Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

When life throws ten problems at you, it also gives you a hundred reasons to be thankful.

Give thanks to God! Have a Glorious Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

World shares rally on U.S. fiscal hopes

LONDON (Reuters) - Share markets worldwide rebounded from last week's sharp selloff on Monday, with investors encouraged by signs of progress in talks to resolve the fiscal crunch in the United States.

U.S. lawmakers said on Sunday that a compromise was possible in talks to avert the $600 billion "fiscal cliff", which threatens to send the economy back into recession.

MSCI's world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS> jumped 0.5 percent to 318.94 points, recovering some of last week's 2.7 percent fall, its biggest five-day drop since early June.

"The thing about markets is if they can see it as light at the end of the tunnel, then they're going to discount that," said Mike Ingam, market analyst at BGC Partners.

"At the moment...there is very little clarity as to what the end game actually is although, of course, everybody expects there to be a compromise."

There was also optimism in Europe where officials looked closer to releasing delayed aid for Greece.

European officials are expected to discuss a two-year funding deal for Greece at a meeting on Tuesday, which would postpone any longer-term solution until after a September 2013 German general election.

European Central Bank policymaker Joerg Asmussen said at the weekend the ministers were likely to agree the deal for Greece and leave resolution of a longer-term debt stabilization plan, at the heart of a disagreement with the IMF, until a later date.

The euro rose 0.3 percent on Monday hitting a high of $1.2788, well above a two-month low of $1.2661 hit last week when suffered a selloff on the worries over Greece and the worsening euro zone outlook.

"As the EU prepares a bundled aid package to avert a Greek default, headlines coming out of the meeting may fuel a relief rally in the euro, but we will maintain our bearish forecast for the single currency as the region faces a deepening recession," said David Song, currency analyst at DailyFX.

European share markets also enjoyed a strong rebound from the lows of last week mainly on the growing optimism over the positive tone of the U.S. political negotiations.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 index (.FTEU3) of top European shares was up 0.8 percent at 1,076.03 points, led by sectors that depend on economic growth, such as auto stocks (.SXAP), basic resources (.SXPP) and banks (.SX7P).

In the region's main centers London's FTSE 100 (.FTSE), was up 0.9 percent, Paris's CAC-40 (.FCHI) gained 1.25 percent and Frankfurt's DAX (.GDAXI) rose 1.3 percent. (.L) (.EU)

Gains in U.S. stock futures pointed to a firmer start on Wall Street as well, extending a rally that began on Friday.

Safe haven bond markets reflected the better risk appetite with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield edging up as prices fell to around 1.60 percent, still only about 22 basis points above a record low set in late July.

The 10-year German government bond yield was steady at 1.34 percent but traders said there was room for yields to rise if euro zone policymakers reached an agreement at their meeting on Tuesday.


In the currency markets the dollar strengthened against the yen on expectations a new Japanese government will push the central bank into taking aggressive monetary stimulus measures to boost growth after next month's elections.

The greenback rose to 81.59 yen, its highest level since April 25, before settling to trade around 81.25 yen, down 0.2 percent from late U.S. trade on Friday.

The Bank of Japan began a two-day policy meeting on Monday, but is not expected to take any fresh policy steps ahead of the December 16 vote.

In oil markets, Brent crude rose to almost $110 a barrel as the escalating violence between Israel and the Palestinians fuelled concern about supplies from the Middle East.

Investors fear the conflict may draw in other countries and possibly disrupt energy exports from the region, which supplies more than a third of the world's crude.

Brent crude for January delivery was up $1 to $109.95 and U.S. crude futures gained 80 cents to $87.72 a barrel. (O/R)

(Reporting by Richard Hubbard; Editing by Giles Elgood and Anna Willard)

Yahoo finance

Saturday, November 17, 2012

IMF chief lauds Philippine growth as FDI, hot money inflow decreases

MANILA, Nov. 17 - Managing Director Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that the Philippines is the only country in the world where the IMF has upgraded its growth forecast for this year.

In a press briefing Friday in Malacanang, the Philippine presidential office, Lagarde reiterated IMF's earlier revised growth forecast of 5 percent for the country in 2012.

