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Aug 25, 2010

BBC NEWS : Irish Credit Rating is Downgraded. August 25th., 2010

Ireland unemploymentIrish credit rating is downgraded

The Irish Republic has its credit rating cut, reflecting fears that the rising cost of propping up banks will further weaken its finances

NASDAQ : Latest Forex News & Commentary. August 25th., 2010



MarketWatch: Personal Finance Daily | Financial News Summary Of The Day . August 25th., 2010


Personal Finance Daily
AUGUST 25, 2010

Wednesday's Personal Finance stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

You and I know that some company execs tell out-and-out lies, and even more of them hold back on the truth at times. The problem for investors is it's near impossible to know when they're doing it. For instance, it would have been nice to know months before Washington Mutual's collapse that executives' nonverbal clues implied they were being less-than-forthcoming about the company's prospects.

But for BIA, a research firm founded by ex-CIA experts, company conference calls yield a wealth of information, and their review of WaMu's calls found those clues. Executives, it turns out, sometimes say more than they intend, but you have to know how to listen.

One warning sign: positive statements without any evidence to back them up. BIA says Palm executives did just that -- sounded positive but didn't provide data -- in conference calls last year. Also, late last year, they used the phrase "no big surprises." To BIA's ears, that revealed that executives had encountered some surprises. Palm shares dropped precipitously earlier this year.

Read Alistair Barr's story today for more on what BIA looks for when assessing whether executives are honest or not, and how its research findings track with stock performance.

-- Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor


Four ways to lower your mortgage rate

If you're looking to save some money, look no further than your mortgage. After all, that loan is probably your biggest monthly expense -- and rates are at record lows.
See story on four ways to lower your mortgage rate.

New-home sales drop to record low 276,000 annual rate

Sales of new homes in the United States fell to all-time record low in July, as demand from consumers has dried up after tax breaks for homebuyers expired in April, the Commerce Department estimated Wednesday.
See story on new-home sales drop to record low 276,000 annual rate.

Commentary: Housing still at heart of our problems

How in the world can Americans feel secure or confident in the economy when the value of their single-biggest asset is dropping?
See story on housing still at heart of our problems.


Getting the skinny on the latest diet pills

Wall Street is betting that three new experimental diet drugs could be huge commercial hits in a super-sizing America, but how comfortable would doctors be with prescribing the pills?
See story on getting the skinny on the latest diet pills.


Money managers are optimistic -- but their clients aren't

A majority of investment advisers say that a double-dip recession is unlikely and that the stock market will improve over the next six months -- but their clients are more worried, according to a survey of money managers released Wednesday by financial-services firm Charles Schwab Corp.
See story on money managers are optimistic -- but their clients aren't.

Commentary: A contrarian take on the bond market

Ready for today's investment pop quiz? Which of the following do you think is the more likely explanation for why an increasing number of companies have begun testing the market for the sale of 100-year bonds -- bonds whose principal won't need to be repaid until 2110?
See story on a contrarian take on the bond market.

Commentary: Bond-buying frenzy fuels M&A activity while the economy burns

The great yawn that met a new wave of merger and acquisition activity across three continents on Monday was an anomaly -- one of those "dogs that didn't bark" events that occasionally occurs in Sherlock Holmes mysteries but rarely in the stock market.
See story on bond-buying frenzy fuels M&A activity while the economy burns.

SEC approves rule giving shareholders new power

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday narrowly approved controversial regulations giving institutional investors significantly more power in corporate director elections and behind-the-scene negotiations with top executives starting in 2011.
See story on SEC approves rule giving shareholders new power.

Commentary: Power to the people, will they use it?

Institutional shareholders. It's hard to think of a more powerful interest in the corporate landscape. Unfortunately, it's also hard to think of an industry more benign when it comes to change.
See story on power to the people, will they use it?


Bernanke's helicopter could move to new altitude

In an all-out effort to get the economy moving again, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may be getting ready to take his money-creating helicopter to a new altitude.
See story on Bernanke's helicopter could move to new altitude.

