US factory output slows. Toyota signs deal with NBA and Greek bond funds return 100 percent.
US factory output rises 0.1 percent in September
US factories barely increased output in September, adding to other signs that the economy was slowing even before the government shutdown. The Associated Press reports that manufacturing production rose just 0.1 percent, down from a 0.5 percent gain in August, which was lower than previously reported. The Federal Reserve report said that automakers boosted their output, however, the increase was offset by declines at computer makers. Overall industrial production rose 0.6 percent in September, mostly because of a 4.4 percent increase in industrial output.
Toyota remains world’s top auto seller
Toyota Motors has maintained its lead over rivals General Motors and Volkswagen AG as lead automaker in 2013. CNBC reports that January-September global sales figures showed that Toyota’s sales totaled around 7.412 million vehicles, up 0.1 percent from a year ago. General Motors sold about 7.25 million vehicles, up 4.6 percent year-on-year. Volkswagen sales rose 4.8 percent to 7.03 million vehicles. Toyota slipped behind GM and Volkswagen in 2011 following the natural disasters in Japan and Thailand.
NBA to use Samsung for game electronics
The National Basketball Association has signed a $100 million deal with Samsung to use its technology courtside at its games. According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung will supply the courtside monitors that referees use to review close calls, beginning later this week. The three-year deal will make Samsung one of the most visible companies during NBA games. The league is also expected to customize video content for Samsung devices. The NBA previously had computer and television deals with Hewlett Packard and Haier Group.
Almost half of Americans don’t know where to go for health information
USA Today is reporting that 47 percent of uninsured Americans don’t know where to go for information about healthcare, according to a Bankrate poll conducted from October 17 to 20. About 38 percent of the uninsured feel more negatively about the law than they did a year ago and only 9 percent say it has improved their health insurance situation. About 64 percent of uninsured Americans are curious about the law as are 51 percent of all Americans.
Greek bond funds deliver 100% returns
The best-performing bond funds in the world are benefitting from the performance of Greek government bonds. The Wall Street Journal reports that all three top performing bond funds, at Euro bank Asset Management, bought Greek government bonds at the height of the Euro-zone debt crisis. Investors’ perception of Greece has changed in recent months and some of the Greek government bond prices have more than quadrupled since June 2012. Investment firms are also beginning to buy shares of Greek companies. The $114.6 million DELOS Domestic Bond Fund has delivered a total return of 108 percent in the past 12 months. The Euro bank LF Government Bond Fund and the Interamerican Fixed Income Domestic Bond Fund have returned 107% and 105% respectively.
Mega-cruise ships gain attention of safety experts
Cruise ships keep growing bigger and more popular. The Cruise Lines International Association said that last year its North American Cruise Lines members carried about 17 million passengers, up from 7 million in 2000. According to the New York Times, safety experts, however, are concerned about the lack of regulation in the cruise ship industry, especially as the ships continue to grow larger. The biggest ship today is the Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. The ship has 2706 rooms, 16 decks, 22 restaurants, 20 bars and 10 hot tubs. It can accommodate 6300 passengers and 2394 crewmembers. Experts believe that newer ships are too big and carry too many passengers for safe evacuation, however, the cruise line disputes those charges. Last summer, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, introduced legislation to strengthen federal oversight of cruise lines.
Free meals for kids on Halloween
A growing number of restaurant chains – from Olive Garden to IHOP to Krispy Kreme- are offering free meals and goodies at Halloween to entice families during a seriously slow time. USA Today reports that Halloween is one of the pizza delivery’s industry biggest days, but many casual dining restaurants are scraping for business. Therefore, many restaurants are offering freebies. Here are some of the chains to check out for various types of goodies: Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse, IHOP, Chipotle, and Krispy Kreme.
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.