Banks waive fees due to Hurricane Sandy
In an uncommon stroke of good will, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi and TD Bank are among many waiving fees this week due to Hurricane Sandy. According to USA Today, the banks are waiving or refunding out-of-network ATM fees as well as late fees on credit cards, auto loans and student loans for customers in areas affected by the storm. Many banks are also offering branch services even if they lack electricity themselves. Employees are using flashlights and completing transactions manually. Bank of America has sent mobile ATMs to lower Manhattan.
Stocks end flat after two days off
Stocks closed down 10 points on Wednesday ending at 13,096 after breaking for two days due to Hurricane Sandy. Overall, the Dow was down 2.5 percent for October, according to CNBC.
Markets bounce up after China PMI Data
Chinese manufacturing data, its PMI or Purchasing Manufacturing Index, rose to 50.2 in October, up from 49.8 in September, as reported by CNBC. A measure over the 50 mark indicates an economy is expanding rather than contracting. But a closer look at the data shows a continued weakness in exports , which make up 35 to 40 percent of the Chinese economy. The European Union is the greatest importer of Chinese goods and the EU is mired in recession. Asian markets were up today due to the PMI report. European stocks are also strong.
GM to lay off European workers
Shares of General Motors surged on Wednesday after announcing 2300 lay offs in Europe. The Associated Press also indicates that it released earnings that beat expectations. GM’s net profit fell, however, 14 percent due to European losses and North American earnings dropped due to to lower pension earnings and high warranty costs. Profits in North America fell 17 percent since July. North American pretax profit of 7.8 percent was below Ford’s 12 percent.
ADP Payroll data employment reports lower due to new methodology
Payroll provider ADP has changed the way it counts private sector jobs resulting in a sharp drop in the September employment count. CNBC reports that monthly job creation under the new methodology is at 88,200, compared to 162,000 originally reported this month. The firm recently entered a partnership with Moody’s Analytics that changes the way the payroll is calculated. The new numbers are actually lower than the Labor Department’s job creation new household survey. ADP will announce its October numbers on Thursday due to the hurricane. It will also officially revise its September numbers at that time.
New Greek debt forecasts surpass estimates
Greece has unveiled a final budget for 2013 that assumes a deeper recession and higher deficit than forecast only a month ago as it prepares to meet with international lenders to approve its new bailout program. According to the Financial Times, Greece projects that its economy will shrink by 4.5 percent next year compared to the 3.8 percent predicted earlier. General government deficit will reach 5.2 percent of GDP, up from an earlier forecast of 4.2 percent, despite cuts to healthcare, pensions, and public sector salaries. While the new figures are not a surprise, they are likely to create tension among its Eurozone lenders.
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.