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Jul 12, 2012

CBS NEWS | Political Hotsheet Top Stories: Dick Cheney to host fundraiser for Romney

The CBS News Political Hotsheet newsletter
It's the first foray into the 2012 campaign for Cheney, even after Romney has kept his distance from the former VP
Read full story
Dick Cheney to host fundraiser for Romney

First lady bake-off: The other election Michelle Obama and Ann Romney out to prove who's the tougher cookie in sixth straight election bakeoff

At NAACP, Biden booed -- for ending his speech In rousing speech at NAACP, VP Biden asks crowd to imagine America under Romney

Romney's tenure at Bain questioned The presumptive GOP nominee faces new questions about his departure timing at the private equity firm Bain Capital

Romney's wealth an issue for 20 percent of voters President Obama's supporters have tried to make Romney's finances an issue

DealBooK | DealB%K Afternoon Edition: Ackman Cleared to Take Stake in Procter & Gamble

Thursday, July 12, 2012
Ackman Cleared to Take Stake in Procter & Gamble
Ackman Cleared to Take Stake in Procter & Gamble The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday gave the hedge fund manager clearance to take a stake in Procter & Gamble, indicating that the maker of Downy and Gillette is a new target.
    The Yahoos at Sun Valley The Internet company's co-founder Jerry Yang and other former Yahoo executives were spotted at the annual Allen & Company gathering this year.
    IHH Healthcare of Malaysia Raises $2 Billion in I.P.O. IHH Healthcare, one of Asia's biggest hospital operators, raised $2 billion selling shares in Malaysia and Singapore in the world's third-largest initial public offering this year.
    Dentsu of Japan to Buy Aegis of Britain for About $5 Billion The Japanese advertising powerhouse Dentsu, which has struggled to expand internationally, made a big leap into Western markets with its deal for Aegis, which is based in London.
    Qatari Group to Acquire Valentino for $850 Million The private equity firm Permira has agreed to sell the luxury fashion company Valentino Fashion Group to Mayhoola for Investments, a Qatari investment group.
    HSBC to Apologize at Senate Hearing HSBC, Europe's largest bank, will apologize to American authorities next week for failing to prevent potential money laundering activities from taking place at the bank, according to an internal memo.
    Economic Reports Data released on Friday will include the producer price index for June and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for July.
    Corporate Earnings Companies scheduled to report results on Friday include JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
    Overseas China will report second-quarter gross domestic product on Friday.


Stocks and Markets in the News | Wall Street at Close: U.S. stocks extend longest down streak since May

By Kate Gibson

NEW YORK (MarketWatch)-- U.S. stock indexes on Thursday extended their longest losing streak in nearly eight weeks as investors worried about global growth, corporate outlooks and the inability of politicians in Europe as well as Washington to implement fiscal policy. "All eyes are on Washington to offer up a credible program soon to be helpful on a number of fronts. And all eyes are on Europe to do basically the same thing locally," said Jim Russell, chief equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -0.25% declined 31.26 points, or 0.3%, to close at 12,573.27. The S&P 500 SPX -0.50% fell 6.69 points, or 0.5%, to 1,334.76. The Nasdaq Composite COMP -0.75% slid 21.79 points, or 0.85, to 2,866.19. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 extended their fall into a sixth day, while the Nasdaq dropped for a fifth session.

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ADVFN III World Daily Markets Bulletin

ADVFN III World Daily Markets Bulletin  
Daily world financial news

US Market Reports
Stocks Extending Recent Downward Move In Early Trading

Stocks have moved sharply lower in early trading on Thursday, extending the downward move seen over the past few sessions. The major averages have slid firmly into negative territory, pulling back further off last week's highs.

The major averages have edged up off their lows for the young session in the past few minutes but remain stuck in the red. The Dow is down 92.37 points or 0.7 percent at 12,512.16, the Nasdaq is down 37.92 points or 1.3 percent at 2,850.06 and the S&P 500 is down 13.11 points or 1 percent at 1,328.34.

The early weakness on Wall Street reflects lingering concerns about the global economic outlook along with continued uncertainty about the European debt crisis.

Traders also continue to digest yesterday's release of the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting, which gave no hint that a third round of quantitative easing is imminent.

Meanwhile, traders have largely shrugged off a report from the Labor Department showing a notable drop in weekly jobless claims, as the decrease largely reflected seasonal distortions.

The report showed that jobless claims fell to 350,000 in the week ended July 7th from the previous week's revised figure of 376,000. The drop surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge up to 375,000 from the 374,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the unexpected drop, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since coming in at 348,000 in the week ended March 8, 2008.

However, the Labor Department noted that the unexpected drop reflected distortions caused by fewer auto plant shutdowns than normal during this time of year. The distortions are expected to unwind over the coming weeks.

Steel stocks have moved sharply lower amid concerns about the outlook for global demand, with the NYSE Arca Steel Index falling by 2.8 percent. Considerable weakness is also visible among gold stocks, which are moving lower along with the price of the precious metal.

