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Jul 2, 2013

Snowden rumored to be on Bolivian president's plane: RTAmerica; july 02, 2013.

Asian Markets, Latest News at the time; July 02, 2013.

Asia

Japan's Suntory Beverage makes tepid debut TOKYO--Shares of Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. (2587.TO) received a tepid response from investors Wednesday in Japan's biggest initial public offering this year, with the issue opening 0.6% above its premarket price. 11 min ago
Asia stocks weaken on China data, U.S. cues Asian stocks fall as concerns about growth in China’s services sector add to the selling pressure amid caution ahead of U.S. jobs data later in the week, dragging on Australian and Hong Kong equities in particular. 49 min ago
Australia trade data strong, but retail sales weak LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Australia received a mixed bag of May economic data Wednesday, as retail sales disappointed with weak gains but the trade surplus widened well above forecasts. Retail sales rose 0.1% during May, rebounding from April's 0.1% drop. The result was below expectations for a 0.3% increase, according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll. But May's trade surplus came in above expectations, widening to 670 million Australian dollars ($615 million), up from April's A$171 million and beating a projected gain of just A$53 million, according to a Dow Jones Newswires survey. The growth in the surplus came as exports rose 4% from a year earlier, while imports were 2% higher. 9:42 p.m. Today

U.S. stocks finish lower as jobs report looms: Wall Street at Close Report by MarketWatch; July 02, 2013

By Wallace Witkowski and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch 

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks ended lower Tuesday, losing steam gained from reports showing solid growth for car sales and factory orders as investors anticipated the jobs report at the end of the week. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -0.28% closed down 42.55 points, or 0.3%, at 14,932.41, with shares of General Electric Co. GE -1.89%  and Boeing Co. BA -1.71%  the day’s worst performers. The Dow industrials had traded as high as 74 points earlier in the session. 

The S&P 500 SPX -0.05%  slipped 0.88 point to close at 1,614.08, with industrials and materials lagging the most. The index was up as much as 9 points earlier. 

The Nasdaq Composite COMP -0.03%  fell 1.09 points to finish at 3,433.40, even though Apple Inc. AAPL +2.27%  shares finished the day up 2.3%. Earlier, the index was up as high as 19 points. 


What Social Security won't tell you
Nearly 80 years after Social Security was established it is facing significant challenges as the U.S. population is growing and people are living longer. (Photo: Getty Images) 


Declining stocks outpaced advancers 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange and by a narrow margin on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE volume topped 3.2 billion shares and Nasdaq composite volume was just over 1.6 billion shares at the close. 

With the short holiday week and trading volume down, don’t place a lot of weight behind market swings right now, said Paul Nolte, managing director at Dearborn Partners. 

Ever since comments made by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in late May brought stocks off their nominal highs, the market has been looking for a stabilizing force, and that will likely be earnings season, which begins next week, he said. 

“We’re still in a corrective phase that’ll end with the beginning of earnings,” Nolte said. 

Volume should be relatively light this week, with many traders taking vacations around Thursday’s Independence Day holiday. Besides shutting down Thursday for the holiday, U.S. stock markets will close early Wednesday — at 1 p.m. Eastern time. 

Stocks started edging down after New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley spoke Tuesday. Dudley reiterated that market fears about rate hikes are misplaced when it comes to the Fed’s intentions to scale back on asset purchases as the economy improves. But that reassurance did little to appease the market. 

Investors need to be careful on putting emphasis on any one data point during the short week, given that the big one will be the monthly U.S. jobs report on Friday morning. Economists polled by MarketWatch expect the economy added 155,000 jobs in June, down from 175,000 in May. 

That report will be a good tell on where the market stands regarding Fed policy, said Brad Sorensen, director of market and sector research at Charles Schwab. 


Getty Images Enlarge Image
Ford sees best June results since 2006.
Markets rallied earlier after U.S. auto-sales data were released from Ford Motor Co. F +0.12%  and General Motors Co. GM +0.29% . Ford said it achieved its best June result since 2006, and GM’s sales increased 6.5%

Orders for goods produced in U.S. factories climbed 2.1% in May, the Commerce Department said. That topped the 1.9% gain expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. Data released Monday showed activity rebounded in June for manufacturers, which helped drive more gains for Wall Street. 

