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Ex-CEO Kozlowski's new pay — about a dollar a day in prison

Former Tyco CEO Leo Dennis Kozlowski is making about a dollar a day as a dining room attendant and teacher's aide at Mid-State Correctional Facility at Marcy, N.Y, where he's serving 8 1/3 to 25 years for looting the company. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Kozlowski says he doesn't mind losing the mansions, the yachts, all sold to pay off fines and court-ordered restitution.

Abundance of good news helps lift Wall Street's major indexes

The daily Dow


A better than expected producer price index, cheaper oil and some positive earnings report helped fuel the Dow to a new high.

The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 85.57 points to close at 12,218.01. The Nasdaq composite index gained 24.28 points to close at 2,430.66 points, while the S&P 500 gained 8.80 points to close at 1,393.22.

The producer price index for October fell 1.6 percent, while oil prices dropped 30 cents a barrel to $58.28 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Shares of Wal-Mart and Home Depot picked up 2.8 percent and 2.6 percent respectively after releasing earnings reports during the day.

Among South Florida major stocks, Lennar gained $1.99 a share to close at $48.25; Ryder System gained 81 cents a share to close at $53.82 and Royal Caribbean picked up 79 cents a share to close at $43.41.

On the flip side, Republic Services lost 17 cents to close at $42.59; and FPL Group lost 11 cents to close at $53.20.

Stocks finish up absent major news

The daily Dow


Stocks finished up Monday, absent any major earnings news or economic reports. The Dow Jones industrial average finished the day at 12,131.88, up 34.18. The Nasdaq composite index closed at 2,406.38, up 16.66, while the S&P 500 picked 3.52 points to close at 1,384.42.

The price for a barrel of West Texas intermediate crude for December delivery fell $1.01 to $58.58 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Among South Florida major stocks, shares of Royal Caribbean picked up 76 cents to close at $42.52; Citrix Systems gained $28.88, up 71 cents a share. Office Depot lost 22 cents a share to close at $41.44, while BankAtlantic dropped 9 cents to close at $13.26 a share. 


Florida ranks second nationally as foreclosures epidemic proportions

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The housing bubble has officially popped and is rapidly deflating.

Florida leads the Southeast and ranks second nationally with 95,682 foreclosures to, according to real estate advisory firm

Last week, RealtyTrac gave Florida the distinction of leading the nation in foreclosures. In either case, it’s not good news for the state’s economy.

“The foreclosure epidemic stretches throughout the Southeast and beyond, fueled by soaring living costs, consumer credit woes, the aftermath of creative mortgages, and high energy costs,” says Alexis McGee, president of

As of Oct. 31, said nationwide foreclosures were up 19.6 percent over all of 2005 — 766,058 foreclosure filings for 2006 versus 640,457 for all of 2005.

“Even though consumers have gotten some cost relief with energy prices tumbling, it’s too late for over-extended homeowners,” McGee said. “That sub-prime ARM or interest-only home loan may have been the perfect solution several years ago, but now that mortgage payment has adjusted way up. Combine that rate shock with lax credit practices and the current slowdown in home appreciation rates and sales, and many home owners are overextended and stuck without enough equity to refinance or sell. Foreclosure is their only option.”Slow day but stocks rise anyway

The daily Dow


It was a slow day on Wall Street despite solid earnings reports Thursday and Friday and falling oil prices. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 5.69 points to close at 12,108.43, while the Nasdaq composite picked up a respectable 13.71 to close at 2,389.72 and the S&P 500 gained 2.57 points to close at 1,380.90.

Oil prices fell $1.57 a barrel to $59.59.

Our basket of South Florida major stocks all finished higher, led by Lennar Corp., which gained $1.43 to close at $46.22; Royal Caribbean picked up 71 cents to close at $41.76; Ryder System gained 55 cents a share to close at $52.98.

Nationwide to seek arbitration on homeowners rate hike proposal

Nationwide will ask an arbitration panel to approve a 70 percent hike in homeowners insurance rates. The state Office of Insurance Regulation rejected the rate hike last month.

SEC sues former Boca broker for inverse floater fraud scheme

MIAMI — The Securities and Exchange Commission is suing a former Boca Raton broker for making fraudulent trades in obscure, highly complex and highly risky securities known as inverse floaters.

The SEC sued Jamie L. Solow, 45, a former broker with Alexander Archer Securities in Boca Raton, claiming that Solow made trades in inverse floaters worth hundreds of millions of dollars and hid them from his employers by falsifying trading tickets. Solow also allegedly sold the securities to investors with low or moderate tolerance for risk.

Solow’s trades exceeded Alexander Archer’s capital reserves, and losses in some trades in 2003 forced the firm to shut down for several weeks, according to the suit.

The suit, filed in federal district court in South Florida, seeks civil fines against Solow, and for the former broker to pay to the court any illegal profits he received from the scheme.

Inverse floaters are a form of mortgage-backed securities and are highly volatile as interest rates move.


Rising oil prices, declines in drug stocks send major indexes south

The daily Dow

Stocks fell Thursday as crude oil prices rose. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 71.40 points to close at 12,103.30, while the Nasdaq composite index dropped 8.93 points to close at 2,376.01 and the S&P 500 lost 7.39 points to close at 1,378.33 points.

Oil fell $1.33 to $61.16 a barrel. Drug stocks also took a hit, as some feared that the Democrat-controlled Congress might add new regulations.

Among South Florida major stocks, FPL Group gained 40 cents a share to close at $52.52; Citrix System gained a quarter a share to close at $28.84; and Autonation picked up 4 cents a share to close at $20.01.

