Financial News 10/21/12 – 10/27/12

Economy

-Spain’s GDP shrank 0.4% in the third quarter, which was less than expected, but tax revenue shortfalls could result in the country missing its budget deficit target for 2012.  10/24

-Home prices rose for the seventh month in a row in August up 0.7% from July.  10/24

-New home sales rose 5.7% in September up from August and a 27.1% jump from a year earlier.  10/25

-Business spending was flat in September as companies held tight on large expenditures with concerns about the global economy and potential tax and spending cuts hovering over decisions.  10/26

-Preliminary reports show the U.K grew at a higher than expected rate of 1.0% in the third quarter breaking a string of 3 quarters of contraction.  It was the best quarter in 5 years, but onetime events like the Olympics might have affected the results.  10/26

-Spain’s unemployment rate has topped 25% as the country struggles with recession. 10/27

-The U.S. GDP growth rate for the third quarter came in at 2% driven by government and consumer spending and beating expectations. U.S. exports declined in the third quarter for the first time in three years. 10/27

Corporate

-BP announced it will sell its stake in the Russian joint venture TNK-BP to OAO Rosneft for $26.8 billion in cash and stock.  The deal will make BP, a 20% holder of Rosneft, tied deeply with the state owned company that controls 40% of Russian output.  10/23

-Yahoo’s third quarter earnings jumped due to its sale of a portion of its interest in internet search engine Alibaba, but revenue dropped 1%.  Overall the results beat analyst expectations.  10/23

-Dow’s earnings dropped 39% and revenue dropped 10% in the third quarter and announced it would be laying off 2,400 employees in order to combat slow world growth.  Rival DuPont saw its profits drop 98%.  10/24

-United Technologies, the industrial conglomerate posted a 6.9% gain in profits, but lowered its sales forecast for the year

-Netflix’s earnings fell by 88% and it lowered its forecast for subscription growth.  10/24

-Apple introduced the iPad Mini, but investors were concerned that its price, substantially above rivals like Barnes and Noble’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, could pose problems.  10/24

-Facebook’s profit fell on costs related to paying employees in company stock, but investors cheered the company’s ability to increase its revenue from mobile ads.  Overall revenue rose 32% in the quarter topping estimates.  10/24

-Caterpillar reported a 49% jump in profit on a 5% increase in sales. 10/25

-Internet retailer Amazon reported its first quarterly loss in over 9 years on slowing sales growth and expanding expenses from product development and infrastructure build out.  The firm posted a $274 million loss.  10/26

-Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings rose 24% on revenue that gained 27%.  Sales of iPhones were up 58% from a year earlier topping estimates while sales of iPads were up 26% but fell short of estimates. 10/26

-Legg Mason reported fiscal second quarter earnings of $81 million a 43% jump over last year beating estimates. They also had their first positive fund inflows in five years. 10/27

Regulatory

-The U.S. government sued bank of America for $1billion as a result of faulty mortgage practices from Countrywide Financial, the mortgage lender Bank of America bought early on in the financial crisis.  10/25

-Rajat Gupta, a former director at Goldman Sachs, was sentenced to two years in prison for passing along inside information to a hedge fund.  10/25

Market

-Weak corporate earnings results and forecasts sent stock markets tumbling.  The Dow fell 1.8% and the S&P 500 sank 1.4%.  Over $500 billion in market capitalization has been lost in the last three trading days.  Europe fell 1.7% and commodities sold off.  10/24

-Global markets were down for the week as corporate earnings have come in lower than expected and profit forecasts have been weak.  The S&P dropped 1.5% for the week and Dow sank 1.8%.   In foreign markets Japan was down 0.8% and Europe fell 1.3%.  Oil settled at $86.28 a barrel falling over $4 over the week and gold fell to $1,710.90 an ounce.  10/27

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