Monday's Early Headlines

  • Madoff's Day of Reckoning. - Bernard Madoff, the architect of a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, will be sentenced at 10 a.m. EDT. Madoff's lawyer insists 12 years in prison is enough. Prosecutors demand a 150-year sentence that would guarantee the 71-year-old spends his final days behind bars.
  • Romer Upbeat on U.S. Economy. - Christina Romer, the head of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, is "more optimistic" that the US economy is close to stabilization, The Financial Times reported. While hopeful that the U.S. could yet experience a V-shaped recovery, Romer said it was much too soon to begin tightening policy. "We do not want to repeat the mistake Japan made in the 1990s, when the moment things started to improve they tightened policy," she said.
  • Novartis in Talks For Parts of Elan. - Swiss drugmaker Novartis (NVS) - Get Report is in talks to buy certain operations from Ireland's Elan (ELN) , according to a report from London's Sunday Times. The sale would include biotechnology company Elan's flagship multiple sclerosis treatment Tysabri and its Alzheimer's disease pipeline, the newspaper said.
  • UBS Nearing Settlement Over Tax Dispute. - UBS (UBS) - Get Report is nearing a civil settlement with the U.S. government over a tax-related dispute. The bank may be forking over between 3 billion to 5 billion francs ($2.77 billion to $4.62 billion) to settle the tax dispute sometime in the next two weeks, according to published reports by Swiss outlets Sonntag and NZZ am Sonntag.
  • Vodafone Mulls Bid for T-Mobile UK. - Vodafone (VOD) - Get Report is considering an offer to buy T-Mobile UK, according to The Financial Times. The U.K.'s Vodafone, the world's largest mobile operator by revenue, is exploring an acquisition of T-Mobile UK, which has an estimated enterprise value of 3 billion euros to 4 billion euros ($4.2 billion to $5.6 billion), even though a deal could be blocked by regulators, the report said.
  • GM Agrees to Liability for Defects. - General Motors (GMGMQ) has agreed to assume legal responsibility for injuries drivers suffer from vehicle defects after the auto maker emerges from U.S. bankruptcy protection, according to The Wall Street Journal. The concession means consumers who are injured in car accidents after GM emerges from bankruptcy protection will be able to bring product-liability claims against the government-owned auto maker, the report said.
  • Towers Perrin, Watson Wyatt to Merge. - Management consulting firms Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby and Watson Wyatt Worldwide (WW) - Get Report will merge in a stock deal valued at about $3.5 billion. The new company, Towers Watson & Co., is expected to have revenue of more than $3 billion and about 14,000 employees.
  • Microsoft Reportedly Looks to Sell Razorfish. - Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report is looking to sell Internet ad agency Razorfish and French marketing company Publicis Groupe is thought to be a potential buyer, The Financial Times reported. The report said one analyst estimates Razorfish could be worth $600 million to $700 million.

Earnings and Economic News

  • Earnings Reports After Monday's Close - Apollo Group (APOL) and H&R Block (HRB) - Get Report will post quarterly results after the end of trading Monday.