Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB): Facebook users between the ages of 13 and 17 will now be able to create public posts viewable by any other user whether or not they’re connected to each another on the social site, AllThingsD reports. “While only a small fraction of teens using Facebook might choose to post publicly, this update now gives them the choice to share more broadly, just like on other social media services,” Facebook said in a company blog. Facebook hopes that the move will help teens spend more time on the site.
Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE:PBR): PetroBras employees are planning a strike for Thursday, combining a protest against Brazil’s sale of a massive offshore oil site with demands for higher wages, according to the oil workers’ union. The union is pushing to cancel PetroBras’s auction of the Libra prospect, one of the world’s largest offshore oil discoveries, estimated to hold between 8 billion and 12 billion barrels of recoverable oil. It will be sold under new production-sharing agreements.
Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX): A Blackstone-led consortium of investors has purchased Pact Technology for $7.30 per share. This equates to an 11.6 percent premium over Pact’s Wednesday closing price and a 39 percent surge over when a “going private” announcement was first made by the company earlier this year.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ): Verizon shares are up as the company reported earnings per share of 77 cents, beating by 3 cents. Revenues of $30.28 billion also beat projections, by $0.11 billion. Net subscriber adds totaled 1.1 million, with 927,000 retail postpaid net adds. Service revenue rose 8.4 percent in the third quarter, even outpacing subscriber growth; the wireless operating margin was 33.8 percent, up 140 bps over the second quarter and up 200 bps over 2012. About 67 percent of retail postpaid subs now use smartphones (up from 64 percent in last quarter), and 42 percent use a shared data plan.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC): A spokesman for Wells Fargo confirmed that the bank will be cutting another 925 positions from its payroll, exclusively in its mortgage unit. The reductions are little surprising, as Wells Fargo has been downsizing the unit for several months. The company’s earnings report on Monday showed mortgage banking income off by a staggering 43 percent last quarter.
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