Wall Street Brief: GM Resolves Labor Issues, iPhone 5 On Sale Today

The Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 went sale worldwide today. It comes with the usual craziness and lines around the block at retail stores even with the growing criticism for the phone’s Map app. For French customers, they may find challenges at stores as the union representing 25 percent of Apple’s employees voted for a strike after agreements couldn’t be reached on pay and conditions talks.

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Oracle’s (NASDAQ:ORCL) FQ1 net profit rose 11 percent to $2.03 billion while adjusted earnings per share increased to $0.53 from $0.48 thanks to a $3.1 billion stock buyback; revenue fell 2 percent to $8.18 billion, missing estimates.  The results increased concerns about declining IT spending and the company’s ability to stay with industry trends, especially the move to cloud computing. In addition, Oracle’s hardware division reported a 24 percent sales decline.

On Thursday evening, GM (NYSE:GM) and Canadian Auto Workers (AMEX:CAW) agreed on a tentative new four-year labor contract after the union threatened a strike. The deal will “create or maintain” 1,750 jobs and asks for GM to spend C$675 million ($692 million) on its Canadian factories. Just three days earlier, Ford (NYSE:F) reached a new contract; Chrysler (FIATY.PK) is now the only one without a union deal.

The European Commission approved Universal Music’s (VIVEF.PK) $1.9 billion purchase of EMI’s recorded music unit from Citigroup (NYSE:C) after Universal had promised to sell a group of labels, including Chrysalis, Mute and Parlophone. Universal will keep its Beatles rights.

Sharp (SHCAY.PK) denied rumors that it is talking with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) for a potential capital tie-up with a cash infusion of more than $383 million. Intel is looking to gain from Sharp’s small-to medium-sized LCD panel technology while Sharp would receive some much-needed cash and a consistent customer flow for its panel technology.

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