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Feb 3, 2011

Are we Prepared for what's Coming Up In The Future Within The unsolved Worldwide Crisis? Gerald Celente on Goldsek Radio Jan. 28, 2011

MarketWatch: Personal Finance daily .- Best places to stash your cash now

MarketWatch
Personal Finance Daily
FEBRUARY 03, 2011

Thursday's Personal Finance Stories

By MarketWatch



Don't miss these top stories:
At this time of year, when the W-2s arriving in our mailboxes are literal reminders of how much of our hard-earned money goes to taxes, one may wonder whether the Social Security payout we expect when we retire is really worth all that we pay into it over our working lives.

According to Jeff Reeves's column, it most certainly is — even if those benefits get trimmed down the road. Reeves, who writes for MarketWatch and is editor of InvestorPlace.com, took a look at his wife's expected lifetime payments to Social Security, and how they stack up against what she can expect to receive at her "normal" retirement age. You may be surprised what he found out.

According to Reeves's calculations, individual savers likely are better off letting Social Security manage some of their retirement savings. But from a societal standpoint, the program also keeps millions of older Americans above the poverty line. Some 46% of Americans 65 and older would have been living in poverty in 2009 if it weren't for Social Security, according to a recent report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research. Because of the program, about 9% of people in that age group fell below the poverty line. See the report on IWPR.org.

Read that column, plus see Jennifer Waters's column to find out how mobile banking will change your life. Also check out our video on what to do with your cash given that ultralow interest rates continue to confound savers, and find out why Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says the economy is showing signs of improvement.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor

Why Social Security taxes are a good deal

Jeff Reeves crunched some numbers and found that Social Security works well in its current form, and will continue to, even in a diminished form should our politicians fail to act.
Read more: Why Social Security taxes are a good deal.


PERSONAL TECH

Mobile banking will change your life

Still in its infancy, mobile banking has the potential to help you manage your finances while you wait in line at the grocery store.
Read more: Mobile banking will change your life.


There are benefits to Verizon iPhone, Mossberg says

Walt Mossberg compares the new Verizon iPhone 4 with an AT&T iPhone 4, and finds that they aren't interchangeable. The Verizon has much better voice calls, he says, but there's a trade-off in data speed.
Watch video: There are benefits to Verizon iPhone, Mossberg says.


SAVINGS

Best places to stash your cash

With interest rates so low, where should you put your cash? Bankrate.com's Greg McBride offers some ideas and talks about why a long-term certificate of deposit might be a good strategy, even at these rates. Andrea Coombes reports.
Watch video: Best places to stash your cash now.


REAL ESTATE

Mortgage rates hold steady

Mortgage rates held stable this week, due to news that the economy improved and inflation remained in check at the end of the year, Freddie Mac's chief economist says.
Read more: Mortgage rates hold steady.


ESTATE PLANNING

Transferring wealth to the next generation

Todd Millay, managing director at Choate Investment Advisors, offers key questions advisers and families need to address to facilitate a successful transfer of wealth to the next generation. Dow Jones Wealth Adviser's Veronica Dagher has the interview.
Watch video: Transferring wealth to the next generation.


JOB MARKET

U.S. jobless claims fall 42,000 to 415,000

New filings for unemployment benefits fall back to 415,000 for the latest week. While improved, the pace of claims remains at levels associated with a still-fragile jobs market.
Read more: U.S. jobless claims fall 42,000 to 415,000.


ECONOMY & POLITICS

Bernanke spies hints of improving economy

Fed chairman says he sees signs of heathier consumer spending and job growth, but these hints don't alter his long-standing view that the recovery would be gradual.
Read more: Bernanke spies hints of improving economy.


U.S. productivity rises 2.6% in fourth quarter

The productivity of American businesses climbed a seasonally adjusted 2.6% in the fourth quarter as labor costs fell again.
Read more: U.S. productivity rises 2.6% in fourth quarter.


Shoppers brave stormy weather

Looks like retailers were able to navigate the weather better than the rest of us last month, writes Angela Moore.
Read more: Shoppers brave stormy weather.


