Oct 7, 2011
American employers added 103,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department said Friday, indicating that the economy is at least not weakening. The jobless rate held steady at 9.1 percent.
The deficit-plagued Postal Service has warned 3,700 communities, most rural, that it may shutter the post offices that many residents rely on to pick up their mail and keep up with area news.
Wall Street shares edged sideways Friday after the U.S. Labor Department said the economy added 103,000 jobs in September.
France wants to draw on the European bailout fund to rebuild bank capital. German leaders think national governments should take the lead.
Moody's Investors Service on Friday downgraded its ratings on Lloyds TSB Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and 10 other British banks, saying the government was less likely to provide support for the institutions in the event of failure.
The company's chief executive, Robert A. Iger, has signed a contract to stay on in that job until March 2015, then leave the company completely in June of 2016.
The Intelligent Investor, by Jason Zweig
from The Wall Street Journal
Does it matter whether or not we're in a bear market—and if so, what should investors do about it?
From The Desk of Nick Nicolaas - Mining Interactive: Zeal Intelligence Weekly - "Hyper Oversold Markets" by Adam Hamilton
This week's Zeal Intelligence Newsletter has been posted on the Mining Interactive Website.Zeal Intelligence Weekly
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OCTOBER 07, 2011
MarketWatch top 10 stories, Oct. 3 - 7
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) closed up about 2%.
The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP), for its part, rose 2.7% for the five-day period.
Crude futures ended a choppy Friday session higher, keeping gains scored on a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report even after downgrades for Italy and Spain shook the equity market.
Also please be sure to watch our Week Ahead videos.
Asia Week Ahead: China's Cooling Trend Could Continue
U.S. Week Ahead: Alcoa, J.P. Morgan and Google Earnings
Europe Week Ahead: Burberry, Carrefour report Results
Greg Morcroft, assistant managing editor
Steve Jobs dies at 56
Steve Jobs, Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) co-founder and chairman, died Wednesday at the age of 56, following a long battle with cancer. Apple issued a statement Wednesday night announcing the death of Jobs, who also served as the iconic consumer-electronics company's chief executive two times over before stepping down in August, citing frail health. In an email to employees, Tim Cook, Jobs's handpicked successor, called Jobs a "visionary and creative genius" as well as a "dear friend and inspiring mentor." Read MarketWatch coverage of Steve Jobs's death.
Mortgage rates plunge beyond expectations
Economists and bankers who follow mortgage rates religiously think that rates don't have much farther to drop from record lows. They expect that rates can only go up. But they also know they've been wrong before. Come Thursday, there was evidence of another significant drop, when 30-year fixed mortgages fell to an average 3.94% for the week ending Oct. 6 in Freddie Mac's weekly survey of conforming mortgage rates. That's the lowest rates have been in the survey's history, which dates back to 1971. Read Amy Hoak's Home Economics column on MarketWatch.
Apple vs. gold: Have both, if you hedge risk
On the evening of Aug. 8 my uncle called me out of the blue to ask me one question: "Should I buy Apple or gold (GC1Z)?" You may recall that Aug. 8 was the day the S&P 500 closed at the low for the year and the Dow was down more than 600 points. I've never really talked to my uncle about advice before, and I thought it was interesting that a casual investor in the financial markets would jump to those two choices. My point being, out of all the things to choose from in this volatile environment, he wanted to know which one of these high-profile investment choices was going to do better. My response (notice I didn't say advice) to him was to expect volatile times ahead, and if he wanted to get into either one of those investments, make sure he was hedged. Read more about investing in Apple and gold on MarketWatch.
September data show improvement in jobs market
The nation's labor market showed some small signs of improvement in September as job growth came in above market expectations and there were positive revisions to past months, U.S. government data showed Friday. Employment outside the farm sector grew by 103,000 workers in the month, the Labor Department said. Wall Street had expected a fairly tepid 59,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls for the month, according to a MarketWatch survey. "In absolute terms this is a weak jobs report. but it is much less bad than expected," said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics. Read MarketWatch's full economic coverage.
5 hard truths for a tough market
On Monday the S&P 500 Index closed below 1,100, perhaps putting U.S. investors through their second bear market in four years and their third in the past decade. Many global markets already are deep in bear-market territory. Here are five lessons I've learned from writing about markets and speaking to thousands of investors over the past decade. Read Howard Gold's investing column on MarketWatch.