Fed retreats to the mountains as economy slumps

A yearly gathering in the mountains of Wyoming of central bankers and economists -- be they academics, policy makers, or those employed by investment banks -- sounds innocuous enough, an effort likely to yield reflections on the past and distant aspirations for the future.
See story on Fed retreats to the mountains as economy slumps.

Commentary: Obama should get rid of Geithner, Summers

At last, an economic strategy that can muster truly bipartisan support: House Minority Leader John Boehner's call this week to fire Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House economic adviser Larry Summers.
See story on Obama should get rid of Geithner, Summers.

Commentary: Two dangerous myths about the stimulus

We are in danger of making a dangerous U-turn on economic policy because our judgment is clouded by common misconceptions about the government's stimulus programs.
See story on two dangerous myths about the stimulus.

Republican Sen. Murkowski in battle to keep seat

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was fighting for her political life after Tuesday's Republican primary, with returns still incomplete Wednesday morning and the lawmaker in danger of becoming the latest incumbent to fall this election season.
See story on Republican Sen. Murkowski in battle to keep seat.

Revenge of the 2008 Republican ticket?

Two years after losing the race for the presidency, John McCain got a taste of victory while his running mate for the 2008 presidential election, Sarah Palin, backed a Tea Party candidate headed for a surprising victory in primaries held Tuesday.
See story on revenge of the 2008 Republican ticket?

CNBC : Evening Brief : Cut Down Payments to Boost Housing Recovery: Bill Gross



RTTNews: Evening Market Wrap:Stocks Close Higher Despite Dismal Economic Data - U.S. Commentary . August 25th., 2010

Evening Market Wrap Wed Aug 25 17:01 2010 


Aug 25, 2010 Stocks Close Higher Despite Dismal Economic Data - U.S. Commentary Stocks ended Wednesday's session up by solid margins, despite daunting figures on new home sales and durable goods orders. The major averages all turned to the upside in the second half of the day amid some bargain hunting following yesterday's seven-week closing lows. Full Article

Economic News

Aug 25, 2010 Durable Goods Orders Show Modest Increase In July With orders for transportation equipment showing a notable increase in the month of July, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing a modest increase in durable goods orders for the month, although the increase came in well below economist estimates. The report showed that durable goods orders edged up by 0.3 percent in July following a revised 0.1 percent decrease in June. Economists had expected orders to surge up by 3.0 percent. Full Article
Aug 25, 2010 New Home Sales Plunge 12.4% To Record Low In July New home sales showed a substantial decrease in the month of July, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, with the steep drop coming as a surprise to economists and dragging new home sales down to a new record low. The report showed that new home sales plunged by 12.4 percent to an annual rate of 276,000 in July from the revised June rate of 315,000. Full Article

Earnings News

Aug 25, 2010 BHP Billiton FY10 Profit Surges - Update BHP Billiton plc (BBL, BLT.L, BHP, BHP.AX) Wednesday reported a more than two-fold rise in fiscal 2010 profit, driven by strong commodity demand and higher prices. However, the mining giant stated that it remains cautious on the short-term global economy outlook. Full Article
Aug 25, 2010 Toll Brothers Turns To Profit On Tax Benefit, Lower Impairments - Update Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL) reported Wednesday a profit for the third quarter, compared to a loss last year, reflecting tax benefits and lower write-downs. Looking ahead, the company projects lower revenues in the fourth quarter than last year, as consumer confidence remains dampened, amid slowing economic recovery and high unemployment rates. Full Article

Corporate News

Aug 25, 2010 Canadian Imperial Bank Of Commerce Q3 Profit Surges On Lower Credit Loss Provisions - Update Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce or CIBC (CM, CM.TO) Wednesday reported a surge in its third-quarter profit despite lower revenues, reflecting a significant reduction in provision for credit losses. The company's third-quarter net income was C$640 million, compared with C$434 million last year. Net income applicable to common shares grew to C$598 million from C$390 million a year ago. Earnings per share were C$1.53, up from C$1.02 in the prior-year quarter. Full Article

