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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 Nov. 17, 2011

Occupy Wall Street protesters plan day of disruption.

| BY Catherine McBreen


Occupy Wall Street Protesters Plan Disruptive Marches

The now homeless Occupy Wall Street movement plans a citywide day of demonstrations and hopes to disrupt the beginning of the work day by meeting at 7am and marching on Wall Street.  They also plan large demonstrations at the five largest transit hubs.  New York police, according to the Wall Street Journal , are prepared to handle the demonstrations.

European debt woes cause US bank stocks to tumble

The Dow fell 190 points on Wednesday to close at 11,905.  The drop was primarily caused by a ratings agency report, Fitch, that identified the exposure of US banks to the European debt crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Pressure continues to mount on the European Central Bank to take action to stabilize euro-zone bonds.  Both France and Ireland are asking the ECB to intervene but Germany opposes calls for the ECB to print money and buy bonds on a bigger scale.  The ECB’s actions made little difference to the markets on Wednesday.  European banks are apparently entering into complex deals to enable them to continue to borrow from the ECB.  This increases the risk even further. European and Asian markets are down on Thursday. Expect the volatility to continue.

Google competes with Apple’s iTunes

Google launched its own music service on Wednesday, hoping to compete with Apple’s iTunes. The service is limited to the US.  Google indicates that it has activated 200,000 Android devices and is planning on adding 550,000 new devices a day, according to the Financial Times.  Record labels feel Google is offering richer upfront payments which may lead to greater access to offerings. Additionally, users can upload up to 20,000 songs from their own music collections for free and stream them to any Android device, in contrast to Apple’s iTunes Match.

Crude oil prices exceed $100 per barrel

Crude oil prices rose to over $100 a barrel after the sale of an oil pipeline running from Oklahoma to Texas.  But the increase in oil prices won’t necessarily lead to an increase in gasoline prices.  Enbridge, Inc., who purchased the pipeline announced it would reverse the flow of oil, allowing more crude to move south from the storage location in Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico.  Over the past two years, according to the Wall Street Journal, the US has started producing so much oil that it has led to a glut in the center of the country, keeping the price of American crude below the price of petroleum traded overseas.  Ultimately this will result in an increase in the export of gasoline by the US, and will increase jobs.  Additionally it will help to offset supplies of imported crude oil, ultimately leading to a decline in the price of gasoline. Domestic oil production has jumped by 10 percent in the past few years and is expected to continue to increase due to a drilling boom as companies turn to fracking.

Gas prices to reach Thanksgiving high

Gas is likely to average $3.37 per gallon during Thanksgiving weekend, 51 cents more than last year, according to and as reported in USA Today.  The holiday high comes even though prices have been falling.   The Oil Price Information Service anticipates a fall in gas prices followed by an uptick in the spring.

Citigroup to layoff 900 workers, more anticipated

Citigroup is eliminating 900 jobs in its securities and banking division, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Fears over the European debt crisis and new banking regulations capping bank profits in once lucrative areas have altered its outlook.  Total layoffs may be close to 3,000. Citigroup’s shares have fallen 41 percent this year.

UBS discloses additional rogue trading scandals

UBS acknowledged unauthorized trading on its African desk, in its UK wealth management division, in 2007.  This revelation came as the new CEO, Sergio Ermotti, takes the helm to try to overhaul the bank, according to the Financial Times.  Analysts have suggested that UBS and Credit Suisse combine their investment banks. As long time rivals, this does not seem likely to happen.

If questions, call Catherine McBreen, 554-244-5351.

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.