Obama to push for energy-efficient buildings

President Barack Obama will unveil a new plan to make commercial buildings more energy-efficient, part of a clean-energy push he outlined in his State of the Union address last week.
Read more: Obama to push for energy-efficient buildings.


Services picks up strength in January

Activity in the nonmanufacturing sector picked up speed in January, growing for the 14th consecutive month, according to data released by the Institute for Supply Management.
Read more: Services picks up strength in January.


INVESTING

Panel floats idea of U.S. ‘century' bonds

Wall Street is pushing the U.S. government to lock in low interest rates for the next few decades by issuing ultralong bonds that would mature in 40, 50 or even 100 years.
Read more: Panel floats idea of U.S. ‘century' bonds.


Mutual funds grow as money funds shrink

Long-term mutual funds had an estimated net inflow of $7.9 billion in the latest week on strong equity- and hybrid-fund inflows, while investors also added to bond funds, according to the Investment Company Institute.
Read more: Mutual funds grow as money funds shrink.


Say-on-pay vote gives CEOs early trouble in 2011

Shareholders at a handful of large companies are already sending a message that they want an annual vote on the pay packages of top executives, rejecting efforts at those companies to only hold those votes once every three years.
Read more: Say-on-pay vote gives CEOs early trouble in 2011.


Complacent bulls ignore January turmoil

A volatile January of storms and global turmoil has underscored a risk to the world's economic recovery, but nobody is listening.
Read more: Complacent bulls ignore January turmoil.


Permabears' growling, grudging bullishness

Two permabears make a snarling concession to the bulls, saying blue-chip stocks could keep rising after all, reports Peter Brimelow.
Read more: Permabears' growling, grudging bullishness.


Retailers in a precarious technical position

Investors should start preparing for a more pronounced pullback in the sector, writes Tomi Kilgore.
Read more: Retailers in a precarious technical position.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Germany must fund bailout, Schröder says

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, in an interview with columnist David Marsh, calls on Germany to lead the way to a stronger European monetary union.
Read more: Germany must fund bailout, Schröder says.


Australia trade surplus shrinks but beats forecast

Australia's trade surplus narrows in December, as the first effects of recent devastating floods in the east of the country begin to show up in the data, although the reading still manages to beat the forecast.
Read more: Australia trade surplus shrinks but beats forecast

The Economist: Business this Week



Business this week
Feb 3rd 2011
From The Economist print edition





Concerns that the instability in Egypt could affect shipping in the Suez Canal and disrupt oil supplies from the Middle East caused oil prices to rise further, with Brent crude topping $100 a barrel in London for the first time since 2008. Oil traded at a lower price on the New York Mercantile Exchange, partly because of a build-up in oil inventories at a big storage facility in Cushing, Oklahoma.
BP outlined a new strategy that it said would make it “safer and stronger”. The energy company plans to increase significantly its investments in exploration, focus on growth in emerging markets and rationalise its business in “mature” areas. It will sell two refineries in America, including its site at Texas City, where 15 workers died in an explosion in 2005. The company announced a headline $4.9 billion loss for 2010 and took a $40.9 billion charge for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Shareholder dividends, suspended during the height of that crisis, were reinstated.
BP also affirmed its commitment to seek “new partnership opportunities”. However, its recently announced partnership with Russia’s Rosneft was challenged in court this week by investors in BP’s existing Russian venture, TNK-BP, who argue that the Rosneft deal contravenes their arrangement. The judge sent the two sides to arbitration until February 25th. See article
Exxon Mobil, which last month sealed an agreement with Rosneft to develop assets in the Black Sea, made a profit of $30.5 billion in 2010, up by 57% from 2009, on revenue of $383.2 billion.
Nippon Steel, Japan’s biggest steelmaker, and Sumitomo Metals, a smaller rival, said they were planning to merge next year. The pair already work together; a merger would make them the world’s second-largest steel firm, far behind ArcelorMittal. See article
Alpha Natural Resources and Massey Energy announced a merger in an $8.5 billion deal that creates the world’s third-biggest supplier of metallurgical coal to steelmakers.

