Home Resales surge in May
According to CNBC, US home resales rose in May to the highest level in 3 ½ years and prices jumped indicating that the housing sector is beginning to recover. The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday that existing home sales advanced 4.2 percent to an annual rate of 5.18 million units, the highest level since November 2009. Median home prices increased to $208,000, a 15.4 percent increase from a year ago. With prices rising, more sellers are putting their homes on the market, lifting the unsold homes on the market by 3.3 percent.
China Manufacturing hits 9 month low
The Chinese HSBC Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index , or PMI, slumped to 48.3 in June down from 49.2 in May. Anything below a reading of 50 indicates that activity is contracting rather than growing. The Wall Street Journal reports that all of the sub-indices were also down. On Wednesday, HSBC cut China’s economic growth estimate for 2013 to 7.4 percent, down from 8.2 percent earlier in the year. The downturn is primarily due to a decline in demand for exports.
World markets fall due to Federal Reserve comments
Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated on Wednesday that the Fed isn’t planning on raising interest rates any time soon, however, if economic data keeps improving it will look to trim its monthly bond purchases from the current $85 billion per month. Because of this announcement, US Treasury bonds reached 22 month lows. According to the Wall Street Journal, the dollar moved higher pulling down the currencies of emerging market countries. Markets across the globe fell based upon this information and poor economic data from China.
France sues Google with privacy fines
France is giving Google three months to disclose the data it collects from users or be fined. According to the Associated Press, other European countries are considering similar actions. While Google has limited competition in Europe, a litany of fines from various countries could become overwhelming. The potential fine to be levied by France is 300,000 euros or about $402,000. Britain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands may join the suit within the next few weeks. Privacy laws in Europe are stronger than those in the US.
Kodak secures financing
Kodak has secured $895 million to fund its operations as it emerges from bankruptcy, according to the Associated Press. JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays will supply senior secured term loans of up to $695 million. Kodak says the financing will allow it to repay loans that funded operations while under bankruptcy protection. Perhaps Kodachrome will return?
Ford C-Max rated car with the worst initial quality
USA Today is reporting that the Ford C-Max, a five passenger crossover that comes as both a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid, was identified as having the auto industry’s worst quality in the first 90 days of ownership. Three independent sources with access to the JD Power and Associates Initial Quality Study supplied this information to USA Today. JD Power lists only the top models in its surveys and not the low performing models.
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.