Apple Brings Devene on Board, HSBC’s Record Settlement, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Apple has hired Paul Devene — rehired, rather, as Devene held a sales position with Apple before taking up residence at Yves Saint Laurent — to be a new vice president working on special projects, which have yet to be named. Devene will report directly to CEO Tim Cook. Chances are Devene will be working on something design-oriented, though he does have a master’s degree from tech hotbed Stanford University.

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HSBC Holdings PLC (NYSE:HBC): A U.S. judge approved a $1.92-billion deal with authorities that will settle charges alleging the bank illegally carried out financial transactions for Mexican and Colombian drug cartels, money launderers, and other wrongdoers. U.S. District Judge John Gleeson approved the settlement in light of criticism that HSBC is being spared criminal charges under a “deferred-prosecution agreement,” Reuters reported.

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Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX): Former Time Inc. Chief Financial Officer Michael Klingensmith could be the new CEO of the publishing unit after it spins off from Time Warner, according to rumors picked up by the Wall Street Journal. Klingensmith is currently the CEO of Star Tribune Media, and is widely credited with stabilizing the company.

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Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS): European banks Barclays and  Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) are among a handful to have their credit ratings trimmed by Standard & Poor’s from A+ to A as a result of regulators and uncertain market conditions making operating in the industry more difficult. S&P says that the tightening of regulations could lead to declines in revenue for those banks.

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