Dow closed in black on Thursday despite weak economic news
The Dow closed on Thursday at 12,402.76, up only 8.10 points, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Commerce Department reported that consumer income was up 0.4% in April and spending was up 0.5%. The problem is that the data doesn't account for the inflation that consumers are paying due to the increasing prices of food and gasoline. Thus any increase in spending is not going towards goods and services.
Asian and European stocks are up on Friday and oil has once again surpassed $100/barrel according to the Associated Press.
Unemployment claims increase
Claims for unemployment increased by 10,000 last week growing to 424,000, according to the Labor Department as reported by the Associated Press. 375,000 is the number required for the job market to return to sustainable growth. The peak number of claims during the Recession was 659,000.
Sales of homes in foreclosure fell in April
According to the Associated Press, the sales of homes is some state of foreclosure fell in Q1 but still represent 28% of all home sales. There are 158,434 homes in some state of foreclosure, this is down 16% from Q4 of 2010 and down 34% from a year ago. However, 872,000 homes are in some state of foreclosure and will need to be sold. Total inventory of foreclosed homes is 1.9 million.
Corporations report goods news....according to the Associated Press
Burberry, the British luxury handbag and clothing designer reported earnings of $340 Million. Revenues were up 25%. The largest increase (35%) was in non-apparel purchases such as handbags and shoes.
Sony returned to profits after 3 years of losses reporting $975.6 million in profit for the current fiscal year compared to a $3.2 billion loss for fiscal year ending March 31, 2010
Heinz reported Q4 profits up 16% due to increases in its emerging markets. Emerging markets represent 17% of sales in 2011 and will be at 20% in 2012. Despite the profit, Heinz will close 5 factories and lay of 1,000 people in the next twelve months worldwide. This will reduce total factories to 76.
Tiffany's reports earnings up 25%.
Fish mis-labeling rampant
According to a report by the New York Times a research group named Oceana has been testing the fish in supermarkets and has found that 20-25% of fish are mis-labeled. The group uses DNA bar coding to test the fish. The FDA is working on determining whether the DNA bar coding is valid. A group name Cleanfish is also supporting electronic tagging to change the process.
Technology kings address the G-8
The Financial Times reports that the leaders of the technology world, Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Schmidt (Google), spoke to the G-8 leaders on Wednesday discouraging overzealous prohibition on the internet. The young tech leaders believe that too much legislation will hurt free speech, stymie innovation and prohibit the expression that led to the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. Opponents believe that fair rules of society (whatever they may be) should be applied to the internet.