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Featured Advisor

Ed Meek
CEO/Investment Advisor

Edge Portfolio Management


State: IL

At Edge, a low client to advisor ratio allows for personal and customized service for each individual.  Our goal is to work as a team for each client to provide not only portfolio management but wealth coordination and financial planning.  We make every effort to have frequent communication with our clients and to provide timely response to calls and emails.  I also enjoy spending time with my wife and three kids, playing and following basketball, playing golf, and participating as an advisory board member for Breakthrough Urban Ministries.

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News Analysis for the Investor on Oct. 8, 2013

The markets feel the impact of the government shutdown and debt ceiling impasse, while the new C-note, a decade in the making, makes its debut. Read about these and other of the day's top business news stories.

Impact of Shutdown, Debt Ceiling Impasse Being Felt by Markets

U.S. stocks declined on Monday, with the S&P 500 index closing at a four-week low, as the partial government shutdown continued without any sign of a break in the impasse and concerns over a government default escalating with each day closer to the Oct. 17 deadline. Benchmark indexes were down around 1 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 95 points, or 0.6 percent, at 14,976 as of 1:40 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped nine points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,681. The Nasdaq composite fell 25 points, or 0.7 percent, to 3,782. Nine of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 dropped, led by makers of luxury consumer goods The stock market had climbed to record levels in September after the Fed said it would keep its stimulus program in place.

New C-Note Debuts Tuesday

Several years after its scheduled debut, the new $100 bill, with an array of high-tech anti-counterfeiting features will be rolled out to banks, savings and loans, and other financial institutions on Tuesday.  The new C-note has been more than a decade in the making. Production problems caused by the currency’s new security measures set the rollout back by 2 ½ years. Among the bill’s new features include a blue, 3-D security ribbon as well as a color-shifting ink that changes from copper to green when the note is tilted, CNN reports. The $100 bill ranks second to the $1 bill as the most common bill in circulation

Cautious Americans Cut Back on Credit

Americans cut back on using their credit cards in August for a third straight month, a sign that consumers remain cautious about spending, The Associated Press reports. Consumers increased their borrowing $13.6 billion in August to an unprecedented seasonally adjusted $3.04 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Monday. The borrowing increase was driven entirely by auto and student loans. A measure of those loans rose $14.5 billion to $2.19 trillion. But credit card debt dropped $883 million to roughly $850 billion. The decline could hold back consumer spending, which accounts for an estimated 70 percent of economic growth. The measure of auto and student loans has risen 8.2 percent from a year ago and in every month but one since May 2010. But credit card debt is essentially where it was a year ago. And it is 16.9 percent below its peak hit in July 2008 - seven months after the Great Recession began, the AP said. The consumer credit report is one of the few government reports issued since the shutdown began last week. The Fed kept operating because it does not depend on budget appropriations from Congress.

J.C. Penney Reacts Positively to Negative Report

J.C. Penney, which has been through a couple of failed marketing reboots in recent years, reported in September a smaller decline in same-store sales than in August and considers it a win. Company officials say they are seeing positive growth in many areas of the business. J.C. Penney stock rose 8 percent in premarket trade Tuesday with the report. Women’s and men’s apparel, fine jewelry and women’s accessories performed better than average in September, and women’s apparel had actual positive sales in the month. "Over the last six months, we have made significant strides and are now seeing positive signs in many important areas of the business, in spite of what continues to be a difficult environment for consumers and retailers in general," Chief Executive Myron Ullman said in a statement.

Supreme Court Hears Campaign Contribution Case

The Supreme Court, which began its fall 2013 session Monday, is set to hear arguments about limits on campaign contributions by the biggest individual donors. The case is a test of the court’s position on campaign finance following its Citizens United decision in 2010 that opened independent spending by corporations and labor unions. Supporters of campaign finance laws say the case poses a threat to the contribution limits that Congress first enacted in 1974, in the wake of Watergate abuses. The case before the court comes from Republican activist Shaun McCutcheon of Alabama, with the backing of the national Republican Party, to overturn the overall limits on what contributors may give in a two-year federal election cycle. The total is $123,200, including a separate $48,600 cap on contributions to candidates, for 2013 and 2014.

North Korea Ramps Up Military Presence

After weeks of warnings about its intentions, North Korea on Tuesday said it was putting its military on high alert and is ready to launch operations against South Korea and, in effect, against the United States. North Korean officials say the U.S. is instigating the hostility leading to the increase in military activity. In the latest statement, a spokesman for the North's military warned the United States of "disastrous consequences" for moving a group of ships, including an aircraft carrier, into a South Korean port. While announcing plans to put the military into emergency mode, the statement said the United States would be wholly responsible for any upcoming disaster that comes from battles. Earlier this year, the North announced it is no longer bound by the armistice that ended fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War signed with the United States and China, and threatened to use nuclear weapons to attack U.S. and South Korean territories.