Search This Blog


Search Tool

Feb 15, 2012

MarketWatch Personal Finance Daily: Say goodbye to the outdoor kitchen


Personal Finance Daily
FEBRUARY 15, 2012

Wednesday's Personal Finance Stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

Do you have a a two-story family room? How about an outdoor kitchen? Neither do I. It turns out fewer home buyers are likely to find those features in new homes hitting the market this year.

Check out our slide show on 10 home features that used to be all the rage but are now on the wane.

Also, don't miss Jennifer Openshaw's column on new bank fees to watch for in 2012.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor

Kiss these 10 once-popular home features goodbye

The 500,000 or so new single-family homes expected to be built this year are going to include more practical and value-conscious features and less wish-list items. Check out the least-likely features that builders will include in their 2012 homes.
Kiss these 10 once-popular home features goodbye (slide show).

New bank fees to watch for in 2012

If you thought 2011 was bad in terms of new bank fees, you should steel yourself for the changes coming this year.
New bank fees to watch for in 2012.


Boehner sees payroll-tax vote ‘this week'

The top House Republican expects the lower chamber of Congress to vote shortly on extending a payroll-tax cut through the end of 2012.
Boehner sees payroll-tax vote ‘this week.'

Republicans: CFPB's funding ‘recipe for disaster'

GOP lawmakers take issue with a new consumer watchdog bureau's budget, arguing that it is unaccountable and a "recipe for disaster" because it is funded without the control of congressional appropriations.
Republicans: CFPB's funding ‘recipe for disaster.'

February builder sentiment rises for fifth month

Home-builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes climbs in February for the fifth straight month to reach the highest level in more than four years.
February builder sentiment rises for fifth month.

Manufacturers boost production in January

It's a flat January for industrial production, but December's increase is revised much higher. The Federal Reserve's latest data indicate manufacturing continues a moderate pace of expansion.
Manufacturers boost production in January.

New York factory activity improves in February

The New York Fed's Empire State index rose to 19.5 in February, its highest level since June 2010. Economists said manufacturing enters 2012 in solid shape.
New York factory activity improves in February.

Excerpts from Fed minutes

The following are excerpts from the Jan. 24 to 25 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee that were released Wednesday:
Excerpts from Fed minutes.

Xi seeks ‘mutual respect' between China, U.S.

The man expected to be China's next leader pressed the United States on Wednesday for a relationship based on "mutual respect and mutual benefit," wrapping up a visit to Washington that included meetings with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Xi seeks ‘mutual respect' between China, U.S.

Euro-zone GDP shrinks, cushioned by France

The euro-zone economy shrinks 0.3% in the final quarter of 2011, but deepening recessions on the periphery are partly offset by a resilient France, while Germany shrinks less than expected as economists see the region potentially dodging a deep recession.
Euro-zone GDP shrinks, cushioned by France.

Greece struggles to meet EU demands

Greek politicians rush to meet demands from European partners ahead of a conference call of euro-zone finance ministers in a long-pending bid to secure a financial bailout.
Greece struggles to meet EU demands.


Invest in the European countries with low debt

There are plenty of good places to invest in Europe right now — you just need to hunt for countries with low debt levels, says columnist Matthew Lynn.
Invest in the European countries with low debt.

Pringles finds a home

The game of hot potato has ended: It's Kellogg Co. (K) that's going to buy Pringles — a deal that should prove satisfying for all parties.
Pringles finds a home.

Residential real estate not rebounding

Sound Advice charges ahead, despite its misgivings about real estate.
Residential real estate not rebounding.

Former Sun Micro CEO's next act

Jonathan Schwartz, the former chief of Sun Microsystems, has a new start-up to help those taking care of sick or elderly family members. CareZone combines positive aspects of social media, but without its privacy pitfalls.
Former Sun Micro CEO's next act.

