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Aug 16, 2011

Smartcompany News & Analysis: Search rankings hurt competition: Report, Marketing lessons from Qantas job cuts, Gillian Franklin on finding star investors, Retail’s tech future

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Today on SmartCompany we look at a report that claims search engine rankings are restricting competition, ask whether a spate of job cuts from the top end of town could spread to SMEs and look at the marketing lessons from Qantas’ big restructure announcement. And in Entrepreneur Watch, James Thomson looks at why we’re all fascinated when crime and business collide.

For all this and more, head to our home page.

Lunch with an Entrepreneur
Turning up the heat
Heat Group founder Gillian Franklin details her international expansion plans, and the necessity of offering equity to sought-after directors. BY MADELEINE HEFFERNAN.
Gillian Franklin

Industry Trends
Tech gadgets: The cornerstone of the retail sector
The consumer goods sector has benefited from an explosion of new tech products.
Tech gadgets

Aunty B
I'm a terrible manager. Should I pass the reigns to someone else?
Oh, you should so go. You know something? You have been thinking about another great idea for awhile now. Go off and start that.
Aunty B

Profitable growth
Julia Bickerstaff
If a key employee up and leaves you, how can you mitigate the fallout?
Julia Bickerstaff

Gen-Y Millionaire
Kirsty Dunphey
Does every person you interact with get at least a base level of common courtesy, respect and friendliness – or does someone need to be important to earn that?
Kirsty Dunphey

Property Investor
Michael Yardney
While the increasing tendency to save rather than spend will lead to tougher times in the retail sector, overall it's good news for the economic health of the average Australian's home budget.
Michael Yardney

Entrepreneur Watch
James Thomson
The arrest of an Australian businessman in the Madeleine Pulver bomb hoax is an example of when the worlds of legitimate and dirty money come together.

The Australian Business Briefing: Boral in $598m La Farge buyout

Wall St drops on euro fears
Wall Street traders Steven Russolillo US stocks fell after three straight sessions of sharp gains, as investors expressed disappointment over the euro zone.
Gold rise sparks bubble warning
Gold Matt Day GOLD ended at a record high today as slowing growth in the EU sent investors looking for an alternate store of wealth.
Boral in $598m La Farge buyout
Boral John Durie BORAL is expected today to unveil its long sought after expansion into Asia with the $598 million buyout of La Farge.
Sage confirms eyeing MYOB
myob Marietta Cauchi UK software maker Sage has confirmed it is considering a potential acquisition of accountancy software company MYOB.
Qantas turns to Asia for growth
qantas Steve Creedy QANTAS is staking a claim in the Asian market with a massive aircraft order worth $9 billion and plans for two new carriers.
Westpac to cut jobs
westpac Scott Murdoch WESTPAC chief Gail Kelly has ordered job cuts across the bank's middle management in a bid to offset flatlining revenue.
Summit fails to ease debt worries
Franco German summit Nathalie Boschat FRANCE and Germany have disappointed investors hungry for a solution to the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis.
Dell falls despite profit jump
Michael Dell John Kell DELL'S second-quarter profit jumped 63 per cent but shares fell sharply after its outlook disappointed investors.
Financial Markets
Wall St drops on euro fears
Wall Street traders Steven Russolillo US stocks fell after three straight sessions of sharp gains, as investors expressed disappointment over the euro zone.
Gold rise sparks bubble warning
Oil slips on growth concerns
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
Gold rise sparks bubble warning
Gold Matt Day GOLD ended at a record high today as slowing growth in the EU sent investors looking for an alternate store of wealth.
Oil slips on growth concerns
Copper falls in euro slowdown
More Mining & Energy

The Australian Capital Circle: Jobs go as economic reality hits home

Capital Circle Newsletter

Jobs go as economic reality hits home
While the carbon tax brawl continues, economic management is moving back to centre stage in the political debate.