Forex Top Story

Aug 25, 2010 Dollar Little Changed Despite More Housing Woes The dollar stood practically still on Wednesday despite another round of troubling news from the housing front, where new homes sales plunged to a record low. Stubborn weakness in the jobs market is again bleeding into all aspects of the US economy, as evidenced by the loss of momentum in the housing and manufacturing sectors. Full Article

Political News

Aug 25, 2010 Latest Primaries Show Mixed Results For Incumbents, Insiders While many of the recent primaries have highlighted the anti-incumbent mood that seems prevalent among American voters, the results of Tuesday's primaries showed more of a mixed picture for incumbents and political insiders. After appearing to face a tough battle just a few months ago, Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., easily beat former Rep. J.D. Hayworth in Arizona's Republican Senate primary and seems poised to cruise to re-election in the heavily Republican state. Full Article
Aug 25, 2010 Obama To Deliver Oval Office Address On Iraq Next WeekPresident Barack Obama will deliver an address from the Oval Office next Tuesday regarding the situation in Iraq, the White House announced on Wednesday. The scheduled address comes on the heels of a withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq, bringing the total number of U.S. troops in the country below 50,000. Full Article

NYT : Afternoon Business News : Wal-Mart Asks Supreme Court to Weigh In on Suit. August 25th., 2010


Wal-Mart Asks Supreme Court to Weigh In on Suit

The Supreme Court could review the largest employment discrimination lawsuit in American history.

In India, Many Potholes and Not Enough Engineers

India's best and brightest know there is more money and prestige in writing software than in civil engineering.

Wall Street Wanders After Latest Economic Data

The latest signposts that the economy was slowing came with the durable goods numbers that rose less than expected in July and drop in new-home sales.

Germany Plans to Limit Facebook Use in Hiring

The German government proposed new restrictions on employers' use of Facebook profiles when recruiting.

BHP Chief on the Road to Defend Bid for Potash

The mining giant posted sharply higher earnings Wednesday - an argument that Markus Kloppers can use to persuade shareholders to back the hostile bid.

Worls Gold Council: Gold Demand Trends.GDT Q2 2010 and Demand statistics update .August 25th., 2010

Gold Demand Trends
New Gold Demand Trends and updated Supply and Demand Statistics
We have just published our latest issue of Gold Demand Trends, which suggests demand for gold will remain robust during 2010 as a result of accelerating demand from India and China, as well as increasing global investment demand driven by continuing uncertainty over public debt and economic recovery.

Demand for gold for the rest of 2010 will be underpinned by the following market forces:
  • India and China will continue to provide the main thrust of overall growth in demand, particularly for gold jewellery, for the remainder of 2010. 
  • Retail investment will continue to be a substantial source of gold demand in Europe.
  • Over the longer-term, demand for gold in China is expected to grow considerably. A report recently published by The People’s Bank of China and five other organisations to foster the development of the domestic gold market will add impetus to the growth in gold ownership among Chinese consumers.
  • Electronics demand is likely to return to higher historic levels after the sector exhibited further signs of recovery, especially in the US and Japan.
 Demand statistics for Q2 2010
  • Total gold demand in Q2 2010 rose by 36% to 1,050 tonnes, largely reflecting strong gold investment demand compared to the second quarter of 2009.  In US$ value terms, demand increased 77% to $40.4 billion.
  • Investment demand was the strongest performing segment during the second quarter, posting a rise of 118% to 534.4 tonnes compared with 245.4 tonnes in Q2 2009. 
  • The largest contribution to this rise came from the ETF segment of investment demand, which grew by 414% to 291.3 tonnes, the second highest quarter on record.
  • Physical gold bar demand, which largely covers the non-western markets, rose 29% from Q2 2009 to 96.3 tonnes. 
  • Global jewellery demand remained robust in Q2 2010. In the face of surging price levels, consumption totalled 408.7 tonnes during the second quarter of 2010, just 5% below year-earlier levels.
  • Gold jewellery demand in India, the largest jewellery market, was little changed from year-earlier levels, down just 2% at 123.0 tonnes.  In local currency terms, this translates to a 20% increase in the value of demand to Rp216 billion.
  • China saw demand for gold jewellery increase by 5% to 75.4 tonnes. While growth in demand in tonnage terms was hindered by extreme weather conditions, the growth in the local currency value measure of demand was 35% to RMB 19.8 billion. 
  • With the return of demand for consumer electronics, industrial demand grew by 14% to 107.2 tonnes, compared to Q2 2009.
Read more: Gold Demand Trends Q2 2010
Our supply and demand statistics files and GDT report are updated on a quarterly basis; the next update is scheduled for mid-November 2010.