Ryder System lost 84 cents to close at $52.43 a share; Carnival Corp. dropped 72 cents a share to close at $48.17; and BankAtlantic dropped 45 cents a share to close at $13.06.

Rinker Group posts double-digit profit gains for second quarter

Facing a $12 billion hostile takeover bid and a slowing housing market, Rinker Group, the Australian parent of Rinker Materials of West Palm Beach, saw second quarter profit rise by 11 percent. The company raised prices and emphasized crushed rock and asphalt sales for road building to overcome the slow home construction market. Bloomberg News.

Stocks gain as election results clarify, Rumsfeld's resignation

The daily Dow

The lifting of political uncertainty brought on by Tuesday’s election, plus the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, lifted the markets Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose $19.77 points to close at 12,176.54; the Nasdaq composite index rose 9.06 to close at 2,384.94 and the S&P 500 gained 2.75 points to close at 1,385.59.

During the day, it became increasingly likely that Democrats would control both the House and Senate. Democrats had at least 227 seats in the House, with 13 races still undetermined. In the Senate, Jon Tester declared victory in Montana, giving the Democrats at least 50 seats. Democrat James Webb held a slim lead in Virginia, where a recount is likely.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld resigned during the day.

Among South Florida’s major stocks, FPL Group picked up $1.19 a share to $53.12; Citrix Systems had a good day, gaining 76 cents a share to close at $28.59, while Ryder System picked up 72 cents a share to close at $53.27.

Losers were few: Pediatrix lost 14 cents a share to close at $47.95, while Office Depot lost 16 cents to close at $41.35.

LA businessmen are said to be making bid for the Tribune Co.

Eli Broad and Ron Burkle reportedly are making a bid to buy the Tribune Co., owner of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Orlando Sentinel, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Cubs. The Tribune Co. put itself on the market in September.

Democratic victory may signal end of salad days for health insurers

Investors Wednesday sent southward stocks of health insurers in the aftermath of the Democrats' congressional victories. Managed care companies especially have profited handsomely during the Bush years. MarketWatch.



Crist takes governor's race, Sink takes chief financial officer post

Charlie Crist defeated Jim Davis in the race to replace Jeb Bush as Florida's governor.

'Tonight is not my victory. It is your victory,'' Crist told cheering supporters at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Gulf Club, a historic hotel just minutes from his boyhood home in St. Petersburg. ``This is Florida's victory. I ran for governor for you."

Democrat Alex Sink did manage to defeat Republican Tom Lee, the former Senate president in the race for chief financial officer, ending the Republican stranglehold on Tallahassee.

Ex-Tyco CEO Kozlowski to sell Colorado home for $10 million

Boca Raton resident and former Tyco International CEO Leo Dennis Kozlowski has reached a deal to sell his Beaver Creek, Colo., home to a Texas man for $10 million, plus $750,000 more for the furnishings. He bought the house in 2000 for $845,000.

"At 10 million, it's a decent house, although some people I talked to thought it wasn't worth more than eight,'' said David Nilges, a Colorado real estate broker not involved in the sale who toured the residence in January. "The view is to die for.''

Kozlowski was convicted in 2005 of looting Tyco, and is selling assets to pay $167 million in restitution and fines. Prosecutors said in August he was $59 million short. Bloomberg News.

Sikorsky Helicopter facing loss of $13 billion Air Force contract

Bloomberg News is reporting that United Technologies Corp.'s Sikorsky Helicopter unit could lose a contract to make helicopters used in pilot rescue. Sikorsky maintains a testing facility in Palm Beach County. A decision from the Air Force on the helicopter, designated H 92, could come as early as today.

Builders Toll Bros., Beezer report new orders down, cancellations up

More evidence of the depth of the housinng slump. Luxury home builder Toll Brothers and Beezer Homes USA say new orders have dropped 58 percent. Bloomberg News.

Falling oil, prospect of government gridlock soothe investors Tuesday

The daily Dow

The prospect of gridlock in Congress and falling oil prices helped to pick up Wall Street Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial revenue rose 51.22 points to 12,156.77, while the Nasdaq composite index gained 9.93 points to 2,375.88 and the S&P 500 gained 3.06 points to close at 1,382.84.

Oil prices dropped a $1.09 a barrel to close at $58.93. As voters were going to the polls, investors looked forward to the prospect that Democrats would take one or more congressional chambers, leaving the federal government politically divided and unable to pass new regulations or increase spending.

Among South Florida major stocks, Pediatrix picked up 58 cents a share to close at $48.09; Ryder System picked up 35 cents to close at $52.55; and Carnival Corp. gained 22 cents a share to close at $48.36.

Citrix Systems dropped 94 cents a share to close at $27.83; Lennar lost 81 cents a share to close at $45.67; and Republic Services dropped 19 cents a share to $41.96.

Stocks advance on prospect of Democratic victory, gridlock

Election day predictions of a Democratic victory in at least one congressional chamber pushed stocks up Tuesday. Split control of government would create gridlock, limiting the prospects for new regulation and new government spending. Bloomberg News.

Fed bank president: Economy will survive housing slump and grow

Housing slump? What housing slump? Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Sandra Pianalto says the economy will grow at a moderate pace, with slowing inflation.

``I expect the economy to weather the recent challenges in the housing market,'' Pianalto said yesterday evening at an event sponsored by the Pittsburgh Business Times. ``I fully expect the economy to grow at a moderate, but sustainable pace."

Pianalto is a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee. Bloomberg News.