Market jumps to record highs based on Bernanke’s comments
Stocks spiked over 100 points at the market opening today with major averages near their all time highs. CNBC reports that the rally is due to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments that the central bank intends to keep its stimulus measures for the foreseeable future. The remarks were made at a conference after the markets had closed on Wednesday. Bernanke indicated that monetary policy would remain accommodative even if the unemployment rate hit 6.5 percent.
Apple colluded to drive up e-book prices
A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Apple colluded with five major US publishers to drive up the prices of e-books, according to the Wall Street Journal. The publishers settled the charges, however, Apple took the gamble of going to trial. The ruling opens Apple up to undetermined damages and the ability of the Justice Department to take a look at its other business lines. The government argued that Apple colluded with the publishers when launching the iPad to make books available via iTunes at market price. This allowed them to take away pricing power from Amazon who was severely underpricing books. The electronic content provided by Apple represents 10 percent of its earnings.
US economic growth may be below 1 percent in Q2
The nation’s economic growth pace may have fallen below 1 percent in the second quarter, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. The stockpiles of US wholesalers decreased by 0.5 percent, the biggest fall since September 2011. Economists had been expecting a 0.3 percent increase. Barclays indicates that these changes bring its tracking estimate for the GDP to 0.6 percent. Other economists also lowered their rates to less than 1 percent.
US foreclosure activity fell in June to the lowest level since December of 2006, according to CNBC. Some states, however, are seeing an increase in activity due to a tremendous backlog of delinquent loans. Almost 128,000 properties received some kind of foreclosure filing in June, down 35 percent from a year ago. Arkansas, Oklahoma, Maryland, Washington, New Jersey and New York are all states that have recently seen an increase due to the need for a judge in the process. RealtyTrac indicates that Illinois, Nevada, Ohio and Georgia were the top five foreclosure states for the first half of the year.
US and Europe reach landmark derivatives deal
The Financial Times is reporting that US and EU regulators have reached a landmark deal on policing derivatives trading. The agreement allows the country to acknowledge that their rules are basically the same , therefore they can rely upon the relevant domestic authorities within a jurisdiction to enforce the laws. Officials worried that without a deal there would have been significant costs for financial institutions seeking to comply with multiple sets of rules.
Russia convicts dead lawyer
A Russian court has found Sergei Magnitsky, a deceased lawyer, guilty of tax evasion. The Financial Times indicates that Magnitsky and his client, William Browder, the US-born chief executive of Hermitage Capital, evaded $17 million in taxes. Browder, who lives in London, was given a 9 year sentence even though he is not in Russia. Magnitsky was found dead four years ago after he had accused Russian police of complicity in a $230 million tax fraud. Browder was responsible for an Act created in the US known as the Magnitsky Act which prevents the Russian government officials involved in the case from holding assets in or traveling to the US.
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.