Latest Articles: Business
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 ...
Shrinking U.S. Corn Supply Trails Use for First Time in 16 Years
Post Date: 2012-09-27 10:40:59 by Brian S
Corn supplies in the U.S., the worlds biggest grower and exporter, are dropping below last years domestic usage for just the third time in half a century after a Midwest drought damaged crops from Ohio to Nebraska. Production this year plus inventories before the harvest will reach 11.872 billion bushels, less than the 12.33 billion consumed or exported last year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data and a Bloomberg survey of 29 analysts. Only twice since 1960 has supply failed to exceed usage from the previous year, and the last time was in 1996. The USDA will update its inventory tally tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. in Washington. Record Midwest heat in June and July ...
Factory Job Gains Under Obama Best Since Clinton: BGOV Barometer
Post Date: 2012-09-26 10:19:06 by Brian S
In an election focused on jobs, President Barack Obama can boast of crossing one milestone: the longest stretch of employment gains in manufacturing in almost two decades. The BGOV Barometer shows U.S. factory positions have grown since early 2010, arresting a slide that began toward the end of the 1990s. Its the best showing since the era of Bill Clinton, the only president in the last 30 years to leave office with more factory jobs than when he began. The gain in manufacturing jobs is certainly helpful, it is one way to show were moving forward, said Terry Madonna, a political science professor and director of the Franklin & Marshall College poll in ...
Sales of New U.S. Homes Hover Near a Two-Year High
Post Date: 2012-09-26 10:13:59 by Brian S
Purchases of new U.S. homes hovered in August near a two-year high, adding to signs that the housing market is on the way to recovery. Sales fell 0.3 percent to a 373,000 annual pace following a revised 374,000 rate in July that was higher than previously estimated and the strongest since April 2010, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 71 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a rise to 380,000. Record-low borrowing costs continue to attract buyers, lifting demand for homebuilders, while a drop in the supply of foreclosed homes is easing downward pressure on prices. Federal Reserve policy makers have targeted the housing market with ...
US Consumer Confidence Jumps To Highest Level Since February On Brighter Job Outlook
Post Date: 2012-09-25 11:13:05 by Brian S
NEW YORK, N.Y. - U.S. consumer confidence jumped this month to the highest level since February, bolstered by a brighter hiring outlook. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 70.3. That's up from 61.3 in August, which was revised higher. And it's the highest reading since February, when the economy added 259,000 jobs. The indicator is watched closely because consumer spending drives nearly 70 per cent of economic activity. The reading is still below 90, a level that indicates a healthy economy. Since the beginning of the year, the index has fluctuated sharply. The survey was conducted from Sept. 1 through Sept. 13. It showed consumers were ...
Home Prices Bounce Back To 2003 Levels
Post Date: 2012-09-25 11:10:32 by Brian S
Survey: Prices up in 20 major citiesThird straight month prices rose in all markets There's more evidence the long-suffering housing market may be poised for a turnaround. Home prices in 20 major cities rose an average of 1.6 percent in July, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home index. It's the third straight month prices were up in all 20 markets tracked by the index. David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said the new report shows "upbeat trends continue." "Single family housing starts are well ahead of last years pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity ...
Large Manufacturers Begin Moving Production Back To The United States
Post Date: 2012-09-24 10:52:06 by Brian S
Watch out China and Canada, Made in America has an attractive ring to it these days. Four years after the height of the financial crisis, marked by a drastic drop in salaries, the United States is again finding favor among manufacturers. Out on the campaign trail ahead of the November 6 elections, President Barack Obama has picked up on the point to convince voters that the US economy is back on track. After years of undercutting the competition, now its getting more expensive to do business in places like China, he said in May, adding that both wages and shipping costs were up in the single-party state known for attracting foreign firms that often ...
