Dow Drops 150 Points at Opening on Fear of Government Shutdown
Experts say that the Dow may have seen its high for the year if there is a prolonged government shutdown, according to CNBC. At the opening the Dow fell 150 points on Monday as the likelihood of a government shutdown increases. The Senate meets today but is expected to reject the revised House bill that delays the implementation of Obamacare for a year.
Apple Dethrones Coca-Cola as Top Global Brand
According to a report from Interbrand, Apple is this year’s Best Global Brand, ending Coca-Cola’s 13- year hold on the number one spot. Google is number two and Coca-Cola has fallen to third. According to USA Today, technology companies dominated this year’s Best Global Brand list with IBM, Microsoft, Samsung and Intel all within the top ten. Two former brands, Yahoo and Blackberry, have fallen from the list. Facebook is the only social media company within the top ten.
VW Workers Start Anti-Union Petition
Workers at Volkswagen AG’s plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. are organizing a petition drive to counter United Auto Workers union in its attempt to unionize the plant. The Wall Street Journal reports that the UAW said earlier this month that it had collected signed union cards from more than half of the plant’s 2,000 production workers and has had talks with the company’s top management in Germany about becoming the official representative of the plant’s workers. State politicians quickly argued a union foothold at the VW plant would cause other companies to shy away from Tennessee, which is known as being a non-union state. The anti-union petition already has signatures from more than 30 percent of the employees. A complaint has been filed with the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) alleging the employees were forced into signing the UAW cards and that were explained to the workers in a deceptive manner.
Demand for American Made Goods Creates a Wave of Sewing Jobs
According to the New York Times, a demand for American-made goods has caused manufacturers to shift a number of sewing jobs from China back to America. The challenge has been, however, that since the industries were decimated over the past two decades, manufactures are having a hard time finding workers to take over the specialized jobs that have not been take over by machines. The textile and apparel industries are experiencing a turnaround because companies are demanding higher quality, more reliable scheduling and fewer safety problems than they have experienced overseas. Wages for cut-and-sew jobs have increased 13 percent from 2007 to 2012.
Obamacare Hits Additional Snags as Rollout Approaches
Obama administration officials are scrambling to get the healthcare law’s marketplaces ready for opening on Tuesday. According to the Wall Street Journal, the implementation of the law is expected to proceed even if the government partially shuts down. Insurers are concerned, however, that even a short-lived disruption will sour people on purchasing insurance, especially healthy, young people. Non-profit groups and brokers that will help enroll consumers in the marketplaces have not yet had a chance to preview the systems. The federal government is overseeing the exchanges in 36 states. Some states, such as Colorado and Oregon, who are running their own exchanges, say they will not be ready for October 1st.
Fast-food Drive-Thrus are No Longer Fast
The amount of time that consumers are spending waiting in lines at fast-food drive-thrus is getting longer not shorter, primarily due to the complexity of new products that the food chains are selling. USA Today reports that, according to the 2013 Drive-Thru Performance Study, McDonald’s posted its slowest-ever drive-thru time in the history of the study. It cost a consumer 189.5 seconds to go from order to pickup at McDonalds. That is 9 seconds longer than the industry average. The drive-thru business generates $299 billion each year for the fast-food industry. Many major chains do 60% to 70% of their business at the drive-through. Another challenge for the industry is that accuracy has fallen from 88.8 percent last year to 87.2 percent this year. Burger King has the lowest accuracy at 82.3 percent. Chick-fil-A had the highest accuracy at 91.6 percent, but they were one of the slowest with an average of 209.3 seconds at the drive-thru. Wendy’s has the fastest drive-thru at 133.6 seconds.
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.