Some strategists are feeling upbeat, saying the June selloff for equities was overdone. In a note on Tuesday, UBS strategist Stephanie Deo said the investment bank is increasing its overweight position in equities, increasing U.S. exposure as part of that. 


She said they are also moving to an underweight in commodities, cutting their fixed-income underweight call back to neutral, selling emerging-market debt to reach an underweight position, and cutting cash to zero. Read: 5 investment moves to make in the wake of a Fed 'overreaction': UBS
On Monday, Deutsche Bank strategists said equities remain a safe bet over the long term. See also: Why U.S. stocks could be 24% higher next July
 
In Europe on Tuesday, stocks XX:SXXP -0.40%  lost ground, closing down by 0.4%, with analysts saying traders were growing cautious ahead of central bank meetings for the U.K. and euro zone on Thursday. Asian markets finished mixed, with Japanese and Australian equities faring best. 

Among stocks on the move, shares of Zynga Inc. ZNGA +6.51%  advanced more than 6% after news of a new chief executive. 
 
Shares of Constellation Brands Inc. STZ -3.57%  fell 3.6% after the producer of liquor and wine reported its first-quarter profit fell to $52.9 million, or 27 cents a share, from $72.0 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. 

Oil prices gained, while gold declined. Oil prices rose as Egypt’s military drew up a plan to suspend the country’s constitution. 

Wallace Witkowski is a MarketWatch news editor in San Francisco. Follow him on Twitter @wmwitkowski. Victor Reklaitis is a New York-based markets writer for MarketWatch. Follow him on Twitter @VicRek. Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this report.

Stocks Bounce Off Lows, but Still End Lower; Egypt Weighs: Wall Street at Close Report by CNBC; July 02, 2013.

Stocks bounced off their worst levels in the final minutes but still finished slightly lower in choppy trading Tuesday as investors hesitated to jump in amid ongoing concerns about the Federal Reserve's plans to scale back its bond-buying program and reports of political turmoil in Egypt.

Stocks tumbled near session lows following reports that Egypt's military had drawn up plans to suspend the country's constitution, dissolve its legislature and set up an interim government. Major averages were initially higher after a better-than-expected factory orders report and upbeat auto sales.

"Egypt is definitely the wildcard—the army has issued an ultimatum so the clock is ticking…if we have a geopolitical concern, that could affect oil supply and it's a negative in the near-term until we can ascertain what the issue is," said Art Hogan, managing director at Lazard Capital Markets.
Crude oil settled at a 14-month high, just shy of $100 a barrel.

(Read More: 10 Things You Need to Know About the First Half)
Name Price Change %Change
DJIA Dow Jones Industrial Average 14932.41
-42.55   -0.28%
S&P 500 S&P 500 Index 1614.08     -0.88   -0.05%
NASDAQ Nasdaq Composite Index 3433.40
  -1.09   -0.03%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished back below the psychologically-important 15,000 level. Boeing and GE led the laggards, while JPMorgan gained. At its session low, the blue-chip index tumbled more than 100 points.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also closed slightly lower. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded above 16.

"Technically, if the S&P can't push above its 50-day moving average of 1,624, that becomes an area of resistance and it means this is a rally that's starting to fade," said Hogan. "This is the third time we've tested it."
Among key S&P sectors, industrials led the laggards, while telecoms gained.
 
