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Jan 28, 2011

MarketWatch Weekly Roundup : Top 10 Stories

Weekly Roundup
JANUARY 28, 2011

MarketWatch Top 10 stories Jan. 24 - 28

By Greg Morcroft, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Fears over unrest in Egypt sent U.S. stocks reeling Friday to their biggest one-day decline in months and put an end to the market's eight-week win streak, as investors sought safety while oil prices surged.

The Dow (DJIA) fell 0.41% on the week, its first weekly drop in nine weeks.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index (SPX) declined 23.20, or 1.79%, to 1276.34, its biggest one-day drop since Aug. 11, 2010. It fell 0.55% on the week.

The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) tumbled 68.39, or 2.48%, to 2686.89, its biggest one-day drop since Aug. 11, 2010. It slipped 0.10% on the week. Nasdaq OMX Group restored the measure following dissemination issues earlier in the session.

Also, please be sure to watch our Week Ahead videos for Asia, Europe and the U.S.

U.S. Week Ahead: Consumers, Jobs, and Exxon

 Europe Week Ahead: ECB Meeting, BP, Shell results

 Asia Week Ahead: Sony and Honda results

Greg Morcroft, assistant managing editor

U.S. GDP grows 3.2%

The U.S. economy, fueled by gains in consumer spending, grew at a faster pace in the fourth quarter, raising hopes that it's on self-sustaining path, government data showed Friday. In its first estimate of growth for the final three months of 2010, the Commerce Department said gross domestic product rose at a 3.2% annual rate, faster than the 2.6% pace seen during the interval spanning July, August and September. Read MarketWatch coverage of U.S. economic growth

Obama urges bipartisan effort, offers budget freeze plan

With one eye on his reelection and one on the divided Congress, President Barack Obama urged lawmakers to set aside partisan differences and bolster the economic recovery and America's competitiveness in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. In a wide-ranging address, Obama called for new spending on clean energy technology, a lower corporate tax rate and a five-year freeze on domestic discretionary spending. Read MarketWatch coverage of President Obama's State of the Union speech

The worst 10 cities for home foreclosures

Foreclosure activity showed signs of easing in some of the hardest-hit markets last year, even though filings rose on a nationwide basis as the country dealt with high unemployment rates, according to a report released by RealtyTrac on Thursday. Nationwide, one in every 45 homes received a foreclosure filing in 2010, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosure activity increased in 149 of the nation's 206 areas with a population of 200,000 or more. Here are the markets with the highest rates of foreclosure filings for 2010. See MarketWatch story on foreclosure data

S&P downgrades Japan's sovereign debt

Standard & Poor's on Thursday cut Japan's long-term sovereign-credit rating, with the news sending the yen sharply lower against its major rivals. The rating agency said it downgraded Japanese debt to AA minus from AA, but it also reaffirmed the nation's short-term ratings at A-1 plus. S&P said in a statement that it "expects Japan's fiscal deficits to remain high in the next few years, which will further reduce the government's already weak fiscal flexibility." See MarketWatch story on S&P's downgrade of Japan

Netflix shares pass $200 a share as earnings jump

Shares of Netflix Inc. (NFLX) climbed sharply this week after the company issued a first-quarter forecast that easily exceeded Wall Street's expectations, and said more than one-third of new customers are signing up for its $7.99 per month stream-only plan introduced in November. Analysts lavished praise upon the Los Gatos, Calif.-based pioneer of online DVD rental and streaming firm. See MarketWatch's Netflix coverage

Ford hits pothole as earnings fall

Ford Motor Co. (F) shares retreated more than 14% early Friday, after the auto maker reported an unexpected loss in Europe as well as a steep drop in fourth-quarter profit. The stock on Friday posted its worst one-day percentage decline since the spring of 2009, when it dropped 17.6%. The shares, however, are still up 42% in the past year. Read MarketWatch coverage of Ford earnings results

Verizon earnings jump, and firm details iPhone plans

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) posted sharply higher fourth-quarter profit Tuesday, helped by strong wireless sales and a one-time pension-related gain. The company also outlined aggressive plans to grow its earnings this year, with the help of the iPhone 4, which will go on sale early next month. To lure customers from arch-rival AT&T Inc. Verizon said it plans to continue offering an unlimited data plan, but only on a temporary basis. Read MarketWatch story about Verizon results and its plans for offering Apple's iPhone

Fed leaves rates unchanged and says inflation contained

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that its policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee voted to again hold its key interest rate at a record low 0%-to-0.25% range and continue on course with its $600 billion Treasury-buying program. The vote was unanimous. In its statement, the Fed made relatively few changes to the policy statement the central bank issued in December.In two changes, the Fed noted that commodity prices had risen but repeated its position that underlying inflation is still trending lower. Read all coverage of the FOMC on MarketWatch

Egypt's chaos finally registers with Davos crow

Egypt got Davos's attention Friday. The annual gathering of world leaders, government ministers and corporate executives in the Swiss Alps paid little attention to Egypt in panel discussions and workshops, Wednesday and Thursday, participants said. But that changed as news reports said the Egyptian army moved into the streets of Cairo Friday, after police battled massive protests across the country. Spreads on Egyptian credit default swaps soared and the nation's currency plunged. Oil prices surged, in turn slamming U.S.stocks. Read MarketWatch coverage of Egypt developments

Why Google's Eric Schmidt won't end up at Apple

Over the last two weeks since Apple Inc. (AAPL) Chief Executive Steve Jobs announced he was taking his third medical leave, speculation has been running rampant over who might succeed him if his health does not improve. It seems pretty clear that Apple has a succession plan in place, and that Tim Cook — the company's chief operating officer who has ably stepped in for Jobs before — is the man. Yet the rumors still fly that former Google (GOOG) CEO and now chairman Eric Schmidt may replace Jobs. But there are many reasons why Schmidt will not end up over at Apple. Read Tech Tales column on Apple, Jobs, and Schmidt