Where to next for oil, $50 or $100?
The U.S. oil (CL1X) market has been struggling for the last five months to get itself back above the $100-a-barrel level, but it doesn't have to look very far to find the fuel it needs to do it. Demand growth in emerging markets, high global oil prices, smaller spare-production capacity from the world's big oil producers and further political tensions in the Mideast and North Africa are just a few good reasons why many analysts expect oil prices to head higher in the long term. But just when they begin that turn higher is a much more difficult thing to predict. Read Commodities Corner column on MarketWatch.
Street not disappointed with Apple's new iPhone
Investors may have found Apple's new iPhone to be a disappointment, but Wall Street analysts say the company is still in the best position in the competitive smartphone market, and that the new device will be a strong seller. Several brokers issued bullish notes on Apple following an event at which the company introduced the iPhone 4S — an updated version of the popular iPhone 4 with a faster chip set and several new software capabilities, including a voice-activated digital assistant. Read about Wall Street reaction to new iPhone on MarketWatch.
That 401(k) loan may cost more than you realize
It might not be the bank of first or last resort, but it's a bank nonetheless. About one in four investors borrow money from their 401(k), but while such loans have some benefits compared with other sources of credit, they also can hit your retirement savings in unexpected ways. About 22% of plan participants who are allowed to borrow from their 401(k) have such a loan at any given time, and half had used a plan loan over a seven-year horizon, according to the authors of a just-published paper, "The Availability and Utilization of 401(k) Loans." Read more on maximizing any 401(k0 loans on MarketWatch.
Occupy Wall Street is this year's tea party
The revolution just might be televised, after all. More than two weeks after a band of young people began camping out in the shadow of the New York Stock Exchange, the movement to remake America's inequitable financial system is growing It's been called the Woodstock of Wall Street, but that's hardly an apt comparison. The gathering at Max Yasgur's farm 42 years ago was built on a generation looking for peace, love, some drugs and acid rock. The kids today are looking for real, tangible change of the capitalist sort. They're organized, lucid and motivated. Actually, they have more in common with the tea-party movement than the hippie dream, with one key difference: They're smart enough to recognize the nation's problems aren't simply about taxes and the deficit. Read David Weidner's Writing on the Wall column on MarketWatch.
Car makers see big September sales gains
A sketchy economy didn't stop more new car buyers from taking the plunge in September, with several major auto makers showing double-digit improvements in vehicle sales from a year ago. (F) (GM) The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales for the industry came in Monday at 13.1 million cars and trucks, up from 11.8 million a year ago, according to Autodata. TrueCar.com analyst Jesse Toprak called the results counterintuitive, and said the overall numbers reached his relatively lofty targets."Housing and stock markets are still suffering, consumer confidence is down and gas prices are moving higher," he commented. "That's usually disastrous, but clearly the pent-up demand is there." Read about September car sales on MarketWatch.
It’s no secret that Samsung’s flagship Galaxy smartphones are leading the Android-powered pack of handsets. What may be less obvious is just how quickly the company is closing in on Apple’s title of world’s biggest smartphone vendor in unit terms. Samsung announced on Friday it expects its third-quarter profit to top even the most bullish market forecasts, driven in large part by booming smartphone sales. "The Galaxy S II probably played a key role in boosting the company's earnings and it will continue to do so pretty much unchallenged, until Apple unveils a better new version of iPhone," said Kyung Woo-hyun, a fund manager at Daishin Asset Management.
Sprint had a rough start to the week and an even rougher end to it. The No.3 U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Nextel signaled on Friday that it could spend more money than it brings in over the next few years, even without accounting for the high costs of selling the Apple iPhone, sending its shares down 13 percent. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint would likely lose money on its deal to sell the iPhone until 2014. Sprint outlined a plan on Friday to spend $7 billion on a network upgrade, which it said it would pay for with cash from its balance sheet and by raising capital. The company refused to address the cost of selling the iPhone.
If you were one of the keeners waiting for the clock to strike 12:01 a.m. PT so you could pre-order your Apple iPhone 4S, there was a good chance you may have had a bit of trouble. CNet reports that pre-orders of Apple’s latest smartphone were beset by a slew of problems. For starters, Apple, AT&T and Sprint were late opening their digital doors to customers looking to buy the new device. On top of that, both Apple and AT&T’s sites were having trouble processing orders from customers looking to upgrade, presenting them with error messages. Perhaps it’s no surprise: both Apple and carriers ran into similar issue last year with the release of the iPhone 4.
