Positive data raises hopes on US economy
A few small pieces of positive data have created some hope that the US economy is on the mend, according to the Financial Times. Employment reports released by ADP yesterday indicate that 162,000 jobs were added, however, this data often conflicts with official numbers that will be released on Friday. The Institute for Supply Management’s index rose to 55.1 up from 53.1, positive information indicating the economy is growing. The Mortgage Banker’s Association showed applications for mortgages jumped 20 percent due to the low rates caused by QE3. Asian markets are all positive on Thursday while European markets are down. The Dow was up 12 points on Wednesday, ending at 13,494.
Six retailers hiring big for the holidays
Six of the largest store chains in the US will add more than 300,000 temporary jobs to account for an expected higher volume of shoppers, according to USAToday. The stores include Walmart, Target, Toys “R” Us and Macy’s. Kohl’s and GameStop also plan to add a significant number of workers. Target is predicted to be the largest hirer at around 80,000 to 90,000 temporary employees.
Turkey’s bond yield jumps due to Syria shelling
Turkish bond yields jumped after Turkey fired into Syrian territory in retaliation for the killing of five people in Turkey yesterday. Bloomberg reports that there is concern that Turkey will be dragged into the Syrian conflict. Turkey has received significant international investment this year and as it deploys tanks to the Syrian border, those investments become riskier.
Iran’s currency drops dramatically
Iran’s rial has lost more than half of its value against the dollar in street trading in the last two months due to US and European sanctions against Iran aimed at stopping its nuclear program. According to Bloomberg, security forces were sent to Tehran’s city bazaar yesterday after shopkeepers refused to open. The inflation rate is 29 percent. The cost of food has doubled forcing many homes to give up meat and rely upon bread.
European Central Bank meets
The European Central Bank, or ECB, will be meeting on Thursday, however, because Spain has not officially requested aid, it can not do much except announce that rates will remain low. Reuters reports that the interest rate that Spain is being forced to pay on its bonds continues to increase, but Spain does not want to request aid. It does not want to be forced to adopt the austerity measures that Greece and similar countries have been forced to adopt.
Hewlett Packard stock punished for poor outlook
Hewlett Packard CEO, Meg Whitman, painted a grim picture for Hewlett Packard yesterday indicating that slipping revenues and profit will not cause any growth until 2015. According to the Wall Street Journal, HP’s shares fell 13 percent going from $14.91 to $14.29. Whitman indicates that the company has had inconsistent strategies and operational miscues. Experts indicate that HP has written off next year but has not offered a compelling plan for the future.
Holiday spending forecasts vary widely
The International Council of Shopping Centers indicates that a variety of entities have issued holiday shopping forecasts and the increases in sales range from 3 percent to 4.1 percent, as reported in USA Today. Last year the Department of Commerce indicated that the increase in sales was 5.8 percent. Yet most of the predictions mean little to retailers who are forced to order their inventory months before the predictions arrive. Spectrem Group research shows individuals plan to spend the same amount this year as last.
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.