Egypt unrest knocks Wall Street lower | Financial & Forex Info News | Reuters - Daily Investor Update



Egypt unrest knocks Wall Street lower
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks suffered their biggest one-day loss in more than five months on Friday as anti-government rioting in Egypt prompted investors to flee to less risky assets to ride out the turmoil. | Full Article

Consumer spending, trade buoy U.S. economy in Q4
January 28, 2011 04:19 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy gathered speed in the fourth quarter to regain its pre-recession peak with a big gain in consumer spending and strong exports, removing doubts about the recovery's sustainability. | Full Article
Higher costs sink Ford profit, shares slide
January 28, 2011 01:23 PM ET
DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co's earnings fell far short of expectations as costs for raw materials and new vehicle launches surged and its business in Europe suffered an unexpected loss, driving its shares down 12 percent. | Full Article
BofA banker bonuses likely down, cash portion up
January 28, 2011 12:09 PM ET
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - Senior investment banking executives at Bank of America Corp will likely see as much as 80 percent of their 2010 bonuses in stock, but the cash portion will be higher than what was paid out last year, said a source familiar with the company's pay plans. | Full Article
Paulson's $5 billion payout shocks, raises questions
January 28, 2011 03:24 PM ET
BOSTON (Reuters) - Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, whose bet against the overheated housing market made him one of the world's wealthiest people, became a lot richer last year. | Full Article

Stocks Plummet Amid Bedlam In Egypt - U.S. Commentary | RTTNews : Evening Market Wrap

Evening Market Wrap Fri Jan 28  2011


Jan 28, 2011 Stocks Plummet Amid Bedlam In Egypt - U.S. Commentary Stocks saw sharp losses to close out the week on Friday, as civil unrest in Egypt prompted traders to move capital out of risky assets such as equities. Early downside in the markets came following a fourth quarter U.S. GDP number that trailed economist estimates. Full Article

Economic News

Jan 28, 2011 U.S. Economy Grows 3.2% In Q4 Amid Jump In Consumer Spending U.S. economic growth continued for the sixth consecutive quarter in the final three months of 2010, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday, although the pace of growth came in somewhat below economist estimates. The report showed that U.S. gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter following the 2.6 percent increase seen in the third quarter. Economists had been expecting GDP to increase by about 3.5 percent. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index For January Upwardly Revised To 74.2 While Reuters and the University of Michigan released a report on Friday showing a bigger than expected upward revision to their reading on U.S. consumer sentiment in January, the index was still down slightly compared to the previous month. The report showed that the consumer sentiment index for January was upwardly revised to 74.2 from the preliminary reading of 72.7. The index is well above expectations for a reading of 73.0 but is still just below the December reading of 74.5. Full Article

Corporate News

Jan 28, 2011 LinkedIn's Proposed Share Sale Heralds New Era Of Social Media IPOsLinkedIn's plan to go public this year ushers in a new era of internet and social media companies floating on the stock market. When listed, it would become the first social networking company on the Wall Street, with much bigger peer Facebook and social deals site Groupon mulling entries this year. The Silicon Valley start-up filed papers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday for an IPO, through which it intends to raise as much as $175 million. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Sara Lee To Split Into Two; Names Marcel Smits CEOPackaged food company Sara Lee Corp. (SLE), which failed to agree on recent buyout offers, decided to divide the company into two publicly traded entities. Further, Marcel Smits has been named the new Chief Executive Officer and Mark Garvey the chief financial officer. The company also updated fiscal 2011 forecast above analysts' consensus. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Chevron Q4 Profit Surges On Higher Oil Prices, GainIntegrated energy company Chevron Corp. (CVX) Friday reported over 72 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit as the company benefited from higher crude oil prices and recorded a gain from asset sale. San Ramon, California-based Chevron's fourth-quarter net income attributable to the company increased to $5.30 billion or $2.64 per share from $3.07 billion or $1.53 per share in the prior year and $3.77 billion or $1.87 per share in the preceding quarter. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Ford Motor Profit Falls, Misses EstimatesFord Motor Co. (F) reported Friday a sharp decline in profit for the fourth quarter, weighed down by higher one-time charges and lower sales volume in Europe. Operating earnings missed market projections. For fiscal 2011, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker expects continued improvement in pre-tax operating profit, with each of its automotive operations being profitable. Fourth-quarter net income attributable to the company was $190 million or $0.05 per share, lower than prior year's $886 million or $0.25 per share. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Honeywell Lifts 2011 EPS View On Solid Q4; Sells Consumer Products UnitHoneywell International Inc. (HON), a diversified technology and manufacturing conglomerate, Friday reported a surge in fourth-quarter profit, reflecting robust sales growth in all its business segments. Top line results also came in above Wall Street analyst's forecast. Morris Township, New Jersey-based Honeywell also announced the sale of its automotive consumer products group business to private investment firm Rank Group in a cash transaction of about $950 million. The company lifted its earnings outlook and confirmed the sales guidance for fiscal 2011. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Arch Coal Profit Misses View, Warns On 2011Coal producer Arch Coal, Inc. (ACI) reported Friday a profit for the fourth quarter that soared from last year, boosted by revenue growth amid higher sales prices, volume growth and lower costs. However, both adjusted earnings per share and quarterly revenues missed analysts' expectations. The company also provided earnings forecast for the full-year 2011, below Street view. Full Article

Featured Article

Jan 28, 2011 Dollar Steadies Amid Unrest In Egypt The dollar rebounded to pare some of its recent losses on Friday, as slumping stocks and violence in Egypt helped boost the greenback's safe haven appeal. Traders shrugged off a mixed bag of economic data from the U.S., including a government report showing slower than expected GDP growth in the fourth quarter. Full Article

Political News

Jan 28, 2011 Americans Split Over Spending Proposals Offered By Obama, GOPHinting at the looming clash over government spending, the results of a USA Today/Gallup poll released on Friday showed that Americans are split regarding whether they favor President Barack Obama's proposal to freeze spending for five years or Republican's plan to roll back spending to 2008 levels. Full Article

Stocks To Watch

Jan 28, 2011 Chirpy Results, OutlookThis stock comes into our radar, as the company posted better-than-expected results for the first-quarter, and guided second quarter expectations well above consensus. This semi equipment maker double Full Article

NYT : Afternoon Business News :No Clear Strategy to Save the Euro


No Clear Strategy to Save the Euro

One leader after another has marched before audiences at the World Economic Forum to declare an unshakeable will to overcome the euro area's sovereign debt crisis and restore confidence in the common currency.