Doubtful that Groupon remains committed to an initial public offering after the recent accounting mini-scandal, a slew of cash-outs by early founders and investors and an overall economic environment that remains uncertain? Don’t be. At least that’s the message the online daily deals firm sent when it filed an updated version of its IPO paperwork with the SEC on Friday. As GigaOm reports, the latest filing details the company’s plans to tighten up its marketing budget and shows that its revenue bookings increased slightly in the second quarter.
Microsoft secured approval of its Skype acquisition from European authorities. that the firms' activities mainly overlapped for video communications, where Microsoft is active through its Windows Live Messenger."However, the Commission considers that there are no competition concerns in this growing market where numerous players, including Google, are present," it said in a statement.
Netflix and AMC Networks have signed a new licensing agreement that gives the popular streaming video service exclusive rights in the United States and Canada to the hit show "The Walking Dead."
|Europe hopes, data lift stocks for week|
|NEW YORK (Reuters) - After nearly falling into a bear market, U.S. stocks finished the week higher on Friday, building gains on encouraging jobs data and hopes that Europe was dealing with its debt crisis. | Full Article|
|Fitch cuts Italy, Spain ratings; outlook negative|
|October 07, 2011 03:50 PM ET|
|ROME (Reuters) - Fitch Ratings on Friday cut Italy's sovereign credit rating by one notch and Spain's by two, citing a worsening of the euro zone debt crisis and a risk of fiscal slippage in both countries. | Full Article|
|Job gains ease recession fears but still weak|
|October 07, 2011 01:21 PM ET|
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Employers hired more workers than expected in September and job gains for the prior two months were revised higher, easing recession fears. | Full Article|
|Consumer credit falls $9.5 billion in August|
|October 07, 2011 03:58 PM ET|
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer credit posted its largest decline in more than a year in August, according to a Federal Reserve report on Friday that suggested consumers were reluctant to hold more debt amid a shaky economic recovery. | Full Article|
|Disney's Iger to leave CEO post in 2015|
|October 07, 2011 04:05 PM ET|
|LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Bob Iger will step down as CEO in March 2015 after nearly a decade at the helm, setting in motion a succession plan for the largest U.S. media and entertainment company. | Full Article|
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The number of underfunded pensions is at a 50-year high. What can you do to protect your nest egg? Read more »
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Personal Finance Daily
OCTOBER 07, 2011
Is it time to fire your big bank?
- High fees? Here's how to fire your bank
- IRS offers break to employers who hire freelancers
- Don't fall for get-rich real estate schemes
- Charting jobs data from underemployment to race
Also in today's Personal Finance coverage on MarketWatch, Eva Rosenberg explains how business owners who may have been improperly classifying their workers as independent contractors when they should have been employees can take advantage of an amnesty program from the IRS.
— Anne Stanley , Managing Editor, Personal Finance
High fees? Here's how to fire your bank
If you're among the throngs of consumers who would rather stuff cash under their mattress than pay fees to a bank for the privilege of using their own money — particularly at a time when they're not earning much in interest on their accounts — there are alternatives to doing business with the big banks.
Read more: High fees? Here's how to fire your bank.
IRS offers break to employers who hire freelancers
If you're a business owner who classified workers as freelancers when they should have been logged as employees, the IRS has a new amnesty program for you.
Read more: IRS offers break to employers who hire freelancers.
Don't fall for get-rich real estate schemes
A three-day course on investing in real estate sounds like just another way of separating suckers from their money.
Read more: Don't fall for get-rich real estate schemes.
Where next for oil — $50 or $100?
The U.S. oil market has been struggling for the past five months to get itself back above the $100-a-barrel level, but it doesn't have to look very far to find the fuel it needs to do it. Demand growth in emerging markets, high global oil prices, smaller spare production capacity from the world's big oil producers and further political tensions in the Middle East and North Africa are just a few good reasons why many analysts expect oil prices to head higher in the long term. But just when they begin that turn higher is a much more difficult thing to predict.
Read more: Where next for oil — $50 or $100?
Five money moves a yield-hunting trader is making now
Bond trader Abdullah Karatash points out that the corporate bond market nowadays has little tolerance for risk. In this storm, steerage-class borrowers need money the most — yet are the most unlikely to get it. Money instead is hunkered on the top deck.