Julia Gillard is in Canberra and has a day of meetings. She'll attend question time at 2pm and address the Australian Medical Association parliamentary dinner tonight.
Tony Abbott is in Canberra for parliament. He'll address the Australian Medical Association dinner tonight.
Economic focus: After a day of protests over the carbon tax and the sanctity of marriage, the economy took centre stage as Treasurer Wayne Swan and his shadow, Joe Hockey, addressed the parliament on the nation's economic prospects. Labor return-to-surplus promise is looking shaky , but pressure is also mounting on the Coalition to reveal its promised $70 billion in savings - no easy task for Joe Hockey and his team.
As The Australian reports today the high Australian dollar and a slowdown in the non-mining sectors of the economy have claimed their first mass casualties, with Qantas and steelmaker OneSteel announcing job cuts and banking giant Westpac eyeing cutbacks. The job shedding came as the Reserve Bank warned that the nation needed to lift its productivity if real incomes were to keep growing as prices for commodity exports declined in the future. As Dennis Shanahan comments, economic management and government competence are now being woven into the fabric of the carbon tax debate.
In Canberra today Nobel Laureate economist Professor Michael Spence will address the National Press Club on "The next convergence: the future of economic growth in a multispeed world". The National Digital Inclusion Summit will be held in Parliament House.

Peter Brent
Peter Brent
Nicole Cornes and Andrew Southcott’s margin
Nicole Cornes was Labor candidate for the seat of Boothby in Adelaide at the 2007 election. The ex-footy star’s glamorous wife didn’t have…
More Peter Brent

Evening Market Wrap

Evening Market Wrap
After moving mostly higher over the course of the three previous sessions, stocks gave back some ground during trading on Tuesday. Selling pressure was relatively subdued, however, limiting the downside for the markets. (Aug 16, 2011) Full Article
Economic News
In a sign of continued difficulties in the troubled U.S. housing sector, new housing starts and building permits both dropped in July, according to figures released Tuesday by the Commerce Department. New housing starts fell to an annual rate of 604,000 units in July, 1.5 percent below revised figures for June, which showed 613,000 new starts. Initial figures had shown a larger jump to 629,000 units in June. (Aug 16, 2011) Full Article
U.S. import prices saw a modest increase in the month of July, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Tuesday, with prices rebounding after falling in the previous month. The report showed that import prices rose by 0.3 percent in July following a revised 0.6 percent decrease in June. The rebound surprised economists, who had been expecting import prices to dip by about 0.1 percent. (Aug 16, 2011) Full Article
With utilities output showing a notable increase in the month of July amid a jump in air conditioning usage, the Federal Reserve released a report on Tuesday showing that industrial production for the month increased by more than economists had been anticipating. The report showed that industrial production rose by 0.9 percent in July following an upwardly revised 0.4 percent increase in June. Economists had been expecting production to increase by about 0.5 percent. (Aug 16, 2011) Full Article
Corporate News
Home Depot, Inc. (HD), the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, reported Tuesday a higher profit for its second quarter, driven by storm-related repairs and a rebound in its seasonal business. Both earnings per share and sales topped the Street projections. Citing the strong performance and outlook, the Atlanta, Georgia-based company lifted its full-year earnings forecast again. (Aug 16, 2011) Full Article
World's largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) reported Tuesday a higher profit for its second quarter, as strong performance in Walmart International and Sam's Club helped mitigate poor comparable store sales at Walmart U.S. Both earnings and revenues topped Street estimates. Looking ahead, the company projects higher earnings for its third quarter and full year. (Aug 16, 2011) Full Article
Off-price retailer TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX) Tuesday reported a higher second-quarter profit, helped by an 8 percent growth in revenues and improved margins. The company also issued earnings outlook for the third quarter and lifted its fiscal 2012 guidance. (Aug 16, 2011) Full Article
Forex Commentary
The dollar was mixed on Tuesday, falling sharply versus the sterling but holding steady against the euro after a dreadful report on euro zone economic growth. Hours after data showed the euro zone economy grew only 0.2 percent in the second quarter, French and German officials proposed a "true European economic government," led by European Union President Herman Van Rompuy. (Aug 16, 2011) Full Article
Political News
French and German leaders on Tuesday proposed a "real economic government for the Euro zone," and urged all member nations to adopt balanced budget rules in the wake of a sovereign debt crisis that has called the monetary union into question. (Aug 16, 2011) Full Article
In a sign that Americans remain displeased with lawmakers in Washington despite the deal that was eventually reached to raise the debt ceiling, the results of a Gallup poll released on Tuesday showed that the approval rating for Congress has tied an all-time low. The poll found that just 13 percent of Americans approve of the way Congress is handling its job, down from 18 percent in a July survey. With the drop, the approval rating for Congress matched the record low set in December of 2010. (Aug 16, 2011) Full Article
U.S. President Barack Obama continued an economically-themed swing through the Midwest Tuesday with a rural economic forum in Iowa. Obama struck an optimistic tone at the forum, saying that the country's recovery from the recent recession will leave it stronger than before. "I'm also convinced that comeback isn't going to be driven by Washington," Obama said. "It is going to be driven by folks here in Iowa." (Aug 16, 2011) Full Article