Revamping, Home Depot Woos Women

To balance a drop in items sold for big renovations, the company is trying to get women, 50 percent of its customers, excited about more modest makeovers.

Ford Shares Tumble as Fourth Quarter Misses Forecast

Ford said that sales in Europe were lower than expected and that it had spent considerable resources introducing new models.
Wealth Matters

Foundation or Donor-Advised Fund? Finding the Best Vehicle for Philanthropy

As private foundations attract more I.R.S. scrutiny, some wealthy philanthropists are considering the benefits of donor-advised funds, which are also less costly to manage.

Wall Street Indexes Fall on Concerns About Egypt

In addition to news that the U.S. economy grew 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter, traders were taking in a number of corporate results.

Mawson Resources (TSXv-MAW) Letter to Shareholders | Mining Interactive

January 27, 2011


Dear Shareholders and Friends,

In a recent interview with Streetwise Reports, Pinetree Capital's Marshall Auerback, commented on Mawson Resources Ltd. Marshall sees a number of supply/demand imbalances in the energy space, particularly in uranium. "We like uranium because it's both a supply and demand story," he says, believing the price could "easily double" over the next few years. In this Energy Report exclusive, Marshall decodes the energy enigma, making a strong case for U308, oil and gas E&Ps and even natural gas.

As Pinetree Capital's
corporate spokesperson, Marshall Auerback is a member of Pinetree's board of directors and has some 28 years of global experience in financial markets worldwide. Currently, Marshall is a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, a research associate for the Levy Institute and a fellow for the Economists for Peace and Security. He graduated magna cum laude from Queen's University in 1981 and received a law degree from Corpus Christi College at Oxford University in 1983.

We thought you'd be interested in reading Marshall Auerback 's comments on Mawson Resources Ltd.. Scroll Down to see these comments.


Michael Robert Hudson
President, Chief Executive Officer & Director

Marshall Auerback's Comments:
"We like Mawson Resources, which has metal and energy interests in Finland, Peru and Sweden. The stock recently went from $0.75 to $1.99. And not long ago, the company increased its landholding at the Rompas Gold Uranium Project in Finland by 40%. Mawson has a strong cash position and a very prospective deposit. Highlights from recent channel samples included 0.95m at 1,424 g/t Au and 1.3% U308 and 2.05m at 191.3 g/t Au and 0.44% U308." View Article

Copyright © 2011 MAWSON RESOURCES LTD. (MAW) All rights reserved. For more information visit our website at or send email to

Stay Tuned in 2011 - - there is much – much more to come from Mawson!!!

Nick L. Nicolaas
Mining Interactive "Ahead of the Pack"
Gold at Rompas Finland


Stay tuned for the most recent updates on Mawson Resources and other leading mining companies through the MiningInteractive Video Interviews.
Nick L. Nicolaas
(604) 657-4058

New real-estate sales tax is coming. | MarketWatch - Personal Finance Daily

Personal Finance Daily
JANUARY 28, 2011

Friday's Personal Finance Stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:
The health-reform law will hit high-income earners — married couples with income of more than about $250,000 a year, and single filers with income of more than $200,000 — with two new taxes come 2013.

One new provision is a tax on those taxpayers' investment income, which, as Lew Sichelman writes in his Realty Q&A column today, includes capital gains from home sales. But figuring out whether those capital gains you enjoyed from selling your home will be subject to this new tax is no easy matter. First, you have to be in that high-income group. Second, the new 3.8% tax applies only to the lesser of two dollar amounts, one related to your gain, one to your AGI.

Confused? Check out Lew's column for a clear explanation.

The other new tax coming in 2013 will increase high-income employees' Medicare tax. Right now, workers' share of Medicare taxes is 1.45%. In 2013, for people with annual wages above $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (individuals), that portion will rise 0.9 percentage points, to 2.35%. Both of the new tax provisions are aimed at shoring up Medicare.

Speaking of taxes, read our stories to see what tax changes you're going to find on your 2010 tax return, and for a comparison and cost breakdown of five of the top online tax-preparation sites.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor


Tax changes to watch for on your 2010 return

This tax-filing season taxpayers don't have too many new provisions to worry about, but there are some changes that could trip you up.
Read more: Tax changes to watch for on your

Five top online tax-prep sites

E-filing is here, and MarketWatch's Eva Rosenberg compares five of the top tax-prep sites to help you decide which one to use.
Read more: Five top online tax-prep sites.

New real-estate sales tax is on the way

The real-estate sales tax was enacted as part of the health-care reform legislation and becomes effective in a couple of years. But it is complicated, and it's hard to predict how it will effect every seller.
Read more: New real-estate sales tax is on the way.


Can your bank stop identity theft?

Banks are pushing sales of identity-theft services, but customers should tread lightly: Not only can they get the same level of protection for free on their own, but complaints against such services are mounting and regulators are questioning their effectiveness.
Read more: Can your bank stop identity theft?

U.S. consumers' sentiment dips in January

An index of consumer sentiment dipped in January on concerns about rising food and fuel prices, according to poll results released by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan.
Read more: U.S. consumers' sentiment dips in January.


