Oct 4, 2010
Personal Finance Daily
OCTOBER 04, 2010
Monday's Personal Finance stories:
Don't miss these top stories:
- What you need to know about ETFs
- Tips for traveling while pregnant
- Mutual fund shareholders could see tax relief
- Pending U.S. home sales rise
Pending home sales rose by 4.3% in August, the National Association of Realtors said on Monday, and the group's chief economist said that low mortgage interest rates are likely drawing some buyers into the market.
But despite cheap mortgages and cheap homes, the weak economy and lack of consumer confidence will probably keep pricing and sales "stuck in the mud" for the foreseeable future, said Mike Larson, real-estate analyst at Weiss Research.
Even if there has been somewhat of a stabilization in pending sales since the plunge experienced this summer due to the expiration of the home-buyer tax credit, there hasn't been substantial improvement in the housing market, he said.
In fact, in an emailed statement, he compared watching the housing market these days to watching a pet rock: "You keep hoping for it to sit up, roll over, or do something. But it doesn't. It just sits there marking time."
Read more personal finance news in today's pages, including more on pending home sales, a column from Andrea Coombes about what you need to know about ETFs and a Chuck Jaffe piece on mutual-fund tax reform.
The pace of the recovery in home sales depends on job creation and consumer confidence, Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR, said on Monday. But economists aren't expecting a decline in the jobless rate when the government releases its monthly report on Friday, meaning we could be watching this pet rock for a while longer.
—Amy Hoak , Real Estate writer
ETFs: What you need to know
About $819 billion was invested in U.S. exchange-traded funds at the end of August. Was any of your money there? If not, you may be wondering if you're missing out.
Read story on what you need to know about ETFs.
Traveling while pregnant: tips to stay healthy
Most expectant mothers can travel safely up until the last few weeks of pregnancy, but before you plan that holiday trip to see family or a pre-infant romantic interlude with your husband, take steps to prepare for the unexpected, experts say.
Read story on tips for traveling while pregnant.
Fund investors miscalculate risk
A diversified investment portfolio is the best way to cushion stock-market risk, and loading up on bonds carries its own dangers, says MarketWatch columnist Chuck Jaffe. Interview by Sam Mamudi. Watch video on why fund investors miscalculate risk.
Fund shareholders could see tax relief
At a time when the government can't seem to make a decision about any key tax issue, U.S. lawmakers are on the verge of long-awaited mutual-fund tax reform that could be a real help to individual investors.
Read story on fund shareholders could see tax relief.
U.S.-stock-fund gains buoy investors
U.S.-stock mutual-fund investors got an unexpected surprise in September, helping them forget August's gloom and delivering quarterly gains across all major categories.Read about U.S. stock funds' strong quarterly gains.
Pending U.S. home sales up 4.3% in August
Sales of homes in the U.S. rose 4.3% in August, based on the number of contracts signed.
Read story on pending U.S. home sales rise.
Dollar up from 6-month low versus euro
The dollar rose against the euro and Japanese yen Monday, boosted versus the euro on renewed worries about the impact of the single-currency region's ongoing debt woes.
Read story on U.S. dollar up from six-month low.
New debit card to spell trouble for college kids?
With college students back on campus, many of them are carrying around special debit cards from Higher One. But just how much access should kids have to their student loans? John Wordock and Ann Cates debate this on MarketWatch News Break. Plus, another bank runs into trouble over foreclosures.
Listen to report on debit card trouble for college students.
