Financial News 8/12/12 – 8/18/12

Economy

-Japan’s GDP grew at a lower than expected rate of 1.4% in the second quarter as the consumer driven recovery showed signs of weakness.  The reading marks a sharp slowdown from the 5.5% growth seen in the first quarter.  8/13

-Greece’s economy remained firmly in recession in the second quarter as the debt strapped nation reported GDP of -6.2%.  The reading makes instituting new austerity measures all the more difficult as the country endures its 5th year of recession.  8/14

-The producer price index edged up 0.3% in July. 8/15

-Retail sales jumped by 0.8% in July outpacing expectations and providing further confidence that the economy still is growing moderately. 8/15

-The Euro-zone economy contracted at a 0.7% annual rate in the second quarter after being flat in the first quarter.  8/15

-Inflation remained steady in July as the CPI rose 1.4% from a year earlier, but remained at the 1.4% level for the 4th straight month.  8/16

-Consumer sentiment increased in August reaching its highest level since May. 8/18

Corporate

-Google is purchasing Frommer’s, the travel guide, for $25 million as it looks to move more heavily into creating content.  8/14

-Google announced it would cut the workforce of Motorola Mobility by 4,000 or 20% in an attempt to return the newly acquired business unit to profitability.  8/14

-Groupon returned to profitability after its most recent quarter but its previous strong growth has dissipated.

-Cisco’s earnings shot up 56% on a 4% rise in revenue and said it would increase its dividend.  8/16

-The insider sale ban expired on Thursday meaning an additional 271 million shares were available for trading.  The stock sank 6.3% to now be down about 50% from its IPO.  8/17

-Wal-Mart’s earnings rose solidly in its most recent quarter up 5.7% on higher sales.  The company also slightly raised its earnings guidance, but reiterated that the economy remains tough for both its domestic and international customers.  8/17

Regulatory

-U.K. bank Standard Chartered agreed to pay $340 million to settle charges with a New York regulator it illegally handled funds from Iranian customers violating money laundering laws.  8/15

Market

-Companies sold $75 billion in investment grade corporate debt in July; the highest month ever as investors clamor for high quality corporate bonds with higher yields than treasuries.  Companies are eager to lock in low rates. 8/13

-Greece had its largest debt auction in 2 years.   8/15

-As investors have begun to doubt that the Fed will take additional action Treasuries have seen rates rise.  The yield on the 10 year treasury rose to 1.803% for its highest level in 3 months.  8/16

-Global stocks rose as investors concerns were further eased as Angela Markel said German remains committed to holding the Euro zone together.  The S&P 500 and Dow gained 0.7% as both benchmarks neared multi year highs.  Europe rose 0.3% to move close to a 5 month high. Oil rose to $95.60 a barrel. 8/17

-It was another positive week for U.S. Stocks as the Dow rose 0.5% and the S&P 500 rose 0.9% on moderately upbeat economic reports.  Gains were seen internationally as well as Europe rose 1.1% and Japan gained 3.0% to move to its highest level in 3 months.  8/18

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