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Gazan Refugee Warns the World about Hamas

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Latest Articles: Business

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US incomes fall for first time in nearly 2 years
Post Date: 2011-09-30 12:12:40 by Sebastian
Americans earned less last month, the first decline in nearly two years. With less income, consumers could cut back on spending and weaken an already-fragile economy. Consumers spent a little more in August despite seeing their incomes drop 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday. Consumer spending rose just 0.2 percent, after a more robust 0.7 percent gain in July. Many tapped savings to cover the steeper costs. And most of the increase in spending went to pay higher prices for food and gas. When adjusted for inflation, August consumer spending was flat. Stocks fell after the report's release. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 100 points in the first half-hour ...

Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Increases More Than Forecast
Post Date: 2011-09-30 11:35:59 by Brian S
By Shobhana Chandra (Updates with Chicago purchasing managers’ report in 10th paragraph.) Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Confidence among U.S. consumers rose in September from the lowest level since November 2008 as pessimism about the economy eased. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment climbed to 59.4 this month, higher than forecast, from 55.7 in August. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was 57.8, the same as the preliminary reading for September. The group’s measure of consumer expectations six months from now also rose. While some concerns that soured Americans’ moods last month may have eased, consumers have ...

Crude Oil Heads for Its Biggest Quarterly Decline in New York Since 2008
Post Date: 2011-09-30 11:31:22 by Brian S
Oil fell, heading for its largest quarterly decline in New York since the 2008 financial crisis, as signs of slowing growth in China, the U.S. and Germany heightened concerns that fuel demand will suffer. West Texas Intermediate futures have fallen 15 percent this quarter, the biggest drop since the three months ended Dec. 31, 2008. Chinese manufacturing fell for a third month, according to data from HSBC Holdings Plc, while Germany’s Federal Statistics office said retail sales declined the most in more than four months in August. U.S. consumer spending slowed in August as incomes declined, the Commerce Department said today. WTI’s discount to Brent oil narrowed for a sixth day, ...

U.S. Auto Sales Best Since April: Survey
Post Date: 2011-09-30 11:27:00 by Brian S
Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Honda Motor Co.’s return to full production this month is boosting U.S. auto sales back near the pace reached before Japan’s earthquake. September light-vehicle sales, to be released Oct. 3, probably rose to a 12.8 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, the average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That would be the fastest pace since April, when lost output caused by Japan’s tsunami crimped supply of parts and finished cars. “Recovering inventory levels have helped to bring buyers back into the market,” said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power & Associates. Jesse Toprak, who ...

Yearning for a Currency Debaser’s Prison
Post Date: 2011-09-29 18:09:35 by Capitalist Eric
Until the mid-19th century, the means of retribution for the stiffed creditor was debtor’s prison. If the creditor could not see the return of his capital, then at least he could temper the pain and humiliation by witnessing the incarceration of the defaulted debtor. In our age of monetary lunacy, it would seem that some of the world’s more dollar-dependent central bankers are quietly (or perhaps not-so-quietly), yearning for a similarly harsh ‘debaser’s prison’. Here I speculate about the peculiar world of the dollar-dependent central banker and consider the consequences of the dearth of entrepreneurial spirit in the money production business. Even bandits ...

Jobless Claims Tumble In Positive Sign For Economy46;
Post Date: 2011-09-29 11:52:23 by Brian S
New claims for unemployment benefits dropped sharply in the latest week, The Labor Department said Thursday. Claims tumbled to 391,000, down 37,000 from a revised 428,000 in the previous week and below the key 400,000 mark. Economists say that claims need to drop below 400,000 for an extended period to put a dent in the 9.1 percent unemployment rate. They need to drop below 375,000 for substantial job growth. "That drop is good, but we're so jaded as investors that it is almost a nonbeliever. Hard to believe that this number is true," Todd Schoenberger, managing director of Landholt Trading, told Reuters. The 4-week moving average, which smoothes out wrinkles in the data, ...

