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APA’s philosophy is to work closely with our clients to develop an in-depth understanding of their unique needs and objectives. We then customize a municipal bond portfolio that best meets their specific goals and needs. APA manages high quality municipal bond portfolios in four strategies: Short-Term, Intermediate-Term, High Income, and Taxable.

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News Analysis for the Investor on May 15, 2012

Eurozone avoids recession

| BY Catherine McBreen


Germany keeps Eurozone out of recession

Official figures released today by Eurostat showed that the seventeen countries remained economically flat during the first quarter, thus avoiding a recession, according to the Associated Press.  The numbers do indicate, however, that Germany’s strong export performance of 0.5 percent was primarily behind the flat number.  The numbers do, however, show significant contrasts between the countries.  The numbers could potentially be revised because Ireland and Slovenia have not submitted numbers.  Greece is unable to submit numbers.  German investors, however, have lower confidence ratings than in recent months due to the political turmoil in various European countries, such as Greece.

Greece anticipated to call for June elections today

Reuters reports that Greek politicians will meet today in a last ditch effort to form a government, but few have hope that the proposed government of technocrats will receive an endorsement.  The SYRIZA party, which represents the radical left, leads in the polls.  It supports Greece pulling out of the Eurozone and abandoning the bailout offered by the European Central Bank and other countries.  Elections are anticipated to be held in June.  While stocks remain at multi-month lows, the Asian markets remained mostly down.  European markets are mostly up due to the announcement that they avoided recession.  The Dow was down 125 points on Monday, closing at 12,695.  Shares are expected to open higher on the European news.

Coty withdraws its offer to buy Avon

Coty, Inc. withdrew its $10.7 billion offer for Avon on Monday after Avon failed to decide whether to pursue talks within an allocated time frame.  Coty felt that Avon had not given an adequate explanation for extending the timeframe, according to the Wall Street Journal. Avon’s shares closed up on Monday to $20.96 per share, giving the company a $9 billion market cap.  Earlier in the year, a poor earnings report had caused Standard and Poor’s to rate Avon just above junk territory.  Coty indicates it will move on to other opportunities, one of which may be its own IPO.

Facebook co-founder, Saverin, renounces US citizenship

Facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, has renounced his US citizenship days before the Facebook IPO in order to save billions of dollars in taxes.  The Associated Press reports that Saverin was born in Brazil and has lived in Singapore since 2009. Saverin owns a 4 percent share of Facebook.  He gained fame when his conflict with Mark Zuckerberg was depicted in the 2010 movie “The Social Network”.

Facebook raises IPO target

After a week of courting institutional investors, Facebook has raised the price range on its initial public offering to $34 to $38 per share, raising the valuation to over $100 billion.  Reuters indicates that the IPO is well oversubscribed and that the company will close its books on Tuesday.  The raised price range marks an increase of 21 percent from its original low end.  A raised price of more than 20 percent would require the company to file an amendment with the SEC.  The IPO is expected to price the shares on Thursday and begin trading on Friday.

Slurpee Lite coming to a 7-Eleven near you

7-Eleven, the nation’s largest convenience chain, will roll out a low cal version of a Slurpee this week.  This is the chain’s first official low cal line and it is made with Splenda, according to USAToday.  An 8 ounce Slurpee Lite will have 20 calories and is targeted at females in their 20s.  The primary reason for the new drink is to increase sales.  But experts warn that Slurpees had zero nutritional value before the Slurpee Lite, and the new drink will continue to have no nutritional value.


About the Author

Catherine McBreen

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.