterday showed Obama beating Romney, 51 percent to 44 percent.

Still, if this presidential election plays out similar to those held in 2000 and 2004, Romney could have a fighting chance. Former President George W. Bush came within several thousand votes of winning the state in both of those election cycles.

Also boosting Republican confidence in the state are their 2010 victories, when the party won the governor’s office, as well as a U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Russ Feingold. They also picked up two House seats in the state’s eight-member delegation and gained control of both chambers of the state legislature.

Tea Partiers

Tea Party activists were an important constituency behind Republican Ron Johnson’s 2010 Senate win and the movement, which promotes a smaller role for the federal government, remains a force in the state.

Spending on the recall through May 21 amounted to at least $66 million, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan group in Madison that follows election financing. That’s almost double the $37 million spent on the 2010 governor’s race. Walker alone raised more than $30 million, with about two-thirds coming from out of state.

The financial imbalance contributed to Walker’s victory, recall supporters said. Still, as important as money was in the race, its significance may be overplayed by Democrats. The exit polling showed that nearly nine in ten voters made their decision on the recall prior to May, more than a month before the actual vote and an explosion of television advertising.

State In Play

Ed Gillespie, a senior Romney adviser, said today that Wisconsin is in play, though he cautioned not to overestimate the effects of the recall vote.

“I do think it will be competitive in November,” he said of Wisconsin at a Bloomberg Breakfast in Washington today. “But winning in a recall election does not mean you should put it in your ‘leans-Republican’ column today.”

Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the vote affirms policies proposed by governors in other states and by Romney that would limit unions as a way of closing budget gaps.

“The election results indicate that there is a receptive message out in the heartland, the country at large, for that center-right approach,” he said.

“The playing field has broadened for Republicans,” Gillespie said. “The fact that Wisconsin is in play is revealing.”

Walker Victory

Walker beat Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, 53 percent to 46 percent with all of the vote recorded, according to unofficial returns from the Associated Press.

Obama’s Wisconsin win four years ago was boosted by a surge in support among younger voters, a demographic that remains more supportive of him than Romney and yet which polls show is less energetic about his campaign than it was four years ago.

The president declined to get involved in the recall race, with the exception of an Internet post supportive of Barrett on the evening before the vote. He literally flew over the state -- twice -- on June 1 en route to his own campaign events in Minnesota and Illinois.

Besides the potential of an embarrassing loss, Obama traveling to Wisconsin also would have brought with it the risk of turning off some of the independent voters who backed Walker that the president needs to win in November.

Romney, who also didn’t visit the state in the run-up to the recall election, made supportive statements about Walker as he campaigned ahead of Wisconsin’s April 3 primary, a victory that accelerated his path to clinching his party’s presidential nomination.

-- With assistance from Lisa Lerer and Roger Runningen in Washington and Julie Hirschfeld Davis in San Antonio, Texas. Editors: Jeanne Cummings, Don Frederick

To contact the reporter on this story: John McCormick in Chicago at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at


U.S. Stocks Cap Biggest Rally in 2012 on Stimulus Bets

By Rita Nazareth - Jun 7, 2012 3:52 AM GMT+0700

U.S. stocks rallied, giving benchmark indexes their biggest gains in 2012, on speculation global policy makers will take steps to stimulate economic growth.

Bank of America Corp. surged 7.6 percent to pace gains among financial shares. Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) increased at least 3.3 percent. Home Depot Inc. (HD), the largest U.S. home-improvement retailer, climbed 3.4 percent after raising its stock repurchase plan by $500 million for fiscal 2012. Facebook Inc. (FB) added 3.6 percent, following a 32 percent decline since the biggest social-networking company went public.

All 10 groups in the S&P 500 rose today as commodity, financial and technology shares had the biggest gains. Photograph: Landov

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg's Deborah Kostroun reports on the performance of the U.S. equity market today. U.S. stocks rallied, giving benchmark indexes their biggest gains in 2012, on speculation global policy makers will take steps to stimulate economic growth. (Source: Bloomberg)

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg’s Trish Regan, Matt Miller and Alix Steel report on today’s ten most important stocks including Home Depot, Halliburton and Bank of America. (Source: Bloomberg)

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Michael Woolfolk, managing director at Bank of New York Mellon Corp., talks about the the impact of the European sovereign-debt crisis on U.S. stocks and bonds, and the outlook for equities. He speaks with Trish Regan and Matt Miller on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." Sandy Villere, portfolio manager at Villere & Co., also speaks. (Source: Bloomberg)

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Michael Purves, chief global strategist and head of equity derivatives research at Weeden & Co., talks about the U.S. stock market and economy, gold prices and Europe's sovereign debt crisis. He speaks with Pimm Fox and Alix Steel on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Thomas Lee, chief U.S. equity strategist at JPMorgan Chase & Co., talks about the outlook for U.S. stocks and likely fiscal and monetary response to a potential withdrawal by Greece from the euro zone. He speaks with Scarlet Fu on Bloomberg Television's "InBusiness." (Source: Bloomberg)

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photographer: Richard Drew/AP Photo

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 2.3 percent to 1,315.13 at 4 p.m. New York time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 286.84 points, or 2.4 percent, to 12,414.79. About 7.3 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges today, or 8.3 percent above the three-month average.

“People are viewing central banks as very aware of the weakness of the global economy and looking for ways to deal with that,” said Michael Holland, chairman of New York-based Holland & Co. His firm oversees more than $4 billion. “In addition to that, we’ve had a major selloff, valuations are low and that certainly helps to lift the market on a day like today.”