Networking, computer hardware, and semiconductor stocks have also come under pressure, reflecting weakness in the tech sector. Most of the other major sectors have also moved to the downside, with oil service, brokerage, and natural gas stocks posting notable losses.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw significant weakness during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index ended the day down by 1.5 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled by 2 percent.

The major European markets have also shown notable moves to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are down by 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries continue to show a lack of direction after ending the previous session roughly flat. The yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 1.49 percent.

Canadian Market Report

TSX Dives At Open Thursday

Bay Street stocks dived at open Thursday amid selling across a variety of sectors, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index shedding 115.02 points or 1.00 percent to 11,429.62.

The Diversified Materials Index lost nearly 2 percent, with First Quantum Minerals shedding close to 3 percent. Inmet Mining and Teck Resources were down around 2 percent each.

In the oil patch, Baytex Energy Corp. and Cenovus Energy were down around 2 percent each. In the gold space, Agnico-Eagle Mines, Goldcorp. and Barrick Gold surrendered over 2 percent each.

Bombardier Inc. slipped 1.50 percent even after announcing that its aerospace division got firm order for about $189 million.

Media company Corus Entertainment Inc. lost 5 percent despite posting improved third quarter profit. Meanwhile, building material dealer Jewett-Cameron Trading Co. Ltd. skyrocketed 18 percent after reporting a much improved third-quarter profit.
The price of crude oil was moving lower Thursday morning after the IEA today said global economic slowdown could hurt oil prices. The International Energy Agency, in its monthly Oil Market Report released earlier today, nudged up its 2013 oil demand growth forecast by 1.0 million barrels per day (mbd) to 90.90 mbd as global oil supply capacity seen growing slightly ahead of expected moderate demand growth. Crude for August shed $1.19 to $84.62 a barrel.

The price of gold was moving lower as the Federal Reserve gave no hint of any further quantitative easing in the near term. Gold for August lost $17.80 to $1,557.90 an ounce.

In corporate news from Canada, Bombardier Inc. said its aerospace division got firm order for six Q400 NextGen airliners from Chorus Aviation Inc. for about $189 million.

Media company Corus Entertainment Inc. posted improved third quarter profit of C$44.95 million or C$0.51 per share compared to last year's C$43.48 million or C$0.49 per share. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of C$0.49 per share this quarter.

According to media reports, stock exchange operator TMX Group Inc. is in talks to acquire U.S. exchange group Direct Edge Holdings LLC.

Telecommunications company Cogeco Cable Inc. swung to profit in third quarter, reporting net income of C$53.16 million or C$1.09 per share, as against a loss of C$181.22 million or C$3.73 per share last year.

Broadcasting and wireless communications equipment manufacturing company DragonWave Inc. reported a wider first quarter loss of $12.6 million or $0.35 per share compared to $9.9 million or $0.28 per share in the same period last year. Analysts were expecting the company to report a loss of $0.28 per share for the quarter. Further, the company guides revenues in the range of $35 million to $45 million, much lower than the consensus revenues of $51.10 million for the second quarter.

Mineral exploration company Redzone Resources Ltd. reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $0.3 million, wider than the net loss of $0.2 million in the comparable quarter last year.

Building material dealer Jewett-Cameron Trading Co. Ltd. reported a third-quarter profit of $937,000 or $0.59 per share, up from $604,000 or $0.30 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Biotechnology company Thallion Pharmaceuticals reported a second-quarter net loss of $0.7 million, narrower than the net loss of $0.8 million in the comparable quarter last year. Yesterday, the stock plunged nearly 40 percent after the Canadian stock exchange put the shares under review with respect to meeting the continued listing requirements.

In economic news, Statistics Canada said its New Housing Price Index (NHPI) continued to move up, rising 0.3 percent in May, following a 0.2 percent increase in April. Year over year, the NHPI was up 2.4 percent in May, following a 2.5 percent increase the previous month. The metropolitan regions of Toronto and Oshawa, and Calgary were the top contributors to the increase, partially offset by weakness n Victoria.

European Market Report  
European Markets Fall On Growth Fears
The European markets are moderate to notably lower in afternoon trading Thursday, as global economic worries intensified after an unexpected slump in Australian employment and a surprise interest rate cut from South Korea. Asian markets ended mostly weak and the U.S. index futures indicate a lower start.

The European Central Bank said in its monthly bulletin that downside risk to economic outlook remains. Downside risks relate to a renewed increase in the tensions in several euro area financial markets and their potential spillover to the euro area real economy. Another risk is increase in energy prices over the medium term, it said.

Italy sold 7.5 billion euros in 12-month treasury bills, in line with its target. The cost of debt was lower than at an earlier auction, while demand was weaker.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 0.94 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 1.22 percent.

The German DAX is falling 1.17 percent and the French CAC 40 is losing 0.72 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 is declining 1.26 percent and Switzerland's SMI is dropping 0.64 percent.

In Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank is falling 2 percent and Commerzbank is dropping 1.2 percent. Deutsche Boerse is declining 1.6 percent. UBS removed the stock from 'Most Preferred List.'