The nation's children are its best investment

Market indexes are all the rage, but what about the basket of stocks — our kids — that make up our real future?
Read more: The nation's children are its best investment.

How to profit from consumers in emerging markets

The rise of emerging market consumers has contributed mightily to growth China, India, Brazil and other developing economies. Now the consumer in these fast-growing regions has been knocked off the shelf.
Read more: How to profit from consumers in emerging markets.

Court could redefine insider trading

Last year, the Supreme Court threw dozens of political and financial corruption cases into disarray, and left prosecutors and district judges scrambling.
Read more: Court could redefine insider trading.

The week's top mutual funds and ETF stories

January is shaping up as a winner for stocks, and that brings mutual funds one month closer to a three-year performance record worth advertising. Which means investors will need to focus on a fund's record even more closely.
Read more: The week's top mutual funds and EFT stories.

What to do before the bond bubble bursts

It's hard not to follow the herd when it comes to balancing stocks and bonds, a way to keep your cool and your investment.
Read more: What to do before the bond bubble bursts.


In charts: GDP, capital equipment, housing

The U.S. economy grew at a faster pace in the fourth quarter, fueled by consumer spending, the government reported this week. Gross domestic product rose at a 3.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, faster than the 2.6% pace in the prior quarter, according to the Commerce Department.
Read more: GDP, capital equipment, housing.

Banks accepted ‘rejected' loans: Crisis panel

Big banks accepted substandard loans for securitizations in the buildup to the financial crisis even though a third party due diligence service they hired to examine the loans rejected many as deficient, says a crisis inquiry panel.
Read more: Banks accepted ‘rejected' loans.

No ‘boom' but a solid U.S. recovery: Geithner

The U.S. isn't booming, but recovery in the largest economy is sustainable as politicians seek consensus on a long-term solution on cutting the deficit, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner tells a Davos audience.
Read more: No ‘boom' but a solid U.S. recovery.

Commentary: America is back, gloomy economist says

One of the gloomiest economists I know suddenly has become a bucket of sunshine.
Read more: America is back, gloomy economist says.

U.S. economic growth accelerates to 3.2% rate

The nation's economy grew at a faster pace in the fourth quarter as consumers spent more, government data show. Gross domestic product rose at a 3.2% annual rate.
Read more: U.S. economic growth accelerates to 3.2% rate.

Reactions to fourth-quarter GDP report

Policymakers and analysts react to a report showing that the U.S. economy grew by 3.2% in the fourth quarter, fueled by gains in consumer spending.
Read more: Reactions to fourth-quarter GDP report.

Commentary: Guns in America is a recipe for disaster

Revising the Second Amendment or at the very least passing stricter gun-control laws that jibe with modernity should be the goal of rational society.
Read more: Guns in America is a recipe for disaster.


Jets' success, attitude boost fan interest

It may be small comfort for New York Jets fans still in mourning after Sunday's AFC Championship Game loss, but recent successes are increasing interest in their team.
Read more: Jets' success, attitude boost fan interest.


China's Zhou offers peek at secret currency basket

People's Bank of China Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan offers a rare glimpse into China's foreign-exchange policy, revealing that the basket used to set the yuan's value includes some 20 currencies.
Read more: China's Zhou offers peek at secret currency basket.

Egypt market slumps as Mideast turmoil spreads

The Egyptian benchmark stock index tumbles more than 10%, extending this year's losses to 21%, as another day of protests spooks investors.
Read more: Egypt market slumps as Mideast turmoil spreads.

Senate Tea Party Caucus holds first meeting without some who had embraced banner | The Washington Post Afternoon Edition - Most Read Articles

Washington Post 


1) Senate Tea Party Caucus holds first meeting without some who had embraced banner

The Republican senators who rode the tea party wave to victory in the fall are now weighing whether that label will help them on Capitol Hill or become a scarlet letter.

2) Police beat, shoot protesters as thousands demonstrate for Egypt's 'Angry Friday'

CAIRO - Egyptian military units deployed in the streets of Cairo on Friday, and protesters targeted offices of the ruling party, as massive crowds of anti-government demonstrators defied an overnight curfew and appeared to grow more violent.

3) In Tunisia, luxurious lifestyles of a corrupt government

HAMMAMET, TUNISIA - They arrive every day at this white mansion overlooking the Mediterranean, parents with their children, old men with canes, young men in leather jackets, among the many Tunisians on a pilgrimage to vent their anger at a corrupt government.

4) The old Obama in new clothing

What America wants doesn't interest Obama or stand a chance of becoming policy.

5) Cold truths about electric cars' cold-weather shortcomings

Does Obama realize electric cars are an unwanted burden?

6) New press secretary Carney is long-time D.C. insider, but newcomer to West Wing

The new face at the White House podium really isn't that new.

7) Pepco trailed other utilities, didn't call for help until well into snowstorm

Some power outages will linger through weekend companies called in outside help as storm was hitting

8) Obama administration could still get it right on Egypt

America has the ability to influence a peaceful transition of power in Egypt.
When Vivian Schiller became NPR's chief executive in early 2009, she knew enough to know that she didn't know very much about producing radio news. For that, Schiller, who formerly headed the New York Times' cable and digital businesses, relied on Ellen Weiss, NPR's top news executive. A savvy ve...

9) Glenn Beck vs. the rabbis

After MSNBC let go Keith Olbermann last week, Glenn Beck couldn't resist celebrating. "Keith Olbermann is the biggest pain in the ass in the world," he judged.

10) NPR probe of Juan Williams firing questions Ellen Weiss's management style

When Vivian Schiller became NPR's chief executive in early 2009, she knew enough to know that she didn't know very much about producing radio news. For that, Schiller, who formerly headed the New York Times' cable and digital businesses, relied on Ellen Weiss, NPR's top news executive. A savvy ve...

