Dow closes above 15,000
On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed above 15,000 for the first time. According to the Associated Press, an improving outlook for the economy and strong corporate earnings are making investors move into stocks. The Dow has gained 15 percent this year and has more than doubled since hitting a bottom at 6,547 on March 9, 2009, during the Great Recession.
UN warns global youth unemployment will continue to rise
Global youth unemployment will increase from 12.4 percent last year to 12.8 percent by 2018, according to a report released by the UN. According to the Financial Times, the International Labor Organisation warns that the youth jobs crisis is worse than the data suggests because long-term unemployment is growing as well as part-time, temporary and insecure jobs. People unable to find secure employment in their youth are destined to be stuck with lower pay long term jobs. The highest youth unemployment rate is in the Middle East where the rate is 28.3 percent and is expected to rise to 30 percent in 2018. North Africa has a youth unemployment rate of 23.7 percent. Asia has the lowest youth unemployment rates at 9.5 percent in East Asia and 9.3 percent in south Asia.
Target to roll out “Cartwheel”
Target is rolling out a new program called “Cartwheel” that will use social networking and discounts to lure people into their stores rather than have them buy online. CNBC reports that the program relies on people using their Facebook accounts to find coupons that can only be redeemed within the stores, not online. Shoppers must bring a barcode, either printed on paper or on their mobile phone, into the store for the discount. Traditional buyers are trying to keep shoppers from buying products online. Eighteen percent of cell phone users currently compare prices online before making a purchase. Cartwheel is meant to assist shoppers who love to comparison shop. Cartwheel is beginning a beta test today and Target will seek feedback from users before rolling it out to the general public.
McDonald’s sales hit by weakening European and Asian economies
McDonald’s sales were hit in April due to a fear of a new strain of avian flu in China, according to the Associated Press. Overall sales were down 0.6 percent globally although they increased 0.7 percent in the US. The uptick in the US was due to the introduction of the Chicken McWrap. In Europe, sales fell 2.4 percent and sales in Asia, Africa and the Mid-East were down 2.9 percent.
China’s trade data raises questions with international community
The Financial Times is reporting that strong Chinese import growth data in April bolstered confidence in the country’s economy but raised questions with economists. Imports rose 16.8 percent in April from a year earlier, up from a 14.1 percent increase in March. Exports increased 14.7 percent in April from a year earlier and topping estimates. But China’s export data have come under scrutiny because it differs dramatically from that of neighboring countries. There is a belief that fake invoices have been created because exporting groups have been trying to over-invoice to evade capital controls and sneak cash into China. The Chinese government last week unveiled new rules that mandate closer controls on exporters to overcome the concerns.
Belgium arrests 31 people in $50 million diamond heist
Police in Belgium have detained 31 people in a three nation sweep three months after robbers pulled off a $50 million diamond heist at the Brussels Airport. According to USA Today, one person was detained in France, six in Switzerland and 24 in Belgium. The police claim to have found diamonds that were part of the heist during the arrest process. It is the first breakthrough in a heist which has been compared to the movie Ocean’s 11. Belgian authorities say the 10 of the 24 detained in Belgium were known criminals.
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.