Citigroup seized control of EMI from Terra Firma Capital Partners, concluding that EMI was insolvent and writing off £2.2 billion ($3.6 billion) of the music company’s £3.4 billion debt. Terra Firma acquired EMI in a leveraged buy-out in 2007 and has struggled with a loan it obtained from Citi to fund the deal. The private-equity firm lost a court case last year in which it alleged that Citi had bamboozled it into buying EMI, which is up for sale again. See article
An official first estimate showed that America’s GDP increased by 3.2% in the final three months of last year, as consumer spending rose by 4.4%, the fastest clip since the start of 2006. The economy grew by 2.9% for all of 2010.
Trading was poised to restart in Europe’s carbon market after a two-week shutdown prompted by hackers stealing electronic carbon-permits from accounts in the Czech Republic and elsewhere. See article

Goldman Sachs said it had approved an annual base salary (excluding stock options) of $2m for Lloyd Blankfein, representing a pay rise of 233% for its chairman and chief executive. Net profit at Goldman fell by 38% last year.
BTGPactual, a Brazilian bank, agreed to buy a controlling stake in Banco PanAmericano, which specialises in credit cards and car loans and last November was found to have a $1.5 billion hole in its accounts.
Chrysler reported a loss of $652m for 2010, its first full year of operations since leaving bankruptcy protection and forming a partnership with Fiat. The carmaker would have made a profit in the fourth quarter but for interest it paid on government loans; it insists it is on the road to profitability this year. Earlier, Ford posted net profit of $6.6 billion for 2010, its biggest in 11 years.

Google’s Android operating system was the most popular platform for smartphones at the end of 2010, according to a report from Canalys, a tech consultancy. Based on shipments, Android was used in 33% of smartphones, vaulting it ahead of Nokia’s Symbian (31%), Apple’s iOS (16%) and the BlackBerry platform (15%). Apple will probably get a boost this year from Verizon Wireless’s new iPhone service in America.
Pfizer’s decision to close its leading research centre in Britain produced much political hand-wringing about the future for British commercial science. The centre, in Kent, employs 2,400 people and had developed some of Pfizer’s best-known drugs, including Viagra. With demand for some of its products expected to droop in the face of stiff competition from generic rivals, Pfizer is trimming its R&D worldwide.

Evenining Market Wrap: Stocks Eke Out Modest Gains After Bernanke Comments - U.S. Commentary