U.S. Economy Grew at a Revised 1.3% Pace in Second Quarter
Post Date: 2011-09-29 11:50:58 by Brian S
The U.S. economy grew at a 1.3 percent pace in the second quarter, faster than estimated last month and helped by exports and spending on services. The revised rise in gross domestic product compares with a 1 percent gain previously calculated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was 1.2 percent, following a 0.4 percent increase in the first three months of the year. Slower global markets may limit growth in exports and business spending, which has bolstered U.S. manufacturing, a pillar of the expansion. The lack of hiring and depressed consumer confidence add to concerns the economy is facing ...

Pending U.S. Home Sales Decline 1.2% as Lower Prices Fail to Stoke Demand
Post Date: 2011-09-29 11:40:05 by Brian S
The number of contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes fell in August, a sign that lower prices and borrowing costs are doing little to stoke demand. The 1.2 percent decrease in the index of pending home sales followed a 1.3 percent drop the previous month, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Economists forecast a 2 percent drop, according to the median of 43 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Unemployment at 9.1 percent and the acceleration of foreclosure processing indicate it may take years to clear the oversupply of houses, an obstacle for stabilizing the market. The prospect of contract cancellations due to stricter underwriting standards and ...

Obama Plan Prevents 2012 Recession: Economists
Post Date: 2011-09-28 17:44:47 by Brian S
President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan would help avoid a return to recession by maintaining growth and pushing down the unemployment rate next year, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The legislation, submitted to Congress this month, would increase gross domestic product by 0.6 percent next year and add or keep 275,000 workers on payrolls, the median estimates in the survey of 34 economists showed. The program would also lower the jobless rate by 0.2 percentage point in 2012, economists said. Economists in the survey are less optimistic than Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, who has cited estimates for a 1.5 percent boost to gross domestic product. ...

Demand for U.S. Capital Goods Climbs Most in Three Months in Recovery Sign
Post Date: 2011-09-28 17:43:42 by Brian S
Orders for U.S. capital goods climbed in August by the most in three months, a sign business investment continues to support the recovery. Bookings for goods like computers and communications gear, excluding military hardware and aircraft, climbed 1.1 percent, the most since May, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. Demand for all durable goods dropped 0.1 percent, less than forecast. Manufacturers like General Electric Co. (GE) continue to benefit from sales to China, India and other emerging markets even as they face a slowdown in domestic spending. Gains in business investment in the U.S. indicate companies are looking beyond the plunge in stocks and concern over ...

Microsoft staff savage Ballmer at company confab
Post Date: 2011-09-28 14:03:32 by Skip Intro
Claims of staff walkouts and tanking morale During Microsoft's annual full staff meeting, employees unmistakably expressed their displeasure about how the company is being run. Every year Redmond assembles the rank and file for a huge presentation about plans for the next 12 months, with senior management laying out current progress and future plans. According to comments made on the unofficial but respected Mini Microsoft blog [1], staff were less than impressed. “What a sad spectacle. While SteveB was yacking away, people were leaving in droves. Back in the good old days when BillG spoke, EVERYONE listened,” posted an anonymous commentator. Due to prior leaks from ...

Case Shiller Index Shows Home Prices Rising In American Cities
Post Date: 2011-09-27 11:28:21 by Brian S
An index of home prices in the nation's largest cities rose from June to July, though is still down from the same month a year earlier. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of 20 American cities, a key measure that is closely watched by economists, was up 0.9% over June, but down 4.1% from July 2010. The month-over-month bump is most likely due to the seasonal boost the housing market gets over the summer and will most likely do little to cheer economists about the housing market's future. "While we have now seen four consecutive months of generally increasing prices, we do know that we are still far from a sustained recovery," David Blitzer, chairman of the ...

Retirement Heist! U.S. Pensions Plundered By Corporate Greed, Author Says
Post Date: 2011-09-26 12:06:07 by Skip Intro
It's pretty obvious times are tough for America's working class. The combination of a prolonged period of stagnant wages, high unemployment and shaky economy - including a decade of little or no returns (if you're lucky) on assets like stocks and real estate - make it harder to pay the bills. (See: As America's Middle Class Shrinks, P&G Adopts "Hourglass" Strategy) Meanwhile, New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman, noted in a piece last week titled "The Social Contract," that while the middle gets squeezed, the rich keep getting richer in both real and relative terms. "...the Congressional Budget Office — which only go up to ...