Economics, World Bank and World Trade Organization | The Economist

Economics, World Bank and World Trade Organisation From, Friday January 28th 2011

The following have been newly published on
Indian firms
Is Indian capitalism becoming oligarchic? ... more

Global trade liberalisation
The agonies of trying to revive free-trade talks ... more

NYT: ALERT FGC BOLSA - FGC FINANCIAL MARKETS :A Conundrum for Hot Asian Economies

January 28, 2011 Compiled: 12:26 PM


Asian economic policy makers are entering 2011 facing major policy challenges, with rising prices for food and oil producing a resurgence of inflationary pressures, especially in China.

Increase In Risk Aversion Likely To Temper Optimism | RTTNews Daily Market Analysis

Daily Market Analysis Fri Jan 28  2011

Jan 28, 2011 Increase In Risk Aversion Likely To Temper Optimism The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a mixed opening on Friday, with sentiment likely to remain fragile as the markets have ran up considerably. The Dow Industrials is teasing the key psychological resistance of 12,000 and a break above the key resistance level may place the index on track for further gains. Economic data released earlier in the day was more or less in line with expectations, while earnings continue to be mixed. Full Article

Stocks Poised To Edge Higher After 3.2 Percent GDP Growth - U.S. Commentary

Morning Market Briefing Fri Jan 28  2011


Jan 28, 2011 Stocks Poised To Edge Higher After 3.2 Percent GDP Growth - U.S. Commentary Stock futures are on pace to open slightly higher on Friday, as the markets are digesting a fourth-quarter GDP number that indicated U.S. economic growth for the sixth consecutive quarter. The major index futures are all in positive territory by thin margins, with the Dow futures up by 7 points. Full Article

Economic News

Jan 28, 2011 Growth In Eurozone Bank Lending Slows Eurozone bank lending as well as money supply growth slowed in December, suggesting that acceleration in annual inflation seen at the end of 2010 is likely to be temporary. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 U.S. Economy Expands For Sixth Straight Quarter U.S. economic growth continued for the sixth consecutive quarter in the final three months of 2010, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday, although the pace of growth came in somewhat below economist estimates. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 New Zealand Economy Set To Improve, Bollard Says New Zealand's recovery is likely to pick up and become more secure this year, although numerous risks remain, the country's central bank governor said on Friday. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Japan Core CPI Falls 0.4% On Year In DecemberCore consumer prices in Japan declined 0.4 percent on year in December, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday, falling for the 22nd consecutive month. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 UK Consumer Confidence PlummetsAn indicator of UK consumer confidence slumped to its lowest level in nearly two years in January as government austerity measures hit hard. Full Article

Earnings News

Jan 28, 2011 Microsoft Q2 Results Beat ViewMicrosoft Corp. (MSFT) Thursday reported a lower second-quarter profit, largely reflecting deferred revenues realized in the prior-year quarter. Revenues grew 5%, thanks to growth in the entertainment and devices division, which makes the Xbox games console and Kinect sensors. However, revenues from Windows and Windows Live were lower. The results exceeded analysts' expectations. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Chubb Q4 Results Beat, But Sees 2011 Below ViewProperty and casualty insurer The Chubb Corporation (CB) said Thursday that fourth-quarter profit declined on lower underwriting income and lower property and casualty income. Excluding investment gains, operating income per share topped analysts' estimates. The company forecast 2011 earnings, but below consensus. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Q4 Profit Up 8%, But Sees Lower Operating Income in Q1Online retailer Inc (AMZN) Thursday said its fourth-quarter profit rose 8% on higher Kindle sales. The earnings beat the Street view, but revenues disappointed, despite a 36% increase. Looking ahead, the company expects sales in the ongoing first quarter to grow 28% to 39%, but operating income to drop from last year. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 SanDisk Q4 Profit Surges on Tax GainFlash memory card maker SanDisk Corp. (SNDK) said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit surged due to higher tax benefits, although margins suffered on lower price per gigabyte and higher product costs. Revenues climbed 7% with growth in the mobile embedded business. The results beat analysts' estimates. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 VeriSign Posts Q4 Loss on Charge; Adj Earnings, Revenues BeatVeriSign Inc. (VRSN), an Internet infrastructure services provider, Thursday announced a fourth-quarter loss owing to a contingent interest payment. Excluding one-time charges, adjusted earnings beat analysts' estimates, as did revenues. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Riverbed Technology Q4 Profit SoarsRiverbed Technology Inc. (RVBD), an IT infrastructure company, Thursday reported significantly higher fourth-quarter income thanks mainly to a 47% increase in revenues with a larger customer base. Both adjusted earnings and revenues exceeded expectations. The company expects “strong growth” in revenues and operating margins in 2011. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 KLA-Tencor Q2 Profit RisesKLA-Tencor Corp. (KLAC), a supplier of yield enhancement equipment to chip making companies, Thursday announced a higher second-quarter profit as strong global manufacturing operations boosted revenues to grow above consensus. Excluding the impact of unusual items, earnings beat the Street view. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Honeywell Q4 Profit Rises; To sell Consumer Products GroupDiversified technology company Honeywell International Inc. (HON) announced Friday a higher fourth-quarter profit, primarily due to a 12% rise in sales. Pro forma earnings, which exclude pension adjustments, matched estimates, while revenues beat. The company raised its 2011 financial outlook, and also separately announced the sale of its consumer products unit to Rank Group for $950 million. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Ford Q4 Profit PlungesFord Motor Co. (F) said Friday fourth-quarter net income was significantly lower, dragged down by higher one-time charges and lower sales volume in Europe. Operating earnings missed estimates. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 AEP Q4 Profit PlummetsUtilities company American Electric Power (AEP) Friday reported a sharply lower fourth-quarter profit due to a decline in revenues from utility operations. The results missed analysts' estimates. AEP also reaffirmed its earnings forecast for 2011, which sees earnings below the consensus estimate. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Dominion Posts Q4 ProfitEnergy producer Dominion Resources Inc. reported Friday a fourth-quarter profit thanks to favorable weather and lower outage costs. Excluding the negative impact of special items, operating earnings per share were flat and missed estimates. Operating revenues also fell below the consensus. The company reaffirmed its 2011 earnings outlook. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Arch Coal Q4 Profit RisesCoal Producer Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) Friday reported a higher fourth-quarter profit, citing better market conditions for coal. Revenues increased 15% on higher volumes. The results, however, missed estimates. The company also issued its 2011 earnings guidance, a range below analysts' consensus. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Sara Lee To Split; Lowers FY11 EPS ViewSara Lee Corp. (SLE) Friday said it would split into two and retain its North American retail and food services business under the Sara Lee banner, spinning-off the other bakery and beverage business into an independent unit. Following the split, the company will issue a special dividend of $3 per share. Also, the company's 2011 earnings outlook has been lowered to a range below market consensus. Full Article

