Latest Articles: Business
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Consumer Confidence in U.S. Stayed Near Three-Month High Last Week
Post Date: 2012-10-11 11:05:31 by Brian S
Consumer confidence in the U.S. stayed near a three-month high last week, with more Americans saying it was a good time to make purchases even as they grew more pessimistic about the economy. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell to minus 38.5 in the week ended Oct. 7 from minus 36.9 in the prior period. The drop was within the gauges margin of error of 3 percentage points and ended a six-week upswing that was the longest since early 2006. The measure has been higher than minus 40, a level associated with recessions and their aftermath, for the last three weeks. Consumer sentiment appears to have stabilized, albeit at historically low levels, said Joseph Brusuelas, ...
Jobless Claims Fall To Lowest In Four And A Half Years
Post Date: 2012-10-11 11:02:08 by Brian S
(Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according to government data on Thursday that suggested improvement in the labor market. The news could help President Barack Obama in his tight race for re-election on November 6 against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who says Obama has mishandled the economy. But a second report released on Thursday hinted at weaker U.S. and global demand. The U.S. trade deficit widened in August to $44.2 billion, as U.S. goods exports fell for the fifth consecutive month and imports declined fractionally. Initial claims for state ...
READ: CEO letter to Westgate Resorts employees
Post Date: 2012-10-10 20:25:52 by Capitalist Eric
Here is the entire e-mail that CEO David Siegel sent to Westgate employees: Subject: Message from David Siegel Date:Mon, 08 Oct 2012 13:58:05 -0400 (EDT) From: [David Siegel] To: [All employees] To All My Valued Employees, As most of you know our company, Westgate Resorts, has continued to succeed in spite of a very dismal economy. There is no question that the economy has changed for the worse and we have not seen any improvement over the past four years. In spite of all of the challenges we have faced, the good news is this: The economy doesnt currently pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same presidential administration. ...
Fed Says Economy Grows ‘Modestly’ on Housing, Autos
Post Date: 2012-10-10 17:06:07 by Brian S
The Federal Reserve said today that the U.S. economy was expanding modestly last month, supported by improvements in housing and auto sales, even as the labor market showed little change. Consumer spending was generally reported to be flat to up slightly since the last report, the Fed said in its Beige Book business survey, which is based on accounts from the 12 district Fed banks. Conditions in manufacturing were somewhat improved, according to the report, which provides anecdotal evidence on the health of the economy two weeks before the Federal Open Market Committee meets in Washington on Oct. 23-24. The Beige Book provides support for Fed Chairman ...
Ford Would Have Shut Without Auto Bailouts, Rattner Says
Post Date: 2012-10-09 10:36:19 by Brian S
Ford Motor Co. (F), the only large U.S. automaker that didnt receive a U.S. government bailout, wouldve failed along with General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC if President Barack Obamas administration hadnt rescued the industry, said Steven Rattner, who headed Obamas auto task force. Ford would have closed because it wouldnt have been able to get parts, because the parts industry in this country was in arguably worse shape than the assemblers, Rattner said today at the Center for American Progress in Washington. Rattner, now chairman of the Willett Advisors LLC investment firm, led the $63.4 billion bailout in 2009 of GM and Chrysler, which ...
GM To Add 2,000 Jobs In Michigan
Post Date: 2012-10-08 12:28:38 by Brian S
General Motors Co. and the state are expected to announce today that GM will create 2,000 new jobs in Michigan, beginning with up to 1,500 at a new information technology innovation center in Warren.The automaker and the Governor's Office are expected to make formal announcements later today.It's unclear where GM would add the other 500 jobs, but the state says the innovation center is the first of three projects the company will announce.GM will invest $300 million combined for the three. The state said GM plans no major investment spending on the information technology center; it will be housed in an existing building undergoing renovation on the Warren Tech Center campus.The ...
