Wall St. Brief: HSBC Beats Expectations, Apple vs. Samsung KICKS OFF

Jury selection will begin today for the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung U.S. patent trial. Apple is asking for $2.5 billion in damages and a ban against Samsung’s U.S. sales of its tablets and smartphones. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) will also be part of the story as an Apple win will affect Samsung’s Android hardware with Google’s worldwide partners but an Apple loss could boost Android’s strength.

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HSBC’s (NYSE:HBC) first half pre-tax profit increased 11 percent to $12.7 billion, beating estimates. The company’s underlying profit fell three percent to $10.6 billion. The bank put aside $2 billion for U.S. and U.K. regulatory and compliance problems.

Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW) will be acquired by CB&I (NYSE:CBI) in a cash and stock transaction for approximately $3 billion. The company’s shares rose 68 percent in pre-market trading.

Aviva (NYSE:AV) got BP1 billion in unsolicited offers for its U.S. life division reported The Sunday Telegraph. The number is an BP800 million loss from Aviva’s 2006 purchase of the former AmerUs for BP1.8 billion. With a sale, the company could grab capital and help keep its dividend that is expected to stay on August 9.

Federal prosecutors will speak with former Avon (NYSE:AVP) CEO and current Chairperson Andrea Jung for the onging bribery investigation of foreign officials. Legal expenses have risen to $250 million for the internal and external investigations and is expected to continue growing.

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