Bonds Are At Best 'Dead Money': Pro Jerry Castellini, CastleArk Management, and Rod Symthe, RiverFront Investment Group, discuss the best way to play the markets in the second half of the year
"Expect the market to be fairly mercurial—especially this week. The volume is still pretty anemic," said Keith Bliss, senior vice president at Cuttone & Co. "The longer-term trend is still positive, since we sold off so harshly last week, but we're going to have bumps in the road. We're in a period where economic data will be OK to good, but not enough to make the Fed really back away from its policy." Earlier, New York Fed president William Dudley reiterated his comments that the Fed's asset purchases could continue at a higher pace than that outlined last month by Chairman Ben Bernanke, if the labor market and economic growth lagged the central bank's expectations. "Statistically, if the first half of the year is positive, it tends to set a positive tone for the second half, but these are based on data that include periods where markets were not focused on liquidity from central banks," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist with Prudential Financial. On the economic front, factory orders gained 2.1 percent in May, rising for a second-straight month, according to the Commerce Department. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a gain of 2 percent. Stocks globally were a mixed bag. In a widely-expected move, the Reserve Bank of Australia left its cash rate unchanged at 2.75 percent, and stated that the Australian dollar was still at high levels. In reaction, the currency lost nearly 1 percent to fall below the $0.92 handle against the greenback. Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 closed 2.6 percent higher. A weaker currency also helped the Japanese Nikkei, which crossed the key 14,000 points to hit a new one-month high. The Shanghai Composite reversed earlier losses to rise above the 2,000 mark, its highest level in over one week. However, shares in Europe traded lower, as tensions rose in Italy's fragile coalition government. Prime Minister Enrico Letta called a government meeting after the Civic Choice (Scelta Civica) party threatened to withdraw from the coalition on Monday, citing frustration with the slow pace of reforms. "Financial markets are pulling-back on Tuesday after registering strong gains in the previous session, driven by a pick-up in manufacturing data out of Europe and the U.S.," Ishaq Siddiqi, a market strategist at ETX Capital, said in a morning note. Financials including JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley advanced after the Federal Reserve Board of Governors approved two bank reform measures.
Ford edged higher after the U.S. automaker reported June sales that rose 13 percent from a year earlier, with gains in big pickups as well as smaller models. General Motors gained after the company posted sales that climbed 6.5 percent. Toyota is scheduled to post figures later in the session. Among earnings, Constellation Brands declined after the alcoholic beverage company reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings. Still, the company lifted its full-year forecast. Second-quarter earnings season will officially kickoff next week, when Dow component Alcoa reports on July 8. Market expectations are low for earnings, with S&P Capital IQ knocking down its expectations again this week to 2.8 percent for the S&P 500 bottom-line profit. (Read More: Prove-It Time Ahead for Market as Earnings Loom) Walt Disney extended Bob Iger's tenure by 15 months. Iger had initially planned to step down as CEO in April 2015. Zynga surged after the social games services provider confirmed that it would replace CEO Mark Pincus with Microsoft executive Don Mattrick. (Read More: Can the Man Behind Xbox Save Zynga?) Meanwhile, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust announced plans for a $20 million IPO (initial public offering), offering investors exposure to the Bitcoin digital currency. In the meantime, the world's second biggest IPO of the year, a $4 billion new listing by Suntory Beverage and Food, will debut on the Tokyo stock exchange this week. (Read More: World's Second Biggest IPO of Year Lists This Week)
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: )

BIV Today's Business News; July 02, 2013.: B.C. claims carbon neutrality for third consecutive year





Environment and Sustainability

B.C. claims carbon neutrality for third consecutive year

The provincial government has released a report that claimed that, for the third consecutive year, it is carbon neutral. The government has touted ... READ MORE

Retail and Manufacturing

 

Clearly Contacts to open Kitsilano retail store

Vancouver-based Coastal Contacts plans to open a Clearly Contacts-branded retail store at 2152 West 4th Ave in August, CEO Roger Hardy told ... READ MORE

Technology

 

Westport buys clean-energy company for $25m in stock

Westport Innovations Inc. has announced that it will buy clean-energy company BAF Technologies Inc. and its subsidiary, ServoTech ... READ MORE

 

Local food-dehydration leader EnWave inks deal with Fortune 500 firm

Vancouver’s EnWave Corp. has signed a royalty-bearing commercial licence with Fortune 500 company ... READ MORE

More News...

   

IPOs market sees 500% rise, real estate strongest sector: PwC

B.C. company helps online shoppers get duty refunds on returned goods

This Week's Issue

 

Cyber-attack risks rise for Canadian businesses

Corporate espionage threats increased via Internet industrial-infrastructure access ... READ MORE

UBS opens gold vault in Singapore: GATA THE GATA DISPATCH; July 02, 2013.

UBS opens gold vault in Singapore

By Francesa Freeman and Clementine Wallop
The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, June 2, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732393640457858134142731584...