Corporate News

Jan 28, 2011 Verizon to buy cloud computing firm Terremark for $1.4 blnTelecommunication group Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) inked a deal with Terremark Worldwide Inc. (TMRK) on Thursday to acquire the cloud services provider for $1.4 billion. Terremark's expertise in providing Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions is expected to boost Verizon's “everything-as-a-service” cloud computing strategy. Verizon expects a tender offer for Terremark shares in February 2011, with the offer closing later in the first-quarter. Full Article
Jan 28, 2011 Samsung Q4 Profit Climbs 13%South Korean technology company Samsung Electronics Inc. (SSNLF.PK, SSNNF.PK) Thursday announced a 13% increase in fourth-quarter profit, as revenues grew on higher smartphone sales and memory semiconductors demand. Full Article

Todays WS Events

Jan 28, 2011 Honeywell Q4 10 Earnings Conference Call 8:00 AM ET Honeywell (HON) will host a conference call at 8:00 AM ET, January 28, 2011, to discuss its Q4 10 earnings results. To access the webcast, log on at To hear the call, dial (719) 325-4865. A replay of the call can be heard by dialing (719) 457-0820 with passcode 2983708.
Jan 28, 2011 Verizon Acquisition Conference Call At 8:30 AM ET Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) will host a conference call at 8:30 AM ET, January 28, 2011, to discuss its acquisition of Terremark Worldwide. To access the live webcast, log on to
Jan 28, 2011 Ford Motor Q4 10 Earnings Conference Call At 9:00 AM ET Ford Motor Co. (F) will host a conference call at 9:00 AM ET, January 28, 2011, to discuss its Q4 10 earnings result. To access the live webcast, log on to
Jan 28, 2011 American Electric Power Q4 10 Earnings Conference Call At 9:00 AM ET American Electric Power (AEP) will host a conference call at 9:00 AM ET, to discuss Q4 10 earnings results, on January 28, 2011. To access the live webcast, log on to
Jan 28, 2011 Chevron Q4 10 Earnings Conference Call At 11:00 AM ET Chevron Corp. (CVX) will host a conference call at 11:00 AM ET, January 28, 2011, to discuss its Q4 10 earnings results. To access the webcast, log on at To hear the call, dial 703-639-1116 or 866-219-5256 with Conference ID # 1504259. A replay of the call can be heard by dialing (703) 925-2533 or (888) 266-2081; Conference ID: 1504259.

Advance Estimate Shows a Growth of 3.2 % in Q4 2010 of GDP


Economics and Statistics Administration Logo
Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to today’s advance estimate.  This follows a growth rate of 2.6 percent in the third quarter.

Ford posts lower fourth quarter profit on debt payback | Financial & Forex Info News | Reuters - Before The Bell



Futures little changed ahead of GDP data
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock index futures were little changed on Friday, a day after equities hit a new 29-month high, as investors awaited a key reading on economic growth. | Full Article

Ford posts lower fourth quarter profit on debt payback
January 28, 2011 07:15 AM ET
DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co posted an 80 percent drop in fourth quarter earnings after a charge on debt payments but raised its forecast for North American production in the current quarter and its outlook for full-year industry sales. | Full Article
Consumer spending seen helping quarterly growth
January 28, 2011 07:13 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy probably gathered speed in the fourth quarter, with the biggest gain in consumer spending in four years offering the clearest signal yet that a sustainable recovery is under way. | Full Article
Sara Lee to split in two
January 28, 2011 07:48 AM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sara Lee Corp said on Friday it plans to split up into two separate companies focusing on North American meats and international coffee and tea. | Full Article
U.S. and Japan told time running out to deal with debt
January 28, 2011 02:02 AM ET
TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Japan and the United States faced new pressure to confront their swollen budget deficits as the IMF and rating agencies demanded more evidence they can bring their public debts under control. | Full Article

Filibuster reform dead | Wonkbook | The Washington Post

So why did Senate Democrats agree, in principle, that simple majorities can't change the Senate's rules, and even exceedingly modest changes to the filibuster are out-of-bounds? Easy: They're a simple majority now, but someday soon, they'll be a simple minority. When that happens, they want to be able to mount constant filibusters as well.
To borrow David Brooks's schtick for a minute, there's an easy behavioral explanation for this preference: Loss aversion. Study after study shows that human beings fear the consequences of loss much more than they value the benefits of gains. And so too in the Senate, where the two parties think about the rules in terms of "what happens when I lose" rather than "what happens when I win?"
But if you really think you've got a great agenda and that the voters would agree, that would imply a fantastic upside to rules that allow you to make good on your campaign promises: Either the American people would get to judge you on all the great stuff you want to do, as opposed to all the great stuff you got stopped from doing, or they'd get to judge the other party on all the awful stuff they did, and which you could then reverse with a simple majority vote. That's a coherent theory of the way accountability encourages good ideas and wise governance in American politics. A world in which you can't enact your ideas or govern effectively and so the voters end up thinking you as feckless as the folks across the aisle isn't. That's a world in which the rules of the Senate, and not the policies of the parties, drive outcomes, and thus drive elections. That's a world where voters never know whose ideas are best because neither side can ever enact their agendas. But that's the world the Senate apparently prefers to inhabit.
Top Stories