Business Hiring Calms Concerns About U.S. Fiscal Cliff
Post Date: 2012-10-08 11:01:19 by Brian S
Business hiring is holding up, allaying concerns about a U.S. economic downdraft in the face of a looming fiscal cliff. Companies added an average 121,000 workers a month in the third quarter, up from 88,000 in the second quarter, according to Labor Department figures released on Oct. 5. Total payrolls, including government, increased an average 146,000 a month, compared with 67,000 in the prior period. Were not seeing a further loss of momentum, and thats a very important positive, said Bruce Kasman, chief economist for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. A pullback in business investment had fanned concerns that companies would begin to pare hiring in ...
Welch Conspiracy Theory on Jobs Data Not Tied to Reality
Post Date: 2012-10-08 11:00:20 by Brian S
As conspiracy theories go, Jack Welchs had all the elements. There were two opposing sides who rarely believe each other about anything. There is almost no way to prove it isnt true, either. His assertion that the U.S. unemployment numbers might have been cooked to help President Barack Obamas re-election effort, though, collapses under its own weight. The claim, echoed by some supporters of Republican Mitt Romney, that Obamas Chicago-based campaign adjusted Septembers jobless figures was rejected by members of both parties who have served in the governments economic-data system. Welch, the former chief executive officer of General Electric Co. (GE), ...
Unemployment Manipulation Impossible, Says Former Labor Official
Post Date: 2012-10-05 14:23:50 by Brian S
WASHINGTON -- Manipulating the government's monthly unemployment report is impossible because of the large number of people -- mostly civil servants and not political appointees -- involved in compiling the data, said the former commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "I think it would be impossible to really manipulate the numbers," said Keith Law, who served from 2008 to 2012 as commissioner of the independent statistical agency, which produces the report. "Certainly, it would be impossible to manipulate the numbers and not be found out." After the BLS reported Friday that the unemployment rate in September dropped to 7.8% from 8.1%, former General ...
US jobless rate falls to 7.8 pct., 44-month low [Desperate pro-O'Bungler Propaganda]
Post Date: 2012-10-05 11:31:04 by Capitalist Eric
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years and giving President Barack Obama a potential boost with the election a month away. The rate declined from 8.1 percent because the number of people who said they were employed soared by 873,000 an encouraging sign for an economy that's been struggling to create enough jobs. The number of unemployed Americans is now 12.1 million, the fewest since January 2009. The Labor Department said employers added 114,000 jobs in September. It also said the economy created 86,000 more jobs in July and August than the department had initially ...
U.S. Jobless Rate Declines to 7.8%; 114,000 Jobs Added
Post Date: 2012-10-05 10:59:26 by Brian S
The unemployment rate in the U.S. unexpectedly fell to 7.8 percent in September, the lowest since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, as employers took on more part-time workers. The economy added 114,000 workers last month after a revised 142,000 gain in August that was more than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 92 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an advance of 115,000. The jobless rate dropped from 8.1 percent and hourly earnings climbed more than forecast. Stocks and Treasury yields advanced as investors bet an improving job market will give workers with the wherewithal to boost their spending, ...
Consumer Comfort in U.S. Advanced for a Sixth Consecutive Week
Post Date: 2012-10-04 11:00:56 by Brian S
Consumer confidence in the U.S. climbed for a sixth straight week, the longest upswing since the end of 2005 into early 2006, as Americans grew more secure about their finances. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose in the week ended Sept. 30 to minus 36.9, a three-month high, from minus 39.6 in the previous period. The pickup also included less pessimism among households in their views on the buying climate and the economy. Americans are feeling a bit more optimistic given the strong increase in equity prices, the modest bounce in home prices and the paring down of debt, said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. Fifty percent of those ...
U.S. Retailers’ September Sales Top Estimates
Post Date: 2012-10-04 10:55:29 by Brian S
U.S. retailers September same-store sales topped analysts estimates, led by discount and specialty- apparel chains that benefited from back-to-school shopping, while department stores trailed projections. Sales at TJX Cos. (TJX) climbed 6 percent, beating the average estimate for a 4.4 percent gain from analysts surveyed by researcher Retail Metrics Inc. Target Corp. (TGT), the second-largest U.S. discounter, posted a 2.1 percent increase in same-store sales, topping the 2 percent projection. Retailers benefited from back-to-school promotions that drove traffic early in September before tapering off in the middle of the month. Sales in the current environment may wane when ...
