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Jan 27, 2011

Beijing brings in property tax to hobble speculators | Financial & Forex Info News | The Standard | Finance



Beijing brings in property tax to hobble speculators
Beijing's new property tax on certain home transactions in Shanghai and Chongqing became effective yesterday.


28/ 01/ 2011
Loan growth set to remain high
Hongqiao starts slow
Beijing brings in property tax to hobble speculators
More rate hikes on agenda
CNOOC to spend US$8.7b on capex
Long-term potential powered through gas
Mounting debt compels S&P to cut Japan rating
Accountants body calls for goods and services tax
27/ 01/ 2011
Tencent to link up with Japan gaming firm
Rates for mainland bank loans soar
New blow as Toyota recalls 1.7m vehicles globally
Follow the flag of increasing assets
Kazakh miner hopes to scoop US$600 from flotation
High local property prices not REIT for expansion
Wage rises for Hang Lung staff despite profit plunge
Region hostage to mainland policy

Amid Global Unrest, Pullback in Stocks More Likely | CNBC lLatest Stories & Videos | CNBC Evening Brief


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10 cities where foreclosure rates are highest | MarketWatch Peronal Finance Daily


Personal Finance Daily
JANUARY 27, 2011

Thursday's Personal Finance Stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

Do you live in Houston, Seattle or Atlanta? Among large metro areas, those three places saw the largest percentage hike in foreclosures last year, while the usual suspects — Las Vegas and certain areas of California, Arizona and Florida — had a slower rate of foreclosures in 2010 compared with years past.

That said, those usual suspects remain at the top of the list when you look at the number of filings. Read Amy Hoak's story for more on foreclosures. Then, for the other end of the spectrum, don't miss Stacey Delo's video on how sales of multimillion-dollar homes spiked in the San Francisco area last year.

And, are you gearing up to do your taxes? Check out our story on some of the most valuable deductions, the type that pay tens of thousands of dollars to eligible taxpayers.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor


Top 10 cities where foreclosure rates are highest

Foreclosure activity showed signs of easing in some of the hardest-hit markets last year, even though activity rose on a nationwide basis as the country dealt with high unemployment rates, according to a report by RealtyTrac.
Read more: Top 10 cities where foreclosure rates are highest.

Bay Area luxury homes are hot sellers

Homes selling for more than $2 million spiked in 2010 in the Bay Area, with the most pricey home sold in San Francisco for $15.5 million.
Watch video: Bay Area luxury homes are hot sellers.

Strengthening economy sends mortgage rates higher

Rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.80% for the week ending Jan. 27, up from 4.74% last week, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey of conforming mortgage rates.
Read more: Strengthening economy sends mortgage rates higher.


Tax deductions with some of the biggest payouts

A $5,000 or $6,000 deduction is a hefty tax break for which a taxpayer may understandably yearn, but it's small beans when compared with the tens of thousands of dollars in savings some reap through deductions and credits.
Read more: Tax deductions with some of the biggest payouts.


Whatever you do, don't buy an airline ticket on this day

Shoppers looking for the cheapest airfare can learn something from stand-up comedians: It's all about timing. Ticket prices are highest on weekends, on average, according to online travel agencies, fare trackers and airline pricing executives.
Read more: Whatever you do, don't buy an airline ticket on this day.

Airlines cancel more than 2,000 flights

Record snowfall in the Northeast forced airlines to cancel more than 2,000 flights since Wednesday night.
Read more: Airlines cancel more than 2,000 flights.


Weekly jobless claims jump 51,000

New applications for U.S. jobless benefits climbed to 454,000, partly because poor weather caused administrative backlogs in four Southern states.
Read more: Weekly jobless claims jump 51,000.


Financial crisis could happen again

The Angelides commission reports that failures by government and banks led to the Great Recession, but we're in danger of forgetting those lessons already.
Read more: Financial crisis could happen again.

Crisis legacy lingers: debt expert Reinhart

The legacy of the financial crisis remains hard to shake, said economist and debt expert Carmen Reinhart at Davos.
Read more: Crisis legacy lingers.

Government, banks to blame for crisis: FCIC panel

The financial and economic crisis that shook the economy in September 2008 was caused by failures of "30 years of deregulation" and a blind banking industry eager to trade in toxic subprime mortgages, according to the conclusions of a federal fact-finding panel.
Read more: Government, banks to blame for crisis: FCIC panel.

