Manufacturing Indexes for April likely to drive markets down
The Purchasing Manufacturers Index, or PMI, for China increased to a reading of 49.1 in April up from 48.3 in March, but this level is still below the 50.0 reading or above that would indicate an economy is growing. The European PMI came in at a composite 50.09, down from 51.6 in March. Germany's rating cam in at 46.3, a disturbing rating for Europe's largest manufacturer. Expect the markets to remain bleak today. Asian markets were down and European markets are also down. The Dow was up 65 points on Friday closing at 13,029.
Former executive to relaunch E.F. Hutton
Many remember the ad "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen....". Now, almost two decades after the firm was purchased by Shearson Lehman, who became Smith Barney, who was purchased by Morgan Stanley and Citi...one of the former executives, Frank Campanale, has pledged to relaunch a brokerage under the E.F. Hutton name. The Wall Street Journal, reports that at its height, E.F. Hutton had 19,000 brokers. The 1987 market crash and a check writing scheme both worked towards causing the demise of the original E.F. Hutton.
Gas prices drop for first time since December
The Lundberg Survey, which tracks the prices of gasoline around the country, indicated that average gas prices dropped 5 cents per gallon to $3.91 on April 20 from $3.96 on April 6. According to CNBC, prices are still 3.27 cents more than a year ago. Lundberg is predicting that prices will drop another 5 to 10 cents within the next few weeks.
Job prospects dim for college graduates
Job prospects for 2012 college graduates are at their lowest level in a decade, according to the Associated Press. More than 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent of those under 25 with a bachelors degree are underemployed according to recent reports. The southern US, particularly Texas, offers the most job opportunity with the Mountain States offering the least opportunity. Nursing, teaching, accounting and computer science are the majors most likely to find jobs.
Microsoft shares up
Microsoft rose 5 percent on Friday when its quarterly profit soundly beat Wall Street forecasts, as reported by Reuters. The success was based upon an increase in PC sales. Experts are predicting that a tablet friendly version of Windows will also be a success for Microsoft, who has been struggling in the development of mobile technologies.
US Airways seeks backdoor merger with American
US Airways announced Friday that it had reached agreement with 3 of the American Airlines unions to support a merger of the two airlines. According to the Wall Street Journal, American Airlines management does not support merger talks until it has completed the bankruptcy process. US Airways promised the unions better pay, benefits and increases in job preservation