Reuters | U.S. Top News: Iran trumpets nuclear advances, deepening standoff with West

Iran trumpets nuclear advances, deepening standoff with West
February 15, 2012 04:07 PM ET
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran proclaimed advances in nuclear know-how on Wednesday, including new centrifuges able to enrich uranium much faster, a move that may hasten a drift towards confrontation with the West over suspicions it is seeking the means to make atomic bombs. | Full Article
House Speaker Boehner sees payroll tax vote this week
February 15, 2012 03:41 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A tentative deal to renew a payroll tax cut through the rest of this year likely will be finalized and voted on by the House of Representatives by the end of the week, House Speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday. | Full Article
Exclusive: Euro zone ponders delay of 2nd Greek bailout program
February 15, 2012 01:59 PM ET
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone finance officials are examining ways of delaying parts or even all of a second bailout program for Greece while still ensuring it avoids a disorderly default, several EU sources said on Wednesday. | Full Article
Xi stresses respect, cooperation in U.S. relations
February 15, 2012 03:22 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China's Vice President Xi Jinping on Wednesday offered deeper cooperation with the United States on trade and hot spots like North Korea and Iran, but warned Washington to heed Beijing's demands on Tibet, Taiwan and other contentious issues. | Full Article
Tokyo prosecutors to quiz former Olympus officials: Nikkei
February 15, 2012 03:16 PM ET
- Tokyo prosecutors plan to investigate former Olympus Corp executives for their alleged role in a cover-up of investment losses, the Nikkei business daily said. | Full Article

Financial and ForexInfo News | The Australian Capital Circle: Gillard under siege

Gillard under siege
Julia Gillard's government is struggling for oxygen with in-fighting overshadowing its economic message.

First off: The ugly headlines keep coming for a government under siege. Former Labor MPs say the party's NSW head office was behind the use of internal polling before the 2010 leadership coup (report). Kevin Rudd played it cool last night, telling Channel Nine reports about the use of internal polling were "a matter for history" (report). Senior union figures have called for government MPs considering dumping the PM to consider the political disaster that NSW Labor became with its revolving door of leadership ( report). Ms Gillard's stance on the ETS while deputy prime minister has been revisited (report). Her supporters have told Mr Rudd to "put up or shut up" (report). The Prime Minister has reportedly banned note-taking in her cabinet room to stop the leaks (report). Even the BBC wants to know: "Is Kevin Rudd preparing to strike back? ( report
Ms Gillard has no public appearances scheduled. With the ABS' labour force figures and reports of job losses at Qantas, Ms Gillard will likely focus on jobs and the economy during Question Time.
Tony Abbott is in Canberra. Look for the Opposition Leader to focus his critique on Labor's economic record, particularly the impact of the carbon tax, and what he describes as the go
Peter Brent
Peter Brent
Pointless hypothetical polling
In May 1989 Liberal leader John Howard was ambushed and replaced by Andrew Peacock. Unlike Labor’s 2010 leadership coup, which used the media to create…
More Peter Brent

NYT Afternoon Business News: Tapping Your Inner Spielberg With a Software Assist

Latest Business News

5:04 PM ET
Tapping Your Inner Spielberg With a Software Assist
5:04 PM ET
Digital Notes: Improved Music Apps From NPR and MTV
5:04 PM ET
Criminals Exploit Stolen Customer Data From Stratfor

CBS News | Political Hotsheet Top Stories: Santorum weighs Secret Service protection

The CBS News Political Hotsheet newsletter


The Republican presidential candidate's Monday event in Washingston state was disrupted by Occupy protesters
Read full story
Santorum weighs Secret Service protection

Obama, Scott Walker briefly put politics aside The president met cordially with the Wisconsin governor at a Milwaukee airport as the two men temporarily put aside ideological differences

Obama feeling the White House says President Obama is a fan of the overnight New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin, believes his success "transcends the sport itself"

Obama getting a late start on campaign season His advisers say they may wait until spring to make first official campaign swing, later than George W. Bush or Bill Clinton

Santorum leads in Ohio, new poll shows Santorum's momentum gives the Republican candidate the lead in a key swing state

Stocks and Markets in the News | Wall Street at Close: U.S. stocks drop on Fed, Greece, Apple

By Laura Mandaro
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks closed broadly lower Wednesday, deepening losses throughout the session as a mix of unease about rescue funds to Greece and Federal Reserve comments quashing hopes for more easing took some steam out of a four-month rally. With liquidity "the name of the game," headlines about no-more QE3 "may have been an excuse for profit-taking," said Michael Gibbs, chief equity strategist at Morgan Keegan. A breakdown in heavyweight momentum-stock Apple Inc. APPL +19.38% , which had risen 2% earlier to new highs, may have also helped flatten the broader indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -0.76% lost 97.33 points, or 0.8%, to 12,780.95. The S&P 500 SPX -0.54% fell 7.27 points, or 0.5%, to 1,343.23. The Nasdaq Composite COMP -0.55% lost 16 points, or 0.6%, to 2,915.83.

