Markets poised on positive note after record close
On Thursday, the Dow rose 169 points to close at a record high of 15,460.92, and stock futures are up 4 points prior to the open on Friday, according to the Associated Press. Prior to the market open, JP Morgan Chase reported a 31 percent rise in quarterly profit resulting in a $1.50 per share increase. CNBC indicates that analysts were expecting earnings of $1.44 per share. JP Morgan shares initially rose but then turned lower in pre-market trading.
Government posts budget surplus?
The US government posted a budget surplus in June, according to Reuters. Rising tax revenues, public spending cuts and two big payments to the Treasury from state-backed mortgage firms helped the government take in $117 billion more than it paid out, according to reports from the US Treasury on Thursday. The surplus was the largest on record for that month. The surplus reduces the urgency in Congress to strike a deal to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, which is still significant.
US government provides hacker addresses to American Internet providers
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the US government gave American internet providers addresses linked to suspected Chinese hackers earlier this year as part of a previously undisclosed effort aimed at cyberspying. The government provided the addresses to service providers to warn companies that traffic from those addresses could use the US networks as gateways to attack US computer networks. Officials said they saw a temporary decline in infiltrations at that time.
Retail sales benefit from discounts
According to the Wall Street Journal, retailers’ sales continued to improve in June due to sales and discounting of spring items. Gap, Inc. continued to have record strong sales of 7 percent same store growth. The nine retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters reported 5.9 percent same store sales compared to analysts’ expectations of 4.8 percent.
Cities with falling wages
The average US worker was paid $1,000 per week as of the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. USA Today indicates that this is a 4.7 percent increase from 2011. In most US metropolitan areas wages are growing. In San Francisco the average wage grew by 25 percent. Eight cities had a decline of at least 1 percent weekly. These cities include Santa-Cruz, Ca.; Sandusky, Ohio; Ocean City, N.J.; Las Cruces, N.M.; Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, Wash.; Flint, Mich.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Elizabethtown, Ky.; Rocky Mount, N.C.; and Anniston-Oxford, AL.
Smokey Bear gets a makeover
The New York Times indicates that Smokey Bear, who has been appearing since 1944 in public service fire prevention campaigns, is getting a makeover. The new look replaces a computer generated look he received five years ago. The new look will have a more vintage appearance, and sometimes will be represented by a person in a bear costume. Smokey is changing from a teacher or authority figure to a paragon of positive reinforcement. The new campaign is aimed at 18 to 34 year olds who had lower recognition of Smokey and reinforces his message in commercials in which the young actors are communicating about Smokey via smartphones and social media. Smokey will also have a Facebook campaign.
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.