Auto Rebound Steers U.S. Economy Back From Lehman Debacle
Post Date: 2012-10-03 10:34:11 by Brian S
The housing market is still on shaky ground. Unemployment remains above 8 percent. The one flank of the U.S. economy thats marching steadily back is the sector that once seemed the weakest: Automotive. The auto industry in September reached an important milestone that few other sectors can claim. Carmakers sold cars and light trucks at an annualized rate of 14.9 million, taking into account seasonal adjustments, according to researcher Autodata Corp. Thats the best pace since March 2008, before the failure of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Consumers weary of driving 11-year-old vehicles with poor mileage are increasingly trading in their jalopies for new, fuel-efficient models. ...
US Service Firms Grow At Fastest Pace In 6 Months
Post Date: 2012-10-03 10:23:08 by Brian S
WASHINGTON (AP) U.S. service companies, which employ nearly 90 percent of the work force, grew in September at the fastest pace since March, driven by more activity and an increase in new orders. The Institute for Supply Management says its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 55.1, up from 53.7 in August. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. The service sector has grown for 33 straight months, based on the ISM survey. The report measures growth in a broad range of businesses from retail and construction companies to health care and financial services firms.
ADP Says U.S. Companies Added 162,000 Workers to Payrolls
Post Date: 2012-10-03 10:20:57 by Brian S
Companies added more workers than projected in September, evidence the labor market may be perking up, a private report based on payrolls showed. The 162,000 increase in employment followed a revised 189,000 jump in August, figures from Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Employer Services showed today. The median forecast of 38 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 140,000 advance. The hiring gains, which were led by companies with fewer than 500 workers, will help shore up consumer confidence and spending, which in turn will bolster economic growth. A Labor Department report on Oct. 5 may show private payrolls increased by 128,000 in September and unemployment rose to 8.2 percent from ...
Measure Of U.S. Home Prices Rises By Most In 6 Years
Post Date: 2012-10-02 10:48:25 by Brian S
A measure of U.S. home prices jumped 4.6 percent in August compared to a year ago, the largest year-over-year increase in more than six years. CoreLogic, a private real estate data provider, also said Tuesday that prices rose 0.3 percent in August from July, the sixth straight monthly gain. Steady price increases, combined with greater home sales and rising builder confidence, suggest the housing recovery may be sustainable. Other measures of home prices have also increased. The Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller index rose in July compared to a year ago, the second straight yearly increase after two years of declines. And an index compiled by a federal housing regulator has also ...
Chrysler Posts Best September Sales In Five Years; Ford Sales Flat
Post Date: 2012-10-02 10:32:51 by Brian S
UPDATED 10:04 a.m. EDT: Chrysler said Tuesday its U.S. sales rose nearly 12 percent last month its best September in five years, while Ford posted flat U.S. sales on lower demand for trucks. Chrysler said its increase was due to new models, low interest rates and a stable U.S. economy. The results mean that Americans kept buying new cars and trucks at a strong pace last month. Chrysler predicts an annual sales rate of 14.9 million for the U.S. industry in September, which would make it the best month of the year. Chrysler sold 142,000 vehicles, led by the Dodge Avenger midsize sedan, which saw sales jump 89 percent from a year earlier. Chrysler and Ford were the first automakers ...
Almost 2,400 Millionaires Pocketed Unemployment Benefits
Post Date: 2012-10-02 10:25:41 by Brian S
Almost 2,400 people who received unemployment insurance in 2009 lived in households with annual incomes of $1 million or more, according to the Congressional Research Service. The report was released after about 1.1 million people exhausted their jobless benefits during the second quarter of 2012, when more than 4.6 million filed initial unemployment claims. Eliminating those payments to high earners is one idea being considered as U.S. lawmakers struggle to curb a projected $1.1 trillion deficit for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, with the nationwide jobless rate at 8.1 percent. Sending millionaires unemployment checks is a case study in out-of-control spending, U.S. ...