DealBook | DealB%K Afternoon Edition: With F.C.C. Blow, Falcone's Top Challenge Is Time

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
With F.C.C. Blow, Falcone's Top Challenge Is Time
With F.C.C. Blow, Falcone's Top Challenge Is Time Philip Falcone is now left with limited options for LightSquared, which include selling his prized spectrum or limping along while slashing costs. Whatever the case, analysts say, his plan to deliver wireless access to up to 260 million consumers will not be realized anytime soon.
    The Volcker Rule's Unusual Critics While Wall Street is the chief critic of the rule, which bans banks from trading with their own money, the financial industry is finding sympathy from some unexpected quarters, including the owners of Red Lobster, Macy's and Safeway.
    Kodak Can Remove Name From Oscar Venue, Judge Rules Lawyers for Eastman Kodak won bankruptcy court permission on Wednesday to cancel the company's sponsorship agreement with the Los Angeles theater, in an attempt to save money.
    U.S. Attorney's Office Names New Chief of Securities Fraud Unit The new head, Marc Berger, had been deputy to Christopher L. Garcia, who left the United States attorney's office in Manhattan to join the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
    Goldman Analyst in Cross Hairs of Insider Trading Investigation Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Henry King, a senior technology industry analyst for Goldman Sachs based in Asia, provided confidential information to the bank's hedge fund clients, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
    Samsung Electronics Weighs Options for LCD Unit Samsung Electronics, the South Korean maker of smartphones and televisions, announced on Tuesday that it was weighing a spinoff and other options for its liquid crystal display business, as the company focuses on higher-margin products.
    Diamond Fiasco Gave Kellogg Second Chance for a Pringles Deal The implosion of Diamond Foods' $2.4 billion deal for Pringles meant a second opportunity for Kellogg to get its hands on the snack business.
    With Pringles, Kellogg will gain a leading global snack brand with $1.5 billion in annual sales.
    Kellogg to Buy Procter & Gamble's Pringles Group Procter & Gamble has agreed to sell the chip brand for $2.695 billion to Kellogg, after its deal with Diamond Foods fell apart.
    Shanda Interactive's Shareholders Back Buyout Plan The vote clears the way for Shanda Interactive Entertainment, a Chinese online game developer, to be taken private by a management team led by the company's founding chairman.
    BNP Paribas Profit Falls 51% on Greek Debt Write-Down BNP Paribas, the largest French bank, said that its quarterly profit declined by more than half as it wrote down the value of its Greek debt holdings.
    Obama Seeks Dinner and Dollars From Wall Street Never mind all that talk of "fat cat bankers." President Obama will head to New York on March 1 to raise campaign cash from Wall Street. The fundraiser, held at ABC Kitchen, will run $35,800-a plate, Bloomberg News reported. Robert Wolf, chairman of UBS Americas, and Marc Lasry, founder of Avenue Capital Group, are among the event's sponsors.
    Economic Reports Data released on Thursday will include weekly jobless claims, the Producer Price Index for January, housing starts for January and the Philadelphia Fed index.
    Corporate Earnings Companies reporting results on Thursday will include General Motors, Molson Coors, DirecTV and Nordstrom.
    In the United States A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will hold a hearing on Thursday on the budget of the Federal Communications Commission. The Senate Banking Committee will conduct a hearing on the implications of the European debt crisis. Treasury Secretary Geithner will testify before the Senate Budget Committee and the House Budget Committee on the president's proposed budget.

