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Today in business: 5 things you need to know
Nadaq is fined, Tiffany's beats expectations, and more
 
Diamonds, at least those from Tiffany's, are still somebody's best friend.
Diamonds, at least those from Tiffany's, are still somebody's best friend. Facebook.com/Tiffany

1. SALLIE MAE TO BREAK IN TWO
Student loan company Sallie Mae said Wednesday that it plans to split into two separate companies, one for managing education loans, the other for consumer banking. The assets of the education loans business will include $118.1 billion in federally guaranteed loans and $31.6 billion in private education loans, says the New York Times. The consumer banking business will include about $9.9 billion from private education loans and other Sallie Mae services. [New York Times]

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2. CHINESE MEAT PRODUCER TO ACQUIRE SMITHFIELD FOODS
Chinese meat producer Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. has announced plans to acquire Smithfield Foods, the world's largest hog farmer and pork producer, for about $4.7 billion. If regulators approve the deal, it will be the largest ever takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese buyer. Smithfield, which claims that a few other companies may be planning bids, says the acquisition will not impact how it operates in the U.S. Shares have jumped 29 percent since the deal was announced. [Wall Street Journal]

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3. WOMEN OUT-EARN MEN IN 40 PERCENT OF HOMES
The Pew Social & Demographic Trends Project released new stats Wednesday showing that moms are the top breadwinners in four out of 10 homes with children. Still, just 21 percent of Americans think the trend toward mothers with young children working away from home is good for society. Half say children are better off when moms stay home with their kids instead of work, while 8 percent say the same of fathers. [CNN]

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4. TIFFANY BEATS WALL STREET'S EXPECTATIONS
It's not just Saks and Burberry Group lifting the luxury market: Tiffany & Co announced comparable-store sales rose 8 percent in the first quarter, with adjusted profits beating Wall Street expectations by 17 cents a share. Still, the jewelry company warned against too much optimism, reminding investors of the sliding yen and lingering weakness in the U.S. economy. Despite a strong first quarter, Tiffany left its profit outlook for the year unchanged. [MarketWatch, Reuters]

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5. NASDAQ FINED $10 MILLION FOR FACEBOOK IPO DEBACLE
The Securities and Exchange Commission has fined Nasdaq $10 million for failing to make sure its operations were running correctly on May 18, 2012, the day of Facebook's IPO, when 30,000 orders got stuck in the system, halting trading for 30 minutes. Nasdaq agreed to pay the fine, without admitting or denying wrongdoing. "This action against NASDAQ tells the tale of how poorly designed systems and hasty decision-making not only disrupted one of the largest [initial public offerings] in history, but produced serious and pervasive violations of fundamental rules governing our markets," George S. Canellos, co-director of the SEC's enforcement division, said. [Washington Post]

 
Carmel Lobello is the business editor at TheWeek.com. Previously, she was an editor at DeathandTaxesMag.com.

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