Despite turmoil in Europe, Dow manages a gain due to sound US economic news
Markets in Europe were extremely volatile on Tuesday as the bonds of countries once deemed safe began to fall in price but increase in yield, including France, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland and Austria. Italian bonds at one point increased to over7 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal. But despite the turmoil in Europe, the Dow closed at 12,096, up 17 points. The positive outcome was due to two pieces of strong US economic information, according to the Financial Times. The first was that retail sales were stronger than expected at 0.5, led by healthy auto sales. Secondly, the manufacturing index also increased beyond analysts’ predictions. Asian and European markets are down on Wednesday.
Super Committee budget deal seems tentative
Harry Reid, the Democratic leader of the Senate, and John Boehner, Republican leader of the House, met to discuss issues and implications of the budget deal. Reid indicated that he saw few signs of progress, according to Reuters. Boehner indicated that he still believes the Super Committee will reach a deal that can be approved. The impact of the Super Committee is expected to have an impact on the markets next week.
LinkedIn Seeks to Preserve Share Value
LinkedIn is hoping to prevent the value of its shares from tanking once the IPO lockout period is over on Monday. On that day 24 million shares could be released. LinkedIn, according to the Wall Street Journal, has announced a second offering of $500 million. Anyone who sells now will have to agree to another 90 day lock down period. LinkedIn is trying to appeal to institutional investors rather than the younger investors it is believed that purchased shares during the initial offering. Shares are currently trading at $45, well above the initial IPO price.
Morningstar adds color to its stars
Morningstar, the popular mutual fund rating service, has decided to add a color rating system along with its traditional stars. The new colors; gold, silver, bronze, neutral or negative, are to be predictive of a fund’s future performance while the stars illustrate past performance. According to the Wall Street Journal, 155 funds currently have gold ratings while 8 have a negative rating. Morningstar ratings have significant influence in the amount of assets that invest in a fund.
House Finance Committee Limits Pay for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Executives
The House Finance Committee has approved a measure that would place the employees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the federal pay scale. It would also suspend the executive pay packages for top execs. The Federal Housing Finance Authority, who is responsible for the two mortgage financing companies, opposes the bill because it fears that there will be a significant number of talented executives that will leave the agencies. Executives have been receiving salaries in excess of $900,000 and executive bonuses and compensation are almost $6 million. The bill needs further legislative approvals.
BofA and Merrill, a not so happy union?
Three years after having been bought by Bank of America, Merrill Lynch advisors still hope to disentangle themselves from their owner, according to the Wall Street Journal. But as far as BofA is concerned, things couldn’t be better. Merrill Lynch is its most profitable unit while the rest of the bank stumbles along. While a spin off of Merrill was contemplated last year, executives voted otherwise. At one point, Merrill was losing a significant number of advisors but this year the number of advisors actually increased to 16,000.The Bank expects to continue to integrate Merrill.
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.