Survey Predicts Best Holiday Job Market In Five Years
Post Date: 2012-09-21 12:01:26 by Brian S
This years holiday season should be the best job market for seasonal workers in five years, according to an annual study commissioned by Snagajob, the Richmond-based hourly employment network. The survey, conducted by IPSOS Public Affairs, found that 63 percent of hiring managers will make seasons hires this year, compared to 51 percent last year. In addition, hiring managers plan to add an average of 6.1 workers during the holidays, compared with 4.1 workers last year. These hiring managers are also predicting more robust spending. For the past few seasons, weve had to talk about incremental improvements being expected in holiday hiring, Jason ...
Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Climb to a Two-Year High
Post Date: 2012-09-19 11:39:53 by Brian S
Sales of existing homes rose more than forecast in August to a two-year high, an additional sign the U.S. housing market is gaining traction in the second half of the year. Purchases of previously owned houses increased 7.8 percent to a 4.82 million annual rate, the most since May 2010, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 78 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for sales to increase to a 4.56 million pace. Another report showed construction began on more single-family homes last month than at any time in the past two years. Benefitting from record-low mortgage rates, more affordable properties and a growing population, ...
Housing Starts in U.S. Climbed 2.3% in August
Post Date: 2012-09-19 11:38:37 by Brian S
By Michelle Jamrisko - Sep 19, 2012 New housing construction rose in August, boosted by the strongest pace of single-family home starts in more than two years that shows an improving U.S. real estate market. Beginning construction climbed 2.3 percent to a 750,000 annual rate, less than forecast and restrained by a drop in the building of apartments, from a revised 733,000 annual pace in July, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 767,000. Building permits cooled. Mortgage rates near all-time lows and cheaper properties are driving sales at companies like Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL) and propelling ...
Motor City Revival Means 14-Fold Return for Home Bet
Post Date: 2012-09-19 10:47:36 by Brian S
A two-story brick house in Detroit sold for $47,214 last month, two years after U.S. Bank seized it in a foreclosure. For the home, with blue-striped awnings and white shutters, it was the fourth owner since December, when investor Buy Right Properties LLC purchased it for $3,383. Real estate values in some Detroit neighborhoods are surging as the states automobile industry recuperates and investors flip bank-seized properties. Home prices gained 7.2 percent in July from a year earlier, the citys biggest jump in more than a dozen years, according to mortgage-data firm FNC Inc. In comparison, an index of prices in the nations largest 100 cities increased 0.6 percent in the ...
Confidence Among U.S. Homebuilders Improves to Six-Year High
Post Date: 2012-09-18 10:30:27 by Brian S
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders climbed in September to the highest level in more than six years, adding to signs of progress in residential construction. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose to 40 this month, the highest since June 2006, according to figures from the Washington-based group released today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a rise to 38 from Augusts 37. Readings below 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor. Cheaper properties and borrowing costs at record lows are attracting buyers and bolstering homebuilders such as Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL) Sluggish progress in the labor ...
US Starts WTO Dispute Case vs China Over Auto,Parts Subsidy
Post Date: 2012-09-17 12:17:25 by Brian S
WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. Trade Representative Monday announced it has launched a dispute case against China in the World Trade Organization over what it calls unfair subsidies for China's auto and auto parts industries which provide an unfair advantage over U.S. firms. The announcement came as President Barack Obama was preparing to make two campaign stops in the battleground state of Ohio, which USTR said is one of the top five states for auto and auto parts manufacturing. "The Obama Administration is committed to protecting the rights of nearly 800,000 American workers in our $350 billion auto and auto parts manufacturing sector," USTR Ron Kirk said in a statement. ...
Stocks Show Americans Better Off With S&P 500 Cheap to World
Post Date: 2012-09-17 11:19:31 by Brian S
As politicians debate whether Americans are better off than they were four years ago, the stock market is saying yes. With 50 days before the national election, the Standard & Poors 500 Index has rallied 82 percent to a four-year high since President Barack Obama took office. The advance puts the gauge 6.8 percent from its record, closer to the all-time high than any of the worlds biggest stock markets, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The benchmark index of American equity is trading at 14.9 times reported earnings (SPX), the biggest discount to MSCIs global measure since March 2010. While bears say the index has risen too far, too fast given U.S. unemployment has ...
