Apple to unveil mini-iPad to compete directly with Kindle
Apple is expected to unveil a mini-iPad today to compete directly with the Kindle and Google’s Nexus 7. Apple will continue to also produce its larger iPad, according to Reuters. The new mini iPad will be cheaper than the existing iPad at around $250 compared to $399 and available right before the holidays. Apple has sold over 84 million iPads so far. Apple makes about 23 to 32 percent on an iPad while Kindle breaks even. Experts estimate that Apple will sell 5 to 7 million mini iPads in December.
Fiscal cliff will strengthen dollar
If the lame duck Congress should fail to reach an agreement after the election, thus plunging the US and the global economy into Recession, Reuters reports that the strength of the US dollar will strengthen substantially. When there is a high risk of uncertainty in the markets, “risk-off” investments, such as the US dollar become stronger. Experts predict the value of the dollar could rise as much as 10 percent and this could happen as early as January. While it will help the value of imports, it would hurt the export business. The Dow gained 2 points on Monday, ending at 13,345. Asian markets were up but cautious while European markets are down on Tuesday.
Advertisers fail to take advantage of mobile
The amount of time individuals spend using their mobile devices is growing significantly with US adults now spending an average of 82 minutes each day using mobile devices. According to a story in the Financial Times, this is up from 22 minutes each day in 2009. But the amount of advertising dollars spent on mobile technology has been slow to catch up. Mobile advertising is up to an average of 11.5 percent of spending this year compared to 3.5 percent in 2009, but it still represents only 1.6 percent of all advertising dollars spent. Challenges remain due to the small screen sizes. TV continues to dominate advertising. The expectation is that mobile will begin to take more advertising dollars away from print.
Monster Beverage shares fall on FDA probe
Monster Beverages shares fell 14 percent on Monday, or $7.59, to close at $45.73. Monster is the maker of Monster Energy Drink, the popular caffeine packed energy drink. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating reports that five people died after consuming Monster drinks. The FDA cautioned, however, that there is no clear evidence linking the deaths to the beverage. US energy drink sales soared 16 percent last year to $8.9 billion, but with success comes more regulatory questions regarding the safety of the drinks. Monster claims that its drinks have no more caffeine than many cups of brewed coffee.
Caterpillar cuts earnings expectations
Often seen as a bellwether for the markets, Caterpillar cut its profit and revenue projections on Monday, saying “the world’s economic conditions are weaker than previously expected”. Caterpillar is the world’s largest construction and mining equipment maker. According to USA Today, the company expects 2012 revenue of $66 billion with a profit of $9 to $9.25 per share. Expectations had been for $67.2 billion of revenue with profits of $9.41 per share. It expects revenue to be in a range of up 5 percent to down 5 percent for 2013.
Farmland prices are soaring
Across the farmbelt, despite the worst drought in 50 years, farmland prices have continued to rise. The New York Times reports that every year since 2005, agriculture land prices have posted double digit gains. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reports that farmland prices in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan have grown 15 percent in the last year. The Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas reports even higher growth in the Great Plains states with prices up 26 percent since last year. Fears exist, however, of a farmland bubble. Most buyers, however, are purchasing the land to grow their businesses. Iowa has been the leader with its farmland prices increasing 32 percent since 2010. The Agriculture Department says that net farm income is expected to increase to $122 billion this year, up from $117 billion in 2011, a 4 percent increase even with the impact of the drought.
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.