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Facebook's 83 Million Fake Accounts
Facebook's 83 Million Fake Accounts

Facebook (FB) announced on Thursday, via a Quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that as many as 83 million Facebook accounts are fake. Reportedly, the fake accounts are concentrated in developing markets, according to the filing. On top of that, the social media phenom reported that as many as 5% of its active users have duplicate accounts - the company 'reported' membership grew to 955 million this year which is evident, by their admissions, is untrue. The company also said 1.5% of its accounts are likely spam or accounts set up for other malicious activity. Facebook blames people who created accounts for non-human entities such as, their pets. "We are continually seeking to improve our ability to identify duplicate or false accounts and estimate the total number of such accounts, and such estimates may be affected by improvements or changes in our methodology," the filing continued. Shares of the company were higher by 9% trading at $21.78 in late afternoon trading on Friday.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) dropped Friday as favorable payroll data boosted stocks. The so-called "fear index" fell 7.2% to 16.30 in recent activity, moving lower, farther away from both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages of 19.56 and 21.41 respectively.

The Institute for Supply Management reported on Friday that U.S. services activity accelerated in July to 52.6% from 52.1% in June, compared with analysts' expectations of 52%. The business activity/production index rose 5.5 points, the new orders component rose 1 point and the employment component fell 3 points but is now contracting.

The Labor Department reported on Friday that job growth picked up a bit in July as total nonfarm payrolls increased by 163,000. The unemployment rate moved slightly higher to 8.3% in July from 8.2% in June, striking highest rate since February. Average hourly earnings increased 2 cents or 0.1% to $23.52. Earnings are up 1.7% in the past year. The average workweek was unchanged at 34.5 hours.

President Barack Obama said Friday that the latest reading on unemployment fits with expectations that the economy’s recovery will be gradual. “We haven’t had to come back from an economic crisis this deep, or this painful, since the 1930s,” Obama said in a statement at the White House. “We knew if we were persistent, and kept at it, that we would gradually get to where we need to be,” Obama said. Obama noted that the economy has added 1.1 million new jobs this year. “But let’s acknowledge, we’ve still got too many folks out there that are looking for work,” Obama said. In his White House statement, Obama urged Republicans to agree to pass middle-class tax cuts and delay consideration of tax provisions on the wealthy until after the November election.

On Thursday, Congress left town for a lengthy summer break without agreeing on any new stimulus for the struggling economy or taking steps to avert the looming fiscal cliff. Well that alone should make all Americans step back and think about how our Congressional leaders really care about Main Street America. Senate Democrats and House Republicans both passed partisan tax plans that had no chance of becoming law. The House voted on Wednesday to extend all Bush-era tax cuts. In July, Senate Democrats voted to pass a measure, supported by Obama, to let tax cuts on the wealthy expire.

A drug developed by Sanofi SA (SNY) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) - Zaltrap - to treat advanced colon cancer, got approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Friday. The FDA approved Zaltrap for use in combination with a chemotherapy regimen called Folfiri, in patients whose cancer has spread beyond the colon. The approval is also for so-called second line therapy for use in patients previously treated with an oxaliplatin-based regimen. Zaltrap, also known by its generic name aflibercept, is designed to block the growth of blood vessels that help tumors grow and targets an additional protein believed to be involved with vessel growth. Zaltrap's approval was based on a study involving 1,226 patients who had been previously treated with oxaliplatin with all of the patients treated with the Folfiri chemotherapy combination. About half of the patients were given Zaltrap while the other half received a placebo. The main study goal looked at overall survival after an average treatment time of about 22 months with patients being treated with Zaltrap lived for an average of 13.5 months compared to 12 months for patients receiving the placebo. FDA said Zaltrap was approved with a boxed warning, which is the strongest warning a drug carries. The warning states the drug can cause severe and sometimes fatal bleeding, including gastrointestinal bleeding and the development of holes in the gastrointestinal tract. Zaltrap can also make it more difficult for wounds to heal, FDA said.

On Friday, the U.S. Treasury Department launched an offering of $4.5 billion of its American International Group, Inc. (AIG) common stock. Before the sale, Treasury held 61% of AIG shares outstanding. Treasury said that AIG has indicated it will purchase up to $3 billion of the stock sold by the government at the offering price. Underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $675 million in AIG stock from the U.S. Treasury to cover over-allotments. Citigroup Global Markets, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co., and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, have been retained as joint book runners for the offering.


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Aug 3, 2012


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