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Featured Advisor

Kim Butler

Partners for Prosperity, Inc.

City:Mt. Enterprise

State: TX

I have 20+ years of handling alternative investments in cash, growth and income for clients nationwide.  I strive to help my clients with all things financial in every way possible over the phone and the web.  I own an alpaca farm which I enjoy working during my downtime.  I also enjoy gardening, writing and reading books.  I also train other advisors on Prosperity Economics.

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News Analysis for the Investor - September 30, 2011

The ups and downs of the market

Thursday proved to be another tumultuous day for the markets with stocks rising early on news that Germany had agreed to support the Greek bailout plan, according to the Associated Press. But then the markets began to wobble based on mixed economic news in the US.

U.S. Market

The Labor Department indicated that unemployment claims fell to a 5 month low to 391,000 but also indicated that the drops may be due to some technicalities. The Commerce Department indicated that the economy grew more than predicted from August to June, up to 1.3 percent, higher than the 1.0 percent predicted. But reports of fewer new home sales in August caused the market to drop. It recovered somewhat closing up 143 points at 11,153. According to CNBC, world markets are currently down.

Combination of Dow and S and P possible

In news that broke after the markets closed yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reports that McGraw Hill is in talks with the CME Group to combine the Dow Jones Industrial Average with the S and P 500. The goal is to make the group the top purveyor of financial information in the world. The combined Index would be managed by McGraw Hill and CME would own 25%.

Government to sell unused property to help pay deficit

The New York Times reports that the Obama administration is looking at a plan to sell unused property owned by the government to help pay off the deficit. It is estimated that the government currently owns $4 billion in unused property, including Plum Island in New York City. It is anticipated that 3,653 empty post offices will soon be added to the list of properties. The government also plans to sell the unlisted airwaves to broadband carries for $18 million. Both parties are supportive of this plan which will take more than ten years to implement.

Bank of America to implement monthly debit card fee

Bank of America announced that it will implement a $5 monthly debit card fee for individuals who use their card to make purchases. According to the Associated Press, the first time you use your debit card in a month, a fee will appear on your account. You may then use the card as many times as desired for the rest of the month. If you do not use the card for purchases, you will not be subject to the fee. Withdrawals from an ATM are not subject to the fee. A poll from the Associated Press indicates that two thirds of consumers use their debit cards more than credit cards. The rule is due to the loss of debit card fees under the new Dodd-Frank rule which limits transaction fees from more than forty cents down to twenty one cents. The banks made more than $19 billion on debit card fees in 2009 and are searching for ways to replace the revenue.

Lehman settlements Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch reduced its claims against Lehman Brothers for derivatives claims from the 2008 meltdown by $4 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. In July Lehman had announced a $9.6 billion settlement with many banks and negotiations of the bankruptcy estate continue.

Chipotle's new idea

The founder of Chipotle, Steve Ells, opened a new restaurant in the Georgetown area of Washington, DC, called ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen. The concept is to apply the Chipotle organic food and clean system to Asian food. Chipotle has been a restaurant success story. In January 2006, the stock was valued at $22 per share, and according to the USA Today, closed on Thursday at $313. There are now 1200 Chipotle restaurants and the company was reportedly worth $1.8 billion in 2010. If the line around the block at the new restaurant is any indicator, the new Asian concept may also be a hit.