Symrise is losing 0.3 percent. HSBC cut the stock to 'Underweight' from 'Neutral.' Metro is climbing 1.7 percent. Suedzucker is climbing 1.5 percent after reporting higher first-quarter profit.

In Paris, ING cut Loreal to "Sell" from "Hold." The stock is down 1.3 percent. Carrefour said its second-quarter sales dropped from a year ago driven by weakness in France and other parts of Europe. However, the grocer saw sustained growth in emerging markets. The stock is gaining 6.8 percent.

Peugeot is gaining 1.4 percent. The carmaker announced a project to reorganize its French production base and redeploy its workforce, but said it would report a loss for the first half of the year amid contraction in European demand and overcapacity in the group. The measures include reduction of 3,600 jobs across all of its facilities in France.

In London, miners are lower, ahead of the Chinese growth data. Anglo American and Antofagasta are declining 2.1 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. Rio Tinto is losing 3.3 percent.

Ashmore is declining 7.1 percent. The company said assets under management for the June quarter were down 3.3 percent.

Associated British Foods reported an 11 percent increase in revenues for the 40 weeks ended June 23 and said it remains on track to deliver substantial growth in adjusted operating profit and earnings per share for the full year. The stock is modestly down.

Aegis Group's shares are up nearly 46 percent after the advertising holding company agreed to be bought out by Japanese advertising firm Dentsu Inc. for 3.16 billion pounds in cash.

Fashion retailer SuperGroup reported a 32 percent growth in revenue despite operational challenges. The stock is climbing over 16 percent.

Akzo Nobel is gaining 1.2 percent in Amsterdam. The stock was raised to "Overweight" from "Neutral" at HSBC. Philips is climbing 1.4 percent on a positive recommendation from Merrill Lynch.

Banco Bilbao is falling 2.2 percent in Madrid after Credit Suisse cut the stock to "Neutral" from "Outperform."

In economic news, industrial production in Eurozone recovered unexpectedly in May, the latest figures from Eurostat showed. Production rose 0.6 percent month-on-month in May, following a 1.1 percent decrease in the previous month. Economists expected no change in production volume during the month.

In the commodity space, crude for August delivery is falling $1.01 to $84.80 per barrel and August gold is falling $11.5 to $1564.2 a troy ounce.

Asia Market Reports
Asian Stocks Extend Declines For Sixth Day

Asian stocks retreated for a sixth day on Thursday, as losses on Wall Street overnight in response to the release of Fed minutes dented investor sentiment. A surprise rate cut from South Korea, its first such move in more than three years, together with a report showing an unexpected drop in Australian employment also deepened worries over the global economic outlook.

Investor sentiment took a hit after the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's June meeting suggested policymakers are at odds over adding more stimulus to the U.S. economy. Also, with fresh concerns emerging about China, investors seemed to have decided to adopt a wait and watch approach before China's GDP and industrial output data that will be out tomorrow.

Tokyo stocks fell sharply, extending their losing streak for a sixth consecutive session, after the Bank of Japan refrained from adding monetary stimulus. The central bank tweaked its asset purchase program, moving to buy more treasury-discount bills, but kept its overall size of financial asset-buying unchanged at Y70 trillion, last raised in April from Y65 trillion.

The central bank held off on further monetary easing measures, believing that robust private consumption and spending on rebuilding after last year's earthquake will keep the country's economic recovery on track. The Nikkei average lost 1.5 percent, while the broader Topix index slid 1.3 percent.

China's Shanghai Composite index rose half a percent, as investors went bargain hunting in coal and metal stocks on expectations the economy might have bottomed out in the second quarter.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed down a little over two percent after the Federal Reserve's June meeting minutes showed no imminent plans for more quantitative easing.

Australian shares lost ground, erasing early gains after official data showed the Australian economy lost 27,000 jobs in June, well shy of forecasts for no change after adding 38,900 jobs in the previous month. Full-time employment decreased 33,500 to 8,065,500 while part-time employment increased 6,600 to 3,435,000.

The unemployment rate stood at a seasonally adjusted 5.2 percent in the month, in line with expectations and up from 5.1 percent in May. Both the benchmark S&P/ASX and the broader All Ordinaries index lost about 0.7 percent each.

Miners paced the decliners, with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto falling 2-3 percent, while smaller rival Fortescue slumped 6.1 percent. Among the big four banks, ANZ fell 1.2 percent, Commonwealth edged down 0.2 percent and NAB shed 0.6 percent, but Westpac rose 0.2 percent.

Mineral sands miner Iluka Resources tumbled 3.1 percent after it reported a sharp drop in sales volumes in the first half of the year. Telstra edged down 0.3 percent after announcing a deal with Vodafone for the sale of its New Zealand operations.

South Korea's Kospi average tumbled 2.2 percent to a five-week low, as a surprise rate cut by Bank of Korea, joining the global rush to ease monetary policy, reflected the uncertainty facing global economies. Also, foreign investors dumped blue-chip exporters upon the expiry of future & option contracts. Heavyweight Samsung Electronics fell 2.4 percent, while Hyundai Motor, South Korea's largest automaker, tumbled 3.1 percent.

