STANDARD AND POOR'S UPGRADES US OUTLOOK
Standard and Poor’s ratings service has boosted its outlook for US government debt, citing stable government spending levels and predicting economic improvements. According to the Associated Press, the credit rating service boosted its outlook to “Stable” from “Negative” and backed the US government AA+ long term debt rating. In 2011 Standard and Poors downgraded the US credit rating after a battle in Congress regarding the debt ceiling.
GOOGLE TO BUY WAZE
Google is close to buying Waze for $1.3 billion. Waze is a crowd sourced, mobile oriented navigation device for drivers that relies on information provided by its 47 million members. According to CNBC, mapping services are among the five most used applications on smartphones. The key advantage to owning rather than licensing is the ability to personalize the product.
ALMOST HALF OF US HOUSEHOLDS OWN A TABLET
According to a survey by Frank N. Magid and Associates, 44 percent of US households now own a tablet computer, up from 30 percent a year ago. USA Today reports that ownership is at 54 percent for those among ages 18 to 34. Smartphone ownership also increased to 61 percent, up from 46 percent last year. Among those between the ages of 18 and 34, 79 percent own a smartphone.
MCDONALDS SAYS CHEAP PRICES SPURRED CUSTOMERS
McDonalds said that global sales rose 2.6 percent in May due to its Dollar Menu, its new chicken wraps and egg white sandwiches. In the US the figure rose 2.4 percent while it rose 2 percent in Europe. The global sales numbers were lifted by Canada and Latin America. McDonalds anticipates rolling out multiple new menu items this year as it focuses on individuals in their 20s and 30s who are seeking fresher made foods, such as the chicken wraps.
MASCOTS MORE POPULAR THAN CELEBRITY ENDORSERS
In a survey to be released by Synthesio, a social media monitoring specialist, it was found that brand mascots do a lot more to promote a brand than do celebrity endorsements. According to USA Today, mascots seem sweet, charming and integral to the brands while celebrities seem “rented”. The exception is Danica Patrick and “Go Daddy”. The reason is because she seems “more reachable” and frequently mentions “Go Daddy” in her personal tweets. Pillsbury’s Doughboy and Aflac’s Duck outranked celebrity endorsers such as LeBron James and Rihanna. Other popular mascots included Geico’s Gecko and “Flo” for Progressive Insurance.
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.