Consumer confidence, along with housing prices, increases. But that's nothing compared to lower calorie fries at Burger King!
Consumer confidence rises slightly in September
The consumer confidence index rose to 79.7 in September. CNBC reports that economists expected the index to increase to 80, up from 76.8 in August.
Housing price increases slowed in July
US single-family home prices rose in July but at a slower pace, according to the New York Times. The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.6 percent in July, lower than the 0.8 percent expected by economists. Overall, prices rose 1.8 percent. Compared to a year earlier, prices were up 12.4 percent, the strongest increase since February 2006. The report suggests that the housing market continues to recover, despite the increase in interest rates.
Smithfield shareholders approve $4.7 billion sale to China firm
Virginia based food company Smithfield will be acquired by Shuanghui International Holdings for $4.7 billion, according to USA Today.
Blackberry takes company private
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Blackberry Ltd. said on Monday that it plans to take the company private for $4.7 billion with one of its largest shareholders. Fairfax Financial Holdings, Ltd., a Canadian insurance firm, signed a Letter of Intent under which it will pay up to $9 per share in cash for the 90 percent of shares it does not already own. The deal came after Blackberry announced on Friday that it had $1 billion in unsold phones and would slash 40 percent of its workforce. Stock plunged on Friday by 17 percent closing below $9 per share. The deal, however, is not yet certain. Fairfax has six weeks to perform due diligence and Blackberry can still accept another offer.
Number caught entering US illegally rises again
The number of individuals entering the US illegally is up for the second straight year, according to federal data. US Border Patrol agents apprehended 388,422 people trying to enter without documents during the 11 months ending in August. That is more than the 346,768 caught the year before, with a month still to go. According to the Wall Street Journal, the largest increases occurred in Texas, which accounts for more than half of the apprehensions. The numbers are still far below the peak from 1980 to 2005 when Border Patrol averaged more than one million apprehensions each year.
Burger King creates lower calorie fries
Burger King is about to shake up the fast food industry by unveiling French fries with 30 percent less fat and 20 percent fewer calories than its current fries. According to USA Today, the fries will have 40 percent less fat and 30 percent fewer calories than McDonald’s fries. The new fries will have the same ingredients but they will change the re-configuring of the ingredients. The new fries will have 270 calories and 11 grams of fat compared to the current 340 calories and 15 grams of fat. The move comes when consumers are demanding healthier options, even in their so-called junk food.
Duct tape used to steal 23 goats
USA Today is reporting that more than 20 purebred goats, most of them pregnant, were stolen from a Hawaii farm, with duct tape used to keep the animals from making noise. The goats were valued at a total of about $10,000. Two goats were left behind with ropes around their necks and duct tape covering their mouths. A reward is being offered for the return of the goats.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.