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Aug. 15, 2011 at 12:59 PM
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Markets higher at midday Monday

NEW YORK, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Markets in the United States, Europe and Asia headed higher Monday, shaking off last week's turmoil to post solid early gains.

In late morning trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average, which rose last Thursday and Friday, added 140.28 points, or 1.24 percent to 11,409.30. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 16.61 points or 1.41 percent to 1,195.42. The Nasdaq composite index added 23.19 points or 0,92 percent to 2,531.17.

The benchmark 10-year treasury note fell 2/32 to yield 2.25 percent.

Asian-Pacific stock exchanges opened the new week's account on an upbeat note and stayed there until the end, allowing investors to breathe easily after enduring unprecedented market swings last week brought on by S&P's U.S. rating downgrade, European debt, France's shaky AAA rating and other factors.

European investors liked what they saw in Asia and pushed their markets higher. All major exchanges -- Germany's Dax, France's CAC 40 and London's FTSE 100 -- were up. Investors were buoyed ahead of Tuesdays scheduled meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss the debt situation.

The euro rose to $1.445 from Friday's $1.4249.

In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei-225 Index ushered in the good mood up with a respectable opening and closing on the same note with a gain of 123 points, or 1.37 percent, that helped it hurdle over the 9,000 psychological barrier, to 9,086 points.

The Japanese market-booster was a government announcement that the country's quake-tsunami-clobbered economy contracted at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the April-June quarter. Although it was the third straight quarterly contraction, it was much smaller than what had been expected. The yen remained below the 77 level against the U.S. dollar. In midmorning trading, the dollar rose to 76.6965 yen from Friday's 76.69 yen.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was greedier, loading up 641 points, or 3.26 percent, to 20,260 points, and the Shanghai Composite Index tacked on 34 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,627.

Australia's All Ordinaries gained 109 points, or 2.6 percent, to 4,347. Stock prices also made good gains in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia.

Markets were closed in South Korea for Liberation Day and in India for the 64th anniversary of independence from British colonial rule.

Google to buy Motorola Mobile for $12.5B

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. Internet giant Google said Monday it would buy Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., the resurgent mobile device maker, for $12.5 billion in cash.

Motorola introduced the first mobile phone nearly 30 years ago, but has lately struggled with enormous pressure from competitors, including Apple and Nokia, in a business with swiftly evolving technology.

Motorola Mobility, however, split from the main company eight months ago and has seen revenues rise 28 percent in the second quarter.

Google touted Motorola's commitment to the open platform Android operating system, which it developed and which it says will remain open to other hardware companies.

"Today, more than 150 million Android devices have been activated worldwide," Google's Chief Executive Officer Larry Page said in an online posting.

"Given Android's phenomenal success, we are always looking for ways to supercharge the Android ecosystem," Page said.

Google's purchase price represents a 60 percent premium on Motorola's closing Friday price in the stock market.

Google, which expects the deal to close in 2012, will be beefing up its portfolio of patents just after losing out on a multibillion-dollar patent auction hosted by bankrupt Canadian phonemaker Nortel.

Zoellick warns of 'danger zone'

SYDNEY, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- The world economy is entering "a new danger zone," World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in Sydney when discussing the state of the financial markets.

"Well, I think we're entering a new danger zone, and I think that confidence in economic leadership has been slipping. And it will be important that the primary economic actors take steps, both short and long term, to restore that," said Zoellick in the Australian city where he had gone to address the Asian Society.

Zoellick said such steps in the short term would be primarily dependent on actions such as those from the European Central Bank.

"But over time, it will require attention to some of the fundamentals, and those fundamentals not only deal with sovereign debt and the challenges of basic competitiveness, but they also deal with putting in effective growth strategies," Zoellick said.

He said he could not say precisely how much time Europe has to sort out its problems.

"I think the challenge has been for understandable political reasons the European decision mechanism has continued to muddle along and put together packages that while are significant in their political difficulty have not matched the test of the economic need, and that has, I think, contributed to the weakening of confidence," he said.

He said unless the economic leadership gets ahead of the problem, the lack of confidence "will lead it to spread, and it will spread to players that should otherwise be able to sustain their policies and get beyond the crisis."

He said it will be "very important" for the European economies to get ahead by this fall "as opposed to continually be pulled along."

Connecticut Red Cross workers OK strike

HARTFORD, Conn., Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Red Cross workers in Hartford, Conn., who have worked since March 2009 without a valid contract, have authorized a strike, a union leader said.

"It's an intolerable situation," said American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 4 spokesman Larry Dorman.

"We're trying to reach a just and fair agreement that protects our bargaining rights and also protects the integrity of the blood supply," Dorman said, Fox CT reported Monday.

Elaine St. Peter, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, Connecticut Region, said, "We are disappointed that union leaders are seeking another strike at a time when the need for blood is high and supplies are tight."

If a strike is called, it would affect more than 200 blood technicians, registered nurses and phlebotomists, Fox CT said.

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