Other multilateral financial institutions such as the World Bank and the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) have also adjusted upwards their forecast for the Philippines.

"I congratulate the Filipino authorities for their excellent economic stewardship during difficult times. In the last decade, the Philippines managed to have an average growth of about 5 percent," Lagarde said.

Lagarde is the second leader who made an optimistic projection about the Philippines' economic future. Last week, visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the bullish prediction to President Benigno Aquino that the Philippines could be the next "Asian tiger".

The Australian business community also told Aquino during his state visit there last month that the Philippines is now "the fastest-growing economy in Asia."

The Aquino administration has set a growth target of between 5 and 6 percent this year, 6 and 7 percent in 2013, and at least 7 percent in the succeeding years.

The target seems to be achievable considering that in the first half of this year the Philippine economy grew by an unexpected 6.1 percent while inflation averaged only 3.2 percent in the first 10 months, well within the 3-5 percent target for the year.

But some recent economic indicators could dampen the rosy picture of the Philippines as painted by Lagarde and Harper.

Data released by the BSP showed that the net inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country fell to only 13 million U.S. dollars in August, down by nearly 83 percent from 76 million U.S. dollars in the same month last year. The amount was also 88 percent lower than the 108 million U.S. dollars in July.

The BSP said that the drop in the net FDI inflow "reflects investors relatively cautious stance due to weak global economic prospects and financial strains in the advanced economies."

On Wednesday, the BSP also said that the net inflow of foreign portfolio investment or "hot money" to the Philippines shrunk in October which was due mainly to profit-taking by equity investors.

The BSP said that the net inflow of "hot money" in October amounted to only 40 million dollars, down by about 83 percent from 237 million dollars in the same month last year.

According to the BSP, investor appetite for peso-denominated portfolio assets remained strong in October, noting a significant foreign buying of Philippine stocks and bonds during the period.

However, the net inflow of foreign portfolio investment dropped because the increase in the gross inflows was offset by the spike in outflows due to profit-taking, the BSP said.

"The net inflow was much lower as profit-taking triggered heavy sell-offs of publicly listed securities," BSP said.

But the BSP is still confident that foreign investment would increase soon, especially once the country gets an investment grade from any of the three major international credit rating agencies.

Despite continued optimism on the country's economic growth, Lagarde has called on the Philippine government to translate economic gains into programs that could alleviate poverty.

"It is no secret that about 42 percent of the Philippine population is living on less than 2 U.S dollars a day," Lagarde said.

She then advised the Aquino government to continue with, if not strengthen, programs aimed at addressing inequality, citing the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, which grants monthly subsidies to selected poorest families.

Economic analysts have agreed that growth in the country benefits only the rich and the middle class but not the poor.

source xinhuanet

Saturday, November 10, 2012

J.C. Penney Shrinking Sales

J.C. Penney Co.'s sales last quarter has gone from bad to worse. The department store chain is headed by a former Apple Inc. retail executive Ron Johnson.

Its sales fell 27% in the three months ended Oct. 27, and it seems the company will continue to stumble as the holiday-selling season approaches.

The drop was worse than Wall Street analysts had feared, and shares in the Plano, Texas-based company fell as much as 10% on Friday before rebounding to finish down nearly 5% at $20.62 on the day.

It lost 56 cents per share, or $123 million in the quarter ended Oct. 27. That compares with a loss of $143 million, or 67 cents per share, in the year ago period. Revenue dropped 26.6 percent to $2.93 billion in the quarter.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dow is down only 14 points despite of Sandy

Dow is down only 14 points for the week, easing concern that damages from Sandy would affect share prices or the US economy.

Dow Jones industrial average slipped 139.46 points, or 1.1%, to 13,093.16. That reversed its 136-point gain Thursday amid encouraging reports on consumer confidence and manufacturing.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 13.39 points, or 0.9%, to 1,414,20. For the week, it rose a bit more than 2 points, or 0.2%.

Stocks rose initially Friday after the government reported that the U.S. added a better-than-expected 171,000 jobs in October. But share prices soon began a steady descent into the closing bell.