U.S. durable-goods orders fall in December

Orders for U.S.-made durable goods sank 2.5% in December, much lower than the 1.0% gain expected by economists.
Read more: U.S. durable-goods orders fall 2.5% in December.


Stock investors meet Ferdinand the bull

Risk-taking bulls have been stamping and snorting around the stock market, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average up more than 80% and the broader S&P 500 up more than 90% from their March 2009 lows.
Read more: Stock investors meet Ferdinand the bull.

Obama's spending plan is investors' cue

Wondering where to invest next? The president's State of the Union speech offers investors a road map.
Read more: Obama's spending plan is investors' cue.

Why you shouldn't buy large-cap stocks

Small-cap stocks almost always beat the big dogs.
Read more: Why you shouldn't buy large-cap stocks.

Has gold's ‘heroic seller' gone away?

Gold bugs see the precious metal as set for a fresh advance.
Read more: Has gold's ‘heroic seller' gone away?

Eric Schmidt is not going to go to Apple

The shake-up at Google has led to some odd speculation, including the unlikely possibility that Eric Schmidt could end up at Apple.
Read more: Eric Schmidt is not going to go to Apple.

Three reasons Jamie Dimon is wrong

Jamie Dimon may be a great bank executive, but he's not much of a historian.
Read more: Three reasons Jamie Dimon is wrong.

Netflix defies gravity

Netflix Inc. is defying gravity on Wall Street. It may just be the hottest stock around.
Read more: Netflix defies gravity.


MTV's ‘Skins' sheds viewers

Are teens tired of turning to sex, drugs and rock-and-roll for kicks?
Read more: MTV's ‘Skins' sheds viewers.


Starbucks walks a fine line

Starbucks is playing a dangerous game with customers and investors.
Read more: Starbucks walks a fine line.


No turning away from euro, Sarkozy says

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said European leaders will never turn away from the euro as he laid out France's goals for its presidency of the G8 and G20 in Davos.
Read more: No turning away from euro, Sarkozy says.

Papandreou: No move toward restructuring

Greece has ruled out restructuring of its debt, but a more "flexible" European Financial Stability Facility would help calm markets, Prime Minister George Papandreou told an audience at Davos.
Read more: Papandreou says no move toward restructuring.

Toyota's latest woes aren't the whole Japan story

It's easy to say that Toyota's problems are a corporate metaphor that helps explain why Japan is poised to lose its ranking to China, but rankings and stock prices only tell part of the story.
Read more: Toyota's latest woes aren't the whole Japan story.

S&P cuts Japan's credit rating; yen dips

Standard & Poor's cut Japan's long-term sovereign-credit rating, with the news sending the yen sharply lower and carrying political implications for the government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
Read more: S&P cuts Japan's credit rating; yen dips.

Australia to introduce one-time ‘flood tax'

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a one-time tax to help pay for damage caused by recent floods and estimated a half-point hit to the nation's economic growth.
Read more: Australia to introduce one-time ‘flood tax.'

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Tech earnings keep Wall Street advance alive | Financial & Forex Info News | Reuters - Daily Investor Update

Tech earnings keep Wall Street advance alive
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Strong corporate earnings led Wall Street to a 29-month closing high for a second day on Thursday, but another run of big gains may be harder to achieve. | Full Article

Microsoft profit falls as PC sales sputter
January 27, 2011 04:02 PM ET
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp's quarterly profit fell slightly as the world's largest software maker was hit by slower-than expected growth in computer sales. | Full Article
Mixed data points to growth momentum
January 27, 2011 02:06 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. housing and factory data on Thursday showed the economy still gaining strength in December but at a pace unlikely to cause the Federal Reserve to rethink its stimulus program. | Full Article
Amazon revenue misses, shares plunge
January 27, 2011 04:27 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - posted quarterly revenue that fell short of analysts' estimates on Thursday and its shares fell almost 10 percent. | Full Article
Netflix resumes tear; defies too-rich label
January 27, 2011 02:22 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Netflix Inc shares soared 15 percent on Thursday as another round of strong quarterly results shelved any short-term worries about an overheated stock price or competition from powerhouses such as Inc. | Full Article

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Stocks End Higher After Mixed Data, Flood Of Earnings - U.S. Commentary | RTTNews Evening Market Wrap

