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Jun 16, 2011
Personal Finance Daily
JUNE 16, 2011
Are you ready for shifts in the job market?
- Your well-paid, middle class job is in danger
- Airfares for business travelers jump 10%
- 5 questions every investor should ask now
- Tech behemoth IBM turns 100 years old
Also in today's Personal Finance section, Andrea Coombes reports that airfares and hotel rates for business travelers are going up. The rising cost of oil and a resurgence in business travel are behind the increases.
— Anne Stanley , Managing Editor, Personal Finance
Your well-paid, middle-class job is in danger
The job market is changing, and it's not just manufacturing jobs that are disappearing. Even some highly-paid workers may find themselves needing to re-tool their skills in the years ahead.
Read more: Your well-paid, middle-class job is in danger.
Airfares for business travelers jump 10%
Business people are paying more for travel this year, with average domestic airfares jumping 10% in the first quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago, and hotel room rates rising 3% in that period, according to the American Express Business Travel Monitor.
Read more: Airfares for business travelers jump 10%.
Foreclosures fall to 42-month low: RealtyTrac
Foreclosure filings fell 2% in May, compared with April, pushing foreclosure activity down to a 42-month low, according to RealtyTrac's monthly foreclosure market report, released on Thursday.
Read more: Foreclosures fall to 42-month low.
30-year fixed-rate mortgage inches to 4.5%
Mortgage rates changed little this week, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inching up to 4.5% from last week's 4.49% average, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey of conforming mortgage rates.
Read more: 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inches up to 4.5%.
5 questions every investor should ask now
Columnist Chuck Jaffe, fresh from Morningstar Inc.'s biggest-ever investor conference, has five key questions mutual fund and ETF shareholders should ask themselves now about their own portfolio and money-management style.
Read more: 5 questions every investor should ask now.
3 ways to trade stocks in a volatile market
Trading in advance of the end of QE2 is like playing poker with Ben Bernanke. At the moment, at least, the Fed isn't revealing its hand. Accordingly, traders should brace for more volatility as June 30 approaches, given the state of confusion many market participants are in.
Read more: 3 ways to trade stocks in a volatile market.
8 reasons you stink at trading stocks
James Altucher dishes you up some tough love about why you'll never win at trading stocks on your own.
Read more: 8 reasons you stink at trading stocks.
Stock collapse and $12,000 gold?
After six down weeks and a savage slump on Tuesday, the specter of a 2008 Crash haunts Wall Street. But two certified doomsters are (slightly) more cautious, writes Peter Brimelow.
Read more: Stock collapse and $12,000 gold?
Tech behemoth IBM turns 100 years old
As much younger tech companies face mid-life crises or leadership succession issues, IBM's longevity and relevance is indeed impressive
Read more: Tech behemoth IBM turns 100.
|Dow, S&P 500 end up amid options expiry|
|NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Dow and S&P 500 ended higher in volatile trading on Thursday thanks only to technical factors and options expirations, but raging uncertainty about Greece prevented investors from committing money to the market. | Full Article|
|Regional factories sputter, rays of hope in jobs|
|June 16, 2011 01:28 PM ET|
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A gauge of regional manufacturing activity slumped to a near two-year low in June, suggesting U.S. factories were faltering, overshadowing better than expected readings on the labor and housing markets. | Full Article|
|Greek PM reshuffles government, lenders dangle lifeline|
|June 16, 2011 04:01 PM ET|
|ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, assailed by violent demonstrations and political defections, fought on Thursday to form a cabinet that would back painful measures to avoid defaulting on the national debt. | Full Article|
|Oracle seeks billions in lawsuit against Google|
|June 16, 2011 04:09 PM ET|
|SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Oracle Corp is seeking damages "in the billions of dollars" from Google Inc in a patent lawsuit over the smartphone market, according to a court filing. | Full Article|
|Capital One to buy ING's U.S. online bank: report|
|June 16, 2011 02:56 PM ET|
|CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - Capital One Financial Corp plans to buy ING Groep NV's U.S. online bank for $9 billion in cash and stock, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. | Full Article|
|Woes of famous, powerful shine light on sex addiction|
|Multiple sclerosis linked to shingles|
|Migraines eased after ginger and herb treatment|
|Study questions extra folic acid need for women|
MarketWatch News on COF
Financials pull in gains; banks lag
2 min ago- Greg Morcroft
Capital One to buy ING Direct for $9 bln
11 min ago- Wallace Witkowski
ING online bank fetches $9 bln from Capital One
35 min ago- MarketWatch.com
ING, Capital One in Wall Street makeover
3:22 p.m. Today- MarketWatch
Capital One wins ING's U.S. online bank - source
1:19 p.m. Today- MarketWatch.com
Capital One bids for HSBC's U.S. card business
8:21 p.m. June 15, 2011- MarketWatch.com
B. of A., J.P. Morgan drag down financial stocks
5:06 p.m. June 15, 2011- Greg Morcroft
Capital One makes early bid for HSBC's US cards
3:43 p.m. June 15, 2011- MarketWatch.com
Discover a rare gainer in dented financial sector
9:57 a.m. June 15, 2011- Greg Morcroft
Capital One credit-card delinquencies fall in May
8:45 a.m. June 15, 2011- MarketWatch.com
Miami Heat quest fuels bumper NBA ratings
4:16 p.m. June 14, 2011- Sam Mamudi
By RAPHAEL MINDER
The chairman of Banco Santander and 11 relatives have become the subject of a huge investigation into tax evasion.
