Nasdaq breaks 4000 in early trading, US banks threaten to charge for deposits, pending home sales fall again, and more news stories for the investor.
Nasdaq breaks 4000 in early trading
USA Today reports that the Nasdaq has joined the other two major indexes in reaching historic highs. In the first few minutes of trading, the Nasdaq was up about 0.3 percent, shooting past 4000. It has been past 4000 before but it’s been several years. The last time it closed above that level was September 7, 2000.
US banks threaten to charge for deposits
Leading US banks have warned that they could start charging consumers and companies for deposits if the Federal Reserve cuts the interest rate it pays on bank reserves. According to the Financial Times, the warning by bank executives highlights the dangers of one strategy the Fed could use to offset an eventual “tapering” of the $85 billion monthly asset purchases it has used to fuel the economy for the last year. Minutes of the Fed’s October meeting, published last week, indicated that tapering could begin as soon as December. Most officials thought a cut in the interest on bank reserves was an option worth considering. Executives at two of the top five banks said a cut in the 0.25 percent rate of interest on the $2.4 trillion of reserves they hold at the Fed would lead them to pass the cost to depositors.
Pending home sales fall again
Signed contracts to buy existing homes fell for the fifth straight month in October, according to CNBC. This is the slowest sales pace since December 2012. Pending home sales fell 0.6 percent from an upwardly revised September reading and are down 1.6 percent from October 2012, as reported by the National Association of Realtors. Sales in the Midwest and Northeast were stronger but there were deeper declines in the South and the West.
Swiss voters reject salary caps for CEOsIn a nod for capitalism, Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected a law that would have restricted executive salaries to 12 times that of the lowest-paid employee. The Wall Street Journal reports that 65 percent of Swiss voters opposed the Fair Pay initiative. The rejection of the initiative is a move away from Swiss efforts to more tightly govern how companies compensate their employees that has been driven by a growing wealth gap between the executive class and working class. Earlier this year, an initiative was approved that requires a shareholder vote on executive salaries at all publicly traded companies.
Wal-mart CEO steps down
Wal-mart CEO and President, Mike Duke, will step down on February 1st. The Associated Press indicates that Doug McMillon, head of international operations, will succeed him. All of Wal-mart’s CEOs have been home grown and McMillon will be the 5th since founder Sam Walton retired. While Wal-mart maintains a position of strength, it faces continuing challenges, as it needs to boost sales in the US and abroad despite a challenging global economy.
Yahoo hire Katie Couric as “global anchor”
USA Today reports that Yahoo is hiring Katie Couric, former co-anchor of NBC’s Today show and the first female anchor of the CBS Evening News, to become Yahoo’s global anchor. Couric will provide interviews and newscasts with major players on the Yahoo home page. This is a bold move by Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, to reinvent Yahoo. Yahoo’s stock has soared since Meyer’s arrival. It was priced at $15.65 per share the day before she arrived and closed last week at $36.49, a 133 percent increase. Mayer believes that content, with a heavy emphasis on video, is the wave of the future.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.