»click here to see the latest top stories from CNBC.com
RTTNews : Evening Market Wrap.- Stocks Fall Sharply To Open The Week - U.S. Commentary. Oct. 4th., 2010
|Evening Market WrapMon Oct 4 17:01 2010|| |
Oct 4, 2010 Stocks Fall Sharply To Open The Week - U.S. Commentary Stocks posted steep losses to open the week on Monday amid a correction following September's sizable run-up. Another round of mixed economic reports may also have contributed to the selling, as pending home sales beat expectations while data on factory orders disappointed. Full Article
Oct 4, 2010 Pending Home Sales Increase For Second Straight Month In August With attractive affordability conditions inspiring some buyers to return to the housing market, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Monday showing that pending home sales increased by much more than expected in the month of August. NAR said its pending home sales index rose by 4.3 percent in August following a revised 4.5 percent increase in July. The index had been expected to edge up by 1.0 percent. Full Article
Oct 4, 2010 Factory Orders Falls Slightly More Than Expected In August Factory orders showed a modest decrease in the month of August, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Monday, with the drop due in large part to a steep decline in orders for transportation equipment. Full Article
Oct 4, 2010 Sanofi-aventis Begins Hostile Bid For Genzyme - Update French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-aventis (SNY) Monday said it has commenced a tender offer for all outstanding shares of biotechnology company Genzyme Corp. (GENZ) for $69 per share in cash. The offer, unanimously approved by Sanofi's Board of Directors, is scheduled to expire on December 10. The transaction is valued at $18.5 billion. Full Article
Oct 4, 2010 Microsemi Agrees To Acquire Actel For $430 Mln - Update Microsemi Corp. (MSCC), a manufacturer of analog mixed-signal integrated circuits, Monday said it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Actel Corp. (ACTL) for $20.88 per share through a cash tender offer. The total transaction value is around $430 million, net of Actel's projected cash balance at closing. Full Article
Oct 4, 2010 Boston Properties To Acquire John Hancock Tower Real estate investment trust Boston Properties, Inc. (BXP) agreed Monday to acquire Boston's landmark John Hancock Tower for about $930 million in cash and debt from a partnership of Normandy Real Estate Partners and Five Mile Capital Partners. The iconic 62-story John Hancock Tower has 1.70 million of rentable square footage and is located in the heart of Boston's Back Bay neighborhood. The deal also includes an eight-level, 2,013 space parking garage. Full Article
Oct 4, 2010 Toshiba Introduces Glasses-less 3D TVs Japanese electronic devices maker Toshiba Corp. (TOSBF.PK, TOSYY.PK) Monday announced the introduction of the world's first LCD TVs that offer comprehensive 3D capabilities without any need for dedicated glasses. The company offers the new glasses-less 3D REGZA GL1 series in two models, 20GL1 with a 20-inch panel and 12GL1 with a 12-inch panel. Both TVs, which are specifically designed for personal use, will be available in Japan from December-end. Full Article
Oct 4, 2010 DNC Raises More Than $16 Million In SeptemberWhile Democrats have not received much good news regarding the upcoming midterm elections, Democratic National Committee communications director Brad Woodhouse said Monday that the party will report raising over $16 million in September, its biggest cash haul so far in the 2010 election cycle. Full Article
F & F I N : Reuters - Daily Investor Update.Wall Street falls as investors book gains. Oct. 4th., 2010
By HIROKO TABUCHI
Recent problems with Chinese supplies of rare earths have sent Japanese traders and companies in search of alternative sources.
By PETER LATTMAN and ASHLEE VANCE
Tony Bates is expected to assume the top job at Skype as its new owners continue to put their stamp on the fast-growing company after buying it from eBay.
By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER and BRIAN STELTER
Google has been in talks with the major TV networks and the major cable and satellite distributors, but it announced only a few concrete partnerships on Monday.
By NIKI KITSANTONIS and DAVID JOLLY
The draft sent to Parliament promises to raise more tax revenue while ending public-sector salary cuts.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Justice Department has a proposed deal with two of three companies it sued for anticompetitive practices.
Stocks Slump Ahead of Earnings, Jobs Data
By JONATHAN CHENG,And DAVID BENOITStocks slumped broadly as investors bought up Treasurys and the dollar Monday, awaiting guidance from official jobless numbers and the start of corporate-earnings season later this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 78.41 points, or 0.7%, to close at 10751.27, dragged down by a 6.5% tumble at American Express. The card company's steep fall came after the Justice Department filed a civil antitrust complaint against it, saying the rules it imposes on merchants that take its cards are anticompetitive. Rivals MasterCard and Visa settled their charges, limiting losses at those companies to 1% and 0.1%, respectively.
Microsoft was also a major weight on the market, shedding 1.9% after Goldman Sachs cut its stock-investment rating on the company to "neutral" from "buy," saying the tech giant must increase its dividend, develop a "coherent consumer strategy" and boost its cloud-computing business.
"On a day like today, where Microsoft gets downgraded by a major firm, investors are jittery, and they can move the markets up or down either way without a lot of volume," said David Roda, chief executive of Miami-based Roda Asset Management, pointing to low levels of market activity.
About 3.7 billion shares changed hands in New York Stock Exchange composite volume, well below the year's average of just under five billion.
Microsoft's drop, along with a 2.3% decline at Intel, pushed the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite down 1.1% to 2344.52, while the Standard & Poor's 500-share index shed 0.8% to 1137.03.
Stocks had fallen even more steeply in earlier trading and were able to recoup some of the day's losses in the last minutes of the session.
Traders said while there was no single catalyst for the market's declines, anxiety over European banks and the prospect of further stimulus from the Federal Reserve continued to simmer. Investors were also positioning for Friday's monthly jobs report.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Oct. 4.