Evening Market Wrap
Thursday, February 3, 2011, 17:01

Commentary
Stocks were able to end with modest gains on Thursday, as relatively upbeat commentary on the U.S. economic recovery from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke helped to drive some late-day buying interest. Upside was limited ahead of Friday's landmark jobs data and as the riots in Egypt remained on the forefront of market concerns. Full Article
Economic News
Extending the volatile trend seen in recent weeks, first-time claims for unemployment benefits showed a notable move back to the downside in the week ended January 29th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. The report showed that initial jobless claims fell by 42,000 to 415,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 457,000. Economists had been expecting jobless claims to slip to 425,000 from the 454,000 originally reported for the previous week. Full Article
With worker output showing a notable increase in the fourth quarter, the U.S. Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a bigger than expected increase in labor productivity in the last three months of 2010. The report showed that productivity increased by 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter following an upwardly revised 2.4 percent increase in the third quarter. Economists had expected productivity to increase by 2.0 percent. Full Article
Indicating an acceleration in the pace of growth in U.S. service sector activity in the month of January, the Institute for Supply Management released a report on Thursday showing that its index of activity in the sector unexpectedly showed a notable increase for the month. The ISM said its non-manufacturing index rose to 59.4 in January from 57.1 in December, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the service sector. Economists had been expecting the index to edge down to 57.0. Full Article
Orders for U.S. manufactured goods unexpectedly showed a modest increase in the month of December, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday, with the increase largely due to a jump in orders for non-durable goods. The report showed that factory orders edged up by 0.2 percent in December following an upwardly revised 1.3 percent increase in November. Economists had expected orders to slip by 0.4 percent. Full Article
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke provided relatively upbeat commentary about the U.S. economic recovery in a speech at the National Press Club on Thursday, although he noted that the unemployment rate is likely to remain above normal levels for several years. Bernanke noted that there have recently been increased signs that a self-sustaining recovery in consumer and business spending may be taking hold. Full Article
Corporate News
Retailers' same-store sales details for January 2011, revealed on Thursday, indicate that most of them witnessed robust sales activity during the month despite adverse weather conditions. Off-price retailers like BJ's and Ross Stores, and apparel store operators such as Limited Brands were the strongest performers among them while department store operator J. C. Penney recorded somewhat weak sales. Many retailers also preferred to lift their earnings outlook for the fourth quarter and full year. Full Article
Photographic equipment maker Eastman Kodak Co. (EK) reaffirmed Thursday its plans to complete the transformation into a digital company with sustainable profits starting 2012. The company noted that it has sufficient resources and financial flexibility to complete the transformation and fully implement its strategy for profitable growth. The company would provide the details of the plan to investors at its annual strategy meeting later in the day. Full Article
Cereal maker Kellogg Co. (K) on Thursday reported a 7 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, helped by lower expenses, despite a fall in revenues. Earnings matched Wall Street view. Further, the company issued 2011 earnings outlook below Street expectation. Net income attributable to Kellogg rose to $189 million from $176 million in the previous year. On a per share basis, earnings advanced to $0.51 from $0.46. On average, 19 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings per share of $0.51 for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items. Full Article
Warehouse club chain BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. (BJ) said Thursday that its board of directors has decided to explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company. It has named Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. (MS) as its financial advisor to assist in this process. Following the announcement, the company's shares rose 13 percent in pre-market trading. However, the Natick, Massachusetts-based retailer said there can be no assurance that the exploration of strategic alternatives will result in its sale or in any other transaction. The company has a market capitalization of $2.35 billion. Full Article
Entertainment content company Viacom Inc. (VIA, VIAB) Thursday reported a decline in first-quarter profit, as revenues dropped 5 percent, reflecting lower home entertainment sales. The owner of the Paramount Pictures movie studio and cable networks like MTV and Nickelodeon said its quarterly net earnings attributable to the company declined to $610 million or $1.00 per share from $694 million or $1.14 per share in the previous year. Full Article
Drug maker Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) on Thursday reported a net loss for the fourth quarter, hurt by accounting and merger-related expenses that include a charge tied to its investigational cardiovascular drug vorapaxar. A hefty gain realized last year related to the Merck/Schering-Plough partnership also affected comparability. However, adjusted earnings per share as well as revenue increased and topped analysts' consensus estimates. Looking ahead, the company provided an earnings outlook for fiscal year 2011, which trails analysts' expectations, and also withdrew its long-term earnings growth outlook. Full Article
Political News
President Barack Obama has work to do if he hopes to win the key swing state of Florida in 2012, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday. The poll showed that 48 percent of Florida voters do not think that Obama deserves to be re-elected compared to the 45 percent that think he does deserve to be re-elected. Full Article

Financial And ForexInfo News: Reuters -Daily Investor Update: Wall Street edges up on retail sales

FINANCIAL AND FOREX INFO NEWS


News



LATEST NEWS
Wall Street edges up on retail sales
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks ended near the session's highs on Thursday, with investors favoring shares of retailers after encouraging chain-store sales raised confidence ahead of Friday's jobs report. | Full Article

Bernanke says growth, inflation still missing Fed goals
February 03, 2011 03:29 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economic recovery still needs help from the Federal Reserve despite signs of improvement, the central bank's chairman Ben Bernanke said on Thursday. | Full Article
Top JPMorgan execs were warned about Madoff: trustee
February 03, 2011 04:17 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co executives were concerned that Bernard Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme, but they silently stood by for years to protect the bank's investments, the trustee for Madoff's investors said. | Full Article
Data points to stronger growth momentum
February 03, 2011 01:50 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Growth in the U.S. services sector in January was the fastest in more than five years, another sign the economy started 2011 on a solid footing, with measures of employment showing more strength. | Full Article
ISS backs call for Apple CEO succession plan
February 03, 2011 03:26 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Influential investor advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services has thrown its weight behind a shareholder proposal to require Apple Inc to disclose a succession plan for Chief Executive Steve Jobs. | Full Article

Financial And Forex Info News: Bernanke shrugs off inflation fears | The Australian Business Briefing

FINANCIAL AND FOREX INFO NEWS





Bernanke shrugs off inflation fears
Ben Bernanke UPDATED Luca Di Leo BEN Bernanke has acknowledged that surging food and energy prices pose challenges, but does not expect a sharp rise in overall inflation.
 
