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Jan 15, 2011

MarketWatch: Personal Finance Daily | The Week's Top Personal Finance Stories


Personal Finance Daily
JANUARY 15, 2011

The week's top Personal Finance stories

By MarketWatch

In case you missed them, here are the top 10 Personal Finance stories from MarketWatch for the week of Jan. 10-14:
The five states where housing will recover first

The recovery in home building and housing will begin in states that were far removed from the big boom of the last decade.
Read more: The 5 states where housing will recover first.

Where the jobs will be in 2011

A good job is still hard to find, though recent labor-market data indicate the employment situation is slowly improving.
Read more: Where the jobs will be in 2011.

Retirement products: rising costs, fewer providers

Retirement savers often are advised to buy products that aim to mitigate retirement risks and provide retirement income. But many of the companies that provide such products are leaving the business — or raising rates.
Read more: Retirement products: rising costs, fewer providers.

Meet the managers behind top funds

Mutual-fund managers have seen better days. More than a quarter of actively managed stock funds trailed the indexes they're measured against by five percentage points or more in the first nine months of 2010 — their worst performance since 1998, according to J.P. Morgan.
Read more: Meet the managers behind top funds.

Fund investors, watch your wallets

When a mutual fund company cuts management expenses on a stock fund, it really has something to crow about.
Read more: Fund investors, watch your wallets.

Family-friendly policies? In the U.S., not so much

Some lawmakers want to repeal the health-reform law — and doing so would include killing its mandate that some employers provide "reasonable break time" for workers to pump breast milk for their babies.
Read more: Family-friendly policies? In the U.S., not so much.

Double-digit rent hikes are on the way

Apartment dwellers face double-digit rent hikes in the coming years as a shortage of new multifamily units gives landlords the upper hand.
Read more: Double-digit rent hikes are on the way.

A tax quiz: How much do you really know?

There is a wealth of do-it-yourself tax software out there, and you're hankering to prepare your own tax return. But do you know enough about the tax laws affecting you to do it on your own? Take this 10-question quiz to find out.
Read more: A tax quiz: How much do you really know?

Five tips for parents to start the new year right

These five strategies can help parents bond with their teens — and help them build their finances, says Jennifer Openshaw.
Read more: Five tips for parents to start the new year right.

Technology strains airline–travel agent relations

After five years of development, direct-connect technology is making old-time reservation providers redundant — and nervous.
Read more: Technology strains airline–travel agent relations.

As West's gold paper price falls, metal gets scarce in Asia | GATA - THE GATA DISPATCH

As West's gold paper price falls, metal gets scarce in Asia

Submitted by cpowell on 03:08PM ET Friday, January 14, 2011. Section: Daily Dispatches Gold Prices Buoyed by China Demand
By Jack Farchy
Financial Times, London
Friday, January 14, 2011
A spike in gold buying by Asian investors has created a scarcity of investment-grade gold bars in the region, supporting prices even as Western investors trim their holdings.
Traders said that gold sales to China had jumped 30 to 50 per cent since Christmas, driving the cost of kilo bars in Hong Kong more than $3 per ounce above the market price of gold, the highest level since 2008 and an indication of the tightness in the physical market.
"Physical demand has rocketed in China at the start of the year," said Walter de Wet, head of commodities research at Standard Bank.
The wave of Asian buying has propped up gold prices at about $1,360 a troy ounce, traders and analysts said.
 The metal's price has dropped 4.6 per cent from its December record price of $1,430.95, trading at $1,364.10 on Friday, as optimism about prospects for U.S. growth has led Western investors to turn their attention away from gold to other commodities and equities. "We have a balanced situation where one part of the world is buying and the other part is selling," said a senior trader in Hong Kong. Chinese and Indian investors are increasingly turning to gold to protect savings against sharply rising food prices.
Investor buying of gold bars jumped 80 per cent to a record 144 tonnes last year in India, according to GFMS, the precious metals consultancy, while across east Asia bar hoarding was up 125 per cent at a 15-year high.
In another sign of the booming investment demand for gold in the region, China's first exchange-traded fund to offer exposure to physical gold, launched last month by Lion Fund Management, announced this week that it had already achieved its target of raising $500 million.
The tightness in the Asian market is likely to persist until the end of the month, traders said, as some refiners have booked out production until February and Chinese demand remains robust ahead of the new year holiday.
However, some warned that the gold market could lose its main support when China shuts down in the first week of February.
Edel Tully, precious metals strategist at UBS, said that next month, "if investors are intent on selling, gold will not have the buffer it had in January."

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The Washington Post Today's Highlights | Tunisian President Ben Ali flees country amid unrest; prime minister takes reins |

Tunisian President Ben Ali flees country amid unrest; prime minister takes reins
News reports said Ben Ali, 74, had fled the country, but his whereabouts were not publicly known. Wherever he was hiding, the day's events suggested his 23 years as Tunisia's ruler were over.
(By Edward Cody and Joby Warrick, The Washington Post)

GOP picks Reince Priebus to lead as it regroups
(By Dan Balz, Paul Kane and Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post)

It's Rahm Emanuel's mayoral race in Chicago, but Obama's record is the ammunition
(By Peter Wallsten, The Washington Post)

Police depict a busy, focused Loughner on morning of shooting
(By David Nakamura, Sari Horwitz and Jerry Markon, The Washington Post)

Obama prepares to engage China on human rights as President Hu visits next week
(By Scott Wilson, The Washington Post)

More Today's Highlights

NYT: Morning Business News.- Solar Panel Maker Moves Work to China


Solar Panel Maker Moves Work to China

Evergreen Solar, a leading maker of panels in the United States, is laying off 800 people and shifting production to China.

BP Forms Partnership to Explore in Russia

The arrangement is expected to speed exploration of Russia's Arctic continental shelf.

A.I.G. Looks Toward Big Stock Sale

A.I.G. paid off its obligations to the New York Fed, paving the way for the insurer and the Treasury Department to plan for a huge sale of stock this spring.

nyt: ALERT FGC BOLSA - FGC FINANCIAL MARKETS.- Spain Ready to Aid Savings Banks Again

January 15, 2011 Compiled: 12:53 AM


Spanish authorities are ready to inject more rescue money into some of the country’s weakest savings banks, as they await a new report on bnaks’ strength.


A positive earnings report from JPMorgan Chase helped the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rise, overcoming downbeat economic reports.