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Questions on bubble as tech momentum fades

After the tech euphoria of 2013, the fast-moving sector has hit a speed bump. The wobbly action of 2014 is still an open question: is this a correction, bear market or a bubble like the catastrophic dot-com boom and bust of 1999-2000? By some measures, segments of the tech sector look to be over the top, even after recent slumps. "There are some astronomical valuations out there," says Roger Kay, an analyst who follows tech companies at Endpoint Technologies.

Japan Inc resilient in face of sales tax rise: Reuters poll

By James Topham TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese companies have weathered the first days of a rise in the country's consumption tax, with sales resilient and pricing power little damaged, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, in an early sign the tax hike will not derail the economy. This good news for "Abenomics" bolsters the Bank of Japan's view that it does not need to ease policy further to cushion the impact from the tax, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government raised on April 1 to help curb the nation's mountain of public debt.

U.S.-based stock funds post $3.6 billion outflows over week: Lipper

By Sam Forgione NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors in U.S.-based funds pulled $3.6 billion out of stock funds in the week ended April 16 on fears that a selloff in technology and biotech shares could signal a steeper drop in U.S. stocks, data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service showed on Thursday. The outflows from stock funds marked the biggest since February. Outflows of $3.8 billion from stock exchange-traded funds accounted for the net outflows, while stock mutual funds attracted $241 million in inflows.

Partner, two traders leave energy hedge fund Sasco: sources

By Barani Krishnan (Reuters) - The chief investment officer and two natural gas traders at Sasco Energy Partners have left the Connecticut-based energy fund, sources said on Thursday, the latest departures from a firm that has struggled to make a profit. Joe Howley, who joined Sasco around a year ago as CIO and partner to the firm's founding member Tom Purdy, left earlier this month along with portfolio manager Brian Lisoski and trader Garth Camp, the sources who were familiar with the moves told Reuters.

Apache CEO, Vermont activist build alliance on climate issues

By Ross Kerber NEW YORK (Reuters) - Steve Farris runs a $33 billion Texas oil and gas company and turns, for advice, to a bearded Vermont environmentalist. As other energy firms battled climate change and anti-pollution activists in recent years, the Apache Corp chief executive instead built an alliance with Steven Heim, managing director of Boston Common Asset Management, one of the better-known socially responsible investment firms.

Ex-Goldman director Gupta starts prison term on June 17

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N> director Rajat Gupta is expected to begin his two-year prison term on June 17 for insider trading. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan directed Gupta to surrender by 2:00 p.m. EDT on that date to start serving his sentence, according to an order issued on Thursday.

Career risk makes the world go round: James Saft

By James Saft (Reuters) - Fund and pension investors who are watching their biotech and social media stakes melt before their eyes may well feel they've had their pockets picked by self-serving investment managers. But actually they are also helping to fund, if only as an unintended side-effect, useful innovation which might not otherwise happen. The lesson here: career risk makes the world go round.

Money market fund assets fell by $35.02 billion to $2.58 trillion for the week

Total U.S. money market mutual fund assets fell by $35.02 billion to $2.58 trillion for the week that ended Wednesday, according to the Investment Company Institute. Assets in the nation's retail money market mutual funds fell by $5.33 billion to $912.96 billion, the Washington-based mutual fund trade group said Thursday. Assets of taxable money market funds in the retail category fell $2.72 billion to $721.59 billion. Tax-exempt retail fund assets fell $2.61 billion to $191.37 billion.

BlackRock's quarterly profit climbs as investors pile into funds

By Ashley Lau NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc, the world's largest money manager, said on Thursday first-quarter profit rose 20 percent, boosted by strong performance fees and strength in its retail business as investors poured money into long-term funds. The New York-based asset manager, which now manages $4.4 trillion in assets, said it had positive net flows across equity, fixed-income, alternatives and multi-asset funds during the quarter.

Morgan Stanley first-quarter earnings up 49 percent

(Reuters) - Morgan Stanley reported a 49 percent rise in first-quarter earnings on Thursday, helped by higher income from wealth management and institutional securities. The sixth-largest U.S. bank by assets reported net income from continuing operations applicable to the company of $1.47 billion, or 72 cents per share, compared with $981 million, or 49 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. (Reporting by Anil D'Silva in Bangalore; Editing by Robin Paxton)
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