Anticipated US jobs data dampening world markets
European markets are weak on Friday due to concerns regarding the US jobs data set to be released this morning. Additionally, weekend elections in both France and Greece could complicate efforts to resolve the European debt crisis, according to Reuters. The Dow was down 61 points on Thursday closing at 13,206. Asian markets were mostly down on Friday.
Facebook IPO valuation
Facebook believes it is worth $96 billion, which will be a record debut for an American company, according to theWall Street Journal. Facebook has until May 18 to convince buyers that it is worth this valuation. In recent months many issues have been raised including the viability of proving advertising on its site leads to sales for vendors. Revenues rose 45 percent from a year ago but fell 6 percent from previous months. Stocks are estimated to be valued at $28 to $35 which is lower than the $44 being used on secondary and private markets.
Japan admits challenges to greenhouse gas standards
On Saturday, Japan will shut down the last of its 50 usable nuclear reactors for the first time since 1966, according to the Associated Press. The government would like to restart some of the reactors but public opinion is strongly against that idea. The challenge is that Japan will produce 15 percent more greenhouse gas emissions this year than in 1990. That is the year used as the benchmark by countries that made a pledge in Copenhagen in 2009 to reduce emissions 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2025. Japan plans on announcing a new energy policy this summer.
Auto prices increasing
In April, the average new light vehicle was $30,303, excluding the $2,446 incentives offered by dealers, according to TrueCar.com and published in the Wall Street Journal. A year ago, the average car price was $1,219 lower and the average incentive was higher. Non-SUVs and pickups are selling more than a year ago. The cost of used cars is also going up due to the fall in new vehicle sales that began in 2008. People are keeping their cars longer. But the new higher prices aren’t hurting the sales of new vehicles in 2012. Sales in April were up 10 percent from a year ago with 14.4 million new light vehicles being sold in the past month.
Limited time offers bring more customers to the Golden Arches
McDonald’s hopes that its new blueberry banana oatmeal and Cherry Berry chiller will bring you to one of their 14,000 stores in the near future because, after all, these items will only be available for a limited time. According to USA Today, McDonalds plans to increase the number of limited time items it offers as a way to differentiate from other fast food chains and to easily adapt to evolving customer tastes. In 2006, the top three fast food chains were all hamburger chains but today, while McDonald’s retains its leadership, Subway is number two and Starbucks is number three. So, soon the blueberry banana oatmeal and Cherry Berry chiller will go the way of the Chicken McBites, another popular limited time item. But no fear, they will be replaced by something new.
National Mall getting a $700 million redesign
The National Mall, which runs from the Lincoln Memorial to the US Capitol Building, will be transformed into a grand urban park with spectacular gardens, a skating rink and a tree framed theater, according to USAToday. The redesign will cost $700 million and will be paid for by the Trust for the National Mall, for which former First Lady, Laura Bush, helped to raise funds. The first project is expected to be completed by 2016
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.