MarketWatch: Special Financial Services: From CIA to BIA : Spotting Excecs Who Bend The Truth. August 25th., 2010

From CIA to BIA: Spotting execs who bend the truth
By Alistair Barr MarketWatch

Company executives beware: Former interrogation analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency are listening in. 

The Washington Post : Afternoon Edition: Most viewd Articles on W.P. August 25th., 2010

Most Viewed Articles on

1) Arizona primary election results 2010

In Arizona, Sen. John McCain trounced former Rep. J.D. Hayworth in the state's Republican primary, a victory that virtually ensures the 2008 GOP presidential nominee will return to the Senate for a fifth term next year.

2) The Early Lead: Tiger Woods' ex-wife Elin Nordegren says, 'I've been through hell'

Finally, the voice of Elin Nordegren is heard. Nordegren, who maintained her silence through the finalization of her divorce from Tiger Woods on Monday, told People magazine "I've been through hell," describing her anguish and humiliation at learning of Woods' serial philandering, her decision t...

3) Top-secret job fairs: Where clearance is key

Outside a hotel ballroom near Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport, about three dozen men and a handful of women lined up one recent morning to get a colored dot - green, blue or red - affixed to their suits and dresses.

4) A toxic brew for the GOP

The movement's incompatible with some conservative and Republican beliefs.

5) Defense official discloses cyberattack

A top Defense official acknowledges in a Foreign Affairs article that a foreign intelligence agency carried out the worst-ever breach of U.S. military computers using a flash drive.

6) Lawyer accused of child porn

A lawyer in one of Washington's biggest firms was arrested and accused of paying a 15-year-old runaway from Fairfax County to have sex with him while he photographed the encounter.

7) Florida primary election results 2010

Florida voters sent a mixed message to wealthy candidates running for office by handing businessman Rick Scott an upset victory in the Republican gubernatorial primary while dealing billionaire investor Jeff Greene a crushing defeat in the Democratic Senate race.

8) Boehner's one-liner politics falls flat

Here's how his opposition strategy ignores reality.

9) Recovery in danger as firms, homebuyers cut back

WASHINGTON -- The economic recovery appears to be stalling as companies cut back last month on their investments in equipment and machines and Americans bought new homes at the weakest pace in decades.

10) The 18 Best iPhone Apps

Seeking the best productivity tools, utilities, and games for your iPhone? Here's our selection of the best apps exclusive to Apple handsets. To see multiplatform apps and titles made just for Android or BlackBerry, read the other articles in this package.

MarketWatch: Special Financial services: Canadian Index Retreat / Power To The People, Will They Use It ? August 25th., 2010


Canadian Markets: Canadian index retreats on disappointing U.S. data
By MarketWatch

The Canadian benchmark index extended its losses on Wednesday as a pair of disappointing U.S. economic reports raised worries of a contagious effect on the Canadian economy. 

MarketWatch First Take: Power to the people, will they use it?

By MarketWatch

Institutional shareholders. It’s hard to think of a more powerful interest in the corporate landscape. Unfortunately, it’s also hard to think of an industry more benign when it comes to change, writes David Weidner. 

fox business :Breaking Business News: New Home Sales Plunge. August 25th., 2010


New Home Sales
New Home Sales Plunge New home sales unexpectedly fell in July to set their slowest pace on record while home prices fell to a 6-1/2 year low.