Evening Market Wrap Thu Jan 27  2011


Jan 27, 2011 Stocks End Higher After Mixed Data, Flood Of Earnings - U.S. Commentary Stocks ended mostly on the upside on Thursday, with buying driven by a solid increase in pending home sales and a handful of upbeat earnings reports. Meanwhile, a muddled jobless claims number that showed a notable increase was shrugged off by the markets. Full Article

Economic News

Jan 27, 2011 U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Jump Due To Bad Weather After showing a notable decrease in the previous week, first-time claims for unemployment benefits rebounded by much more than expected in the week ended January 22nd, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. While claims rose by much more than anticipated, the Labor Department noted that the data was impacted by bad weather in several states as well as the Martin Luther King Day holiday. Full Article
Jan 27, 2011 U.S. Durable Goods Orders Fall 2.5% Amid Steep Drop In Aircraft Orders With orders for transportation equipment in the U.S. showing another steep drop in the month of December, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing an unexpected decrease in durable goods orders for the month. The report showed that durable goods orders fell by 2.5 percent in December following a revised 0.1 percent decrease in November. The decrease came as a surprise to economists, who had expected orders to increase by about 1.5 percent. Full Article
Jan 27, 2011 U.S. Pending Home Sales Climb To Eight-Month High In December Pending home sales in the U.S. rose for the fifth time in the past six months in December, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Thursday, with the increase attributed to good affordability conditions and economic improvement. NAR said its pending home sales index rose by 2.0 percent in December following a downwardly revised 3.1 percent increase in November. With the monthly increase, the index rose to its highest level since April of 2010. Full Article

Corporate News

Jan 27, 2011 GM Withdraws $14.4 Bln. Federal Loan Request - UpdateGeneral Motors Corp. (GM), Thursday said it will withdraw its $14.4 billion application for direct loans from the U.S. Department of Energy citing improvement in global business performance. Chris Liddell, GM vice chairman and chief financial officer, said, "This decision is based on our confidence in GM's overall progress and strong, global business performance." Full Article
Jan 27, 2011 Bristol-Myers, Celgene Report Lower Q4 Profits, Higher RevenuesDrug makers Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) and Celgene Corp. (CELG) both reported decline in profit for the fourth quarter on one-time charges, while recording strong revenue growth. In addition, Bristol-Myers recorded a hefty gain in the year-ago period on the split-off of Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. (MJN). Bristol-Myers forecast earnings per share for fiscal year 2011 below analysts' expectations, joining Celgene which earlier in the month had forecast earnings for the full-year below analysts' estimates. Full Article
Jan 27, 2011 Caterpillar Releases Strong Earnings And GuidanceConstruction and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) Thursday reported a surge in fourth-quarter profit on increased demand for its machinery and engines. Earnings per share and revenue beat analysts' forecast. The company sees improving construction activity in 2011 and provided earnings and revenue outlook for the year. Both these projections are above the company's 2010 reported results as well as analysts' consensus. Full Article
Jan 27, 2011 AT&T Profit Falls On ChargesTelecommunications giant AT&T, Inc. (T) reported Thursday a sharp decline in profit for the fourth quarter, mainly reflecting higher one-time charges. However, adjusted earnings per share grew 10 percent, and topped market projections, as strong wireless revenues on improved subscriptions helped offset a decline in wireline revenues. For fiscal 2011, the company projects a "mid-single digit or better" earnings per share growth. Full Article
Jan 27, 2011 JetBlue Q4 Profit Drops On Higher Expenses - UpdateJetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU) Thursday said fourth-quarter profit declined from last year, despite a rise in sales, as expenses increased year-over-year. The passenger airline's fourth-quarter net income slipped to $9 million or $0.03 per share from $11 million or $0.04 per share in the prior year. On average, 16 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.06 per share. Analysts' estimates typically excludes special items. Full Article
Jan 27, 2011 Procter & Gamble Q2 Profit FallsConsumer goods giant Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) Thursday reported a fall in second-quarter profit as the previous year included a hefty gain from discontinued operations. Core earnings grew from last year, along with a rise in sales. Further, the company maintained its guidance for 2011 core earnings per share. The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company's net earnings fell to $3.33 billion or $1.11 per share from $4.66 billion or $1.49 per share in the previous year. In the first quarter, net earnings were $3.08 billion or $1.02 per share. Full Article
Jan 27, 2011 Nokia Q4 Profit Drops, Sees Challenges Ahead; Stock Falls - UpdateMobile handset maker Nokia Corp. (NOK) Thursday reported a 21 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit, as it suffers stiff competition in the smartphone market. The Finnish company's CEO said the company faces significant challenges, sending the stock down over 6 percent in Helsinki. The Espoo, Finland-based company's profit attributable to equity holders of the parent reduced to 745 million euros ($1.02 billion) or 0.20 euros per share from 948 million euros or 0.26 euros per share in the prior year. Full Article