Consumer Sentiment Jumps to Highest Level in Four Months
Post Date: 2012-09-14 10:36:15 by Brian S
U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose in early September to its highest level in four months as Americans were more upbeat about their economic and job prospects, a survey showed on Friday. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary September consumer sentiment index rose to 79.2 from 74.3 in August. That topped expectations for a decline to 74.0, according to a Reuters poll. The gauge of consumer expectations climbed to 73.4 from 65.1, though the barometer of current economic conditions nudged down to 88.3 from 88.7. Both the sentiment and expectations measures were at their highest level since May. Just 12 percent of those surveyed expected the unemployment rate ...
Retail Sales in U.S. Rose 0.9% in August on Auto Demand
Post Date: 2012-09-14 10:30:57 by Brian S
By Lorraine Woellert - Sep 14, 2012 Retail sales in the U.S. increased in August by the most in six months, easing concern about a larger pullback in the biggest part of the economy. The 0.9 percent gain followed a revised 0.6 percent advance in July that was smaller than initially reported, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The median forecast of 84 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase of 0.8 percent. Demand rose for automobiles and higher gas prices boosted receipts at service stations, while back-to-school sales slowed at department stores. Higher food and fuel costs along with smaller gains in payrolls and wages may take a toll on ...
S&P Surges Above Highest Close Since 2007 on Fed's Plans
Post Date: 2012-09-13 15:54:39 by Brian S
U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poors 500 Index above its highest close since 2007, as the Federal Reserve said it will buy mortgage-backed securities to bolster the economy. All 10 groups in the S&P 500 gained. Alcoa Inc. (AA) and Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) rallied at least 2.5 percent as commodity companies advanced. Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) jumped more than 3.6 percent to pace gains among financial shares. Pall Corp. (PLL) rose 8.3 percent as it reported quarterly earnings that topped analysts estimates. Apple Inc. (AAPL) added 2.1 percent after unveiling yesterday a new version of the iPhone. The S&P 500 ...
Fed Officials Upgrade Economic Growth Outlook in 2013, 2014
Post Date: 2012-09-13 15:53:29 by Brian S
Federal Reserve officials said economic growth will improve faster than they had earlier projected as they embarked on a third round of asset purchases aimed at spurring the expansion. Federal Open Market Committee participants upgraded their estimate for 2013 gross domestic product growth to 2.5 percent to 3 percent, compared with 2.2 percent to 2.8 percent in June. Estimates for 2014 are from 3 percent to 3.8 percent, versus 3 percent to 3.5 percent in the previous forecast, according to the central tendency forecasts, which exclude the three highest and three lowest of 19 projections. The Federal Open Market Committee said today the Fed will expand its holdings of long-term securities ...
NHS Hospitals Collapse, Doctors Playing Pass the Parcel With Patients Due to Alleged £300 Billion Fraud [oBamneycare UK-style]
Post Date: 2012-09-13 12:47:06 by Capitalist Eric
The Royal College of Physicians reports that NHS Hospitals are in a state of collapse and patients are suffering as doctors play pass the parcel with patients between wards due to lack of operational beds despite a record amount of over £130 billion extorted from tax payers annually to fund the NHS black hole. The RCP blames the crisis on a drop in the number of beds whilst demand has risen, this despite the fact that the NHS budget has more than tripled over the past 15 years as my earlier analysis illustrated . The NHS budget under Labour had grown from £40 billion in 1997 to £121 billion for 2009-2010. NHS budgets increasing in line with inflation (CPI) would have ...
