Rob Manfred was elected baseball’s 10th commissioner Thursday, winning a three-man competition to succeed Bud Selig and given a mandate by the tradition-bound sport to recapture young fans and speed play in an era that has seen competition increase and attention spans shrink. The 55-year-old, who has worked for Major League Baseball in roles with ever-increasing authority since 1998, will take over from the 80-year-old Selig on Jan. 25. It’s a generational change much like the NBA undertook when Adam Silver, then 51, replaced 71-year-old David Stern as commissioner in February. Manfred beat out Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner in the first contested vote for a new commissioner in 46 years.
In a complaint filed on Thursday with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., Pershing is challenging the government’s “brazen” practice since 2012 of funneling virtually all profit from Fannie (FNMA.OB) and Freddie (FMCC.OB) into the U.S. Treasury Department’s coffers. “The net worth sweeps make plaintiffs - and all of the other common shareholders - ‘shareholders’ in name only,” according to the complaint, which three retirees who own Fannie Mae stock have joined as plaintiffs.
Euro zone bond yields dropped to record lows after Germany reported its economy unexpectedly shrank in the second quarter, raising expectations of more European Central Bank easing measures. On Wall Street, U.S. stocks rose on Thursday after a rise in jobless claims suggested the U.S. Federal Reserve will be in no hurry to hike interest rates, and after Russia’s leader made conciliatory comments about Ukraine. “Most equity markets in Europe and the Americas ended the day higher, likely bolstered by the ‘good news is bad news’ presumption that weak economic data would elicit an expansionary policy response, and by conciliatory comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin,” strategists at Barclays said in a note to clients. On Thursday, Putin told Russian ministers and members of parliament in Crimea that Russia would stand up for itself but not at the cost of confrontation with the outside world.
U.S. stocks advanced on Thursday after conciliatory comments from Russia helped ease concerns about escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and offset some uninspiring earnings. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia would stand up for itself but not at the cost of confrontation with the outside world, striking a softer tone after tough rhetoric aimed at Ukraine for several months. Earnings season continued to wind down, with 92 percent of S&P 500 companies having reported quarterly earnings by Thursday morning. Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N), the nation’s largest retailer, reported earnings and revenue that met expectations.