Financial News 8/19/12 – 8/25/12

Economy

-Mortgage rates are rising as the average 30 year fixed rate mortgage is up to 3.62% from slightly below 3.5% seen at the end of July.  8/20

-Gas prices are on the rise again as the average price of a gallon costs $3.74 up from $3.50 in late June.  8/21

-Sales of existing homes rose 2.3% in July, but it is the second slowest pace of the year. 8/22

-In the minutes released from the most recent Fed meeting it appeared the group was moving closer to taking action to stimulate growth.  The minutes said steps would need to be taken soon if growth does not pick up substantially.  The minutes were from the Fed’s meeting at the end of July.  8/23

-New home sales are up 26% in July from a year earlier and inventory is down to the lowest level on record.  Also, a separate report showed previously owned homes prices’ rose 1.8% in the second quarter from the first showing continuing improvement in the housing market. 8/24

Corporate

-Aetna will buy Coventry health Care for $5.7 billion making Aetna one of the largest providers of government financed health care.  8/20

-Lowe’s profits dropped 10% in the second quarter on lagging sales and lowered its profit outlook.  8/21

-Apple has become the biggest U.S. company ever as measured by market capitalization.  The firm is now valued at $623.5 billion passing the last mark set by Microsoft in the 1999 in the internet boom heyday.  Apple is worth over $200 billion more then the next closest company, Exxon Mobil.  8/21

-Best Buy’s fortunes continue to fall as its earnings fell by 91% and it removed all earnings forecasts for the rest of the year.  8/22

-Dell’s 2nd quarter earnings sank 18% and revenue dropped 8% and lowered its full year profit forecast as it transitions away from the personal computer business. 8/22

-HP had its worst quarter in 73 years as the firm reported a loss of $8.3 billion.  Revenue fell by 5% as PC sales continue to shrink and the firm was forced to write down $9.2 billion compounding the issue. 8/23

-Apple won its patent fight with Samsung over patents on Apple mobile devices and a jury awarded the firm $1.05 billion in damages.  The payout is one of the largest ever awarded over intellectual property.  8/25

Market

-As the economy has shown signs of improvement treasury yields have gained.  The 10 year Treasury yield is up to 1.817%.  8/20

-Global markets sank on Thursday for their worst day in a month on weak economic news from Europe the U.S. and China.  The Dow fell 0.9%, the S&P 500 dropped 0.8% and Europe sank 0.6%.  8/24

-Markets bounced back from there large losses the previous day on expectations the Fed plans to roll out new stimulus measures.  The S&P 500 jumped up 0.7%, the Dow gained 0.8%.  However, for the week U.S. markets ended down.  The Dow snapped a 6 week winning streak sliding 0.9% and the S&P 500 was down %.  Crude oil has risen steadily over the past 2 months ending the week at $96.15.  The 10 year treasury yield fell slightly for the week breaking a streak of 4 weeks of gains.  The 10 year ended the week at 1.678%.  8/25

There is no guarantee that any investment strategy, including those described here, will be successful. Any investment or investment strategy can lose money. Past performance does not guarantee or predict future results. You should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Raffa Wealth Management, LLC. This information was gathered from reliable sources but we cannot guarantee accuracy. Indexes do not reflect the fees associated with actual investments and such fees would reduce the performance illustrated.
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