Palin’s star may have faded, but her grass-roots influence persists: The Washington Post | Politics Afternoon Edition

The Washington Post

Politics Afternoon Edition


  1. Palin’s star may have faded, but her grass-roots influence persists

    Sarah Palin has traveled from a central place in the galaxy of conservative politics to a more nebulous realm.
    » Read full article
  2. Campaign finance watchdog seeks Justice probe of ‘super PACS’

    Group alleges that super PACs are “engaged in illegal activities” by coordinating too closely with the presidential campaigns.
    » Read full article
  3. Newt Gingrich: The most disliked politician in America

    THE FIX | Two new polls show Newt Gingrich with an absolutely atrocious favorability rating.
    » Read full article
  4. Elie Wiesel calls on Mitt Romney to make Mormon Church stop proxy baptisms of Jews

    Nobel-laureate Holocaust survivor calls on Romney to make Mormons stop proxy baptisms of Jews.
    » Read full article
  5. China’s Xi Jinping visits Capitol Hill

    Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Wednesday fielded tough questions from U.S. lawmakers on a range of issues including China’s record on human rights, its valuation of its currency and its vote together with Russia against this month’s United Nations resolution on the conflict in Syria.
    » Read full article

Financial and Forex Info News | The Australian Business Briefing: CBA warns of funding 'storm'

Australian Business update for Thu Feb 16 07:48:47 EST 2012

Wall Street down on Greece, data

Jonathan Cheng US stocks weakened as investors balanced China's pledge to take part in Greece's bailout against reports the bailout would be delayed.

Greek bailout may be delayed

Costas Paris and Laurence Norman Some of Greece's creditors are considering whether to delay a full bailout package until after the country's April elections.

CBA warns of funding 'storm'

Scott Murdoch THE CBA has warned a dual storm of higher funding costs and increased deposits rates will pressure its future earnings.

Rinehart appoints daughter to board

Andrew Burrell AUSTRALIA'S richest person, Gina Rinehart, has continued to reshape the management of her business empire.

Blowout undermines Fortescue result

Matt Chambers THE development cost of Fortescue Metals Group's Pilbara expansion looks set to grow beyond $US10 billion ($9.3bn).

Air Australia rejects talk of closure

Steve Creedy, Aviation writer FLEDGLING carrier Air Australia yesterday hit out at rumours that ANZ Bank is considering winding up the company.

KPMG warns economy will shed more jobs

Damon Kitney TWO senior accounting industry executives say there will be more job shedding as firms remain gripped by an "overwhelming sense of caution".

Perpetual issues profit upgrade

Richard Gluyas A WEEK after ousting chief executive Chris Ryan, Perpetual has punctured the gloom with a profit upgrade.

Financial Markets

Dollar drops on Greek fears

THE Australian dollar has fallen around half a US cent as a planned bailout of Greece appeared to be on shaky ground.

Wall Street down on Greece, data

China EU plan buoys investors

Financial Markets Coverage

Mining & Energy

Miners stingy in investor rewards

Matt Chambers and Barry FitzGerald THE head of Australia's biggest listed fund has slammed BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto's dividend payouts over recent years.

OZ cool on Sandfire - for now

Petsec Energy eyes shale oil deal

More Mining & Energy

2012-02-16 07:46:46.0

Euro stocks mixed on Greek bailout delay

2012-02-16 07:31:08.0

Dollar drops on Greek fears

2012-02-16 07:30:00.0

Today's Calendar of Events

2012-02-16 07:16:30.0

Greek bailout may be delayed

2012-02-16 06:53:59.0

Wall Street down on Greece, data

2012-02-16 04:23:55.0

US stocks mixed as Greek talks inch along

2012-02-16 00:38:28.0

No agreement with Telstra on ADSL - ACCC

2012-02-16 00:00:00.0

Blowout undermines Fortescue result

2012-02-16 00:00:00.0

Buyers circle over collapsed builder

2012-02-16 00:00:00.0

Which bank's Ian Who gives us facts

2012-02-16 00:00:00.0

WRT ready to lift payout ratio

2012-02-16 00:00:00.0

S&P jobs go in local cutbacks

2012-02-16 00:00:00.0

UBS lays off 120 in merger shakeout

2012-02-16 00:00:00.0

Marriott moves on at ANZ

2012-02-16 00:00:00.0

State set for property asset overhaul

More Business Breaking News