US Stocks Slump As Investors Flee Risk; DJIA Sheds 424 (now -521)
Post Date: 2011-09-22 15:44:02 by Brian S
--U.S. stocks, global markets suffer on renewed recession worries --10-Year Treasury yields hits lowest level since 1940s --Stocks hit fresh session lows in afternoon trading By Brendan Conway Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- U.S. stocks slumped Thursday in a session that saw investors stage a flight from risk in markets around the globe, which were wracked by fears of a renewed economic slowdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 424 points, or 3.8%, to 10701 as of 2:35 p.m. EDT, off session lows after steepening an early loss in afternoon trading. Ten-year Treasury yields hit 1940s levels and the U.S. dollar surged as investors clamored for "safe" assets. ...

Initial Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell Last Week
Post Date: 2011-09-22 10:36:35 by Brian S
More Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments last week as the labor market struggled to improve. Applications for jobless benefits decreased 9,000 in the week ended Sept. 17 to 423,000, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 420,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The average number of claims in the past month rose for a fifth straight week, to the highest level since July 16. An elevated level of dismissals raises the odds U.S. companies may put off plans to increase employment, making it difficult for joblessness to fall below 9 percent. Citing ongoing weakness in the labor market, ...

Leading Economic Indicators in U.S. Rise 0.3%
Post Date: 2011-09-22 10:35:26 by Brian S
The index of U.S. leading economic indicators increased more than forecast in August, pointing to a faster pace of growth heading into next year. The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months climbed 0.3 percent after a 0.6 percent gain in July, the New York-based research group said today. Economists projected a 0.1 percent rise in August, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. The report supports forecasts by the Federal Reserve for a pickup in growth in coming quarters after gains in employment stalled last month. The Fed yesterday decided to extend maturities of its Treasury holdings in a bid to push down long- term borrowing ...

Stocks, Commodities Tumble on Fed Outlook
Post Date: 2011-09-22 10:33:56 by Brian S
Stocks and commodities tumbled, Treasury 30-year yields dropped to a record and the Dollar Index climbed to a seven-month high amid concern central banks are running out of tools to prevent another recession. The MSCI All-Country World Index sank 4 percent at 9:36 a.m. in New York, extending declines from its May peak to more than 22 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 2.7 percent as the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index (UKX), France’s CAC-40 Index (CAC) and Germany’s DAX slid at least 4.2 percent. Thirty-year Treasury yields fell as low as 2.8177 percent, with German 30-year yields also reaching an all-time low. The Dollar Index rose 1.4 percent, while the euro lost ...

Fed Ramps Up Aid To Economy With $400 Billion Stimulus
Post Date: 2011-09-21 15:55:17 by Brian S
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve on Wednesday dialed up its aid to the beleaguered U.S. economy, launching an effort to put more downward pressure on long-term interest rates over time and help the battered housing sector. The Fed said it would launch a new $400 billion program that will tilt its $2.85 trillion balance sheet more heavily to longer-term securities by selling shorter-term notes and using those funds to purchase longer-dated Treasuries. It will now also reinvest proceeds from maturing mortgage and agency bonds back into the mortgage market, an acknowledgement of just how weak conditions in the sector have remained. "Recent indicators point to continuing ...

Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Rise 7.7%
Post Date: 2011-09-21 11:46:32 by Brian S
Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose more than anticipated in August as investors used cash to buy distressed properties. Purchases of existing houses, which are tabulated when a contract closes, increased 7.7 percent to a five-month high 5.03 million annual rate, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 4.75 million rate. While foreclosure-driven price declines and record-low mortgage rates are preventing a renewed slump in sales, companies like Lennar Corp. (LEN) say weaker consumer confidence and limited access to financing are restraining demand. Concern over housing ...