The Bank of Korea unexpectedly lowered its base rate by 25 basis points to 3 percent to support the domestic economy from global economic turbulence. "Today's rate decision was made in an action against the GDP gap and also to act pre-emptively. The effects of monetary policy decisions are long-term," Governor Kim Choong-soo said at a press conference after the decision.

New Zealand shares rose, shrugging off weak regional cues, as merger and acquisition announcements kept sentiment buoyant. The benchmark NZX-50 index rose 0.7 percent. Shares of Guinness Peat Group rose 2.2 percent after the firm rejected a $A220 million offer for ClearView Wealth, saying the price was "wholly inadequate".

Australia's biggest telecommunications company Telstra Corp. rose 0.8 percent after Vodafone agreed to buy its New Zealand operations. Shares of Heartland New Zealand jumped almost 6 percent after Philip Carter of Carter Group said he now holds 20.97 million shares or a 5.39 percent stake in the would-be bank.

India's benchmark Sensex was last trading down 1.4 percent, dragged down by software service exporters after IT bellwether Infosys posted disappointing first-quarter results. However, offering some respite, government data released today showed that India's industrial output rebounded by a higher-than-expected 2.4 percent in May following a revised 0.9 percent contraction in April.

Elsewhere, Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was down 0.9 percent, Malaysia's KLSE Composite edged down 0.2 percent, Singapore's Straits Times index eased 0.6 percent and the Taiwan Weighted average lost 1.8 percent.

 Crude Eases Below $85 On Demand Concerns

The price of crude oil was moving lower Thursday morning after the IEA today said global economic slowdown could hurt oil prices.

The International Energy Agency, in its monthly Oil Market Report released earlier today, nudged up its 2013 oil demand growth forecast by 1.0 million barrels per day (mbd) to 90.90 mbd as global oil supply capacity seen growing slightly ahead of expected moderate demand growth.

Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for August delivery, were down $1.20 to $84.61 a barrel. Yesterday, oil ended significantly higher after an official report showed oil stockpiles in the U.S. declined more than expected. Nonetheless, oil prices pared some of the gains following the release of the Federal Reserve Policy meeting minutes that provided no hint of any further quantitative easing.

Wednesday during trading hours, the EIA said that U.S. crude oil inventories shed 4.70 million barrels, while gasoline stocks gained 2.80 million barrels in the weekended July 06. Analysts were expecting crude oil inventories to dip by 1.5 million barrels, while gasoline stocks are seen adding 600,000 barrels last week.

Yesterday, the OPEC maintained its 2012 world oil demand at 0.90 mbd, while forecasting 2013 world oil demand growth at 0.80 mbd, representing a slowdown in growth from the current year. Commenting on the U.S. stock piles, the cartel said US commercial oil stocks rose further in June, increasing by 10.8 mb, the highest level since August 2011. Inventories were 17.0 mb above a year ago and 31.5 mb above the five-year average, it added.

This morning, the U.S. dollar advanced to a fresh 2-year high versus the euro and trading near a one- month high against sterling. The buck was ticking lower versus the yen and edging up against the Swiss franc.

In economic news, euro zone industrial sector output bounced back unexpectedly in May. Industrial production rose 0.6 percent month-on-month in May, following a 1.1 percent decrease in April. The outcome was better than economists' expectations for a flat reading.

Elsewhere, wholesale price inflation in Germany eased to 1.1 percent in June from 1.7 percent in May, the Federal Statistical Office said. During the month, wholesale prices of metal and metal ores as well as semi-finished products fell 5.1 percent annually.

Traders will look to the weekly jobless claims data from the U.S. Labor Department, due out at 8.30 a.m ET. Economists expect claims to edge up to 375,000 from 374,000 in the previous week.

Wonkbook: Romney at the NAACP: Ezra Klein's Wonkbook | The Washington Post

Before we get started today, a quick programming note. When Wonkbook began, there was no lead commentary. Then, on days when there was something particularly worth commenting on, I began adding one. Then it became a daily part of Wonkbook.
As of today, we’re moving back to the old model. In recent weeks, we’ve added an aggregated “top story” section that makes more sense as the lead to Wonkbook than a separate, written column. If I have something to say in the morning, it will be woven into the top story — as it is today — rather than set off as a separate feature. On days when there is something particularly worth commenting on, the lead might return, but only occasionally.
As always, you can reach us with comments or suggestions at wonkbook at gmail dot com, and, if you want more of my written pieces, you can read much more from me at Wonkblog.