"We're now in this limbo land where the Fed says it stands willing and able to step in, but the economic numbers that we're seeing, like today's, are not bad enough for the consensus to say this will probably stimulate Fed easing," said Mr. Roda, pointing to middling data from the U.S. manufacturing and housing sectors.
While the market's focus is turning to Friday's official jobless number, he said, "the consensus has come down so much that I don't think the number will be too far outside of expectations."
Investors were also looking to strong corporate earnings for confirmation of last month's strong rally, said Adrian Cronje, partner and chief investment officer at Atlanta investment firm Balentine. He is keeping a close eye on whether companies start spending cash from their record balances.
However, Alcoa, which kicks off the third-quarter earnings season on Thursday, fell 2.5% as the materials sector led the day's declines on the S&P 500.
Deal news grabbed investors' attention again on Monday. French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis announced a hostile, $18.5 billion bid for U.S. biotech group Genzyme. Genzyme edged up 0.2%, while U.S. shares of Sanofi-Aventis fell 0.8%. Sanofi approached Genzyme during the summer, but its offer was rejected. Sanofi in a statement on Monday said its conversations with shareholders reveal they are "frustrated" with the U.S. group.
Meanwhile, shares of Sara Lee surged 7.2% after the company rebuffed an unsolicited proposal from Henry Kravis and KKR that could have led to a $12 billion leveraged deal.
In U.S. economic data, August factory orders dropped more than expected, but commercial airplanes drove the decline; excluding transportation, all other factory orders rose. Meanwhile, U.S. pending home sales rose in August more than expected.
As investors sold off stocks, demand for Treasurys increased, sending the yield on the 10-year note down to 2.48%. Crude-oil prices settled down 11 cents at $81.47 a barrel. Gold also edged down, though prices remain above the $1,310 an ounce mark.
The dollar strengthened against both the euro and the yen, pausing after a month-long slide that has dragged the greenback to its lowest point since the beginning of the year. The U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of six currencies, added 0.5%, while the euro fell to $1.3681, down from $1.3784 late Friday in New York.
Write to David Benoit at firstname.lastname@example.org and Kristina Peterson at email@example.com
NFA : Notice to Members .- Effective Date of Amendments to Bylaw 1301(b) - Assessment of Trades on Foreign Exchanges. Oct.th., 2010
Notice to Members I-10-19
October 4, 2010
October 4, 2010
Effective Date of Amendments to Bylaw 1301(b) - Assessment of Trades on Foreign Exchanges
An amendment to NFA Bylaw 1301(b), which sets forth the schedule of dues and assessments for FCMs, is effective as of November 1, 2010. The amendment exempts a person's proprietary trading from the NFA assessment fee for trades on all foreign futures markets if the person has privileges of membership on any NFA Member contract market that has annual transaction volume of at least 1,000,000. However, the exemption does not apply to the foreign proprietary trades of a person's parent, affiliate, or subsidiary unless these entities separately have privileges of membership on an NFA Member contract market that has annual transaction volume of at least 1,000,000.
More information on NFA's amendment to Bylaw 1301(b) can be found in NFA's August 30, 2010 Submission Letter to the CFTC. Questions concerning this amendment should be directed to David Hawrysz, Vice-President, Treasurer's Office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-781-1385) or Michael Saturley, Director, Treasurer's Office (email@example.com or 312-781-1386).
FROM: FOX BUSINESS
|Symbol||Last Price||Net Change||Volume|
Gold Mineweb : Physical gold storage space at a premium: old JP Morgan vault re-open. Oct 4th., 2010
Doubt growing about central bank gold reserves
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
In a wide-ranging interview about the financial markets, Robin Griffiths, market strategist for Cazenove Capital Management, tells Eric King of King World News that central banks probably don't have the gold they claim to have. The interview is 13 minutes long and you can listen to it here:
Over at GoldSeek, market analyst Peter Degraaf writes that the U.S. gold reserve is probably largely sold or leased out. Degraaf's essay is headlined "Gold and Silver -- It Could Well Be A Whole New Ballgame!" and you can find it here:
Back at King World News, gold-friendly commentary is offered from the dean of market analysts, Richard Russell, whose remarks are headlined "Rising Gold Signals Death Knell for U.S. Dollar":
And Eric King's own commentary there finds "Strong, Steady Accumulation in Gold":
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
Join GATA here:
The Silver Summit
Thursday-Friday, October 21-22, 2010
Davenport Hotel, Spokane, Washington
New Orleans Investment Conference
Wednesday-Saturday, October 27-30, 2010
Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel
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