Inconsistent with other polls
An Associated Press poll indicates that 2 out of 5 Americans believe the economy will get better and 1/3 believe it will stay the same. Unlike other polls where only slightly more than 30% believe Obama is handling the economy well, the AP poll suggests more than 50% approve of his handling of the economy.
Dow Falls along with oil prices...
There was a broad sell off on Wednesday causing the Dow to close down 130 points at 12,630, according to the Associated Press. The demand for gas was at its lowest in 7 weeks in the U.S. causing crude oil to fall below $100 per barrel. This will ultimately lead to lower prices at the pump. Fears are that the economic recovery is still uncertain. Asian stocks have followed suit on Thursday remaining down.
401(k) balances increase
Fidelity Investments reported today, according to USA Today, that the average 401(k) balance has increased to $74,900, an increase of 12% in the past year. This amount is still grossly inadequate to provide enough for a lengthy retirement.
Insider trading trial finds "guilty" verdict...
The high profile insider trading trial of Raj Rajaratnam reached a guilty verdict on Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. This was an insider trading case where the prosecution was allowed to rely upon wiretaps. The former Galleon Group hedge fund president was convicted of 14 counts of insider trading.
Fidelity view vs. PIMCO view on bonds
Two of the largest investment management firms have conflicting views regarding what will happen with bonds in the next few months. Fidelity indicated today, according to Bloomberg, that it believed the yield on Treasuries will remain low because inflation is in check. In contrast, PIMCO has the opposite strategy believing increasing inflation will hurt bonds and sovereign U.S. debt will also have a negative impact.
Bailout stock for sale
AIG and the Treasury will attempt to sell $9 billion in AIG stock but will pull the deal if a profit is not made, according to CNBC. The stock is expected to sell close to the break even point of $28.72.
IMF urges stress tests for European banks
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is urging European banks to perform stress tests and shore up the strength of the banks. This is because many banks hold Greek, Portuguese and Irish debt. The IMF believes the recovery could be stronger and faster in Europe if the EU works to make sure the banks are solid.
Non-profits begin asked to ante up
Cities from Boston to Chicago to Providence, RI are now looking at non-profits to pay their share of property and water taxes to help out with city budget issues. The New York Timesreports that Boston is asking for non-profits to pay a quarter of the taxes their land would be worth, Chicago wants non-profits to pay for their water, and Providence would like some of its prestigious universities to perhaps contribute to the city debt. (Based upon the tuitions of some of those universities, perhaps that is not unreasonable?).