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21 Feb 2012 14:49


Biz: Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches symbolic milestone

  • 13,000 points, the highest mark since 2008 source
  • » On May 20th, to be precise: The most successful private sectors early in 2012 have been finance and information technology, up nearly 13% when trading began today. The 13,000 figure is considered something of a benchmark for the Dow’s health, and while analysts are right to warn that the significance may be predominantly symbolic, the nature of investor confidence is such that a positive psychological message can itself be a big boon. The Dow crossed this threshold at a time when most attention was focused on Greece, which secured a second bailout from the Euro Zone as their fiscal crisis continued.

28 Jan 2012 20:53


Biz: Greedy investment bankers won’t carve Facebook’s IPO too heavily

  • what Investment banks looking to get in on the upcoming Facebook IPO, expected to be filed for next week, may only take a 1 percent underwriting fee on the stock offering. How abnormal is that? Usually, the investment banking underwriters take 5 to 7 percent.
  • why Simply put, Facebook is such a big deal that the competition is extremely high for it; underwriting it is seen as a prestige move. “The Facebook IPO will be iconic,” notes one investment banker who says that Facebook gets to set the rules on this one. source

01 Nov 2011 10:25


World: Stocks hate democracy: Greek PM puts aid package up for referendum

  • cause In a surprising move that threw off the entire world market, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said that he would put the country’s aid package up to a public referendum.
  • reaction Stocks worldwide reacted to the news poorly, including the U.S., which fell by more than two percent. The markets were already volatile; the danger of Greek default made things even worse. source

19 Aug 2011 11:11


Biz, Tech: Hewlett Packard’s stock reflects yesterday’s poor decision-making

  • » Investors were NOT happy with the news: HP fell down to its lowest level in years — a level so low that they last time it was at this nadir, Carly Fiorina had just left the company. We think this should tell HP something — killing off the race horse (WebOS) immediately after it starts the race is terrible business strategy, and investors will not react kindly to this. That was your future, HP, and you blew it because you had no idea how to feasibly make it work.

10 Aug 2011 14:10


Biz, World: French credit weaknesses pushing markets down worldwide

  • The cost of insuring France’s debt rose to a record high today. And unlike the United States, France can’t just increase their money supply to pay its creditors. Partly as a result, it’s the most indebted of all European AAA-rated countries. It’s having a ripple effect that’s driving markets down worldwide. While S&P and the two other major ratings firms say they have no plans to downgrade France’s credit rating, it’s evident that investors are not as confident in the country’s financial situation. source

08 Aug 2011 14:31


U.S.: President Obama tries to reassure after credit rating downgrade

  • No matter what the agencies say, we will always be a AAA country.
  • President Barack Obama • Talking about the S&P’s downgrade of the United States in a speech today. He explained that they didn’t downgrade us because they didn’t believe that we would default on our debt, but because our politics get too much in the way — and because the threat of default was used as a bargaining chip. He also talked about our real challenge — long term deficit reduction. He stuck to his guns on policies like tax  cuts for the wealthy, and also said that we need to keep unemployment benefits around to keep our recovery going. However, just from this speech it’s clear that it isn’t going to be easy. It’s evident that despite the fact that Obama has good intentions, the politics simply aren’t going to change overnight. Obama also honored the troops that died in the helicopter crash over the weekend, which was well-deserved and moving. source

04 Aug 2011 14:20


U.S.: Amid negative economic data, stock market having a really crappy day

  • 350+point dip in the Dow at one point today (ouch) source
  • » It’s becoming more and more apparent that we might be heading for a double-dip recession here. The Dow fell for eight days straight, only ending the losing streak yesterday — but it could fall steeply today. The new jobless numbers are mostly to blame for the weak market. There were 400,000 new unemployment claims in the week that ended July 30. That, in addition to a spreading debt crisis in Europe, has been enough to convince investors that the U.S. economy isn’t in a great spot right now, and it’s hurting our stock market bad.

01 Aug 2011 10:57


Biz: Why July’s manufacturing results singlehandedly deflated stocks today

  • 50.9% activity level; not really a good number source
  • » The worst result since July 2009: To explain what you’re looking at, this number represents manufacturing activity in July. Any number above 50 percent is growth. Good right? Well, in this case, not really, because the previous month was 55.3 percent. And earlier this year, it was above 60 percent for a few solid months. This number is another sign that the economy is starting to slow down again. This result was so bad that it deflated optimism about the debt deal on the stock market this morning.

16 Jul 2011 12:40


Biz: Activist investor Carl Icahn develops strange taste for bleach

  • Well, as long as he doesn’t drink it. You use Clorox, right? You use it to spray stuff? To disinfect surfaces? To bleach your clothes? Well, Carl Icahn, who doesn’t exactly carry the best reputation for company turnarounds but was a real-life influence for Gordon Gekko (seriously — read up on Trans World Airlines and consider how much it compares to the plot of the original “Wall Street“), recently put up an insane, unsolicited buyout offer for the cleaning-supply country, which (think about this next time you eat a salad) also makes Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing. Slowly but surely, Icahn became the company’s largest shareholder, and now he’s gunning for a whitewash. We could keep going with these bleach jokes all day, so don’t tempt us. source

16 Jun 2011 20:11


Biz, Tech: Pandora’s crappy day: When day two of an IPO totally bombs

  • $16 the amount per share Pandora set its initial public offering for
  • $26 the price the internet radio company reached at its peak yesterday
  • $13 the price the stock closed at today; not looking so hot source
  • » This isn’t a good sign: Generally when a stock has a steep decline immediately after its IPO, it means that the pricing is totally off. In the case of Pandora, the company initially planned to enter the stock market at $7 to $9 per share, but with the current investor fervor over internet companies, the IPO price doubled. Meanwhile, other recently-added tech stocks — LinkedIn and Yandex — have fallen from their peaks, but remain above their IPO prices. In the case of LinkedIn, they’re a solid 52 percent above their IPO price.