RCP Obama vs. RomneyObama +1.9%; 7-day change: Obama -0.7%.
RCP Obama approval46.9%; 7-day change: -0.8%.
Top story: The substance of Romney’s NAACP speech
READ: Mitt Romney’s Speech to The NAACP Convention.
Romney’s jobs plan: “First, I will take full advantage of our energy resources, and I will approve the Keystone pipeline from Canada…Second, I will open up new markets for American products…Third, I will reduce government spending…To do this, I will eliminate expensive non-essential programs like Obamacare, and I will work to reform and save Medicare and Social Security, in part by means-testing their benefits. Fourth, I will focus on nurturing and developing the skilled workers our economy so desperately needs and the future demands…And finally and perhaps most importantly, I will restore economic freedom.”
Romney’s other plans: “As President, I will promote strong families – and I will defend traditional marriage…federal education funds will be linked to a student, so that parents can send their child to any public or charter school, or to a private school, where permitted.”
Real talk: Those excerpts are every specific policy recommendation I could find in Romney’s speech. Right now, unemployment among African-Americans is 14.4 percent. Uninsurance is 20.8 percent. The poverty rate is 25.8 percent. Do those policies seem up to the task of those numbers?
And that’s before you add in the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and the planned cuts to programs like Medicaid, and to the many income supports that exist inside the “non-defense discretionary spending” bucket. Frankly, it’s hard to see how Romney’s policies avoid making those numbers worse. The fact is that if your agenda is to redistribute money away from social spending and towards tax cuts and defense, it’s probably not going to help with joblessness, health insurance, or poverty.
Romney’s speech met with some boos. ”Romney said that black families have suffered disproportionately under the Obama presidency, noting that the unemployment rate for African Americans rose to 14.4 percent last month, while the overall rate was 8.2 percent…The hundreds of African Americans in attendance at the NAACP’s national convention in Houston gave Romney polite although subdued applause. But he received a loud and sustained spattering of boos when he referenced his opposition to the health-care law he called ‘Obamacare,’ when he said Obama’s policies are not helping to create jobs and when he said he would be a better president for black families.” Philip Rucker in The Washington Post.
MOYNIHAN: It all went according to plan. Republicans got exactly what they wanted…As everyone recognizes, a Romney speech to the NAACP will have almost zero impact on the number of African Americans who cast ballots against President Obama, but that wasn’t the point. This seemed to be an appeal to independent white voters, the Romney camp underscoring their man’s willingness to reach across the aisle and, by implication, to show that he isn’t a zealous tea partyer interested in expanding the partisan divide.” Michael Moynihan in the Washington Post.
Question: Why is the fact that Romney got some boos on a single line in a speech before the NAACP such a big story?
WEIGEL: You can’t talk about black unemployment without talking about government jobs. “The pre-speech part of his NAACP remarks that dealt with unemployment deserves another look…’In June, while the overall unemployment rate remained stuck at 8.2 percent, the unemployment rate for African Americans actually went up, from 13.6 percent to 14.4 percent.’ Republicans love this statistic — iron-clad proof that the first black president has been a disaster for blacks. What’s usually left unsaid is the the role that public sector lay-offs have had in pumping up those numbers. Black Americans tend to seek government jobs, historically more stable than the private sector, at a higher rate than other Americans…Romney’s been pretty clear about this. He wants to keep shrinking the public sector…But it’s odd to talk about black unemployment and omit talk of all the educational, bureaucratic, and assorted government jobs that Republicans worked hard to cut back.” David Weigel in Slate.
@daveweigel: 21.2% of black workers work for government, compared to only 16.3% of everyone else.
BOUIE: The GOP’s relationship with African-Americans has fallen apart since 2008. “In the years since the 2008 election, many Republicans have adopted racially charged narratives on everything from the financial collapse — minorities and the Community Reinvestment Act are to blame — to a program meant to compensate African American farmers for racial discrimination (it’s actually ‘reparations‘). What’s more, in its attacks on Obama, a large portion of the Republican base has adopted an explicitly racial frame. The attacks aren’t motivated by race — the apocalyptic tenor should be familiar to anyone who remembers Bill Clinton’s presidency — but race acts as a filter for their appearance. Birthers — including prominent members of the GOP — demand evidence of Obama’s citizenship, local Republicans depict Obama’s parents as chimpanzees, and online conservatives portray Obama as an African witch doctor.” Jamelle Bouie in The Washington Post.
MACGILLIS: Romney has something he could have talked about. “Here’s the thing: Romney actually had something to offer his Houston audience. He could have told them about the signal accomplishment of his term as governor, a law that disproportionately benefited blacks and other minorities in Massachusetts, and that laid the groundwork for a national law that will extend health coverage to millions of African-Americans. But of course, Romney would not do that. Instead, he reiterated his intention to repeal said national law, for which he was unsurprisingly booed… Before the speech was over, Romney was already getting media huzzahs on Twitter for standing his ground in attacking Obamacare despite the audience; but is it really standing one’s ground to disavow one’s greatest policy accomplishment?…George Romney would not have gone through a speech to the NAACP without mentioning the universal health care law he had signed.” Alec MacGillis in The New Republic.
Related: Poverty in the 50 years since Michael Harrington published ‘The Other America,’ in five charts.
Top op-eds
1) WESSEL: The housing bust is finally over. “The housing market has turned–at last. The U.S. finally has moved beyond attention-grabbing predictions from housing ‘experts’ that housing is bottoming. The numbers are now convincing…Nearly 10% more existing homes were sold in May than in the same month a year earlier, many purchased by investors who plan to rent them for now and sell them later, an important sign of an inflection point. In something of a surprise, the inventory of existing homes for sale has fallen close to the normal level of six months’ worth despite all the foreclosed homes that lenders own. The fraction of homes that are vacant is at its lowest level since 2006…The upturn in housing is a milestone, a particularly welcome one amid a distressing dearth of jobs. For some time, housing has been one of the biggest causes of economic weakness. It has now–barely–moved to the plus side.” David Wessel in The Wall Street Journal.
2) KLEIN: This election will be about taxes.“There’s something unusual about the argument currently dominating the U.S. presidential election. Republicans think they’ve got a winning hand arguing that President Barack Obama will raise taxes. And Democrats think they’ve got a winning hand arguing that President Obama will — raise taxes….Insofar as this election can be reduced to a single policy question, it’s this: Which is more unpopular? Raising taxes? Or refusing to raise taxes on the rich?” Ezra Klein in Bloomberg.
