Today's Top Stories in the Financial World

At The Motley Fool, we know our readers like to be informed, so we've rounded up today's most relevant news items all in one page. We hope you this midday edition interesting and useful.

Icahn treads on Clorox territory
Carl Icahn, one of Wall Street's most famous investors, is known for taking over companies and pushing them to change. Now he's going after Clorox (NYSE: CLX  ) with a proposed deal valued at $10.2 billion, or $76.50 a share in cash. However, unlike most of his other takeovers, Icahn urged Clorox's board to seek a strategic buyer instead of taking his own offer. The activist investor acknowledged that his own fund "lacks inherent synergies" in offering to buy Clorox; if another buyer steps in with a higher price, Icahn could still profit, since he already owns more than 9% of the company.

Nonetheless, Clorox makes a perfect target for the hedge fund manager, since it's getting squeezed by rising prices for its products' raw materials. Despite this pressure, Icahn believes Clorox holds products that could be appealing for rivals such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL  ) , and Kimberly-Clark -- a suggestion that may shed some light on Icahn's preferred fate for the company. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

Citigroup beats analyst estimates
Following an unexpected quarterly profit increase by JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) on Thursday, Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) announced that its own profit rose by 24%, also beating analyst estimates.

Net income rose to $3.34 billion, up from $2.7 billion year over year. The gains came mainly from a 61% increase in revenue in Citi's investment banking operations. Losses at Citi Holding, the unit with the most distressed assets, also fell, which helped profits to rise. Despite the good news, the bank still has many of its sectors reporting losses, amid added pressure from volatile European debt markets. However, the beginning of steady profit increases at major banks suggests improving stability in the financial system as a whole. Read more at Bloomberg.

Google going strong
Everyone knows that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) is already one of the Internet's giants -- but it turns out that this giant still has even more room to grow. The company reported $2.51 billion in net income, or $7.68 per share, from $1.84 billion a year earlier. Though the bulk of that income still comes from selling ads through it search engine, analysts said its new ventures have taken the company to an even higher level. Despite its profits, Google's spending remains very high. That factor worries some investors, but it could help the company's long-term profit-driven products. Google's shares are up about 12% in afternoon trading. Read more at The New York Times.

Credit Suisse Group faces U.S. scrutiny
Credit Suisse Group
(NYSE: CS  ) announced that it's the target of a U.S. investigation involving Swiss offshore accounts for wealthy Americans. Customers have allegedly used these hidden accounts for fraud and tax evasion. The bank said it will continue cooperating with the U.S. authorities; the announcement comes after four former Credit Suisse private bankers were charged for the same crime.

Officials initially began pursuing UBS AG for holding these types of accounts, and tax-evasion investigations have only intensified since. Experts said Credit Suisse's inquiries will likely follow the model established in the UBS probe. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

So there you have it -- the top financial stories for this afternoon. Check Fool.com throughout the day for commentary on these and other stories. Also, follow us on Twitter, on Facebook, or through our email digests.

Michelle Zayed owns no shares of any companies mentioned in the story. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, JPMorgan Chase, and Clorox. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Clorox, Google, and Procter & Gamble. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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