Top 1% Got 93% of Income Growth as Rich-Poor Gap Widened
Post Date: 2012-10-02 10:12:31 by Brian S
Top 1% Got 93% of Income Growth as Rich-Poor Gap Widened By Peter Robison - Oct 2, 2012 Since 2009, Anita Reyes wages have been as frozen as Lake Minnetonka in January. While the U.S. economy was recovering from the Great Recession, Reyes, 52, a casino dealer from Minneapolis, was dining on $1.67 cans of soup and searching for a way to keep her house, which was foreclosed on last October. I went backwards, Reyes said. Two years ago, three years ago, I didnt know Id be looking at being homeless. Stephen Hemsleys salary has been frozen too. His income hasnt. The chief executive officer of Minnetonka, Minnesota-based ...
Oil-Tanker Forecasts Cut by DNB as U.S. Shale Boom Curbs Imports
Post Date: 2012-10-01 12:03:22 by Brian S
Earnings for the biggest crude tankers will be 25 percent lower next year than previously estimated as increased U.S. shale-oil production curbs imports into the country, DNB ASA said. Very large crude carriers will earn $21,000 a day on average in 2013 and $22,000 in the following year, 24 percent below its prior estimate, the Oslo-based bank said in a report dated Sept. 27. Smaller Suezmax vessels will bring in $18,000 daily next year, a 25 percent reduction. U.S. seaborne imports of crude oil are set to be dramatically reduced in the coming years, mainly due to the large expected increase in domestic crude production, analysts including Nicolay Dyvik said. All else ...
Wall Street Jumps As U.S. Manufacturing Expands
Post Date: 2012-10-01 11:53:27 by Brian S
NEW YORK | Mon Oct 1, 2012 11:37am EDT (Reuters) - U.S. stocks advanced on Monday after a surprise expansion in U.S. manufacturing last month eased concerns about the economy and offset a gloomier outlook in Asia and Europe. U.S. manufacturing expanded in September for the first time since May as new orders and employment picked up, an Institute for Supply Management report showed. Financial stocks led the market's advance with Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) up 4 percent at $118.28 after the weekly Barron's said Goldman shares could rise at least 25 percent in the next year as capital markets improve. The ISM's index rose to 51.5 from 49.6 in August, topping expectations for a ...
Consumer Sentiment Gains To Four-Month High In September
Post Date: 2012-09-28 10:22:43 by Brian S
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in four months in September as Americans saw better prospects for the job market and economy, a survey released on Friday showed. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading on consumer sentiment rose to 78.3 from 74.3 in August, the highest level since May. Still, it was shy of economists' forecasts for 79, according to a Reuters poll, and gave up some of the advance seen in September's preliminary reading when the index climbed to 79.2. Consumer expectations improved strongly, rising to 73.5 from 65.1, also the highest since May. More consumers expected the unemployment rate to fall than to ...
Middle East Hackers Attack Websites of Wells Fargo, Chase and Other Large Banks
Post Date: 2012-09-28 10:18:12 by Brian S
Sep 28, 2012 - 9:00 AM by Ken Tumin If you had problems accessing your bank's website this week, you're not alone. Several major banks were hit this week with denial-of-service attacks which can make websites inaccessible. The latest bank to be hit was PNC Bank. Yesterday evening PNC had a "repair in progress" message on its home page. When I tried to access pnc.com this morning, I wasn't able to access anything. I've been reporting on these issues in this forum thread when rumors first began about a cyberattack. As you might expect, banks kept quiet in reporting the cyberattack. But as the website outages grew, it became apparent that this was a sophisticated ...
First-Time Jobless Applications Plunge
Post Date: 2012-09-27 11:07:18 by Brian S
First-time jobless claims fell sharply last week, a positive sign in the job market's slow recovery. Those filing for unemployment benefits fell 26,000 to a u a seasonally adjusted 359,000, the best showing in more than two months, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week moving average, which is a better indicator of the job market's trend, also dropped, down 4,500 to to 374,000, after rising for six weeks. The figure is finally back below the 375,000 economists argue reflects a healthier job market and a hiring pace by employers that is fast enough to bring down the unemployment rate, which now sits at 8.1 percent. Unemployment has remained stuck above 8 percent ...
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