November 9, 2013

Briefcase

NEW YORK

Hedge fund pleads guilty to insider trading charges

SAC Capital Advisors pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges Friday, satisfying a deal with the government that requires the Connecticut-based hedge fund to pay a record $1.8 billion to settle charges that it allowed, if not encouraged, insider trading to occur for more than a decade.

The plea came in U.S. District Court in Manhattan four days after the government announced that the once influential hedge fund owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen had reached the deal that also required it to shut operations to outside investors.

But Judge Laura Taylor Swain did not immediately accept the plea, saying she’d wait until a probation report is made and other papers are submitted for her review.

At $3.21 on average, prices at pump lowest since 2011

The price of gasoline is the lowest in nearly two years, an early holiday gift for U.S. drivers.

The nationwide average for gas is now $3.21. It hasn’t been that low since December 2011. Five states – Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas – have averages below $3 a gallon.

Gas has fallen 38 cents since Labor Day, a period in which oil prices declined by about $14 a barrel. In addition, a relatively calm hurricane season has meant no major storm-related disruptions at the big refineries.

AAA earlier this week forecast the national average could drop to $3.10 by the end of the year.

Chicago

No kidding! The Onion plans to end print editions Dec. 12

In poking fun at current events, satirical newspaper The Onion often finds a way to heap ridicule on the newspaper industry.

But just like some news outlets it lampoons, The Onion announced Friday it is ending the last of its print editions and moving to an all-online format.

Print advertising revenue has been drying up during the industry’s transition to a digital-dominated media landscape, and newspapers have been gradually scaling back or eliminating print editions entirely.

The Onion’s last print editions – in Providence, R.I., Milwaukee and the paper’s home city of Chicago – will run on Dec. 12.

– From wire service reports

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