Markets flat as Consumer Sentiment Falls in March
Consumer sentiment dipped in March as rising gasoline prices pinched consumer pocketbooks. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Sentiment Index slipped to 74.3 from 75.3 in February, according to CNBC. The drain on discretionary spending will impact other purchases. The Dow is holding somewhat flat at 13,263 while European markets were up and Asian markets were down.
Inflation rose in February
The Consumer Price Index increased 0.4 percent in February, driven mostly by a 6 percent spike in the cost of energy prices, especially gasoline, according to USAToday. Factories also stepped up production by 0.3 percent in February, following increases in both December and January. In the past 12 months, overall inflation has increased 2.9 percent.
Apple shares continue to climb with success of iPad3
Apple shares hit $600 on Thursday as consumers lined up more than 24 hours ahead of time to purchase the new iPad. According to Reuters, the lines to purchase the new iPad went from Sydney all the way around the world to California. Apple shares have jumped 45 percent in the past year. Experts predict it will sell 65.6 million iPads this year. It has sold 55 million iPads since they were released in 2010. Now companies that provide parts for the iPads are also benefitting as geeks “tear down” the iPads and release the names of suppliers.
Moody’s criticizes other ratings agencies
According to the Financial Times, Moody’s ratings service has taken a shot at fellow ratings agencies, including Standard and Poor’s and Fitch’s. Moody’s believes that while the overall risk in the securitization markets remains low, recent deals were not properly assessed. Those deals include Exeter Finance, Cabelas and World Financial Network. Moody’s either did not rate these deals or rated them lower than other ratings agencies. While Moody’s feels that a loosening of credit is needed, it is clear that it believes it is taking a less risky approach than other ratings agencies.
Dublin pubs worry about post-St Patrick’s sales
The struggling Irish economy has had a severe impact on its pub industry, according to Bloomberg. With an unemployment rate over 14 percent and emigration rates increasing to the highest rates since last century, the Irish pubs have suffered a 26 percent decline in sales. This weekend Dublin pubs are spending $1.3 million in a marketing campaign called “Dublin Does Fridays” to take advantage of the popularity of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. About 40 percent of all alcohol consumed in Ireland in 2009 and 2010 was consumed at home, up 31 percent from years earlier. Pub owners are trying to encourage Irishman to return to the comfort of the pub.
Have a good St.Patrick’s Day!
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.