Credit card debt and late payments fall in Q1
According to the Associated Press, the rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue fell to 0.69 percent in the first quarter, down from 0.89 percent a year earlier, a drop of nearly 19 percent. The late payment rate is at historically low levels going back to the mid-1990s. Generally, the credit card delinquency rate has averaged 1.03 percent since 1992. Average credit card debt per borrower fell 1.7 percent to $4,878 in the first quarter down from $5, 122 in the fourth quarter of 2012.
JP Morgan avoids split of CEO/Chairman role
CNBC is reporting that in early shareholder vote counts, JPMorgan Chase has avoided the split of the CEO/Chairman role. This strengthens the role of current chairman Jamie Dimon who had been at the center of the scrutiny. Dimon is now likely to remain in his role. The margin of victory has not been released but sources indicate that the voting margin was narrow.
GrubHub to merge with Seamless
GrubHub announced it will merge with Seamless, according to the Wall Street Journal. Both companies make money by taking a small percentage of retaurants’ sales from the food orders they facilitate. GrubHub includes 20,000 online ordering restaurants while Seamless has 12,000. Together they process 90,000 orders daily. The services will retain separate brands.
China gains foothold in Caribbean
The Financial Times is reporting that Chins has begun making investments in several Carribean countries and appears to be deepening its influence in the region. Many of the Caribbean countries are mired in economic recession and the US has had little interest in developing the region. In fact, most of the US activity has been driven by private sector investment whereas China is investing on a state-to-state level. China’s motives are believed to be political rather than economic. Each of the small nations has equal voting authority in the United Nations and China may believe it can sway global policies its way should it befriend these countries. Additionally, most of the projects funded by China require Chinese workers to complete the projects and does not provide more jobs to local residents.
Housing recovery boosts Home Depot profit
Home Depot reported higher than expected quarterly sales and profits, benefitting from the beginnings of the housing recovery. According to CNBC, Home Depot’s sales rose 7.4 percent to $19.12 billion in the first quarter, topping analysts’ estimates of $18.68 billion. Pricing and customer service have allowed Home Depot to take market share from its rival Lowe’s. Sales at stores open at least a year rose 4.3 percent, including a 4.8 percent increase in the U.S. Net income in the first quarter rose to $1.2 billion, or 83 cents per share, up from 68 cents per share a year earlier.
Hershey rolls out Chinese brand
Hershey Co. is unveiling a Chinese brand targeted at the world’s fastest growing candy market, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hershey is introducing a candy known as Lancaster in English or Yo-man in Chinese. Hershey plans on marketing three kinds of the candy to gain a share of the market estimated to be worth approximately $1.2 billion. Hershey hopes to increase international sales by 25 percent by 2017. Currently it is playing “catch-up” in the Chinese market.
Poor customer service causes bashing of $400,000 Maserati
According to USA Today, a Chinese new car owner hired four guys last week to take sledgehammers to his $420,000 Maserati to protest poor customer service during an auto show in the Qingdao International Convention Center.
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.