Italy auctions off bonds at best rate in 1 year while Dow rises moderately
Slow but steady…these factors are positive signs for the recovery. Italy auctioned off bonds today at the lowest rate since August 2010 with its borrowing costs falling 1.4 percent, according to CNBC. The Dow closed up a modest 37 points on Monday ending at 12,959. The NASDAQ fell 4 points, closing at 2,983. Asian and European markets are mostly up on Tuesday.
Property taxes begin to fall….finally
More than 5 years after real estate prices began to tumble, Americans are finally starting to get a break on their property taxes, according to a report in USAToday. Last year property tax collections rose just 1.2 percent, and actually declined 0.9 percent when adjusted for inflation, according to data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. Property taxes generated $436 billion last year, about $66 billion more than when prices were at their peak. Public schools get about 40 percent of the money. Most states have complex laws that look at home values up to seven years in the past….or prior to the recession. The slowing increases, however, are expected to continue, however, for many school districts this may be a challenge.
China will receive criticism over rare earth trade policy
The U.S., European Union and Japan are expected to ask the World Trade Organization today to open talks with China over its restrictions on exporting rare-earth minerals, according to the Wall Street Journal. These minerals are critical to the manufacturing process of items from smartphones to hybrid cars to military equipment. China produces more than 95 percent of the rare-earth minerals. It is likely that this will become a full fledged case against China. China is able to offer these minerals for low prices within China but sells them at very high prices globally. Criticism has been aimed at President Obama for our reliance upon outside suppliers, especially China. This is one of many trading disputes that have emerged with China in recent years.
Banks reviving due to bond issuances
Fixed income businesses can represent about half of a banking firm’s revenues, and after a lackluster 2011, this industry is beginning to pick up, according to the Wall Street Journal. Investors are willing to invest in slightly riskier investments and companies are borrowing more. Investors in money markets have poured $14.5 billion into high-yield corporate bond funds this year, more than the total of $13.8 billion in all of 2011. Trading in US bond markets rose 6 percent in the first quarter. The U.S. firms have also been helped by the decline in the position of European competitors.
Eurozone officials Press Spain for Austerity measures
Eurozone finance ministers have set their sites on Spain as an important test of the EU's ability to begin to have some control over countries that have received financing through the EU. The finance ministers pressed a plan on Spain that allows some leeway on its budget deficit in 2012 but requires the enforcement of tough austerity measures in 2013, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. The program would cut 6 percent of GDP off of its deficit. Spain is challenged because of a 23 percent unemployment rate and a contracting economy.
Large companies adding jobs
USA Today reports that the nation’s biggest companies are adding jobs. S&P’s Capital IQ analysis indicates that of the 437 companies that report statistics, generally the largest companies, jobs have increased 4.2 percent globally. While it is unclear how many of the jobs have been added in the US, the overall increase of jobs is a positive measure.
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.