Crude Futures Lower
A lower demand forecast for oil, due in part to a perceived slowing global economy, caused crude oil futures to settle to a four-month low. Wednesday’s close of $94.01 per barrel was the lowest since February 22 of this year. The Wall Street Journal reported that the broad selloff in equities and commodities which caused the dollar’s surge against the Euro also contributed to the lower crude prices.
Riots in Athens. Unpopular austerity measures. And in the middle of it all, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is trying to form a new government to secure a vote of confidence in time for a June 29 austerity package deadline imposed by the EU. The BBC is reporting that opposition politicians are calling for Papandreou’s resignation. Eurozone finance ministers have failed to come up with a bail-out solution despite profound concerns over the future of Greek finances. Tear gas and yoghurt fights. Financial and social chaos is paralyzing the Greek government. Stay tuned.
Slower growth in food and gas prices this year helped keep the CPI to a .2% increase in May. In a rare “good news” moment for the economy, signs that prices are easing could forecast a lift in consumer spending and boost growth in the economy in the second half of the year, according to a report in the USA Today.
DailyFinance.com reports that in the last 17 years, the percentage of U.S. adults who are providing care to their parents has tripled. Providing care will cost this generation over $3 trillion in lost wages, pension benefits and social security benefits. There are more than ten million 50+ year olds who have stretched themselves and their pocketbooks thin – and face less-than-golden golden years as a result, notes the report.
Daily Deals May Break the Law
Daily deal providers such as Groupon and LivingSocial, may be violating some consumer protection laws according to a report from TechCrunch.com. In particular, transactions that include gift cards, sales tax, alcohol sales and retailers that go bankrupt after a daily deal offer may violate laws covering the use and redemption of the vouchers in specific cases. Disclaimers on deal websites do not exempt these sites from their responsibilities to consumers and in some cases, many of the social shopping sites leave the resolution of these issues up to the consumer or the retailer to work out. Investors in daily deal companies may have a legal exposure they may not be aware of, notes TechCrunch’s investigators.