Swiss bank UBS said Tuesday that for the first time it has started storing gold in Asia, a move that reflects continued strong demand for the precious metal in the region as Western investors dump their holdings.

Asia's influence in the gold market has been growing in recent years, with China and India vying for the position of the world's top gold consumer. According to the metals consultancy GFMS, the two countries together accounted for 61% of global physical gold bar demand last year, more than double the level a decade earlier.

This means that, despite the recent historic tumble in gold prices, Asian investors are still eager to invest in the metal and store it closer to home, said Peter Kok, regional market manager for Singapore and Malaysia at UBS Wealth Management. "We have recognized for some time the ever-growing demand for gold among Asian clients and the demand for gold custody services in Asia," he said.
UBS is one of the banks whose trading in gold sets prices every day in London. These so-called fixings are used to determine spot prices for the precious metal, including for sales from mining companies to gold refineries.
The leased vault that the bank opened to clients in May can hold up to 60 metric tons of gold -- worth around $2.4 billion at current prices -- and is located in Singapore's high-security Freeport, said Mr. Kok. Singapore will be the only location outside Switzerland in which UBS stores the precious metal, he said.
Other banks have made similar moves. Last month, Deutsche Bank AG said it had opened a 200-ton-capacity gold vault in the Singapore Freeport. In 2010, JP Morgan Chase also opened a gold vault in Singapore.
"Whoever expects incomes in China and India to continue rising and real interest rates to remain negative or low will by default recognize gold as the beneficiary of these developments," said Ronald-Peter Stoferle, co-founder of wealth management firm Incrementum Liechtenstein.
Gold prices plunged 23% in the April-to-June period, the metal's biggest quarterly drop since modern gold trading began in the 1970s. The metal hit a near three-year low at $1,180.20 an ounce on the European spot market Friday.
"Notwithstanding the drop in gold pricesclients tend to hold a long-term view on gold and enjoy the stability and security benefits which come with holding gold as an asset class," said Mr. Kok.
The eastward shift is also a response to Singapore's decision last year to scrap a goods-and-services tax on gold in a bid to help boost its share of global gold demand to 10% to 15% within a decade from about 2% in 2012.

* * *

Support GATA by purchasing DVDs of our London conference in August 2011 or our Dawson City conference in August 2006:
http://www.goldrush21.com/order.html

Gene Arensberg: Comex commercials nearly net long gold: GATA I THE GATA DISPATCH; July 02, 2013.

Gene Arensberg: Comex commercials nearly net long gold

1:46p ET Tuesday, June 2, 2013

Gene Arensberg's new edition of the Got Gold Report focuses on the remarkable transformation of the largest commercial traders from short to long gold.
Arensberg writes:

"As of this June 28 report (data as of Tuesday, June 25), the commercial hedgers had their least net short (least number of net hedges) for gold as a percentage of the total Comex open interest (9%) since December 2001, which coincidentally was the last time commercial traders as a group were net long gold futures. Gold changed hands for $270 the ounce back then, by the way.
"So one might conclude that with gold in the $1270s last Tuesday, the combined commercial traders of gold futures' expectations that the gold price would fall further than it already has is equivalent to when gold was trading in the $270s (not a misprint), three months after the 9-11 terrorist attacks. ... That is to say that the commercials are not positioning for further gold weakness if their net futures positioning is any guide."
The new GGR is headlined "Comex Commercials Nearly Net Long Gold" and it's posted in the clear here:

http://www.gotgoldreport.com/2013/07/latest-ggr-video-on-youtube-comex-c...

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

CMI I Spot Prices as of close of trading in New York; July 02, 2013.




Spot Prices as of close of trading in New York
Tuesday, July 02, 2013


Updated 7/02/2013 Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
GOLD $1,244.80 -$12.10 $1,276.70 $1,395.95 $1,598.70
SILVER $19.43 -$0.24 $19.63 $22.34 $27.49
PLATINUM $1,371.10 -$12.50 $1,352.70 $1,464.30 $1,452.00
PALLADIUM $690.90 +$0.40 $670.40 $752.80 $578.30
GOLD/SILVER RATIO 64.06

Economix Most U.S. Health Spending Is Exploding -- but Not for Mental Health : NYT I ALERT FGC BOLSA - FGC FINANCIAL MARKETS; July 02, 2013.



