Top 10 Key Business Trends Data Points for Today

Listed below are the top 10 business trends data points for today, culled from the most authoritative business news and data sources. Today's trend data points to Wii's wild ride, Goldman Sachs bumper profits, trade deficit narrows, private equity deals, India growth, mortgage delinquencies, and the Big apple getting Bigger. 

Wii! Wii! Wii! This Holiday Season Has Been a Wild Ride for Nintendo WSJ 
In all, U.S. retailers estimate that 1.4 million to 1.5 million Wiis will be sold by Dec. 25, roughly twice as many as the PS3. According to NPD Group in Port Washington, N.Y., Nintendo sold 476,000 Wiis in the U.S. last month, versus 197,000 PS3s.

U.S. trade gap in Oct narrows most in 5 years Reuters 
The trade gap shrank a surprising 8.4 percent in October to $58.9 billion from a revised estimate of $64.3 billion in September. Analysts surveyed before the report had expected a much more modest narrowing to about $63.0 billion.

Sabre agrees to $4.3B private equity buyout CNN Money
Sabre Holdings, owner of Web site Travelocity, agreed Monday night to be sold to private equity firms Silver Lake Partners and Texas Pacific Group for about $4.3 billion, The New York Times reported on its Web site Tuesday, citing people involved in the negotiations.

India industrial production growth slows AP
India's industrial production growth slowed to a 6.2 percent pace in October, its lowest growth rate in 10 months, the government said Tuesday.

Realtors see a drop in existing home sales for second year Reuters
Next year will likely bring a second annual decline in existing home sales, the National Association of Realtors predicted on Monday. Sales of existing homes are expected to decline 8.6 percent to 6.47 million for 2006 and contract another 1 percent to 6.40 million units next year. 

October wholesale inventories rise 0.8 pct Reuters
Inventories at U.S. wholesalers rose a larger-than-expected 0.8 percent in October led by autos, machinery and computer equipment, while sales fell 0.5 percent, the government said on Monday.

Goldman profit rises on record M&A 
Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS), the largest investment bank by market value, said on Tuesday that its quarterly profit rose 93 percent on investment gains, banking fees and strong trading results. Goldman capped off what is expected to be a record year for Wall Street as fiscal fourth-quarter net income increased to $3.15bn, or $6.59 a share, for the three months ended November 30, from $1.63 bn, or $3.35, in the year-ago period. Net revenue rose 47 per cent to $9.41bn.

Goldman Sets Aside $622,000 Per Employee After Record Earnings Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is paying its employees an average of $622,000 this year, after posting the highest profits ever for a securities firm. The firm set aside $16.5 billion for salaries, bonuses and benefits for its 26,467 employees in the fiscal year ending in November, 40 percent more than it paid out all of last year, according to Goldman's earnings report today. The firm allocated 43.7 percent of its revenue for pay, down from 46.6 percent. Goldman said today full-year profit jumped 70 percent to $9.54 billion, more than the top five firms earned in both 2001 and 2002.

Mortgage delinquencies a rising threat AP 
Mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates are on the rise, and the impact could be greatest on low-income families that took out higher-interest loans for risky borrowers, some experts said Monday. The percentage of mortgages that went into the first stages of the foreclosure process in the April-to-June quarter rose to 0.43 percent, up from 0.41 percent in the first quarter and the highest level in just over a year.


The Big Apple, Getting Bigger, Sets New Goals WSJ
Long the largest and most densely populated big city in the U.S., New York city is about to get even more crowded. Already at its highest population ever -- 8.2 million -- the city could grow another nearly 1.3 million souls in the next 25 years, with a commensurate increase in jobs, according to a study from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, an association of government agencies

Inside America's $37 billion prison economy - Business 2.0
The nation's 2 million inmates and their keepers are the ultimate captive market: a multibillion dollar economy bulging with business opportunity.

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