Business Beat: Netflix signs with Disney, Apple scammer caught in fraud

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Hugo Barra, vice president of Android product management, unveils the Nexus 7 tablet in the 2012 Google I/O conference in July. At the 2013 conference, Google is expected to unveil updates on tablets as well as news on Google Glass, glasses designed to act as a computer display.

Shipping worker strike causes cargo delays

The now weeklong strike by workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has shut down 10 of 14 available shipping ports, causing cargo and shipment delays. The strike, brought on by clerical workers accusing the Harbor Employers Association of outsourcing jobs, has left $3 billion in goods sitting in the docks.

According to an article published Tuesday by USA Today, 450 clerical workers started the strike eight days ago, and approximately 10,000 port workers refused to cross the strike’s picket lines. The National Retail Federal has written to President Obama to intervene, but the clerical unit says it plans to continue the strike. 

The strike now threatens to affect nationwide retailers with limited product toward the end of the holiday season. 

Connecticut stock trader charged with Apple fraud

New York trader David Miller, 40, was charged in a scheme to profit from $1 billion in illegally gained Apple stock. If convicted, Miller could face up to 20 years in prison, according to an article by NBC News published Tuesday. 

Miller lied about the amount of shares his company, Rochdale Securities LCC, ordered from Apple in October. Miller claimed to order only 1,625 but actually ordered 1.6 million. If Apple stock rose, Miller would claim the profits, but planned to complain about the mistake if the stock fell.

Re-selling the stock cost Rochdale Securities approximately $5 million and Miller was charged with fraud. Miller appeared in court Tuesday and was released on a $300,000 bond. 

Google I/O conference dates released

Google’s I/O developer conference, where Google will announce new technology and updates, is slated to occur May 15-17, 2013, in San Francisco.

Last year, the Google I/O conference unveiled the Nexus 7 tablet, which was met with high demand and positive acclaim from critics. More information on Google’s phones and tablets is expected for the upcoming conference, in addition to updates on Project Glass, glasses designed by Google to act as a computer display.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Google announced the conference dates Tuesday via the developer Google+ page. Developers must wait until February 2013 to register for the conference.

Stock market suffers from fiscal cliff indecision

Stocks closed low again on Tuesday as investors remain wary of the “fiscal cliff” — a potential recession caused by a bipartisan agreement to slash funding for federal programs on Jan. 2, 2013, if both parties fail to compromise on the debt ceiling. Dow Jones fell 13.82 points, Standard & Poor fell 2.41 points and Nasdaq fell 5.51 points. 

According to an article published Tuesday by NBC News, the overall stock plunge was caused by reactions to President Obama’s rejection of the latest Republican fiscal cliff solution. Obama continues to pursue a higher tax on wealthy citizens, while Republicans push for economic boosters.

Stock closes continue to remain below the daily average, with this week’s close exchanging 5.86 billion shares, well below the typical 6.48 billion.

Netflix signs movie agreement with Disney

According to a Tuesday CNN article, Netflix has officially signed a movie deal agreement with Walt Disney Studios. The deal gives Netflix exclusive rights to Disney’s new releases beginning in 2016; however, classic Disney films such as “Pocahontas” and “Dumbo” will be available on Netflix next Tuesday.

In 2016, Netflix users will be able to stream new Disney movies and movies from Disney subsidiaries, including Pixar and Marvel. Netflix gained this deal after losing their contract with Starz, which currently carries Disney titles. The Netflix deal will end Starz’s licensing with Disney, as well as other companies that aired Disney films, like Amazon Prime and iTunes. 

Representatives from both companies have not disclosed whether this means that Netflix will be the sole provider of the new Star Wars film slated to be released by Disney in 2015. 

U.S. banks receive record 3rd-quarter profit 

U.S. banks have achieved record-breaking profits in the third quarter, reporting profits in the range of $37 billion, a 6.6 percent jump from the same period last year.

Analysis from the RBC Capital Markets predict that if this rate of recovery continues, banks will exceed the overall record of profits set in 2006. The current rise in profits is due to proper cutting of assets, according to the LA Times. 

The LA Times reported Tuesday that the bank recovery has come with harsh criticism for the banks to contribute more to the American economy by offering longer, lower-interest loans and reducing fee-free checking deposit requirements.