Read more: 5 money moves a yield-hunting trader is making now.
Stock funds head into rally season
"We'll remember in November" is a rallying cry for disaffected voters. Will disgruntled investors in stock mutual funds and exchange-traded funds feel the same way about buying once the market enters its best six-month stretch between the beginning of November and the end of April?
Read more: Stock funds head into rally season.
ECONOMY & POLITICS
Economy weathered the summer surprisingly well
The U.S. economy performed a lot better during the summer than most people expected it would, but it didn't do nearly well enough, writes Rex Nutting.
Read more: Economy weathered the summer surprisingly well.
Charting jobs data from underemployment to race
While Wall Street was happy to see a triple-digit reading on jobs creation, the labor market picture is still weak. How so? Have a look.
See charts: Charting jobs data from underemploment to race.
How bad would a recession be? Bad enough
There are reasons to think that a recession — if it comes — would be relatively mild, but there are also forces that could prolong the pain.
Read more: How bad would a recession be? Bad enough.
Data show need for jobs bill: White House
Lawmakers of both parties, the White House and Wall Street analysts react to Friday's news that the U.S. added a better-than-expected 103,000 jobs in September.
Read more: Data shows need for jobs bill.
September data show improvement in jobs market
Although the jobless rate holds steady at 9.1%, nonfarm payrolls expand by 103,000 in September, nearly double the growth expected by economists.
Read more: September data show improvement in jobs market.
A lending model that could alleviate poverty
Financial instruments geared to the less well-off should be in high demand and should be looked at seriously by investors. In fact, it's exactly these types of vehicles that the "occupiers" on Wall Street should be embracing to effect change.
Read more: A lending model that could alleviate poverty.
Bank of Japan stands pat, sees recovery on track
The Bank of Japan's policy board keeps its monetary policy on hold, saying economic recovery remains on track but extending a special lending program effected following the March earthquake and tsunami.
Read more: Bank of Japan stands pat, sees recovery on track.
|London Fix Fri Oct 07 00:00:00 EDT 2011|
| Metals || Gold || Silver || Platinum || Palladium |
Sony is in talks to buy out Ericsson's stake in their mobile phone joint venture, a source said, in a bid to catch up with rivals.: Reuters Deals Today
Sony is in talks to buy out Ericsson's stake in their mobile phone joint venture, a source said, in a bid to catch up with rivals.
Belgium's federal government and its regions clashed over the fate of the Belgian banking activities of stricken Dexia, delaying a joint Franco-Belgian rescue of the group.
Bloomberg digs into the changing value of the Deutsche Boerse-NYSE merger and the potential return for investors.
"French and Belgian bank stocks have crashed and the bond yields of Greece, Italy and Portugal may be peaking. Now hedge funds and bond vigilantes have begun to zero in on Hungary as the fashionable European country to bet against," reports the NYT.
|Sony in talks to buy Ericsson out of phone venture: source|
|HELSINKI/TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp is in talks to buy out Ericsson's stake in their mobile phone joint venture, a source said, in a bid to catch up with rivals. | Full Article|
|Belgian infighting delays Dexia rescue|
|October 07, 2011 09:25 AM ET|
|BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium's federal government and its regions clashed on Friday over the fate of the Belgian banking activities of stricken Dexia , delaying a joint Franco-Belgian rescue of the group. | Full Article|
|BAA told to sell Scottish airport before Stansted|
|October 07, 2011 09:42 AM ET|
|LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Competition Commission (CC) on Friday told UK airport operator BAA that it must sell one of its Scottish airports before it disposes of London Stansted airport. | Full Article|
|Insight: Investors take AIM in choppy markets|
|October 07, 2011 05:57 AM ET|
|LONDON (Reuters) - In a large, high-ceilinged office adorned with dark damask wallpaper, 59-year-old Chris Gilbert sits below two opulent chandeliers, talking with enthusiasm about the marble producing company he set up at the start of the year. | Full Article|
|Spain's Popular to buy rival bank Pastor: source|
|October 07, 2011 10:23 AM ET|
|MADRID (Reuters) Oct 7 - Spain's No. 5 retail bank Banco Popular will buy its smaller rival Banco Pastor , a source close to the deal said on Friday after trading in both stocks was suspended by the stock market regulator. | Full Article|