DOW FALLS INTO NEGATIVE TERRITORY FOR 2012
Stocks fell more than 2 percent on Friday, dragging the Dow into negative territory for 2012, according to Reuters. The fall was blamed on a weak jobs report that increased the unemployment rate to 8.2 percent. This report capped a week of soft information from China and the ongoing debt crisis in Europe. US Treasury bonds fell to record lows along with German bunds. Overall, the Dow fell 274 points to 12,118. Asian markets were down on Monday and European markets are mixed but mostly down.
HAWAIIAN AIRLINES EXPANDS TO EAST COAST
Hawaiian Airlines, which emerged from bankruptcy just seven years ago, is opening routes from New York City beginning on Tuesday. According to USA Today, Hawaiian had a profit of $7.3 million in the last year and is looking to become more than just an island hopper. This is primarily due to the fact that its biggest rival, Aloha Airlines, is out of business, and many of the large carriers are offering fewer flights to Hawaii. Hawaiian will code share a flight with Jet Blue from JFK International. If the venture is successful, they hope to open routes from Boston.
PORTUGAL PASSES BAILOUT TEST
Portugal will receive an additional $96 billion of aid injected into its banks from the European Union and International Monetary Fund because it is meeting the terms of the initial loan package. According to the Associated Press, Portugal has stuck to its austerity measures and has now received about three quarters of the promised assistance.
OIL PRICES MAY CONTINUE TO BOTTOM OUT
According to the Wall Street Journal, historical trading patterns indicate that US crude oil prices should continue to fall after plunging 18 percent in May. Oil prices dropped in 17 of 22 trading days in May. That was the highest number of losing days in any month since January 1997. Experts indicate that the prices may remain low due to an over supply in the Middle East combined with a weakening demand due to a sluggish world wide economy. Additionally, US stockpiles are swelling as new drilling techniques unlock more oil from US and Canadian shale formations.
STATES CONSIDER TAXING MOTORISTS FOR MILES TRAVELLED
States are looking for new ways to tax motorists as the states seek additional money to fund road repairs. One potential new tax could include taxing motorists for the miles travelled on their roads. Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and Nevada are either already testing devices to track mileage or are preparing plans for the near future, according to USAToday. States claim that as cars become more fuel efficient, the states lose money on the amounts currently charged via gasoline taxes. The motorists just can’t win.
FARM BILL WILL END DIRECT PAYMENTS TO FARMERS
A program that pays billions of dollars to farmers for not planting fields will be ended by Congress with rare agreement on both sides of the political house, according to the Associated Press. The program will save $9.3 billion and will be replaced with subsidized insurance should crops be ruined due to bad weather or if markets should tumble unexpectedly. In a time of record profits for farmers, the expense was no longer reasonable. The challenges to the agreement include the fact that the cost of nutritional programs, such as food stamps, is also linked to the bill. Currently, food stamps cost about $75 billion.
GOLD SURGES TO BIGGEST 1 DAY RISE IN 4 YEARS
As the equity markets tumbled on Friday, gold surged 4 percent for its biggest one-day rise in more than 3 years. Reuters reports that spot gold hit a near two week high of $1629.41 an ounce and was up 3.9 percent with trading volume about 50 percent above its 30 day average.
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.