The Chicago Federal Reserve just released its June National Activity Index. Some slightly positive news: although the index posted below-average growth, it increased to -0.15 from -0.48 in May. Forty-two indicators improved from May to June, 14 of which still were negative, while 43 indicators deteriorated. [more]
Not good. The July Business Outlook from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve is -12.9 compared to an expected -8.0. This is the third consecutive negative reading in the index, showing "overall declines in business." However, this is slightly better than the June Business Outlook, which was -16.6. 32% of the business surveyed reported declines in activity this month, 36.9% say business has weakened over the past 2 months, and 46.6% expect further slowing in the next fiscal quarter. [more]
More skepticism of the effectiveness of Facebook's main stream of revenue, advertising, seems to be surfacing after marketers and the BBC find that the likes generated by advertising on Facebook often come from Facebook spam/dubious accounts.
According to the Department of the Treasury's Public Debt News, the U.S. had an extremely strong 10-year auction, the strength of which emphasizes the positioning of U.S. Treasury notes as a bastion of financial stability in a world of economic uncertainty. With seemingly no end in sight to the European sovereign debt crisis and slowing growth in China, it's understandable that many investors are fleeing to U.S. Treasury notes. [more]
Well, not exactly. The city after which my county in Southern California is based on (and named after) is bankrupt. San Bernardino became the third California city (and second largest after Stockton) to file for bankruptcy this month (after Stockton and Mammoth Lakes).
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently stated that it was aware of potential issues with LIBOR rigging by Barclays around 2007: “In the context of our market monitoring following the onset of the financial crisis in late 2007, involving thousands of calls and e-mails with market participants over a period of many months, we received occasional anecdotal reports from Barclays of problems with Libor." [more]
It seems as if the continuing trend these days in the technology sector is to simply try and catch up to Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). Take, for example, Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) attempt to enter the iPad-dominated tablet industry with its newly unveiled Microsoft Surface; although the tablet has some very useful features such as a snap-on keyboard, many analysts wonder if it can significantly boost Microsoft's bottom line and chip away at the market share of the iPad. Indeed, a large part of the catching-up strategy is due to the success of Apple. Apple has been a juggernaut that has seen its stock soar 49.6% YTD and has been riding on the waves of huge growth in markets such as China. Of course, there have been setbacks for Apple; for one, it is constantly the target of lawsuits filed by its competitors and obscure Chinese companies. Also, fears have recently grown about slowing growth in the smartphone industry negatively impacting iPhone sales. [more]
According to Bloomberg, AIG has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government alleging that it overpaid for taxes in 1991. The lawsuit seeks a cool $30.2 million. [more]
Today, a couple of important indicators of various aspects of the U.S. economy came out. Some of the most important of these involved jobs figures. The ADP Jobs Report came in strong with an increase of 176,000 jobs in June. This is even better considering that the previous month posted a 136,000 jobs increase and expectations for June job figures hovered around 95,000. Also, initial jobless claims came in less than expected at 374,000 compared to a 386,000 consensus. [more]
Yesterday, Mammoth Lakes, a California city, filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy (reserved for public entities such as cities, counties and special taxing districts) after its largest creditor, Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition, refused to negotiate a $43M legal judgment against the town. [more]
Manchester United has, according to Reuters, filed a $100M IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Interesting because the U.S. is just about the only country in the world not that hooked on soccer. Just today, TV pundit Stephen Colbert joked that we were given hands and opposable thumbs for a reason, implying that soccer, the only major sport which doesnt require the use of hands, is "primitive." [more]
It seems as if political saber-rattling has once again put our economy in a position to deteriorate. A potential fiscal cliff is looming around the corner if some kind of agreement between Democratic and Republican lawmakers is not met concerning the expiring tax breaks and expected spending cuts. The stakes are high; the Congressional Budget Office has predicted the United States would plunge back into a recession at the start of 2013 if an agreement is not met. [more]
Sure Europe is still in a mess. Yes, domestic and global figures, especially in manufacturing, have showed signs of slowing down. Okay, the looming fiscal cliff is increasingly worrying investors across the world. [more]
A recent article from Reuters shows the clear divide between top Federal Reserve officials concerning the appropriate response of the Federal Reserve in spurring economic growth. Although the Federal Reserve recently extended Operation Twist, it has not initiated a new round of quantitative easing as many in the investment world have hoped. [more]
This week, a slew of positive housing figures came out. For one, on Monday, new home sales figures came out. 369K homes were sold versus 350K expected, the fastest annualized pace of sales in more than 2 years. Also, on Tuesday, the April S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index increased 0.7% M/M, an increase which comes after 7 consecutive months of declines. [more]