Factory activity reports in both the US and Europe show growth in the first quarter. Comcast and Apple in discussions over partnership to provide content. Texas oil spill blocks shipping and a dog was purchased for $2 million in China.
US markets up as March factory activity shows growth
The markets in the US are up despite the fact that US manufacturing activity slowed somewhat in March. Reuters reports, however, that despite a slip of the US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index from 57.1 in February to 55.5 in March, the rate of growth remains strong as did the pace of hiring. While the new orders component dropped from 59.6 to 58, firms continued to hire workers.
Apple and Comcast in discussions about TV streaming
Apple is in talks with Comcast about teaming up for a streaming-television service that would use an Apple set-top box and get special treatment on Comcast’s cables to ensure that it bypasses congestion on the internet. According to the Wall Street Journal, the discussions are in their early stages, but Apple’s intention is to allow users to stream live and on-demand TV programming and digital-video recordings stored in the “cloud”, taking the place of the traditional cable box. While Apple wants to make inroads into making its video have the same transmission quality as normal set-top boxes, Comcast fears that the younger generation may not subscribe to pay-TV at all.
Economic growth in Eurozone points to 0.5 percent growth in Q1
Financial information company Markit says that its purchasing managers’ index for March fell modestly to 53.2 points, down from February’s 53.3. According to the Associated Press, Markit says that despite the drop, the March figure represents the eurozone’s best three-month period since the second quarter of 2011. Germany continues to spearhead the growth and France’s economy seems to be increasing in strength.
Texas oil spill blocks shipping lanes
Three cruise ships were among scores of boats trapped by an oil spill that closed the shipping channel connecting Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico for a second day. USA Today reports that on Saturday, a barge carrying almost 1 million gallons of heavy oil collided with a ship in the Houston Ship Channel at Texas City. A barge tank holding 168,000 gallons of oil was breached. The Coast Guard is skimming up the thick, gooey oil but is not certain when the channel can reopen. The channel usually handles about 80 vessels daily. Fewer than 10 birds have been affected at this time.
$2 million doggie sold in China
A golden-haired Tibetan mastiff puppy has been sold for $2 million in China, making it the world’s most expensive dog. According to USA Today, the breeder, who sold the puppy to a property developer, is reported to have claimed the dog had “lion’s blood”. Tibetan mastiffs have become a status symbol among China’s growing wealth classes. In 2011, an 11-month old pup named “Big Splash” sold for $1.5 million. The buyer wants to breed mastiffs himself.
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.