Markets await news from Fed meeting
Markets around the world are awaiting news from a two day meeting held by the Federal Reserve. The belief is that recent weak US economic data will cause the Fed to take action of some type. While some economists predict the Fed will launch another round of bond buying, others believe it will just reiterate its readiness to do something if the economy weakens further. According to theAssociated Press, the Fed will release a statement today and then is likely to give an updated economic forecast. Ben Bernanke, Fed Chairman, will hold a news conference. The Dow closed up 95 points on Tuesday to close at 12,837. European markets are mixed on Wednesday while Asian markets were up.
US and China Disagree Over Audits
CNBC is reporting that the Chinese arms of all of the Big Four audit firms have been asked by US regulators to turn over documents related to audits of China based companies listed in the United States. The audit firms face conflicts between Chinese and US laws and have been slow to release information to the SEC. The SEC indicates that these companies may be forced to de-list from the US exchanges if the impasse regarding audit procedures cannot be resolved.
European crisis impacts US hotels
Travelers from Europe booked 1.1 percent fewer rooms in the US in the first five months of 2012 compared to last year, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. This is a reversal from a year ago when US hotel bookings by Europeans rose 13.7 percent from 2010. Bookings from the U.K., France and Belgium remain strong, but bookings from countries suffering from the debt crisis are down. The exception is Germany, which while not suffering from the debt crisis, also has lessened US travel. For now, the dropoff has not yet hurt the hotel industry since Europeans account for only 5 to 10 percent of total bookings.
Greeks agree to form coalition government
The three parties that back Greece’s commitments to bailout creditors have agreed in principle to form a coalition government, according to the Associated Press. Left wing parties have agreed to support the government as well. These agreements come after the June 17 election allowed the far left Syriza party to come in second. While the new government formation is not finalized, both the Greek people and the markets seem positive.
JOLTS Survey confirms poor labor market
According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, there were 3.4 million job openings at the end of April in the US, a decline of 8 percent from March. CNBC reports that the survey showed that 160,000 fewer jobs were filled in April. The drop showed weakness across all industries including construction and leisure and hospitality. Government job openings also fell. Experts indicate the survey findings support the recent trends and should be considered by the Fed as it reviews monetary policy.
Techies slow to embrace philanthropy
The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports than only two of the 20 most generous donors in the world are from the technology world. In particular, Facebook and Twitter are deemed to be “non-players” in the philanthropy world, according to an article in USAToday. Tech companies, however, dispute the claims indicating that because their workers are younger, they take an entrepreneurial approach to charity and that community service permeates their corporate actions. Additionally, since many of the newly minted Millionaires are younger, it takes longer to accept that the wealth is not fleeting. But the Silicon Valley charities are eagerly awaiting the time when these newly rich entrepreneurs decide to make charitable contributions the old fashioned way.
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.