Apple’s earnings disappoint
For only the second time in 39 quarters, Apple reported results that missed analysts’ profit and revenue expectations. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple sold 26 million iPhones in its second quarter, a 28 percent increase from a year ago but down from the 35.1 million sold in the first quarter. A new version is expected later this year. Apple’s revenue grew 22.6 percent to $35 billion, but that was down from 59 percent in the previous quarter. Apple sold 17 million iPads in the second quarter up from 11.8 million in the first quarter. Following news of its earnings, shares fell more than 5 percent in after hours trading. This news also drove Asian markets down. European markets, however, are positive on Wednesday. The Dow closed down 104 points ending at 12,617 on Tuesday. At one point on Tuesday, however, shares were down almost 200 points.
Britain sinks deeper into recession despite Olympic games
The United Kingdom’s economy contracted 0.7 percent in the second quarter, making this double dip recession the longest for over fifty years. The Financial Times reports that the GDP has contracted for three quarters in a row. Some experts blame the numbers on bank closures during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee as well as record rainfall.
Toyota may soon regain crown as top auto maker
A year after the tragic tsunami severely impacted Toyota’s production capabilities, Toyota may soon return to its spot as the world’s largest auto producer. According to the Associated Press, Toyota sold 4.97 million vehicles in the first half of the year. GM, who rose to be top automaker in 2011, will release its numbers on August 2nd. GM trailed Toyota at the end of the first quarter. Toyota has forecast that it will sell 9.58 million cars in 2012, up 21 percent from 2011.
Spain and Greece cause angst in EU
On Tuesday, Spain paid the second highest yield on short term debt since the birth of the euro. At the same time, EU officials said that Greece has little hope of meeting the terms of its bailout, thus causing fears that it will leave the euro zone. Reuters reports that EU officials currently in Greece indicated that the country cannot repay what it owes and its debt must be restructured. The European Central Bank will have to take a $240 billion hit. Additionally, the Spanish government may need to be bailed out and that may also cause a problem with Italy. To top it off, Moody’s Investor Services lowered its ratings on the European Financial Stability Fund.
Zillow claims that housing market has turned the corner
Home values have risen for four consecutive months, according to Zillow.com, a trend that has led the website to claim that the market has turned the corner. USA Today reports that Zillow’s home value index rose in the second quarter for the first time since 2007, increasing 0.2 percent compared to last year’s second quarter. Zillow’s index is a measure of the value of single family residences, condominiums and housing coops. It is based on data from more than 80 million homes. Zillow believes that home values will increase in 43 percent of the markets it tracks in the next year. Phoenix and Miami are expected to lead the way.
Beneficiaries inherit sculpture but can’t pay tax bill
Two heirs of a wealthy New York art dealer have inherited a $65 million sculpture that has a $29 million tax bill. The overall art collection of Ileana Sonnabend was valued at over $1 billion. The sculpture contains a bald eagle which, according to federal law, cannot be sold…whether it is alive or dead (as in the sculpture). Therefore, the beneficiaries cannot sell the sculpture to pay the tax bill. They are hoping for some flexibility from the IRS.
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.