Greece secures high participation in bond swap; world markets respond
Greece will be able to receive its second international bailout after securing participation in a bond swap by its private bondholders of about 83 percent. The high participation rate allows Greece to pass legislation to force the participation of most of the remaining bondholders. According to the Associated Press, if Greece had failed to achieve agreement, it would have defaulted upon its bond payments within two weeks, causing international financial challenges. World markets are mostly up.
Dow up 70 points on Thursday
The Dow was up 70 points on Thursday, closing at 12,907, according to CNBC. Markets will await the US jobs report this morning, which is expected to be up, but perhaps not as much as prior months. Unemployment is expected to remain at 8.3 percent.
ETF Providers slash management fees
The three largest US providers of exchange traded funds, otherwise known as ETFs, have aggressively cut fees this year on 84 funds, according to the Financial Times. ETFs are traded as funds and track the returns of a basket of underlying assets. They have grown substantially in recent years with BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street managing 84 percent of the $1.2 trillion of ETF assets. The aggressive price cuts are interesting to observers since these assets tend to already have low fees. But as market competition increases, price can be a differentiator in this market.
PC sales forecast to grow despite tablet competition
A new report from Gartner, and reported on by USA Today, predicts PC sales will grow 4.4 percent this year and will increase to over 10 percent in 2013, despite the growing use of mobile tablets. Gartner believes the new Ultrabooks being created by Dell, along with the introduction of Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8, will fuel an increasing interest in PCs.
Chinese inflation falls, easing food prices
Inflation in China fell to a 20 month low of 3.2 percent in February from 4.5 percent in January. Inflation in food costs fell to 6.2 percent from a January rate of 10.5 percent, according to the Associated Press. Inflation had declined steadily after peaking in July at 6.5 percent but rebounded in January. The government is seeking to maintain a 4 percent inflation rate. Inflation is risky in China because it causes political instability.
ECB warns of inflation caused by oil prices
The European Central Bank is raising caution warnings regarding an increase in inflation caused by rising oil prices, according to Reuters. The ECB chose to keep its interest rate at 1 percent this week, as anticipated. It also indicated that its infusion of cheap capital into the European banking system within the last few months has been successful. While it lowered its eurozone economic forecast, it indicated that there were signs of economic pick up. It did, however, warn of higher inflation rates due to the price of oil.
Coke and Pepsi to change processes to avoid cancer warning
A new California law would require Coke and Pepsi, and other soda makers using caramel coloring, to post a cancer warning on their cans if they do not reduce the amount of a chemical known a 4-methylimidazole in its manufacturing process, according to USAToday. Representatives from Coca-Cola indicated the chemical appears in trace amounts during the cooking process, but procedures have been amended to meet California’s new standard. The FDA has indicated that a consumer would have to drink more than 1,000 cans of soda per day to reach the doses administered to rodents that showed links to cancer.
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.