Wall St rises on buoyant retailers
Wall St Brendan Conway and Kristina Peterson US stocks rose modestly today, heartened by encouraging readings on the retail sector but keeping a close watch on the unrest in Egypt.
 
QBE poised for $2bn US insurer purchase
QBE Andrew Main QBE Insurance is expected to announce it has bought California-based specialist Balboa Insurance Group for $2 billion.
 
Kellogg to lift prices as costs rise
Kellogg Paul Ziobro KELLOGG plans more aggressive price increases this year on cereals, snacks and other foods in response to the increase in commodity costs.
 
Joyce vows to fix Qantas decline
Alan Joyce Steve Creedy, Aviation writer QANTAS chief Alan Joyce has signalled his determination to stop the airline's full-service international operations bleeding market share.
 
Steel mills forge merger
steel Rick Wallace, Tokyo correspondent TWO of Japan's top steel mills have announced plans for a multi-billion-dollar merger to create the world's second-largest steel producer.
 
News Corp doubles profits
news corp doubles James Chessell STRONG growth from its US pay-TV business helped News Corporation more than double net profit in the second quarter of 2010-11.
 
Murdoch's iPad Daily makes media magical
News Corp iPad Newspaper James Chessell NEWS Corporation chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch was in an expansive mood as he launched The Daily.
 
Financial Markets
Wall St rises on buoyant retailers
Wall St Brendan Conway and Kristina Peterson US stocks rose modestly today, heartened by encouraging readings on the retail sector but keeping a close watch on the unrest in Egypt.
 
Oil price slips on stronger US dollar
Gold rallies on US easy money policy
 
Financial Markets Coverage
 
Mining & Energy
Oil price slips on stronger US dollar
oil Jerry DiColo and Dan Strumpf OIL prices fell today as the US dollar rallied, even as traders remain focused on escalating violence in Egypt and the prospect of supply disruptions.
 
Gold rallies on US easy money policy
Royalty could make Iluka a cash king
 
More Mining & Energy Coverage

Financial & Forex Info News: Survival a reason to celebrate | The australian Capital Circle





Capital Circle Newsletter


Survival a reason to celebrate
 
As if the floods weren't bad enough, Queenslanders are now counting the cost of the devastating Cyclone Yasi.

The PM's day, per the press office: Julia Gillard arrived in Townsville last night. She will travel to cyclone-hit areas later today, though exactly where is yet to be confirmed. She is also expected to hold a press conference later today.
Tony Abbott is in Sydney today. He will campaign with the state Liberal candidate for Parramatta this morning and then attend shadow cabinet.
One door closes: Liberal MP Greg Hunt has lost his chief of staff, John Deller, to Victorian Environment minister Ryan Smith where he will fill the same role. But Liberal climate spokesman Hunt has also pulled off a coup - hiring former AAP press gallery journalist Cathy Alexander as his adviser and press secretary. Alexander, who won the Qantas & European Union Journalism Award in 2009, joins Malcolm Turnbull spinner Jonathan Dart as the second ex-Canberra Times journalist in Liberal ranks. Got a tip? - massolaj@theaustralian.com.au
Capital Circle would like to thank the helpful reader who passed on a copy of a DFAT administrative circular. The document explains who's who in Foreign Minster Kevin Rudd's office and reveals he has three media advisers, rather than the two other ministers have - with the obvious exception of the PM. Ministerial contact lists given to journalists identify Kate Sieper and Ranya Alkadamani as Mr Rudd's spinners. But the DFAT document reveals former Channel 9 journalist Daniel Street - hired by Mr Rudd to provide advice on foreign aid - is considered a media adviser by the department. Why the disparity?
Spotted: Staying with Rudd, another eagle-eyed reader spotted his former spinner, Fiona Sugden, in the audience at the "un-retiring" press conference given by the Thorpedo. What's the story? Sugden tells Capital Circle she is happily doing corporate comms for Virgin Blue these days. Even better, she is expecting her second baby in about six weeks. Good luck, Fiona.
***Read more...

