Black Friday sales are strong.
Black Friday appears successful
Results reported as of 3pm Eastern time indicated that Black Friday sales were up 20 percent from a year earlier, according to IBM Benchmark and as reported by CNBC. Mobile shopping is also increasing in popularity with mobile device visits to retailers sites up 17 percent and purchases on smartphones and tablets up 10 percent.
Dow down 25 points.
The Dow dropped 25 points on Friday closing at 11,231, according to CNBC. The Dow has lost 7.6 percent in the last two weeks and is down 3 percent for the year. Trading volume was light on Friday and markets closed at 1pm. The Wall Street Journal reports that the European leaders met on Thursday and no negative news came out of the meetings. The leaders of Germany, Spain and Italy proposed modifications to the EU policies that would further integrate economic policies.
Irish bonds rise as victim of European uncertainty
n July Ireland's bonds were paying 14.5 percent. By September that percentage had been cut in half due to strong progress towards its budget targets. According to the Wall Street Journal, however, the bond yields have once again jumped to 9.8 percent. This is a result of the overall European unsteadiness that is impacting the yield of all European countries despite their fiscal steadiness. Experts also indicate that Ireland's future may be impacted by reduced exports to other European countries.
Belgium credit rating downgraded
Standard and Poor's downgraded Belgium's credit rating one notch to double A from double A plus, according to the Wall Street Journal. Government debt is predicted to be at 93 percent of GDP by the end of 2011. Additionally, Belgium is currently being ruled by a caretaker government which creates additional uncertainty according to the ratings agency.
Iceland rejects billionaires land bid
Iceland has rejected a Chinese billionaire's bid to buy 300 square acres of wild heathland because of concerns that it would give China a strategic foothold in the North Atlantic, according to the Financial Times. Interior minister Ogmundur Jonasson also felt as if his country was setting a dangerous precedent and expediting a fire sale due to the economic uncertainty of his country. He said he fears international ramifications if the purchase was to occur.
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.