BP Near Settlement on Gulf Disaster: Hot Trends

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet include BP ( BP) after the British oil company said it is getting closer to reaching a settlement with the U.S. over the Gulf of Mexico well explosion two years ago.

While BP said in a statement that no final agreement has been reached, the company said it is in advanced talks with U.S. agencies about settling claims from the disaster. According to BP, a settlement would not include civil claims under the Clean Water Act and other legislation.

In March, BP said it reached a separate settlement with more than 100,000 individuals and businesses affected by the explosion totaling an estimated $7.8 billion.

The Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and fire killed 11 workers on April 20, 2010. It sparked a spill that lasted 87 days and affected the southern coast of the U.S.

Qatar Holdings is trending as the Xstrata shareholder said it would back Glencore's $32 billion takeover of the miner.

Qatar said it would vote in favor of two key resolutions on the takeover. However, the company said it would not vote on a management retention plan. That decision is a move that slights Xstrata's management as the plan is more likely to be voted down.

While Xstrata has argued that the multimillion-pound retention plan is necessary to ensure key managers stay and contribute to the success of the merger, some Xstrata shareholders have criticized it as being too greedy. The plan provides more than 70 top executives a total of about $140 million pounds ($222 million).

Xstrata investors are now able to vote on the management retention plan without endangering the takeover.

Qatar's support of the deal brings the merger that much closer to completion.

Hostess Brands is another popular search. After workers went on strike on Nov. 9, Hostess said it would seek liquidation unless enough workers returned by the end of the workday Thursday

Members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) went on strike in response to court-approved pay cuts. The company imposed a contract on Nov. 9 that would cut workers' wages by 8%. The union said their benefits would also be cut by 27% to 32%, per the contract.

Hostess said it would file a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to shut down and sell assets if not enough employees to allow the company to resume operations appear by 5 p.m. EST Thursday. Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn said in a statement that the company does "not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike."

Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January. The Twinkie-maker's operations could begin shutting down as soon as Nov. 20 if the court grants the motion. Liquidation of the company would result in the loss of 18,000 jobs.

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.