Financial And Forex Info News: Royal Dutch Shell: 4th Quarter and Full Year 2010 Results




Fourth quarter and full year 2010 results and interim dividend announcement

03/02/2011

At 07.00 GMT (08.00 CET and 02.00 EST) on Thursday 3 February, 2011 Royal Dutch Shell plc released its fourth quarter and full year 2010 results and fourth quarter interim dividend announcement for 2010.
Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser commented:
Peter Voser
“Our 2010 earnings increased substantially from 2009 levels, driven by improving industry fundamentals, and Shell’s production growth and cost performance. Our 2010 oil and natural gas production volumes were 3.3 million boe/d, an increase of 5%. LNG sales volumes increased by 25%, with continued growth in Downstream. Fourth quarter and full year 2010 earnings were supported by higher oil prices and chemicals margins. However, our earnings were impacted by weak refining margins, pressure on certain regional natural gas prices, and volatility in Downstream marketing margins as a result of rising oil prices.
In 2010 Shell made good progress on implementing strategy, improving near-term performance, delivering a new wave of production growth, and maturing the next generation of growth options for shareholders." [read the full comment in the Quarterly Results Announcement]

What's holding back the U.S. economy? : (8) The Washington Post Afternoon Edition - Most Read Opinion Columns

Washington Post

1) Memo to Dan Snyder: Thank you for your stewardship of the Redskins

In targeting a reporter, you've given Giants fans reason to cheer.

2) Why Obama has to get Egypt right

Let's give the armies of our allies the support they seek.

3) Rand Paul, the great uncompromiser

The Kentucky Republican has quickly put himself at odds with his state.

4) Rick Santorum's appeal to the GOP base

The Pennsylvania Republican could be a strong contender for 2012.

5) A conservative split aids Obama on Egypt

On Egypt, the president shares a foreign policy view of many conservatives.

6) Will Republicans play the favorite-son game?

This year, the location of potential 2012 GOP candidates could mean everything.

7) Health care's federal future, brought to you by the GOP

A peek into the future of health reform if Obamacare gets repealed.

8) What's holding back the U.S. economy?

Our economy could be suffering because we're not innovating like we used to.

9) Editorial: A small gesture on gun safety

MANY PRESIDENTS, fearful of alienating the powerful gun lobby, have neglected the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Funding requests are often skimpy, making it that much more difficult for the emaciated agency to crack down on illegal sales and trafficking of firearms.

10) Egypt protests show George W. Bush was right about freedom in the Arab world

For decades, the Arab states have seemed exceptions to the laws of politics and human nature. While liberty expanded in many parts of the globe, these nations were left behind, their "freedom deficit" signaling the political underdevelopment that accompanied many other economic and social maladie...

Financial And Forex Info News: Released data for Manufacturer's Shipments, Inventories, and Orders | ESA

FINANCIAL AND FOREX INFO NEWS


Statistically speaking,the recollected , worked  and released data, even though important in absolute terms, can not be interpreted as a confirmation of  an  economic recovery;  due to the fact, that the  round numbers   are insignificant to confirm any trend or have  a useless forecasting value. These numbers fall within the margin error and even below standards.
I emphatically disagree with opinions in that direction which only lead to more confusion. The only conclusion is:  The No Confirmation Of U.S. Economic Growth.

Fernando Guzmán Cavero

Economics and Statistics Administration Logo
New orders for manufactured goods rose 0.2 percent in December 2010, to $426.8 billion.  Shipments increased 2.0 percent, to $436.0 billion.  Unfilled orders fell 0.4 percent, to $822.8 billion.  And inventories increased 1.1 percent, to $550.4 billion.