3) RATTNER: China’s economy is still going strong. ”The financial weekly Barron’s recently proclaimed in a cover story that ‘it looks like the Great China Growth Story may be falling apart.’ On Friday, China is expected to announce new, subpar growth figures. But consider a less prominent fact: a Bloomberg survey of economic forecasters yielded an average projected growth rate for China of 8.2 percent for 2012. If that’s the oft-predicted ‘hard landing’ from the heights of China’s historic double-digit rates, let’s all wish for a similar fate for the United States. No other major country — not even Brazil or India — will grow at a rate near China’s this year…The ‘pessimists-lite’ — those who argue that China’s growth rate may not re-accelerate — may be right. No economy can expand indefinitely at China’s historic double-digit rate. But for me, China’s economy still pulsates with the confidence of its growing entrepreneurial spirit, an important factor that doesn’t fit neatly into statistical models.” Steven Rattner in The New York Times.
4) YGLESIAS: Understanding how marginal tax rates work is important. “Steve Piechota of Netronix Integration in San Jose, Calif., leads the list of complainers. He explains that his business has grown from 3 employees to 50 over the past five years and that the ‘growth has kept our income low, as we’ve invested back into the company in the form of additional jobs and equipment.’ But thanks to tax hikes, he fears that the growth has come to an end. ‘Bottom line,’ he warns, ‘raising our taxes means we’ll quit growing, lay off people and stay under the $250k level for income.’…The good news for Piechota, in case he’s listening, is that this isn’t how tax brackets work…The way U.S. income tax brackets work is that taxes are levied on marginal income. In other words, the rate applied to income earned over the $250,000 threshold is irrelevant to the first $250,000 worth of taxable income. If you have $250,010 of taxable earnings then only that last $10 is taxed at the higher rate.” Matthew Yglesias in Slate.
5) MATTHEWS: The window for repealing Obamacare will close in 2014. “If ObamaCare is to be stopped and replaced with a workable reform that gives consumers more power and control over their health-care dollars, it needs to be done now. Today, the costs and benefits of ObamaCare are small and relatively few people will be harmed if it’s repealed. After 2014 the costs, financial and otherwise, will be huge–and untangling the mess it creates almost impossible.” Merrill Matthews in The Wall Street Journal.
Top long reads
Phillip Longman on how Americans became obsessed over personal finance and ended up broke:“Never before in history has the great American middle class obsessed so much over financial planning as during the last forty years or so. In the 1970s, this obsession fueled the growth of hot new magazines like Money and TV shows like Louis Rukeyser’s Wall $street Week. By the 1980s, it had led to the creation of personal finance sections in almost every newspaper, and to myriad radio talk shows counseling Americans on what mutual funds to buy, how much they should put into new savings vehicles like Individual Retirement Accounts or Keoghs, and how to manage their new 401(k) plans…And yet here we are today. According to a recent study by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, fully 44 percent of Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers lack the savings and pension coverage needed to meet basic retirement-age expenses, even assuming no future cuts in Social Security or Medicare, employer-provided benefits, or home prices.”
Late night interlude: Tom Waits plays “Chicago” live on the Late Show With David Letterman.
Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.
Still to come:The Fed is split; Republicans don’t have a replacement plan; postal reform won’t hit the House until after August; ethanol producers are pushing E15; and Amur tiger cubs are still super cute.
The latest Fed minutes show officials divided over the next step. “Federal Reserve officials agreed at a meeting in June that unemployment would remain elevated for another five to six years, but most did not regard that as reason enough to expand the Fed’s efforts to stimulate growth, according to an official account published on Wednesday…The account of the June meeting suggested that Fed officials now viewed the risk of standing still, so clear in a crisis, as smaller and harder to measure, while the uncertain consequences of action are weighing heavily on their willingness to expand the central bank’s aid campaign.” Binyamin Appelbaum in The New York Times.
@DLeonhardt: Guess the year, 2010, 2011 or 2012: Fed officials surprised and disappointed by economy.
@RobinBHarding: I read a pretty high QE3 chance in the Fed minutes. A “few” members are already there. “Several others” don’t need to see much more.
More economists see further Fed action as likely. ”Amid mounting evidence that the U.S. recovery has slowed, more economists in The Wall Street Journal’s monthly forecasting survey expect the Federal Reserve to take further action, even though most don’t think such a move is warranted. ‘The Fed is now behind on both goals of its dual objective,’ said Allen Sinai of Decision Economics, who noted that the current unemployment rate of 8.2% is well above the central bank’s perceived goal of around 6%, while annual inflation of around 1.5% is below the 2% target…When asked whether the central bank will engage in a third round of large-scale asset purchases, known as quantitative easing, or QE3, this year, 23 of 50 respondents said ‘yes.’ Twenty-four don’t think the Fed will act this year, and the remainder declined to answer the question.” Phil Izzo in The Wall Street Journal.
US Treasury bond yields hit a new low. ”Investors accepted the lowest yields ever for 10-year paper in a US Treasury auction shortly before the release of Federal Reserve minutes showing a bias towards more monetary easing. The scale of demand at the auction suggests investors expect US interest rates to remain low for several years. The $21bn sale of 10-year paper sold at a yield of 1.459 per cent, the lowest ever in an auction…Wall Street dealers were stunned by the scale of investor demand in the auction, with record buying by investors such as money managers and foreign central banks electing to purchase the 10-year note directly from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.” Michael Mackenzie and Robin Harding in The Financial Times.
Baltimore is suing banks over the Libor scandal. “Dozens of states, cities and other government entities are exploring whether they lost money because of the alleged manipulation of a crucial benchmark used to set interest rates on hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of loans and investments. Baltimore City is leading a federal lawsuit against the group of big banks that set Libor, the London interbank offered rate, accusing it of conspiring to suppress the benchmark. The banks named in the case include JPMorgan­ Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Citi­Bank and Deutsche Bank. In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan, Baltimore said the banks kept Libor artificially low during the financial crisis and its immediate aftermath, robbing the city of millions of dollars in returns on investments such as interest-rate swaps.” Michael Fletcher in The Washington Post.