By JOHN M. BRODER
Public opinion wavered after the Deepwater Horizon blowout, but in general Americans back plans to reduce oil imports.
By CHRISTINE HAUSER
Wall Street stocks recovered from steep losses in Europe and Asia, but Greece debt concerns remained center-stage.
By BEN PROTESS
Wall Street is stepping up its attacks on new financial regulation, warning Congress that restrictions threaten to weaken big banks and the broader economy.
By NICOLA CLARK
The U.S. planemaker said annual increases in passenger and cargo traffic, particularly in Asia, would outpace global economic growth over the next two decades.
Highlights from The Economist online's Business this week
» A jittery world economy
» Jumping the gun
» Leading the way?
» Pandora's money box
» Consumer prices in China rose at the quickest pace in three years, by 5.5% in May from a year earlier. Politically sensitive food prices surged by 11.7%. The People's Bank of China increased the reserve requirement for banks for the sixth time this year, the latest step in the central bank's effort to restrain credit and cool the economy. Separate data showed a sharp fall in new loans issued by Chinese banks in May compared with April.A jittery world economy
» America's headline inflation rate, including food and energy, rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in May from April (or by 3.6% from a year earlier). Excluding food and energy, prices increased by 0.3%, the fastest clip since July 2008.
» George Osborne, the British chancellor, threw his weight behind the proposals of the Vickers commission on banking, which in an interim report in April recommended that banks ring-fence their retail operations and set aside 10% of capital as a buffer against hard times, a higher ratio than that currently being proposed in international capital rules. Mr Osborne also announced plans to auction off the mortgage and savings business of Northern Rock, which was taken into state ownership in 2008.
» The IMF formally accepted the nominations of two candidates for the position of managing director: Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister and firm favourite for the job, and Agustín Carstens, the governor of the Bank of Mexico, who has asked emerging economies to back his long-shot bid. Stanley Fischer, a renowned academic economist who heads Israel's central bank, made a late entry into the field but was excluded from the final list because at 67 he is two years older than the maximum for candidates.
» Johnson & Johnson decided to pull out of the business for drug-coated heart stents, a market it transformed when it introduced a blockbuster product in 2003. Recently its sales from stents have shrunk as rivals have brought out ever more innovative devices.
Leading the way?
» Nicolas Sarkozy sharpened his attack on speculation in commodities markets, which he insists is an underlying factor in pushing up prices for raw materials. The French president said that the "gap between the reality of physical markets and that of financial markets has widened" and called for stricter regulations, on commodities trading, such as minimum deposits for derivatives trades and a global standard for clearing contracts.
» Glencore (which came under fire from Mr Sarkozy in his speech, without being named specifically) posted its first earnings since making its stockmarket debut last month. The commodities-trading company reported that revenue had increased by 39% and net profit by 47% in the first quarter compared with the same period last year.
» Maple Group Acquisition, a consortium of Canadian banks and pension funds which has launched a hostile bid for TMX, the operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange, said four more financial institutions had joined its alliance. Maple is trying to trump a friendly offer for TMX from the London Stock Exchange.
» Apple settled a patent dispute with Nokia, which demanded royalties for the use of its intellectual property in the iPhone. Apple will pay a one-off fee to Nokia and royalties from now on. The pair will enter into a patent-licensing agreement that ends all outstanding quarrels over patents between the companies, including the countersuit that Apple brought against Nokia.
» As Apple and Nokia made up, tensions escalated between Hewlett-Packard and Oracle when HP sued Oracle, accusing it of purposely neglecting to fix software bugs for customers in a chip widely used in HP's servers in order to entice them to switch to Oracle's servers. The two companies have been at odds since Mark Hurd was forced out as HP's boss last year, only to take a senior position at Oracle.
Pandora's money box
» Another internet company made a much-heralded stockmarket debut. Pandora, an online music service, priced its initial public offering well above expectations at $16 a share. Plenty of analysts believe that many of the recent "hot" tech flotations may have been overpriced. Profitless Pandora faces stiffer competition as Apple and others expand their music services.
» VF, a clothing and footwear company based in North Carolina that owns some of the world's most-recognised apparel brands, including Wrangler, Lee, Vans, Nautica, JanSport and North Face, added Timberland to its range by agreeing to pay around $2.3 billion for the outdoorsy label. VF traces its roots to 1899, as a glove manufacturer in Pennsylvania.
Highlights from The Economist online's Politics this week
» The euro crisis: A second wave
» Turkey's election: AK all over again
» Italy's referendums: Another setback for Silvio
» Health-care reform: Whatever happened to Radical Dave?
