Still a romance with the movies
Bloomberg Businessweek: With just a few hours left in the year, Hollywood is serving up a feel-good ending. Domestic movie ticket sales are expected to top last year's record haul of $10.8 billion and approach $11 billion for the first time, thanks to a strong slate of holiday releases. "Despite the proliferation of other media platforms, whether it's Netflix or video-on-demand, the tried-and-true movie business continues to be pretty solid," says Bloomberg Industries analyst Paul Sweeney. "That gives a lot of investors a little more comfort."
Buffett buys into company that greases the flow of oil
The Telegraph: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has agreed to buy Phillips Specialty Products Inc., a company that makes polymers used to dilute crude oil to increase the speed with which it can be pumped through pipelines. The company is part of Houston-based Phillips 66. Berkshire Hathaway will pay for the company using about 19 million shares it currently owns in Phillips 66; the shares were trading at $75 apiece on Monday.
IBM the Dow's lone loser
Bloomberg: International Business Machines Corp., the world's largest provider of computing services, hasn't convinced investors that it can pull out of a sales slump, leaving the stock poised for its first annual decline since the financial crisis in 2008. Even as the company boosted its dividend and added about $20 billion to its buyback plan, the stock became the only decliner in the Dow Jones industrial average this year. The shares declined 2.7 percent through Monday, compared with a 26 percent gain for the index. Revenue has fallen for six straight quarters, dragged down by sluggish demand for computer hardware.