The trade deficit narrowed again. “The U.S. trade deficit narrowed for the second straight month in May, as exports picked up and falling oil prices helped drive down imports. The U.S. deficit in international trade of goods and services decreased 3.8% to $48.68 billion from an upwardly revised $50.60 billion the month before, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The April trade gap was originally reported as $50.06 billion…U.S. exports grew 0.2% to $183.09 billion, not adjusting for inflation, while imports declined 0.7% to $231.78 billion.” Tom Barkley and Eric Morath in The Wall Street Journal.
@grossdm: fun fact: through 1st 5 months of 2012, exports up 6.2% from 1st 5 months of 2011
Fiscal cliff fear may be having an impact now. “With the economy having slowed in recent weeks, business leaders and policy makers are growing concerned that the tax increases and government spending cuts set to take effect at year’s end have already begun to cause companies to hold back on hiring and investments. Economists say that the magnitude of the effect remains unclear and the fiscal uncertainty is probably not the economy’s main problem, but is instead one of several factors — along with Europe’s troubles, the spike in oil prices this spring and a continuing hangover from the housing bubble — restraining growth.” Rebecca Berg in The New York Times.
Will regulators get it right on the Volcker Rule? “Gensler, 54, has a hand on the wheel once again. As the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, he is among a team of regulators racing to meet a July 21 deadline for the most controversial provision of the 2010 Wall Street reform law: the Volcker rule…Gensler notes that industry lobbyists submitted more than 30,000 comment letters, demanding clarifications and exemptions, slowing the work. Analysts and officials doubt regulators will make the July 21 deadline, set by the financial reform law known as Dodd-Frank…As a result, the latest version of the Volcker rule ballooned to more than 300 pages, prompting worries that the final regulation might drown in its own complexity.” Suzy Khimm in The Washington Post.
Film compilation interlude: All 641 clapboard slates from an independent film.
Health Care
The House passed a bill to repeal Obamacare. “The Republican-led House voted Wednesday to repeal President Obama’s health-care law, a symbolic gesture meant to highlight the GOP’s commitment to ending it despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that it is constitutional. The vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act was 244 to 185, with five Democrats joining all of the chamber’s Republicans in voting to eliminate the measure. It was the 33rd time that Republicans have moved to repeal all or parts of the legislation since the party took control of the House in January 2011.” Rosalind Helderman in The Washington Post.
@daveweigel: And now, in an action that will have a much greater effect on America, the House will rename a post office.
Republicans have no plans to replace Obamacare. “Even as they cheer their ‘Obamacare’ repeal vote, here’s a reality check: House Republicans have done next to nothing they promised they would when it comes to health care…Flash back to the campaign promises of 2010: GOP leadership told voters they would ‘enact medical liability reform,’ allow Americans to buy health insurance across state lines, expand health savings accounts, ‘ensure access for patients with pre-existing conditions’ and ‘permanently prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion.’ Eighteen months after taking the majority, they’ve passed only two of those: an abortion bill and liability legislation. Republican leaders have passed a resolution asking committees to draft a replacement for the Obama health care law, but don’t look for any thick, comprehensive proposals; they don’t exist.” Jake Sherman and Matt Dobias in Politico.
@ezraklein: House Republicans have voted to repeal ‘Obamacare’ more than 30 times. They have voted to replace it 0 times.
The Obama administration is preparing for Medicaid opt-outs. “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to all governors last night, assessing the state of the Affordable Care Act. She urged them to act on implementing the Medicaid expansion, noting she was hopeful that ‘state leaders will take advantage of the opportunity provided to insure the poorest working families.’ The letter also acknowledged that some states may not. To that end, Sebelius hinted that the Obama administration has been looking at how to make the law work best in recalcitrant states…One issue they’re thinking about is how the individual mandate would work for the poorest Americans…It wants to ensure that all people below the poverty line get covered under the hardship exemption. In studying the law, Sebelius writes that she would have the authority to do so.” Sarah Kliff in The Washington Post.
Domestic Policy
The House isn’t likely to vote on postal reform before its recess. “The House is not expected to vote on a Republican-sponsored postal reform bill before leaving for their August recess, lawmakers said Wednesday, further delaying Congress from reaching a broad agreement on overhauling the cash-strapped Postal Service. House GOP leaders had said they would try to bring up the postal bill, from House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), before the recess. But with House Republicans also looking to tackle a number of other issues before members head back to their districts — including the George Bush-era tax rates and regulations — members on both sides of the aisle said there was almost no chance postal reform would make it on to the floor schedule this month.” Bernie Becker in The Hill.
Amur tiger cub interlude: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has two new Amur tiger cubs.
The House Agriculture Committee passed the farm bill. “The House agriculture committee early Thursday voted to pass its version of a new farm bill that cuts $12 billion more from the food stamps program than a Senate bill passed last month and adds several new crop insurance and price support programs to protect farmers during natural disasters or when prices fall. The House bill, which passed 35 to 11, would reduce food and nutrition spending by more than $35 billion, mainly by cutting about $16.5 billion from the food stamps program. The Senate bill cut about $23 billion in spending, with $4.5 billion in savings coming from food stamps. About 80 percent of farm bill spending goes to food stamps…The House and Senate must reach a compromise before Sept. 30, when the current five-year farm bill, passed in 2008, expires.” Ron Nixon in The New York Times.
Ethanol makers are pushing E15. “Intended as an additive to gasoline, ethanol in modern times was meant to stretch America’s fuel supplies, much as a cook uses chicken stock to increase the volume of a soup. By federal mandate, ethanol makes up about 10 percent of most fuel that motorists buy at the pump. Unfortunately for ethanol makers, Americans are driving fewer miles and upgrading to more efficient cars — or to continue the analogy, eating less soup. So ethanol makers want to change the longstanding recipe, trying to persuade gas stations and motorists to buy fuel that is 15 percent ethanol, or E15.” Matthew Wald in The New York Times.
Wonkbook is compiled and produced with help from Karl Singer and Michelle Williams.