The Senate leadership has agreed to keep the filibuster intact, reports Paul Kane: "Senate leaders announced a bipartisan deal Thursday to speed up the chamber's work by limiting the use of the filibuster and dropping the confirmation process for about 400 federal agency nominees. The broad agreement is the most significant change in the chamber's rules in 35 years. Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), appearing together on the chamber floor at noon, left intact the minority's right to block some legislation by requiring a 60-vote threshold through a threatened filibuster. But the leaders agreed to repeal the decades-old stalling tactics of secret holds - in which an anonymous senator could slow action on a bill - and the ability to force amendments to be read in their entirety on the floor."
More than that, they've agree to forgo rule changes by majority vote: "'As part of this compromise,' Reid said, 'we've agreed that I won't force a majority vote to fundamentally change the Senate -- that is the so-called ‘constitutional option’ -- and he [McConnell] won't in the future.' In other words, Reid and McConnell have agreed that the Senate's rules cannot -- or at least should not -- be decided by a simple majority. That was what the constitutional option was about, and that's what Reid explicitly rejected in his speech. Why? 'Both McConnell and Reid feared what would happen if they were in the minority,' explains a Reid aide."
The IMF is warning the US that it must cut the deficit, reports Howard Schneider: "U.S. officials must act quickly to control government deficits or face slower growth and even more difficult choices in the future, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday in a report criticizing the tepid U.S. response to its rising public debt. The IMF warning comes as federal officials grapple with a congressional projection this week that the annual deficit will reach a historic $1.5 trillion this year. This was the latest report to raise concerns about how massive government debts in developed countries could undermine the global economic recovery. 'The U.S. has a lot of credibility. This does not imply their credibility can last forever,' IMF fiscal affairs director Carlo Cottarelli said as he released the IMF study."
The final version of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission report has been released, report Zachary Goldfarb and Brady Dennis: "The official U.S. government report on what caused the financial crisis casts blame on Goldman Sachs for fueling the subprime mortgage bubble, Merrill Lynch for not telling investors about the true state of its financial condition and the Federal Reserve for failing to stop dangerous lending practices...Released to the public online and in the form of a 633-page paperback, the report does not contain any major revelation that would fundamentally alter popular perceptions of the crisis. But it weaves together many different strains of information, garnered with subpoena powers that allowed the commission to collect testimony from dozens of insiders and review the internal documents of federal regulators and banks."
You can download the report -- and the dissents, supporting documents, summaries, etc -- here:
Obama is overhauling his White House staff, reports Jake Tapper: "President Obama has selected Jay Carney, current communications director for the Vice President, as Robert Gibbs' replacement as White House press secretary, sources tell ABC News. The announcement, expected to be made public later this afternoon, will also include the appointment of two new deputy chiefs of staff: current head of the White House Office of Health Reform Nancy-Ann DeParle and current White House director of Scheduling and Advance Alyssa Mastromonaco. Other staffing changes include a role for Assistant to the President for Special Projects Stephanie Cutter as deputy to senior adviser David Plouffe and a senior staff role for David Lane, a longtime aide to chief of staff Bill Daley, on Daley's team. Rob Nabors, currently a senior adviser to the White House chief of staff, will become director of legislative affairs."
'70s rock interlude: The Pretenders play "Mystery Achievement" live.
Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.
Still to come: The Senate budget committee may vote on a deficit reduction plan; House Republicans are considering pushing to privatize Medicare; reorganizing the federal government could be more difficult than Obama expects; lawyers for oil spill victims are backing away from lawsuits; and a chinchilla playing in a bowl of dust.

The Senate budget committee may take up a deficit reduction plan, reports David Rogers: "Alarmed by new deficit estimates, the Senate Budget Committee signaled Thursday that it may go beyond its typical five-year spending resolution this spring and instead pick up where a presidential commission left off last month, forcing votes on a longer-range scheme for deficit reduction. Leading members of both parties on the committee expressed an openness to that approach, and if the initiative were to gain steam in the Senate, it could become a vehicle to bring President Barack Obama and the new House Republican majority to the table. 'I’m not certain that it’s not going to fall to us to put a plan out there for our colleagues on the floor,' said committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)."
Bank of America's move to cash bonuses is aggravating competitors:
GM is withdrawing a request for more federal support, reports Peter Whoriskey: "General Motors withdrew its application for $14.4 billion in federal loans to upgrade its manufacturing operations, a move that reflects the bailed-out company's new financial strength, executives said. The automaker says it has enough cash available to cover the efficiency and modernization projects it had wanted to complete with low-interest federal loans from the Department of Energy. The decision was a marked contrast to 2008, when the company was facing collapse and went hat in hand to the government to ask for help. 'This decision is based on our confidence in GM's overall progress and strong global business performance,' Chris Liddell, GM vice chairman and chief financial officer, said in a statement."
Obama has renominated a controversial pick for the National Labor Relations Board:
State legislators are pushing proposals to add gold-backed currency to their states, writes Annie Lowrey: "Imagine it's April 15 a few years from now. You need to pay your state taxes, and fast. So, you check out the latest official state exchange rate, and then reweigh your bars. You're over—thank goodness—so you hope the tax office has some ingots to change out. It's such a pain when they run out of ingots. After you pay your taxes, you need to pick up a few groceries. Luckily, you have some spare silver ore on hand and decide to use the home mint in the basement to pop out a few coins. Voilà—restocked pantry! It sounds ridiculous. It is ridiculous. But in the past few months, a few state legislators have considered letting you do something like that: Trade in gold and silver in addition to dollars."
Which industries win and which industries lose in the corporate tax code as it's written now:
Obama's call for more innovation follows years of slowdown, reports Brian Vastag: "Google and the iPhone are American inventions. But the first mass-produced gas-electric hybrid car was made in Japan. And although the United States now fosters a nascent commercial space industry, if you want to speed from city to city on a smooth, fast train, you have to head to Europe. As for the world's largest solar energy generator, you won't find it in the American Southwest. It's planned for Morocco. Over the past decade or longer, U.S. innovation stalled in almost every sector except information technology and agriculture, say scholars who study innovation. Federal figures and industry surveys support their assessment."
Rand Paul identifies $500 billion in spending cuts:
Europe's experience doesn't support Republican policies, writes Paul Krugman: "What about Britain? Well, contrary to what Mr. Ryan seemed to imply, Britain has not, in fact, suffered a debt crisis. True, David Cameron, who became prime minister last May, has made a sharp turn toward fiscal austerity. But that was a choice, not a response to market pressure. And underlying that choice was the new British government’s adherence to the same theory offered by Republicans to justify their demand for immediate spending cuts here -- the claim that slashing government spending in the face of a depressed economy will actually help growth rather than hurt it. So how’s that theory looking? Not good. The British economy, which seemed to be recovering earlier in 2010, turned down again in the fourth quarter."
Gradually reducing spending won't increase unemployment, writes John Taylor:
Economies are designed by governments, writes Brad DeLong: "Whenever push has come to economic shove, America’s government has even deliberately devalued the dollar in the interest of economic prosperity. Franklin Roosevelt did it during the Great Depression, and Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan did it, too. This history is worth reviewing because America is poised for another debate over whether its economy evolves or is designed, with President Barack Obama’s opponents claiming that whatever is good in America’s economy has always evolved with no guidance, and that whatever is bad has been designed by government. This claim is, of course, ludicrous. American governments will continue to plan and design the development of the economy, as they always have in the past. The question is how, and whether the design will be in any sense wise."
Everything's better with LEGO interlude: The year's Best Picture nominees, in LEGO format.
Health Care