FGC BOLSA- FGC FIN

Compiled: July 2, 2013 03:08:50 PM

Economix

Most U.S. Health Spending Is Exploding -- but Not for Mental Health
Mental health spending has remained roughly 1 percent of the economy since 1986, while total health spending has climbed from about 10 percent of gross domestic product in 1986 to nearly 17 percent in 2009.

Jim Jubak Picks 8 Stocks for a Global Growth Crisis: MoneyShow Investors Daily Alert; July 02, 2013


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Europe stocks fall, led by Fresenius, banks: European Markets at Close Report by MarketWatch; July 02, 2013.

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch 
 
MADRID (MarketWatch)European stock markets ended lower Tuesday, with banks and reinsurers leading the move to the downside. Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KgaA was among the biggest decliners. 

The Stoxx Europe 600 index XX:SXXP -0.40% fell 0.4% to close at 287.13, following a gain of more than 1% in the Monday session, after upbeat economic data in Europe and the U.S. 

Fresenius DE:FME -8.85% tumbled 8.7% after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it could cut payments to kidney-dialysis centers from 2013 forward. Fresenius operates a large network of dialysis clinics throughout the U.S. 

Five stocks insiders are buying
Studies show stocks bought by insiders slightly outperform the market. MarketWatch's Laura Mandaro discusses five stocks that insiders have bought recently. (Photo: AP) 

Analysts said traders were growing cautious ahead of central bank meetings in the U.K. and Europe on Thursday, along with all-important U.S. payrolls data on Friday. Wall Street shook off early losses Tuesday in its last full session before the Independence Day holiday on Thursday, gaining on factory orders and car sales. 

Europe trimmed some losses, but still stayed in the red after a blockbuster session a day earlier.
“It seems people are doing a selective bit of buying,” said Joseph Neighbour, trading analyst at Central Markets, who notes that some key levels on some indexes, like 3,600 for the French CAC 40, are holding. 

“No doubt bull markets are still in play. What the market was doing prior to that was going up every single day without pullbacks whatsoever,” said Neighbour. Still, he said investors seem to be now just looking to pick up stocks a bit cheaper than they have been. 

Broker moves were accounting for some of the action on Tuesday. Utility company RWE DE:RWE -4.65% shares fell 4.1% to 22.30 euros after Morgan Stanley cut shares to equal-weight from overweight and cut its price target to €28 from €36 a share. 

Analyst Bobby Chada cited a tough operating environment and higher-than-expected leverage, and said there is little scope for a power-price rebound. 

Insurers were also under pressure. J.P. Morgan Cazenove said it expects a 10% decline in natural catastrophe reinsurance and sees flat rates on other reinsurer lines, and reduced its 2014 earnings-per-share estimates for key reinsurers. 

Hannover Re SE DE:HNR1 -3.26% was cut to underweight from neutral, leaving shares more than 3% lower. Shares of Munich Re DE:MUV2 -3.13% fell 2.7% as it was dropped to neutral from overweight. Swiss Re AG CH:SREN -1.56% dropped 1.6% after being cut to neutral from overweight. 

The Athens Composite Index GR:GD -3.24% fell down 3.2% to 823.83 after Reuters reported that the country’s international troika of lenders has given Athens a three-day ultimatum over its bailout. Greece is facing a risk that its much-needed €8.1 billion bailout ($10.59 billion) could be delivered in three monthly payments rather than a lump sum. In Athens, the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization SA GR:HTO -3.45% sank 3.5%.

The German DAX 30 index DX:DAX -0.92% was another big decliner among regional European indexes, dropping 0.9% to 7,910.77, dragged lower by Munich Re and Fresenius. 


Shutterstock Enlarge Image
Burberry shares rise on analyst upgrade.
On the upside, shares of Burberry Group PLC UK:BRBY +2.93% rose nearly 3% to 1,405 pence after analysts at HSBC lifted the luxury retailer to overweight from neutral, and its price target to 1,750 pence from 1,530 pence. 

