May 7 - Summary of business headlines: Major markets surprisingly shrug off European politics; Facebook CEO gets star treatment outside of roadshow; ''The Avengers'' flies into history books. Conway G. Gittens reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Stock markets across the Americas and Europe failed to have the kind of rough and tumble day investors feared following anti-austerity backlash in Europe. In France, Socialist Francois Hollande swept to power over the weekend, while in Greece two smaller political parties against austerity measures won in elections, but are so far unable to form a government. There is some belief in the market harsh rhetoric leading up to the elections will soften as new leaders learn to govern. Sarat Sethi of Douglas C. Lane and Associates: SOUNDBITE: SARAT SETHI, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, DOUGLAS C. LANE AND ASSOCIATES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think what the European nations, ie France and Greece were voting that they didn't like austerity, now that's when the world looks at it and says: 'look you got to be in these measures otherwise you are just going to actually increase your debt again and then the markets are not going to support you.' So it's going to be a push-pull but I think kind of where we are from a year ago we are still better off." Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg emerged from day one of the road show leading up to his $10.6 billion initial public offering, like a rock star. Talks with potential investors will go on for days. And it was a super weekend at the box office. The Avengers flew into the record books, taking in more than $200 million in U.S ticket sales in the opening weekend, the biggest domestic debut in history. Ticket sales worldwide - topping $600 million; a super pay day for Marvel studios, a unit of Walt Disney. Flying back to Wall Street now...The Dow posted a loss, but the rest of the market just about broke even. Markets were closed in the U.K., but open and higher in Germany and France. Conway Gittens, Reuters