Financial News and Notes 2/5/12 – 2/11/12


-Orders for manufactured goods rose 1.1% in December.  2/6

-The price of gasoline is on the rise.  The average price of a gallon has risen more than 18 cents since the beginning of January to $3.48.  2/7

-Consumer borrowing shot up in December, rising 9.3% from November.  2/8

-A measure of household income rose 4% from August to December bringing it to a level last seen in May of 2010, however it is still well below its pre recession level.  2/10

-Initial jobless claims fell once again dropping 15K to 358,000.  The 4 week moving average hit its lowest level since April 2008.  2/10


-Corporate profits have shown to be weaker over the 4th quarter of 2011.  Profit margins had their biggest quarter to quarter drop in the 4th quarter since the financial crisis began.  Approximately 60% of companies have beaten estimates for the 4th quarter however that’s lower than the 70% level that was reached in the first 3 quarter of 2011.  2/6

-The missing $1.2 billion in funds of MF Global have been traced by the bankruptcy trustee to banks, exchanges, clearinghouses, and MF Global affiliates, but cautions the funds will be difficult to retrieve. It is the clearest sign yet that many customers may never see their money again.  2/7

-Disney saw profit gains in the 4th quarter with its earnings gaining 12% and revenue edging up slightly. 2/8

-Toyota raised its profit forecast for the year, however the earnings level is still half of last year’s.  2/8

-News Corp. saw profit rise 65% over their most recent quarter aided by growth in tv stations and cable networks.  2/9

-Groupon reported a loss in its first quarter reporting earnings since going public.  2/9

-Credit Suisse posted a surprise loss as it tries to reposition itself for a tougher regulatory environment and shed risky assets.  2/10

-PepsiCo announced it will be cutting 8,700 jobs and ramping up marketing in an effort to combat its sliding market share.  2/10


-Government officials announced they had reached a $25 billion settlement with 5 large U.S banks over alleged foreclosure abuses.  The funds will provide some relief to an estimated 1 million borrowers and brings new hope to the battered housing market.  2/11


-Greece will lay off 15,000 state employees as part of additional austerity measures. 2/7

-The ECB agreed to make some concessions on the Greek debt it holds to reduce the countries debt burden.  The move helps ease the path for Greece to receive a new $170 billion bailout.  2/8

-Greece’s leaders reached an agreement for new austerity measures to satisfy European leaders and allow Greece to receive a new bailout.  However, before the new bailout funds are disbursed Greece must formally pass the austerity measures in parliament. 2/10

-US stocks had their worst day of 2012 on renewed concerns of a Greek default, a downgrades of dozens of Italian banks and lower than anticipated level of consumer sentiment. The Dow and S&P fell by 0.7%, Europe dropped over 1.0% and the yield on the 10 year treasury fell back below 2.0% to 1.971%.  For the week the Dow was down 0.5%, the S&P fell 0.2%, Europe dropped 1.3% and Japan rose 1.3%.  2/11

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 herein 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. Source: FMG Suite, LLC.
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