Faring better than most rival indexes, the FTSE 100 index UK:UKX -0.06% slipped 0.1% to close at 6,303.94. Financials were also lower across the board in Europe, with Lloyds Banking Group UK:LLOY -1.69% LYG -2.01% falling 1.7%. 

In Paris, shares of Michelin FR:ML +2.04% advanced 2% after UBS upgraded shares to buy from neutral, saying the tire company is only part of the way toward improving its cost positions significantly. Analyst Philippe Houchois also said its more-aggressive pricing on light-vehicle tires is positive. 

Those gains weren’t enough to support the French CAC 40 index FR:PX1 -0.66% , which fell 0.7% to 3,742.57. Pharmaceutical group Sanofi SA FR:SAN -1.31% SNY -0.50% fell 1.3%, which dragged the index south, along with a 0.9% loss for Total SA TOT -1.16% FR:FP -0.95% . Société Générale SA FR:GLE -1.18% joined banks in the red with a 1.2% drop. 

In other markets, Portugal’s PSI 20 index PT:PSI20 -1.50% fell 1.5% to 5,530.42 as bond yields also rose a day after the country’s finance minister, Vitor Gaspar, resigned. Gaspar was seen as a key enforcer of austerity measures. Banco Espirito Santo SA PT:BES -4.23% fell more than 4%.
 
Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter @MWBarbaraKollmeyer.

Entries from a "V" Reversal: MoneyShow Traders Daily Alert; July 02, 2013.




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FTC Halts Allegedly Phony Mortgage Relief Scheme: FTC Enforcement Actions; July 02, 2013.


Victimizing Thousands of Consumers, Marketers Falsely Touted Legal Assistance and "Forensic Audits" for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure
 
The Federal Trade Commission filed suit in federal court to halt a mortgage relief scheme that allegedly deceived and preyed on distressed homeowners by charging them $2,000 to $4,000 based on bogus foreclosure rescue claims.
The defendants allegedly falsely claimed they would provide legal help to save consumers’ homes from foreclosure and lower their mortgage payments, then charged them up-front fees in violation of federal law, delivering little or no help, and driving them deeper into debt.

The temporary restraining order signed by the court shuts down the defendants’ websites, freezes their assets, and provides for appointment of a receiver pending trial.

The defendants marketed their scheme in a variety of ways, which included using an official looking mailer that implores consumers to act quickly before they “FORFEIT LEGAL RIGHTS,” or face a “statute of limitations and government program deadlines,” according to the FTC.  Three individuals – Ratan Baid, Madhulika Baid, and William D. Goodrich – and seven companies falsely promised lower monthly payments and interest rates, and conversion of adjustable-rate mortgages to fixed ones, the FTC complaint alleged.  Many consumers who called the toll-free numbers were falsely guaranteed a loan modification that supposedly would make their payments more affordable, that they would get results within 60 to 90 days, or that Goodrich, an attorney, would use his impressive legal experience on their behalf, according to the complaint.

The defendants also marketed their scheme online, through telemarketing calls and with television and radio ads, according to the complaint.  The defendants’ websites touted a range of financial services, including bankruptcy advice, credit counseling, and “forensic mortgage audits.”  One of the sites described how these “audits” can help consumers hold onto their homes or lower their mortgage payments.  It falsely claimed that the “audits” could uncover any “lending violations” committed by lenders, and that the information could be used “to gain leverage in a successful loan modification,” the complaint stated.
In reality, however, the defendants generally did not provide the promised loan modification or help consumers avoid foreclosure, either directly or through the “forensic mortgage audits.”

The complaint charges the defendants with violating the Federal Trade Commission Act and with violating the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule, which bans mortgage foreclosure rescue and loan modification services from collecting fees until homeowners have a written offer from their lender or servicer that they deem acceptable.

The complaint also names as defendants Apex Solutions, Inc.; William D. Goodrich, Attorney, Inc.; A to Z Marketing, Inc.; Apex Members, LLC; Backend Inc.; Expert Processing Center, Inc.; and Smart Funding Corp.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and seek temporary restraining orders against the defendants in this case was 4-0.  The FTC filed the complaint and request for a temporary restraining order in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on June 18, 2013, and the court entered the temporary restraining order the following day.