Money Show: Investors Daily Alert: Jim Jubak, Can Arcos Dorados Withstand the $7 Big Mac?.

Investors Daily Alert
NEW! THE DAILY GURUCandid Daily Interviews with Top Market Experts
Balance Your Assets for a Choppy Market, Dave Demming, Jr.

Jim Jubak on
Can Arcos Dorados Withstand the $7 Big Mac?

Today's Top Pros' Top Picks
5 Buys in 2 Top Sectors, Mary Anne & Pamela Aden
2 Stocks Set for a Comeback, Taesik Yoon

Today's Gurus' Views & Strategies
Weapons Makers on the Defensive, Igor Greenwald
Signs of Life…But Not for Long, Jon Markman

Today's Charts in Play
4 Surviving Sectors, Tom Aspray Exclusive Interviews
9 Best Buys for Bargain Hunters, Bryan Perry

Ideas from Around the World
Is Netflix’s "Southern Strategy" Doomed?, Rudy Martin

Today's Featured Videos
From Great Recession to Great Restructuring, Rich Karlgaard
Bull Market Is Still Alive, James Stack

Kitco New York Market Close Report

New York Market Close Aug 16/11 05:22 PM EDT
Metals Bid Ask Change Low High

Reuters - Daily Investor Update: Saks, Wal-Mart show widening U.S. consumer split.

Wall Street ends down after 3 days of gains
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended lower on Tuesday after three days of gains when a meeting between the heads of France and Germany failed to quell fears about euro zone leaders' ability to contain the region's sovereign debt woes. | Full Article

Sarkozy and Merkel push euro integration
August 16, 2011 03:31 PM ET
PARIS, Aug 16 (Reuters) - The leaders of France and Germany unveiled wide-reaching plans Tuesday for closer euro zone integration, including deficit limits and biannual summits, but said joint euro bonds could only be a longer-term option. | Full Article
Industrial output surges as Japan quake impact eases
August 16, 2011 03:46 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. industrial output recorded its best gain in seven months in July as the auto sector bounced back from supply disruptions wrought by Japan's devastating earthquake in March. | Full Article
Saks, Wal-Mart show widening U.S. consumer split
August 16, 2011 11:27 AM ET
CHICAGO (Reuters) - At luxury department store chain Saks Inc , customers were buying more designer suits at full price. | Full Article
Dell outlook disappoints, shares down
August 16, 2011 04:22 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Dell Inc posted quarterly revenue slightly below expectations and said sales for the present quarter would be flat, sending its shares down 4.9 percent in after-hours trading. | Full Article