(Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes ended little changed in light trading on Friday, with consumer stocks falling as investors fretted over early reports on the U.S. holiday shopping season and Disney's subscriber losses weighed on the market.
By Pamela Barbaglia, Olivia Oran and Arno Schuetze LONDON/NEW YORK/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Investment bank Lazard is working with Sanofi's management to prepare a sale or listing of its Merial animal health unit, aiming to land the leading advisory job for the deal, which could value the business at up 12 billion euros ($12.7 billion), sources familiar with the matter said. Lazard is expected to win the role for the so-called dual-track process having helped Sanofi's management in the ongoing review, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Sanofi and Lazard declined to comment.
(Reuters) - Herve Falciani, an ex-employee of HSBC's Geneva private bank who leaked information on clients and their tax situation, has been sentenced to five years in prison for aggravated industrial espionage, the bank said on Friday. HSBC said it welcomed the ruling on Falciani, a 43-year old French citizen who had been on trial in Switzerland. HSBC's Swiss unit has been in the spotlight since 2008, when Falciani, a former IT employee there, fled Geneva with files that were leaked to the media and were alleged to show evidence of tax evasion by clients.
The holiday shopping rush that kicked off on Friday is unlikely to bring much cheer to investors looking for a revival in retail stocks. After months of uninspiring sales growth and recent disappointments from Macy's and Nordstrom , shareholders of apparel sellers have had little to be thankful for and face a challenging holiday season. Early indications suggested this year's holiday season was off to a slow start.