Forex Top Story

Jan 27, 2011 Dollar Fails To Rally As Sarkozy Defends EuroThe dollar remained under pressure against the euro on Thursday, as political leaders from euro zone said they would pull out all stops to safeguard the region's monetary union. Early losses took the dollar to a fresh 2-month low of $1.3757 versus the euro. The dollar was back to $1.37 by mid-day but remains well off a 4-month peak of $1.2873 from earlier in January. Full Article

Political News

Jan 27, 2011 Poll Shows Americans Have Net-Positive View Of GOPRepublicans have seen an improvement in their favorability rating over the past several months, according to the results of a Gallup poll released on Thursday, with the latest poll showing that more Americans have a favorable than unfavorable view of the GOP for the first time since 2005. Full Article
Jan 27, 2011 Senate Leaders Reach Deal On Rule Changes, Filibuster UnchangedAvoiding a political standoff over the use of the filibuster, the Senate leadership reached an agreement Thursday on a package of rules designed to ease legislative gridlock in the chamber. As part of the agreement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., both pledged not to use the so-called "constitutional option" to change Senate rules. Full Article
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NYT: Afternoon Business News: Few Signs of United Approach to Financial Regulation


Few Signs of United Approach to Financial Regulation

Regulators, economists and financial leaders are gathering at the World Economic Forum, but experience suggests they will not reach consensus on how to prevent future financial disasters.
High & Low Finance

Contemplating a Mortgage Market Without U.S. Guarantees

Pruning Fannie and Freddie could be disruptive, but less so if the shift back to private sector mortgage insurance happened gradually.

In Panel's Report, Stern Warning on Repeating Financial Crisis

The final report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission delves deeply into the actions - and negligence - that caused the 2008 collapse.

S.&P. Downgrades Japan as Debt Concerns Spread

The credit rating agency Standard & Poor's said the Japanese government's already high debt burden was likely to continue to rise.

Agricultural Chief Approves Planting of Modified Alfalfa

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack pulled back from a novel proposal that would have restricted the growing of genetically engineered alfalfa to protect organic farmers.
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Macau mogul Ho sues family he forgave | Financial & Forex Info News | The Australian Evening Briefing

Macau mogul Ho sues family he forgave
Stanley Ho, Macau gaming mogul, casino king Leo Lewis THE fight for Stanley Ho's empire turned bizarre yesterday when he sued the relatives he had earlier forgiven for "hijacking" his wealth.
All America to blame for GFC: US report
Wall Street THE United States as a nation must accept blame for causing the global financial crisis,  a US government-appointed panel has found.
Oil falls, benchmarks' price gap widens
Oil, oil pipeline, oil drilling engineer Dan Strumpf and Reza Amanat OIL fell much more steeply on the Nymex than on the Ice platform today, leading traders to look at Brent as a better supply-demand marker.
Sony bets on 3G touchscreen PSP
aus bus pix sony Daisuke Wakabayashi FACING shifting dynamics in the videogame market, Sony unveiled a new portable game machine to rival Nintendo's 3DS handheld.
News to debut iPad-only Daily next week
Rupert Murdoch NEWS Corporation will unveil the world's first iPad-only digital newspaper, The Daily, next Wednesday in New York.
Gold tumbles over improving economy
gold miner Matt Whittaker GOLD futures tumbled to the lowest point in nearly four months as investor confidence in the global economy continued to build.
Corporate leaders slam flood levy
Julia Gillard James Chessell and Annabel Hepworth THE business community has criticised the Gillard government's plan to hit taxpayers earning more than $50,000 a year with a flood levy.
Earnings retard Dow's 12,000 challenge
Aus bus pix New York Stock Exchange Kristina Peterson THE Dow fell short again of closing above 12,000, as mixed economic data and corporate earnings left the market struggling for direction.
Financial Markets
All America to blame for GFC: US report
Wall Street THE United States as a nation must accept blame for causing the global financial crisis,  a US government-appointed panel has found.
Earnings retard Dow's 12,000 challenge
Oil falls, benchmarks' price gap widens
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
Oil falls, benchmarks' price gap widens
Oil, oil pipeline, oil drilling engineer Dan Strumpf and Reza Amanat OIL fell much more steeply on the Nymex than on the Ice platform today, leading traders to look at Brent as a better supply-demand marker.
Gold tumbles over improving economy
Pilbara rents nation's dearest
More Mining & Energy Coverage