Watch: LIVE

Special Report: We take a look at education in New Orleans five years after Hurricane Katrina.

Housing, Durables Data Dent Dow

Wall Street's economic jitters hit new levels on as new data sent the Dow below 10000.

Durable Goods Orders Make Slight Rise

Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods only rose 0.3% in July, far less than expected.

Glass Half-Full Approach

WATCH One economist argues consumer spending and growth is much better than sentiment indicates.

Firm Faces Charges for Trading Mayhem

A big high-frequency trading firm faces possible civil charges by regulators after its computer ran amok.

India Alert :From WSJ : U.S.-India Nuclear Pact Moves One Step Closer. August 25th., 2010


India Alert
from The Wall Street Journal

India's lower house of parliament Wednesday approved a civilian nuclear bill, a move that will ease the passage of the India-U.S. civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, which has consistently drawn criticism from opposition parties.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

MarketWatch : Special Financial Services | Financial Report: U.S. 10 -yr Bond's yield hit lowest since January 2009. August 25th., 2010

SEC set to OK rule giving shareholders new powers
By Ronald D. Orol MarketWatch

The Securities and Exchange Commission is set to approve controversial regulations giving institutional investors significantly more power in corporate director elections and behind-the-scene negotiations with top executives starting in 2011. 

Bond Report: U.S. 10-yr yields hit lowest since January 2009
By Deborah Levine MarketWatch

Treasurys extend gains, further pushing yields on U.S. debt to new lows, after data show orders for durable goods up a lackluster 0.3% in July, far less than the 2.7% increase forecast. 

By V. Phani Kumar MarketWatch

Most Asian stock markets and currencies declined Wednesday as sluggish U.S. housing data and a sovereign-rating downgrade of Ireland spurred risk aversion and led to a selloff. 

U.S. Markets At Open Snapshot. August 25th., 2010

Snapshot U.S. Markets At Open
  August 25th., 2010
Market Snapshot
Index Last Change %Change  
DJIA 9,997.01 -43.44 0.43% Hilighted
Nasdaq 2,113.12 -10.64 0.50%  
S&P 500 1,047.62 -4.25 0.40%  
FOX 50 760.00 -3.42 0.45%  
DIJA Chart

RTTNews: Daily Market Analysis: Bleak Data May Keep Traders Away From Equities. August 25th., 2010

Daily Market Analysis Wed Aug 25 09:16 2010 

Aug 25, 2010 Bleak Data May Keep Traders Away From Equities - RTTNews Daily Market Analysis The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a lower opening on Wednesday, with a lack of clarity on the economic recovery likely to roil the market yet again. A report released by the Commerce Department earlier in the day showed that durable goods orders rose by much less than expected, as business spending softened. After seeing a small bounce in the Asian session, crude oil futures are moving lower. The new home sales data to be released shortly after the markets open may also provide some trading direction to markets in today's session. Full Article

RTTNews : Morning Market Briefing: Stocks May See Initial Weakness On Disappointing Durable Goods Data - U.S. Commentary . August 25th., 2010

Morning Market Briefing Wed Aug 25 09:01 2010 


Aug 25, 2010 Stocks May See Initial Weakness On Disappointing Durable Goods Data - U.S. Commentary Stock futures are pointing to a moderately lower open Wednesday morning, as traders are digesting a smaller than expected increase in durable goods orders while awaiting new home sales data. The major index futures are all in negative territory, with the Dow futures down by 50 points. Full Article

