Financial News and Notes 12/11/11 – 12/17/11

Economy

-Economists have raised their expectations for 4th quarter GDP.  The projections range from 3.9% to 3.4%, which would make the 4th quarter the best for growth since the second quarter of 2010.  12/13

-Retail sales rose 0.2% in November short of expectations of a 0.5% increase.  12/14

-Industrial production dropped in November by 0.2% the first fall since April.  12/15

-Weekly initial jobless claims dropped precipitously to 366,000.  The lowest reading since May of 2008; positive news for the labor market.  12/16

-The CPI held steady in November compared to October and prices have risen 3.4% over the past 12 months.  12/17

Corporate

-Intel is now expecting 4th quarter revenue to fall $1 billion below their prior projections driven by supply chain problems.  12/13

-Chrysler said it expected to generate $3 billion in operating profit next year based on expected increases in U.S. sales. 12/14

-Best Buy saw rising sales over its most recent quarter, but they were driven by deep discounts dropping profits for the quarter by 29%.  12/14

-Morgan Stanley announced plans to layoff 1,600 employees.  12/16

-Zynga priced its IPO at $10 a share raising about $1 billion for the internet gaming firm.  It was the largest internet IPO since Google.  12/16

-Research in Motion’s problems continue as it will delay a major product launch until late in 2012, and its earnings release showed profits plummeted 71% in their third quarter.  12/16

Regulatory

-The SEC brought civil suits against six former top executives at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae over their actions related to subprime mortgages alleging they knowingly misled investors.  12/17

Market

-J.P. Morgan Chase, George Soros and another hedge fund have snapped up Italian bonds at a discount that were once held by MF Global.  12/13

-World markets fell after investors analyzed the EU summit and found little to cheer.  The Dow fell 1.3%, the S&P dropped 1.5%, and Europe was down 1.9%.  The yield on 10 year Treasury’s dropped to 2.009%.  12/13

-The Euro fell to its lowest level in close to a year against the dollar on increased concerns the euro zone ahs not done enough to combat the crisis.  12/14

-OPEC met and agreed to hold production steady which sent oil prices down $5.19 a barrel to $94.95.  12/15

-More stress from the European crisis was evident in world markets as the Euro continued to fall against the dollar.  Several European banks took measures to fortify themselves.  Gold fell $75.60 a troy ounce to $1,584.30.  Italian bond spread over German bonds reached a new high.  The U.S. 10 year Treasury yield fell again to 1.903%.  The Dow and S&P dropped 1.1% and European stocks dropped 2%.  12/15

-It was a pessimistic week on Wall Street as concerns over Europe continued to permeate the markets.  The Dow finished down 2.6% for the week, while the S&P sank 2.8%, Japan fell 1.6% and Europe dropped 2.8%.  The 10 year Treasury fell to 1.853%.  12/17

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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