Financial News and Notes 10/9/11 – 10/15/11

Economy

-The OECD’s economic activity indicator index fell in August.  The index shows global economic activity and indicates when economic turning points occur.  10/11

-Small business confidence advanced in September for the first time since early this year, however the reading is at the same level it was a year ago.  10/12

-The ratio of job openings to the number of unemployed increased in August in a poor sign for the job market.  10/13

-American workers incomes’ have fallen since 200 and they are not expected to recover until 2021 according to economist surveyed.  10/14

-U.S. retail sales surprised by jumping 1.1% in September, their largest gain since February.  In addition, government officials revised upwards the July and August readings.  10/15

-Consumer sentiment dropped and future expectations of the economy have fallen as well. 10/15

-The Euro-zone inflation rate rose to 3% above the ECB’s target of 2% in September.  10/15

Corporate 

-The NBA has canceled the first two weeks of the season as ongoing negotiations over a labor dispute have yielded little progress.  10/11

-A little less than month after unveiling the split of their DVD by mail and video streaming units Netflix has scrapped their plans eliminating the Qwikster spinoff.  10/11

-Alcoa third quarter results fell below analysts lowered expectations due to weaker global growth and falling aluminum prices.  They reported a 21% gain in revenue and $172M in net income.  10/12

-RIM, the maker of blackberry continues to have problems with service for its smart phones being disrupted throughout the world.  10/13

-Concerns rose about the financial sector as JP Morgan had a 4% drop in earnings in the third quarter.  10/14

-Google blew past analyst estimates and posted a 26% increase in profit over a year earlier on increasing ad sales. 10/14

Regulatory

-Congress approved free trade agreements with Panama, Columbia, and South Korea which could lead to a potential increase of $13 billion in exports.  10/13

-Raj Rajaratnam, a billionaire hedge fund investor, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for his insider trading conviction.  The longest term ever handed down for insider trading.  10/14

Market

-Stocks skyrocketed around the world on growing confidence that Europe was getting a hold of its debt crisis.  US stocks had the best day in 2 months.  The Dow gained 3.0%, the S&P 500 rose 3.4%, and Europe was up 1.7%.  10/11

-Slovakia, the one Euro-zone nation yet to vote on expanding the bailout out fund, voted against it.  However, Slovak lawmakers expect the measure to pass eventually after dealing with its own government turmoil.  10/12

-Slovakia reversed course and approved the increase to the euo-zone bailout fund after some political gamesmanship in the country.  10/13

-Treasuries dropped and their yields rose well above 2% to 2.226% to their highest level in more than a month as investors have had an increased appetite for risky investments.  The Dow rose over 100 points and is up 11% since Monday of last week.  It is close to even for the year.  The S&P 500 rose 1%.  10/13

-The city of Harrisburg, PA filed for bankruptcy protection.  10/13

-It is increasingly expected that Spain will miss its budget target this year.  S&P also downgraded its credit rating one notch. 10/14

-U.S. stocks moved back into positive territory for the year.  The Dow was up 1.5% to 11,644 and is now up 12% since the first Monday in October and is up 0.6% for the ytd.  Progress in Europe’s fight against its debt crisis and slightly better U.S. economic news has propelled the move.  However, the U.S.’s move back to positive territory is in contrast to the rest of the world.  Venezuela is the only other major country that has had a positive performance for the year.  10/15

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