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The Hard Sell Bigins | Financial & Forex Info News | The Australian Capital Circle


 Capital Circle Newsletter

The hard sell begins
JULIA Gillard begins the hard sell on the flood levy amid strident opposition from the Coalition and a mixed reaction from voters.

The PM's day, per the press office: Julia Gillard has a visit to Victoria in her diary. She will talk about her plan for a levy that will help flood-hit communities rebuilding and reconstruction after one of Australia's worst national disasters.
Tony Abbott appeared on the Today show at 6.10am. He will then fly to Queensland to visit flood-affected areas of the Lockyer Valley with local MP Scott Bucholz.
Set piece: Wayne Swan will set out the $5.6 billion breakdown of cuts and revenue raising underpinning the federal governments flood recovery. He will also talk about the inflationary implications in a speech to be delivered in Queensland today. The speech is expected around noon-ish.
Tweet of the day: Comedian Stephen Colbert (@stephenathome): "Fish Out Of Water" stories are considered fun, but I tell one "Kitten Tossed In The Ocean" story and suddenly I'm a monster. And;
Congratulations to the ABC's Simon Cullen, now stationed permanently in the press gallery.
Mark the date in your diaries. No, really: The ALP National Conference will be held in Sydney from December 2nd to 4th.
***Sign up to Capital Circle -- your morning shot of news and views***
Driving the day: MIDDLE and high-income earners will bear the brunt of a one-off tax increase to pay for Queensland's post-flood reconstruction as Julia Gillard prepares for a tough battle to secure the crucial support of the Greens and independents for the levy and deep spending cuts. The Prime Minister has yet to lock in the backing of crossbenchers for her two-tiered levy, which will raise $1.8 billion next financial year and is designed to ensure the federal government can meet its election promise to return the budget to surplus. (more from David Uren)
The Courier-Mail says: THOUSANDS of people, including high-in


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Obama finds a new angle to reach old goals | The Washington Post Afternoon Edition - Most Read Opinion Comumns

Washington Post

1) Getting American students to find the goal posts of success

'Federal educational policy' may be an oxymoron, but listen to Arne Duncan.

2) No-bend Obama

The president's tone has changed, but he has not.

3) Obama finds a new angle to reach old goals

Obama is using subtlety to achieve a familiar political agenda.

4) How Obama's speech muddied the budget debate

Obama failed to give America a reality check on the budget.

5) Michele Bachmann's alternate universe

The president was lofty. "We will move forward together, or not at all - for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics," he said in his State of the Union address .

6) Editorial: In an Internet age, postal service reform is long overdue

SINCE 2008, the United States Postal Service has cut costs by nearly $10 billion and reduced its workforce, through attrition, by more than 105,000. Yet it continues to hemorrhage red ink: The Great Recession dramatically reduced mail volume and, in the age of texting and Skype, most of that bus...

7) Editorial: Mr. Obama's missed opportunity on gun control

THE FAMILY of Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old murdered during the Tucson rampage this month, sat elbow-to-elbow with the first lady during the State of the Union address Tuesday night. Also guests of honor were Daniel Hernandez, the intern who assisted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) imm...

8) Editorial: A disappointing State of the Union address

PRESIDENT OBAMA entered office promising to be a different kind of politician - one who would speak honestly with the American people about the hard choices they face and would help make those hard calls. Tuesday night's State of the Union Address would have been the moment to make good on that...

9) Editorial: Egypt's unstable regime

TENS OF thousands of Egyptians took to the streets of Cairo and other cities Tuesday in an unprecedented outburst of protest against the regime of Hosni Mubarak. Inspired by Tunisia's popular uprising, they demanded political concessions that Mr. Mubarak's rotting government should have made long...

10) Our superficial scholars

For most of the past 20 years I have served on selection committees for the Rhodes Scholarship. In general, the experience is an annual reminder of the tremendous promise of America's next generation. We interview the best graduates of U.S. universities for one of the most prestigious honors that...