Rupert Murdoch in Second Day of Testimony: Hot Trends

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet Thursday include Rupert Murdoch, who entered his second day of testimony in a U.K. media-ethics inquiry about News Corp.'s ( NWSA) News of the World tabloid phone- hacking scandal.

During his testimony, Murdoch said he "failed" to prevent the phone-hacking scandal and said senior executives were misinformed and shielded from what was going on. Murdoch said lower-ranking employees at News Corp. never told senior executives how far reporters were going to hack into voicemails for stories.

The inquiry has been ongoing since last year after many occasions of voicemail interceptions by News of the World journalists became apparent.

About 45 people have been arrested in connection with the scandal. News of the World was shut down by News Corp. in July.


AstraZeneca ( AZN) is trending as the drugmaker's CEO David Brennan announced he will step down on June 1.

Brennan has been at the helm of the company for six years. He has received some investor backlash for not doing enough to keep the company competitive as it faces multiple expiring drug patents.

AstraZeneca has also struggled of late with setbacks in drug development. The company has increased its deal-making lately in effort to bring in new drugs from other companies.

Brennan will be replaced by Chief Financial Officer Simon Lowth, who will take over on an interim basis while AstraZeneca finds a permanent replacement.


Starwood Hotels & Resorts ( HOT) is another popular search. The company reported first-quarter earnings that more than quadrupled on high sales of vacation units.

The vacation units, which are at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami Beach, opened in January and went on sale late last year and helped to drive earnings. The vacation unit sales helped to offset weakness on the hotel side out of Europe.

Net income rose to $128 million, or 65 cents a share, from $28 million, or 14 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue fell 2% to $402 million.

Starwood now expects growth of 6% to 8% in worldwide revenue per available room for company-operated hotels open at lest one year. Its prior forecast was a 5% to 7% increase.


The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google, Yahoo! and other search sites) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on the Web, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

-- Written by Brittany Umar.

Brittany joined TheStreet.com TV in November 2006 after completing a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers College. Previously, Brittany interned at the local ABC affiliate in New York City WABC-TV 7 where she helped research and produce On Your Side, a popular consumer advocacy segment.

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