Asian stocks lower due to jobs data
Asian stocks were mostly lower on Thursday due to disappointing jobs numbers in both the U.S. and Europe. The ADP survey released Wednesday said that private employers added only 119,000 jobs in April, down from 201,000 jobs in March, according to the Associated Press. The US would need to create 350,000 jobs per month for three years to return to pre-recession employment numbers. The US government releases its monthly figures on Friday. A jobs report from Europe indicated that the 17 countries that use the euro had an unemployment rate of 10.9 percent in March, the highest since 1999. The Dow fell 10 points on Wednesday closing at 13,268. European markets began Wednesday in a positive mode due to a better than expected earnings reports from Societe Generale bank.
Factory orders fell in March on big transportation drop
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that orders for factory goods fell 1.5 percent in March, the steepest decline since March 2009, the height of the recession. Aircraft orders plummeted 50 percent. The report was released a day after a private survey found the manufacturing sector expanded in April at the fastest pace in 10 months, according to USAToday. That report from the Institute for Supply Management had caused the markets to close at their highest level in four years on Tuesday.
Spain sells bonds at higher than desired yield but French bonds drop yield
The Spanish Treasury sold 2.5 billion euros ($3.29 billion) of bonds today with yields up to 5.5 percent, according to CNBC. Concerns had existed whether Spain could sell the required amount of bonds. While finding buyers did not seem to be an issue, the yield price was higher than desired. Spain is at the forefront of the European debt crisis due to worries over its fiscal health and its banking sector. At the same time, France raised 7.43 billion euros ($9.75 billion) with yields at 2.96 percent, lower than recent yields. This is important because of the heated French presidential election which is to occur over the weekend.
Glut of natural gas slows drilling, will increase prices
Energy producers are beginning to scale back their natural gas output because of a glut that has driven prices to their lowest levels in more than a decade, according to the Wall Street Journal. Government reports show that drilling output for February had the biggest drop in a year. The pullback is happening at the same time that more businesses and consumers are beginning to use natural gas. Government data shows that the amount of natural gas used to generate electricity in February soared to 34.6 percent, the highest level ever for that month. As increased usage catches up to the glut, prices will eventually increase.
Painting named “The Scream” brings $119 million at NYC auction
A painting by Edvard Munch named “The Scream” has become the most expensive piece of artwork ever sold at an auction. The Associated Press indicated that the 1895 work of art brought $119,922,500. Neither the buyers name nor anything about the buyer was released. The second most expensive piece of artwork was a painting by Picasso that sold for $106.5 million in 2010.
Virgin Atlantic serves ice cubes shaped like Richard Branson
Upper class passengers on selected Virgin Atlantic flights in May will have their drinks cooled by ice cubes shaped like Sir Richard Branson’s head. Four designers spent six weeks designing the ice cubes, as reported by USAToday. They were made to celebrate Virgin’s new in flight bars. Sir Richard said he would like to sit and have a drink with each of his passengers and the ice cubes are his way of achieving that goal.
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.