» Charlemagne: On target
» Venezuelan politics: Troubles on two fronts
» Syria: From bad to worse
» Egypt's new coalition: Is it for real?
» In Greece trade unions held a general strike and tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Athens to protest against forthcoming austerity measures. George Papandreou, the prime minister, reshuffled his government and sought a vote of confidence to get the measures passed. With negotiations continuing over a second bail-out package for Greece, Standard & Poor's, a rating agency, downgraded the country's long-term sovereign debt to just above default status; it now has the lowest credit-rating of any country covered by S&P. See article
» Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) party won a third consecutive general election, taking almost half the votes. But it did not secure enough seats to enable it unilaterally to rewrite the constitution, as Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, had hoped. In his victory speech Mr Erdogan pledged to work with opposition parties, which criticised him before the election for what they say is an authoritarian ruling style.
» Italy's government was trounced in four referendums, on nuclear power, legal immunity for government ministers and two on water privatisation. The setback for Silvio Berlusconi came just weeks after the prime minister had seen his favoured candidate defeated in a mayoral election in Milan, his home town. See article
» The Conservative-Liberal Democrat government in Britain accepted the results of an independent review into its reforms of the National Health Service. The coalition's emphasis on internal competition will be weakened and the pace of change will slow. Doctors welcomed the move; the opposition Labour Party said it was a humiliating U-turn. Meanwhile, public-sector unions promised to bring hundreds of thousands of workers out on strike in co-ordinated protests against cuts. See article
» Robert Gates, America's departing defence secretary, attacked the lack of commitment from some European members of NATO, describing the organisation as a "two-tiered alliance" with diminishing abilities to mount operations. Mr Gates complained that "while every alliance member voted for the Libya mission…fewer than a third have been willing to participate in the strike mission." See article
» The Republicans held their first proper presidential debate, with seven candidates taking part in the proceedings in New Hampshire. Mitt Romney got off lightly, as his rivals held back from attacking the Obama-like health-insurance mandate he introduced while governor of Massachusetts. Michele Bachmann, a tea-party favourite, formally entered the race at the debate. Newt Gingrich also attended, despite the earlier mass resignation of his campaign staff.
» Hugo Chávez, Venezuela's president, underwent an operation for a pelvic abscess in Cuba. See article
» Argentina returned cargo to the United States that it had seized from an American military aircraft in February, including satellite equipment and morphine. Although the American government said the materials were intended for a police training course, Argentine officials had accused it of trying to smuggle the goods into their country.
A rocky outlook
» The squabbling intensified over territory in the South China Sea. After a tussle between Chinese and Vietnamese boats, China demanded that Vietnam halt its exploration for oil around the Spratly Islands. Vietnam responded by conducting live-fire drills and drawing up plans for conscripting troops. The Philippines reasserted its claims in the Spratlys, and Taiwan announced plans to reinforce its garrison there.
» Police authorities in China and Taiwan were among those of several countries that co-operated to bust a South-East Asian crime ring. Nearly 600 suspects were arrested, 177 of them in Indonesia alone. Most were Taiwanese nationals. The criminals used an array of scams to defraud their victims, who were mostly ethnic Chinese residents in six countries.
» Myanmar's army engaged one of the country's largest rebel militias in pitched battles in the north-east, where China is building a series of vast hydropower projects. Most of the fighting took place just 30km from the Chinese border. Thousands of civilians fled, most of them ethnic Kachins, and many sought refuge across the border.
» Sequenced bomb blasts in Peshawar, in north-west Pakistan, killed at least 39 people. The Pakistani Taliban denied responsibility. Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, had been in Islamabad only hours earlier.
» A court in Jakarta found Abu Bakar Basyir guilty of terrorism-related charges and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. The radical Islamic cleric has previously been blamed for a number of bomb plots across Indonesia. He was jailed for conspiring in the Bali attack in 2002, but the Supreme Court eventually quashed that conviction.
» Ayman al-Zawahiri took over as al-Qaeda's new leader following the killing of Osama bin Laden by American forces in Pakistan. The organisation's former number two vowed to continue its jihad against America and Israel.
No conversion in Damascus
» At least 8,500 Syrians fled to Turkey after government troops backed by helicopters and tanks entered the restive town of Jisr al-Shughour, near the border. Demonstrations continued to spread across the country. Turkey castigated President Bashar Assad's regime. But the Russian and Chinese governments seemed likely to block a UN Security Council resolution condemning the crackdown. See article
» Five months after being nominated as Lebanon's prime minister, Najib Mikati, a Sunni supported by Hizbullah, the Shia party-cum-militia, at last got parliament to vote him formally into office.
» The interim government in Tunisia said that Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the ousted president, will stand trial in absentia on charges that range from conspiring against the state to drug-trafficking.
» A party created by the Muslim Brotherhood agreed in principle that it would form a united front with the Wafd, an old liberal secular party that used to co-operate with the previous regime, to compete in Egypt's general election scheduled for September. See article