Economic News

Aug 25, 2010 July Durable Goods Orders Increase By Much Less Than Expected With orders for transportation equipment showing a notable increase in the month of July, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing a modest increase in durable goods orders for the month, although the increase came in well below economist estimates. Full Article
Aug 25, 2010 Thai Central Bank Hikes Key Rate Again In August The Bank of Thailand raised its key rate for the second straight month in August, attributing the hike to faster than expected expansion in GDP and its expectation that inflationary pressure would rise in 2011. Full Article
Aug 25, 2010 German Businesses More Upbeat On Recovery There was more good news for the German economy on Wednesday, as an indicator of business confidence surprised analysts by rising for the third month in a row. However, businesses were less upbeat over their prospects for the next six months. Full Article
Aug 25, 2010 Japan Sees Y804.2 Billion Surplus In JulyJapan posted a merchandise trade surplus of 804.2 billion yen in July, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday, up 119.9 percent on year and marking the 14th consecutive monthly surplus. Full Article
Aug 25, 2010 Swedish Economic Sentiment Unchanged In August, Consumer Morale StrengthensSwedish economic sentiment remained unchanged in August, while confidence among consumers strengthened further, a survey by the National Institute of Economic Research, or NIER, showed Wednesday. Full Article

Earnings News

Aug 25, 2010 American Eagle Outfitters Q2 profit drops 66%; guides Q3Wednesday, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (AEO) reported a 66% drop in its second-quarter profit. Income from continuing operations came in line with the Street view, while sales, which grew almost 1%, fell short of estimates. Looking ahead, the company provided third-quarter earnings guidance range, with the current estimate of analysts at top end of the range. American Eagle Outfitters also expects comparable store sales to be flat to down in the low single-digits for the period. Full Article
Aug 25, 2010 BHP Billiton FY10 profit more than doublesWednesday, BHP Billiton plc (BBL) said its fiscal 2010 profit more than doubled, helped by strong demand for iron-ore, and hike in prices. However, the company expressed caution on the short-term global economic outlook. Adjusted profit climbed 16.3%, as revenue grew 5.2% year-over-year. Last week, the company made an all-cash offer to buy Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT), at US$130 per PotashCorp common share. The bid was turned down by PotashCorp. Full Article
Aug 25, 2010 Toll Brothers swings to profit in Q3Wednesday, Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL) said it returned to profit in the third quarter, helped by tax benefits and a decline in impairment. A 1.6% dip in revenue was offset by a 350 basis point expansion in gross margin to 16.4%. Looking ahead, the company expects fourth-quarter revenue to decline year-over-year. Full Article
Aug 25, 2010 CIBC Q3 profit up 47.5% on lower loan loss provisionWednesday, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce or CIBC (CM) reported a 47.5% rise in third-quarter profit, despite a small dip in revenues, helped by much lower provision for loan losses. Net interest income climbed 13% from the year-ago quarter, reflecting higher treasury revenue, volume growth in most retail products, and higher interest income from trading securities. Full Article

Corporate News

Aug 25, 2010 AMR Corp.'s union rejects pay contractTuesday, AMR Corp.'s (AMR) mechanics turned down a new pay deal, raising the possibility of a strike at the airline. The Transport Workers Union said that of 9,445 voting members, 6,074 voted against the contract that promised higher wages, while trimming retiree medical benefits. The negative outcome could pressurize the National Mediation Board to allow the technicians to go on strike after over four years of unsuccessful talks between labor and management. Full Article

Broker Ratings Changes

Aug 25, 2010 KeyBanc Capital Markets Initiates Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. (HPP) At Hold

Todays WS Events

Aug 25, 2010 Red Hat Press Conference At 11:00 AM ET Red Hat, Inc. (RHT) will host an online press conference on Technology Roadmap. The event is scheduled to begin at 11:00 AM ET, August 25, 2010. To access the live webcast, log on to
Aug 25, 2010 Medtronic Annual Shareholder Meeting At 11:30 AM ET Medtronic, Inc. (MDT) will host its Annual Shareholder Meeting on August 25, 2010. The event is scheduled to begin at 11:30 AM ET. To access the live webcast, log on at
Aug 25, 2010 JDS Uniphase Q4 10 Earnings Conference Call At 5:00 PM ET JDS Uniphase Corporation (JDSU) will host a conference call at 5:00 PM ET, August 25, 2010, to discuss its Q4 10 earnings results. To access the live webcast, log on at