Wall Street Watch: Microsoft’s Middle Finger to Motorola, Comcast Earnings

Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA) topped profit and sales estimates for the first quarter on growth in its high-speed Internet subscribers and the start of a turnaround for its NBC broadcast business. Don’t Miss Your Cheat Sheet to Comcast Earnings >>

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) must remove the Xbox and Windows 7 operating system from Germany after a court ruling the company infringed Motorola’s (NYSE:MMI) (NASDAQ:GOOG) video-compression IP. No worries for now. Microsoft isn’t doing a thing after a preliminary injunction from a U.S. court prevents Motorola from enforcing any German order.

As part of its restructuring, AMR (AAMRQ.PK) will cut five senior position while Jeff Brundage, VP of Human Resources, will resign. Along with its already announced personnel exits, these cuts represent a “20% reduction in the company’s most senior leadership positions.” Brundage’s departure comes just before the company goes to court to battle unions over new labor deals as part of its reorganization for bankruptcy.

Facebook (FB) announced an IPO date for Friday May 18. Shares will price on May 17th.

Private equity firm Carlyle Group (NYSE:CG) is expected to price its IPO on Wednesday and begin trading on Thursday. This comes as it faces challenges distinguishing itself to investors from its peers including Oaktree Capital Management (OAK). Carlyle plans to sell 30.5 million shares priced between $23-$25 and valued at $7 billion to $7.6 billion. To interest investors, the firm’s strategy is to tell them the stock’s price is discounted as compared to its rivals.

Beginning June 1, China’s two main stock exchanges will lower their equity trade transaction fees by 25 percent. The exchanges will lower the fee to 0.0087 percent of a transaction value as compared to the current 0.0122 percent on Shenzen trades and 0.011 percent in Shanghai. The change has been seen by some analysts as an effort to increase confidence in the stock markets prior to this fall’s senior-level leadership change, reported MarketWatch.  The moves had been announced by the China Securities Regulatory Commission along other securities market reforms in the last week.

The Eurozone reported the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate increased to 10.9 percent in March, up from February’s 10.8 percent, according to Eurostat. This figure reaches across the 17 nations that utilize the euro. In addition, the number of unemployed workers in the region increased by 169,000 to hit 17.365 million. Both numbers are the highest since the euro launched in January 1999. One economist sees unemployment rising above 11 percent in the next few months.