CBS NEWS | Daily News Summary: Fed should flex its power to recharge economy

CBS - Daily News Summary
July 12, 2012 | DAILY NEWS SUMMARY

Levy Izhak Rosenbaum accused of exploitative organ sales, but some say he saved lives
Read full story
N.Y. man gets 2.5 years for illegal kidney sales
Surgeon saves paramedic who came to rescue him Air Force doctor breaks ankle on hike in Northern California, ends up saving life of paramedic hurt by chopper

Penn State report on sex abuse scandal expected Ex-FBI director Louis Freeh's report on eight-month investigation intended to answer question of who knew what and when

Joe Paterno defended football program in letter In letter written before he died, Paterno said Sandusky scandal was not a "football scandal"

Why Romney welcomes the NAACP boos It doesn't matter if people jeer. In a tight election, all that matters is that you keep the conversation right where you want it

Fed should flex its power to recharge economy The Nation: Economics prof proposes central bank issue "federal credit cards" allowing Americans to borrow $2K at low interest

Kevin Bleyer: Make Congress sweat "Daily Show" writer says U.S. Constitution created despite political in-fighting and no air conditioning, and that today's Congress needs to step up

Beltway: Land of unfortunate euphemisms Bob Schieffer says politicians in a tight spot are always in search of a good euphemism when straight-forward prose just won't do

Penn State sex abuse report expected Ex-FBI director Louis Freeh's report on eight-month investigation intended to answer question of who knew what and when

RTTNews Daily market Analysis

RTT News: Global Financial Newswires
Daily Market Analysis
Thursday, July 12, 2012, 09:23
The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a lower opening on Thursday, with sentiment weighed down by macroeconomic concerns, especially those surrounding the precarious fiscal situation in Europe. In Europe, peripheral bond yields are surging, reflecting the extreme risk aversion of investors. The euro is tumbling against the dollar and commodities are also retreating. (Jul 12, 2012) Full Article