NOTE:  The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest.  The case will be decided by the court.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.  To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).  The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Betsy Lordan Office of Public Affairs 202-326-3707

STAFF CONTACT:
Steven W. Balster FTC East Central Region 216-263-3401

Related Items:

Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, v. A To Z Marketing, Inc., also doing business as Client Services; Apex Members, LLC, also doing business as Apex Solutions, also doing business as MacArthur Financial Group; Apex Solutions, Inc.; Backend, Inc., formerly known as Mortgage Modification Center, also doing business as MMC, Inc.; Expert Processing Center, Inc.; Smart Funding Corp.; William D. Goodrich, Atty, Inc., also doing business as WDG, Attorney at Law; Ratan Baid; Madhulika Baid, also known as Madhu Baid; and William D. Goodrich, Defendants United States District Court for the Central District of California
FTC File No. 122 3074
Case No. 8:13-cv-00919-DOC-RBN
Loan Modification Notification flyer sent by defendants to distressed homeowners
For Consumers:
For Businesses:
More news from the FTC >>

Europe Pares Losses But Still Closes Lower: European Markets at Close report by CNBC; July 02, 2013.


European shares recovered slightly Tuesday after earlier losses, as worrying euro zone signals gave way to better-than-expected U.S. factory orders.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index provisionally closed slightly lower by 0.5 percent at 1,157.94 points, with Fresenius weighing heavily on the German DAX. Shares in the medical group plummeted by around 10 percent after reports of cuts to the U.S.'s Medicare program that could hit its business.

"Financial markets are pulling-back on Tuesday, after registering strong gains in the previous session, driven by a pick-up in manufacturing data out of Europe and the U.S.," Ishaq Siddiqi, a market strategist at ETX Capital said in a morning note.


Euro zone unemployment hit a record high in May at 12.2 percent with the number of people out of work now above 19 million, according to the European Union's statistics office, Eurostat.

After initial wobbles, U.S. stocks added modest gains, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average back above the psychologically-important 15,000 level, following a promising factory orders report.
Factory orders gained 2.1 percent in May, rising for a second-straight month, according to the Commerce Department. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a gain of 2 percent.

  Name Price   Change %Change Volume
FTSE FTSE 100 Index 6296.34
-11.44 -0.18% 429650246
DAX DAX Index 7904.69
-79.23 -0.99% 79521162
CAC 40 CAC 40 Index 3738.84
-28.64 -0.76% 59629988
IBEX 35 IBEX 35 Idx 7879.40
-27.70 -0.35% 194082356

In Asia, stock markets traded mixed on Tuesday, but sentiment across the region was much improved after a series of upbeat global manufacturing reports.

(Read More: Is Japan's Nikkei Getting Its Mojo Back?)

In the U.K., the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) reported that U.K. business confidence reached its highest level since 2007, bolstered by fast-rising exports.The BCC forecast the U.K. economy grew 0.6 percent in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, tensions remained high in Italy's fragile coalition government on Tuesday. Prime Minister Enrico Letta called a government meeting after the Civic Choice (Scelta Civica) party threatened to withdraw from the coalition on Monday, citing frustration with the slow pace of reforms.
Problems in other indebted euro zone nations troubled investors. An interview by Greece's economy minister with a German newspaper led to speculation the Greeks could receive another debt haircut, while the Portuguese government reaffirmed its commitment to austerity following the overnight resignation of its finance minister.

Tensions in North Africa could further unsettle investors, as Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi rebuffed an army ultimatum to solve Egypt's political crisis. However, Egyptian shares closed provisionally higher by 4.9 percent, amid optimism an eventual intervention by the army will resolve the crisis.
In stocks news, shares of tyre maker Michelin rose by 1.5 percent after receiving an upgrade by Swiss bank UBS.

Shares of luxury retail group Burberry climbed by 3.3 percent after an upgrade to "overweight" by HSBC.

Shares of U.K.-based delivery group Ocado were 1.09 percent higher after reporting that revenue growth would continue to grow in line with market expectations despite announcing a pretax loss for the first half of 2013.

U.K. pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline announced on Monday that Chinese authorities were investigating whether managers working for the firm in the country were involved in "economic crimes", according to a report by the New York Times. Shares traded lower by 0.21 percent on Tuesday morning.