House Republicans are considering a push to privatize Medicare, reports Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar: "Months after they hammered Democrats for cutting Medicare, House Republicans are debating whether to relaunch their quest to privatize the health program for seniors. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is testing support for his idea to replace Medicare with a fixed payment to buy a private medical plan from a menu of coverage options. Party leaders will determine if the so-called voucher plan will be part of the budget Republicans put forward in the spring. 'No decisions have been made on the details of our House GOP budget,' Michael Steel, a spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Thursday."
Hospice care has become one of the country's biggest employers:
Many states are seeing child-only health plans flee, report Sarah Kliff and Lester Feder: "Health insurers in 34 states have stopped selling child-only insurance policies as a result of the health reform law, and the market continues to destablize. According to a survey of state insurance departments by Republican Senate committee staff and obtained by POLITICO, states that have seen carriers exit the market include those that have been ardent supporters of the health reform law, like California and Oregon. Twenty states now have no insurers offering child-only policies. Since September, the health reform law has barred insurers from withholding policies to children under 19 who have a pre-existing condition. Rather than take on the burdensome cost of writing policies for potentially-pricey medical conditions, many carriers decided to leave the market altogether."
Domestic Policy

Obama could face an uphill battle on reorganizing the government, report Karen Tumulty and Ed O'Keefe: "If you want to know what President Obama is up against with his pledge to reorganize the federal government, consider what happened to the last such endeavor. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, nearly two dozen agencies were melded into the new Department of Homeland Security, to better coordinate the government's resources for handling terrorism and other national emergencies. But the members of Congress overseeing those agencies were loath to give up any authority...Jacob J. Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said that Obama is well aware of how difficult the job will be and that the White House intends to proceed cautiously, focusing on changes that could improve national competitiveness.""
House Speaker John Boehner is backing off a call to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70:
Rep. Patrick McHenry is planning hearings on letting states declare bankruptcy, reports Jonathan Allen: "Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) says he plans to hold a series of hearings next month into the question of whether states should be allowed, for the first time, to file for bankruptcy protection. It’s an issue that 'needs to be addressed,' McHenry, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs, told POLITICO in a brief interview Wednesday... The idea has gained traction among some conservatives who want to ensure that taxpayers don’t bear the burden of bailing out state governments."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is still defending earmarks against Obama's criticism:
Adorable animals being adorable interlude: A chinchilla hangs out in a bowl full of dust.

Obama has rhetorically given up on "climate change", reports Joseph White: "President Barack Obama’s calls this week for more spending on research for clean energy have omitted a certain, politically charged seven-letter word: Climate. In his remarks at a solar energy technology plant in Wisconsin Wednesday, and in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Mr. Obama called for federal funding to develop more cost competitive, low-emissions energy technology - without using the word 'climate' or the phrase 'climate change' once. (In Manitowoc, Wis., he did suggest creating jobs through low-emissions energy technology could make 'the planet safer.' But he never said the word 'climate.') Mr. Obama has long been a strong advocate of technology to cut the use of coal and oil, and that hasn’t changed."
Sen. Lisa Murkowski will chair the Energy and Natural Resources committee:
Obama's goal of using 80 percent clean energy is fanciful, writes Keith Schneider: "Let's quickly evaluate the 80 percent electrical generation goal. To achieve 80 percent clean energy generation essentially means replacing at least 500 gigawatts of conventional coal-fired generation with cleaner alternatives. In essence, the U.S. would have to nearly completely rebuild its electrical generating infrastructure, which last year had about 940 gigawatts of electricial generating capacity. By 2035, according to Department of Energy projections, electrical generating demand in the U.S. could grow to 1,200 gigawatts. Today, less than a quarter of electrical generating capacity is supplied by nuclear power, hydro, wind, and geothermal in the U.S -- roughly 225 gigawatts."
Closing credits: Wonkbook is compiled and produced with help from Dylan Matthews, Mike Shepard, and Michelle Williams.