U.S. Treasury To Sell $18 Billion Of A.I.G. Stock Acquired In Bailout
Post Date: 2012-09-10 11:01:12 by Brian S
The Treasury Department is offering to sell $18 billion of American International Group Inc. shares in a transaction that will cut the U.S. stake in the firm to below 50 percent for the first time since its 2008 bailout. The insurer plans to buy back as much as $5 billion of the shares and Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are managing the sale, the Treasury said yesterday in a statement. The U.S. would own about 23 percent of AIG if it sells the shares at the Sept. 7 closing price of $33.99 each, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Treasury had cut its stake in the New York-based firm to 53 percent in four earlier share sales, which ...
Gold Jumps 3.1% on Week as Silver Soars 7.1%, US Bullion Coins Solid (Jobs report +QE3)
Post Date: 2012-09-08 17:06:47 by Hondo68
Gold, silver and other precious metals soared this week. US bullion coins were strong as well. Gold rallied to a more than six-month high at above $1,740 an ounce after Fridays disappointing U.S. jobs report fueled Fed stimulus bets. Jumping 2.0% on the day, gold prices spurred ahead 3.1% on the week. "Gold is going through the roof because this negative data makes QE3 more likely now," Reuters quoted Daniel Briesemann, commodities analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. The U.S. Labor Department said 96,000 jobs were created in August while also revising downward June and July data to show 41,000 fewer jobs than previously reported. Julys revised figure was 141,000, ...
Texas Approves Highest Speed Limit In Country At 85 MPH
Post Date: 2012-09-07 14:37:21 by Brian S
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas will soon open a stretch of highway with the highest speed limit in the country, giving eager drivers a chance to rip through a trip between two of the states largest metropolitan areas. The Texas Transportation Commission has approved a speed limit of 85 mph for a 41-mile toll road several miles east of the increasingly crowded Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio. I would love it, Austin resident Alan Guckian said. Sometimes its fun to just open it up. But while some drivers will want to test their horsepower and radar detectors, others are asking if safety is taking a backseat. The research is ...
Nasdaq Reaches Highest Level Since 2000; S&P 500 Jumped To A More Than Four-Year High
Post Date: 2012-09-06 16:25:11 by Brian S
NEW YORK, Sept 6 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 jumped to a more than four-year high on Thursday as a new bond-buying program in Europe was hailed as an effective way to contain the region's debt crisis. Positive sentiment was also lifted by bullish data on the U.S. services sector and labor market, the latter especially notable ahead of Friday's non-farm payrolls report. The rally was broad, with materials, financials and industrials-- all groups tied to the pace of economic growth-- leading the way with gains of more than 2 percent. Advancers outnumbered decliners by a ratio of more than 4 to 1 while the Dow had its biggest gain in two months and the Nasdaq advanced to its highest ...
U.S. Service Sector Activity Grows Faster Than Expected
Post Date: 2012-09-06 10:57:53 by Brian S
(RTTNews) - Economic activity in the U.S. service sector grew for the 32nd consecutive month in August, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Thursday, with the pace of growth accelerating by more than anticipated. The ISM said its non-manufacturing index rose to 53.7 in August from 52.6 in July, with a reading above 50 indicating an increase in activity in the service sector. Economists had been expecting the index to show a more modest increase to a reading of 53.0. Anthony Nieves, chair of the ISM Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said, "According to the NMI, 10 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in August." ...
Challenger: U.S. Planned Layoffs Drop In August Hitting A 20-Month Low
Post Date: 2012-09-06 10:51:14 by Brian S
The number of planned layoffs at U.S. companies dropped for a third straight month in August and hit a 20-month low, a report showed on Thursday. Employers announced 32,239 planned job cuts last month, down 12.5 percent from 36,855 in July, according to the report from consultantsChallenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. It was the fewest number of planned cuts since December, 2010, but the consultancy said the August decline "may be further evidence of an improving economy or it may simply be a summer lull in job-cut activity." The report came a day before the U.S. government is set to release the key August jobs report, for which economists expect payrolls to have dipped from ...
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