 

Forex Market Update

Forex Market Update
Thursday, February 3, 2011, 09:06


Economic News
Eurozone retail sales unexpectedly dropped in December, casting doubt over recent signs of consumer revival in the currency bloc. Full Article
British service sector activity rebounded sharply to an eight-month high in January as weather conditions improved, survey data from Markit Economics showed Thursday. Full Article
Czech policy makers on Thursday left the key interest rate at a record low as expected for a sixth consecutive time. Full Article
With worker output showing a notable increase in the fourth quarter, the U.S. Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing a bigger than expected increase in labor productivity in the last three months of 2010. Full Article
Extending the volatile trend seen in recent weeks, first-time claims for unemployment benefits showed a notable move back to the downside in the week ended January 29th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. Full Article
Forex Top Story
The European Central Bank retained its key interest for the 21th consecutive month on Thursday, as the euro area battles rising inflationary pressures amid the resurfacing of the debt crisis in peripheral economies. Full Article
Eurozone private sector activity expanded more than initially estimated in January at the fastest pace in nine months, boosting hopes of a strong growth at the start of 2011. Full Article
Australia notched a record trade surplus of A$16.6 billion in 2010 as demand from China for commodities such as iron ore and coal sent prices spiraling upwards, official data showed on Thursday. Full Article
New Zealand's labor market conditions deteriorated in the fourth quarter of 2010, as the number of employed individuals declined from the previous quarter, while at the same time, the number of unemployed individuals increased, official data showed Thursday. Full Article
Commodities
The price of gold was little changed Thursday morning as the U.S dollar steadied ahead of a host of economic releases from the U.S. Full Article
The price of crude oil moved back near its 27-month high Thursday morning as violence in Egypt worsened, cementing speculation that supplies through the Suez Canal will be disrupted. Full Article
Political News
Egypt's Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has apologized for the fatal clashes between anti-government protesters and supporters of embattled President Hosni Mubarak, and vowed to punish those responsible for the same. Full Article
Leaders of five major European countries have demanded immediate transition of power in Egypt. Full Article
The death toll in clashes between Egypt's anti-government protesters and supporters of beleaguered President Hosni Mubarak rose to eight as the demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square came under pre-dawn fire on Thursday. Full Article
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has demanded action against those responsible for unleashing violence against protesters demanding the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, reports said on Wednesday. Full Article
Analyst Currency Comments
Analysts at Westpac noted on Thursday that New Zealand's disappointing jobs data influenced trading in Asia as most other markets in the region were shut for Lunar New Year holidays. Full Article
Currency Alerts
The Swiss franc that moved sideways against other major currencies in Asian deals on Thursday lost ground after a report showed at 2:15 am ET that Switzerland's trade balance showed a deficit in 2010. The franc fell to a 10-day low against the euro, pound and the yen.Full Article
U.K.'s sterling edged higher against its major rivals in European trading on Thursday after a report showed that the UK service sector expanded much more than forecast in January after an unexpected contraction in December. Full Article
During early Asian session on Thursday, the Australian dollar advanced against its major counterparts after reports showed that Australia's trade surplus rose more than expected in December and building approvals recovered in the same month. Full Article
The New Zealand dollar has been extending its decline against the US and Australian dollars in Asian deals on Thursday as traders sold the NZ currency on rise in New Zealand's jobless rate. Full Article
The dollar was steady Thursday morning in New York, as traders braced for a slew of economic data including the government's latest figures on initial jobless claims. Full Article
General News
At least ten people have been killed in the major winter storm that lashed several parts of the United States wreaking havoc, reports said on Thursday. Full Article
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called for the release of a teenaged boy detained for alleged blasphemy in Pakistan, media reports said. Full Article
The U.S. State Department has urged all American citizens in Egypt who wish to leave the country in the wake of violent anti-government uprising to go to the airports "immediately," adding that delay was "not advisable." Full Article
Suspected separatist militants mowed down at least five Buddhists in Thailand's southern Pattani province on Thursday, it has been reported. Full Article
As many as 13 people have been killed in pitched battles between two Muslim rebel factions in the Philippines, reports said on Thursday. Full Article
Stocks To Watch
Feb 3, 2011 Bright outlook...
A once high-flier that crashed in 2009, this stock comes into our radar on the merit of its upbeat outlook for fiscal 2011. This semiconductor wafer maker moved to a profit in the fourth quarter, as r Full Article