The S&P 500 rose 2.9 percent in three days, wiping out the loss driven by a disappointing jobs report on June 1. Earlier this week, the index traded at 12.9 times its companies’ reported earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That was the cheapest valuation in six months, the data showed. Concern about Europe’s debt crisis and a global slowdown took the S&P 500 down as much as 9.9 percent from this year’s peak.

Stimulus Bets

Equities rallied today as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said officials stand ready to act as the euro region’s outlook worsens. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta PresidentDennis Lockhart said extending Operation Twist, the program to lengthen maturities of debt on the U.S. central bank’s balance sheet, is an “option on the table.”

The U.S. economy maintained a moderate pace of growth, according to the Fed’s Beige Book survey of business conditions. The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee meets June 19-20 to consider whether more stimulus is needed.

“I would be surprised if the Federal Reserve isn’t already having a contingency plan if everything unravels in Europe,” said Ron Florance, managing director of investment strategy for Wells Fargo Private Bank. His firm manages $169 billion.

Warren Buffett, the billionaire chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), said he expects the U.S. economy to avoid another recession as long as Europe can contain its debt crisis. There won’t be a recession “unless events in Europe develop in some way that spills over here big-time,” Buffett said yesterday at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.

Biggest Gains

All 10 groups in the S&P 500 rose today as energy, financial and industrial shares had the biggest gains. The Dow Jones Transportation Average climbed 3 percent. Bank of America increased 7.6 percent, the most in the Dow, to $7.64. Caterpillar, the largest maker of construction equipment, added 3.6 percent to $86.66. Exxon Mobil jumped 3.3 percent to $80.18.

Home Depot rose 3.4 percent to $50.60. The timing of its share repurchases will not have a material impact on the diluted earnings per share in that period, the retailer said.

Monsanto Co. (MON) added 3 percent to $79.20. The largest seed company will repurchase as much as $1 billion of shares as rising profit boosts the company’s cash hoard to a record.

Facebook rallied 3.6 percent to $26.81. No large U.S. company is attracting more attention from short sellers than Facebook amid bets it will keep falling after losing $29 billion since its initial public offering.

Short Interest

Short interest on the Menlo Park, California-based company reached 5.9 percent of shares outstanding, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Data Explorers Ltd., a New York-based research firm. None of the S&P 500 companies with at least $50 billion in market capitalization has short interest higher than 3 percent, the data show. Facebook, which has a market value of about $61.6 billion, isn’t in the S&P 500.

“Facebook is one of those companies whose future potential is unknown and unknowable,” said Robert Stimpson, a money manager at Akron, Ohio-based Oak Associates Ltd., which oversees about $900 million and doesn’t own Facebook. “The stock is expensive. The short interest might also reflect a bet that there is more bad news to come and Facebook will be punished.”

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ)’s board approved a plan to pay brokers whose orders were mishandled in Facebook Inc.’s initial public offering, earmarking about $40 million to cover losses.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) jumped 7.1 percent, the most since Aug. 11, to $18.21. The company is in advanced talks to sell pipelines to Global Infrastructure Partners for more than $4 billion, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Unexpected Profit

A measure of homebuilders in S&P indexes gained 3.7 percent. Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (HOV) surged 18 percent, the most since Aug. 15, to $2.01. The largest homebuilder in New Jersey reported an unexpected profit for its fiscal second quarter as orders jumped 52 percent amid rising U.S. demand for new houses.

Iron Mountain Inc. (IRM) surged 14 percent, the biggest gain in the S&P 500, to $32.32. The document-storage company approved a plan to convert to a real-estate investment trust and increased its quarterly dividend by 8 percent.

Lee Enterprises Inc. soared 16 percent, the biggest gain since Jan. 24, to $1.33. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed owning a stake in the owner of newspapers in the U.S. Midwest and West Coast. Inc. (ACOM) gained 11 percent to $25.06. The family- history research website is weighing a sale and working with Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst Partners LLC to find buyers, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Material Costs

Halliburton Co. (HAL) slumped 3.5 percent to $28.10. The world’s largest provider of hydraulic-fracturing services said North American margins will be 500 to 550 basis points lower this quarter than last because of higher material costs.

Tempur-Pedic International Inc. (TPX) plunged 49 percent, the most ever, to $22.39. The luxury mattress maker cut its full- year profit and revenue forecasts amid lower-than-expected second-quarter sales in North America.

The selloff that erased $1.78 trillion from U.S. equity values has pushed the cost of options to the highest levels of 2012, prompting hedge funds to add to short sales at the fastest rate since October. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index surpassed 26 last week, a level not seen since December.

The gain left the gauge near its price just before the S&P 500 slumped 12 percent in August and September 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show. As the VIX (VIX) has risen, an International Strategy & Investment Group measure of hedge fund bullishness has retreated by 7.4 percent.

Short Selling

While the cost of hedges and the amount of short selling are increasing, they may have further to go before bearishness is exhausted amid Europe’s credit crisis, according to Wayne Lin of Legg Mason Inc. The VIX would have to gain 45 percent to reach its average price in August and September. The ISI gauge bottomed at 42 last year compared with its level of 45.3 now.

“The concerns about Europe combined with questions about the robustness of global growth are filtering into markets,” Lin, who helps oversee $639 billion as a money manager at Baltimore-based Legg Mason, said yesterday in a phone interview. “These risks make people back out of equities, cause the hedge funds to go short and push the VIX up.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rita Nazareth in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at