US Durable goods orders soar
The Commerce Department said that orders for durable goods, ranging from aircraft to toasters, jumped 4.2 percent in June. According to CNBC the numbers for May were also revised to 5.2 percent. Capital goods also increased 0.7 percent after increasing by a revised 2.2 percent in May. The gains in both durable goods and capital goods suggest that factory activity is regaining some momentum after slowing down earlier in the year.
Jobless Claims increase by 7,000
More Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week causing jobless claims to increase by 7,000 to 343,000, as reported by the Commerce Department. Bloomberg reports that economists had predicted the number to be 340,000. The job market is seen as stabilizing. Recent layoffs are linked to annual auto-plan shutdowns, retooling at carmakers and school closings.
Facebook ad sales increase earnings
Facebook easily beat second quarter profit and sales expectations sending its sales up 17 percent in late trading. Sales rose 53 percent to $1.81 billion compared to a year ago. The Wall Street Journal indicates that a surge in mobile and local ad sales boosted revenues and increased profits to $333 million or 13 cents per share. Facebook’s mobile ad sales rose 75 percent from the prior three months. Despite the rally on Wednesday, Facebook shares remain well below their IPO price of $38, closing at $31.11.
Bond investors move to cash not equities
Investors withdrew an estimated $43 billion from taxable bond mutual funds last month, the largest-ever monthly outflow, according to the Investment Company Institute. The Wall Street Journal reports that the market movement was caused by worries that the Federal Reserve was softening its commitment to keeping interest rates low. Analysts expected those funds to move into stocks, however, most of the assets moved into money market funds. Money market funds are cash like investments that are very safe but have low returns. Assets in these funds increased $8.5 billion in the week ended July 17, rising to $2.6 trillion.
Consumer Reports rates Chevrolet best in category
Consumer Reports has rated a large sedan from Chevrolet as the best in its category for the first time in more than 20 years. According to CNBC, Consumer Reports rated the 2014 Chevy Impala a 95 out of 100, calling it “excellent”. The rating is seen as one more indicator of a domestic auto manufacturing renaissance. Last year the Impala was rated 63 out of 100.
School supplies up 7.3 percent
USA Today reports that school supplies are up 7.3 percent this year. The information comes from Huntington Bank’s annual Backpack Index. The Index indicates that almost every item has increased in price with some items up as much as $10. Estimates for supplies for elementary students are $577 a 5.3 percent increase. Middle school students should expect the same 5.3 percent increase with an average investment of $763 to make it through the year. High school students should expect a 9.5 percent increase. Supplies are anticipated to average $1,223 this year for high schoolers.
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.