Bullion Vaults Run Out of Space on Gold Rally
Post Date: 2011-09-21 11:45:36 by Brian S
Deep in the 7.4-acre Singapore FreePort next to Changi International Airport’s runways is the bullion vault of Swiss Precious Metals, behind seven-metric-ton steel doors built to survive a plane crash or earthquake. The rooms are almost full after demand rose fivefold in the year since the Geneva-based company opened the facility. The firm plans an extension, and relocated Chief Executive Officer Jean-Francois Pages to Singapore last month to cope with the surge of investors willing to pay as much as 1 percent of the value of their holdings each year to keep them secure. “The European debt crisis and its impact on the solvency of European financial players are driving European ...

Netflix DVD mailing service to split off and become Qwikster
Post Date: 2011-09-19 11:38:26 by Skip Intro
Netflix recently restructured its pricing model, splitting its DVD rental and Internet streaming services into separate plans. The controversial move, which effectively raised the monthly fee for Netflix subscribers who use both services, has not been well received by the company's customers. The price hike was apparently just the first step of a more sweeping overhaul. In a blog entry that was published on Sunday night, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced that the DVD rental service will be spun off into a separate unit, where it will operate independently under a new brand name: Qwikster. According to Hastings, DVD mailing and Internet streaming require different approaches to ...

Look to Henry Ford, not Barack Obama, to End Unemployment
Post Date: 2011-09-18 17:51:13 by CZ82
Look to Henry Ford, not Barack Obama, to End Unemployment By William A. Levinson Money for President Obama's new jobs bill will have to come from somewhere else, whether in the form of higher taxes or higher debt. Productive jobs pay taxes, but taxes do not create productive jobs. As for taking on more debt, the private sector would already be borrowing money at today's very low interest rates to create jobs that fill a genuine economic need. Social Security is already struggling to remain solvent, so a payroll tax cut that is not balanced by increased taxes elsewhere is simply not realistic. The summer jobs for disadvantaged youth would create themselves if there were a demand ...

Legalize Foreign Currencies
Post Date: 2011-09-17 14:57:23 by jwpegler
Parliament is to debate a call for foreign currencies to be made legal tender in the UK. Such a move would protect savers by allowing them to hold the currency least likely to be devalued, Tory MP Douglas Carswell told the Commons. He said people could then "extricate themselves from the monetary masters that hold them all captive". But Labour's John Mann dismissed the plan, saying Parliament should "defend the great currency sterling". MPs decided to give Mr Carswell's idea - set out in a 10-minute rule bill - another hearing on 20 January, but it is unlikely to become law. Mr Carswell, a euroscpetic Conservative who represents Clacton in Essex, said ...

Texas Unemployment Rate Up To 8.5 Percent As Job Count Falls For 1st Time In Nearly A Year
Post Date: 2011-09-16 19:13:08 by Brian S
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas unemployment rate edged up slightly to 8.5 percent for August, and the job count fell for the first time in almost a year, the state's employment agency said Friday. The Texas Workforce Commission said the jobless rate increased from 8.4 percent in July, and the loss of 1,300 total nonfarm jobs was the first drop since last September. The state is experiencing its highest unemployment rate in nearly 25 years, when it was reeling from the energy, real estate and banking crisis of the late 1980s. "Texas continues to feel the pressure of a stagnant national economy," commission Chairman Tom Pauken said. An uptick in private sector jobs was ...

NFL wants pat-downs from ankles up at all stadiums
Post Date: 2011-09-16 10:28:17 by Hondo68
The NFL is ordering all fans to be frisked from the ankles up before entering stadiums this season. The 'enhanced' security move will impact 16.6 million fans. Previously, security guards were instructed only to search fans from the waist up. The NFL wants all fans patted down from the ankles up this season to improve fan safety.Under the new "enhanced" pat-down procedures, the NFL wants all 32 clubs to search fans from the ankles to the knees as well as the waist up. Previously, security guards only patted down fans from the waist up while looking for booze, weapons or other banned items.The stricter physical screening policy impacts the 16.6 million fans expected to ...

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