OPEC fails to increase oil output. Oil rises to over $100 per barrel
After experiencing "one of its worst meetings ever", OPEC, the world's leading oil cartel failed to agree to increase output of oil. Analysts had predicted that the agreement would be to increase output by 1-2 million barrels/day. The Associated Press indicates that the issue has been put "on hold" due to failure to reach a consensus and will be addressed at the next meeting in 3 months.
Rate news unclear in Europe
Analysts predict that the European Central bank will hike interest rates to ward off inflation, according to the Associated Press. The Financial Times, however, reports that the Bank of England is keeping rates steady.
The Dow fell on Wednesday by .2 to close at 12, 048
The markets continue to react to dismal growth reports regarding the U.S. economy. USA Today indicates that the Federal Reserve Beige book indicates that only the Dallas region has experienced growth in the last quarter. New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Atlanta indicate that growth is down. Boston, Cleveland, Richmond, Saint Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City and San Francisco report that conditions remain steady. The Wall Street Journal indicates that the Fitch rating service will join Moody's and Standard and Poor's in downgrading the U.S. debt if Congress fails to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by August 2nd.
Citigroup bank cards hit by hackers
Fox News reports that a hacker accessed 200,000 records of Citigroup bank card holders. The information included names, account numbers and contact information, including email addresses. It did not include birth dates, social security numbers, expiration dates or CVV security codes.
Chinese real estate market down, portending challenges for world economy
Chinese real estate prices fell in April by 4.9%, according to Dragonomics, and reported in the Wall Street Journal. China has been attempting to ward off a "real estate bubble" by increasing credit requirements. At the same time, a falling market will reduce building, which has led to a growing economy. Slower growth rates in China will impact those countries supplying raw materials for the building.
Big mutual fund companies, according to the Wall Street Journal, are also reassessing their Chinese investments. Not only are they concerned about slowing growth, but ongoing concerns regarding accounting practices and failures of recent IPOs are causing hesitation regarding future Chinese investments.
Debit card fees to be slashed by Fed as planned
A bill seeking to delay the slashing of debit card fees and add an additional year of study was voted down by the Senate on Wednesday. Debit card fees average around 44 cents today. The new law will limit debit card fees to 12 cents per transaction and is anticipated to go into effect in August. USA Today indicates that critics were concerned about the implications of the cuts on smaller regional banks.
Saudi Arabia buys its way out of the Arab Spring
Saudi Arabia has been able to avoid the demonstrations and calls for government overturn occurring in many of the Middle Eastern countries. Why? Because the King has quickly invested over $130 billion in increasing salaries and housing conditions for its citizens, according to the New York Times. The Saudis argue they are rectifying all of the conditions that cause unhappiness. And women who want to vote? Well, there remains this problem of having to build separate polling booths because they can't enter the same polling booths as the men and.....well, later, I guess...........