Google and Microsoft predicted to keep rally alive
Both Google and Microsoft released earnings that contained positive surprises after hours on Thursday and experts believe that may keep the positive market rally spinning. According to CNBC, Microsoft had a huge but expected one time charge of $6.2 billion but it still managed to beat the expectations of most analysts. Google surprised analysts with higher than expected revenues. The Dow was up 34 points on Thursday closing at 12,943. Asian and European markets, however, are both negative on Friday.
World faces new food crisis
The worst US drought in more than 50 years has pushed commodity prices to record highs surpassing the 2007-2008 levels that sparked food riots in more than 30 countries. According to the Financial Times, the US supplies more than half of the world’s exports of corn and soyabeans and wheat. United Nations experts predict great food shortages in several months while the US Department of Agriculture argues that the situation is better than in 2008. That is despite the fact that it slashed corn production forecasts last week by the most in a quarter of a century. Meteorologists indicate that conditions are continuing to deteriorate and the drought is the worst since 1956. More than 64 percent of the US is currently experiencing drought conditions.
Eurozone leaders approve bailout to Spanish banks
Eurozone finance ministers are expected to approve a loan to Spanish banks today, but the exact amount will not be known until September. Reuters reports that finance ministers will hold a lengthy conference call spelling out all of the details. Funds will be fully disbursed by the end of 2013. But first, Spain must conduct an in-depth audit of its banks before the amount can be finalized. On Thursday the Spanish parliament passed an $80 billion package of spending cuts and tax hikes that is expected to throw their economy deeper into recession.
Auto sales weaken in July
According to the Associated Press, the first half of July showed slower auto sales than in past months. Sales are still expected to exceed July 2011 sales. For the first half of the year, auto sales ran at an annual rate of 14.3 million, the best in 5 years. Dealers believe poor economic news is causing buyers to hold back on car purchases.
IPad 3 Goes on Sale in China
The new iPad went on sale today in China and demand is expected to be overwhelming. According to CNBC, Apple sales in China jumped to $7.9 billion in the quarter ending in March, representing about one fifth of Apple’s total revenue. The iPad has a 76 percent tablet market share in China. Apple was careful to launch the new iPad in a low key manner to avoid the riots that have occurred in the past.
Heineken moves to the Far East
Heineken is in a battle to buy control of Asia Pacific Breweries, the maker of Tiger beer, according to the Financial Times. Heineken has offered more than $50 per share to buy a stake in the beer maker. Beer sales in Europe are beginning to slow and Heineken hopes to expand to Asia. Other competitors in the region include Japan’s Kirin Brewery and ThaiBev’s Chang beer.
Olympic tourists to face cash squeeze
Lines at ATMs in London are growing longer and the UK’s Payment Council has advised tourists to withdraw cash before they get to London. As estimated 49 billion pounds ($77 billion) of cash is in circulation in the UK and there will be 1700 cash machines near the Olympic venues, according to USAToday. Apparently ATMs ran dry during the recent Diamond Jubilee held on behalf of the Queen. Credit card users also have to be sure to use a Visa card, which will be the only one accepted at the games. Already tourists are complaining about prices because London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. A half pint of beer and a hamburger in a typical London pub will run tourists about $15.60. Priceless.
Millionaire Corner wishes to extend its prayers and sympathy to the families of those impacted by the shooting in the Colorado theater.
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.