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Facebook Files for IPO and the Economy Shows Signs of Recovery

By: , dated February 3rd, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up

There were several signs of economic recovery this week. First, the Labor Department reported a drop in the weekly jobless claims rate, about 10,000 below the four week average. Then, on Friday, they reported that the unemployment rate in January had gone down to 8.3 percent as 243,000 net jobs were created, the biggest growth in nine months. The Commerce Department then reported that manufacturing orders were up 1.1 percent in December, after a 2.2 percent jump in November.By far the biggest news in the business world this week was the much anticipation Facebook filing for initial public offering, seeking initial funding of $5 billion. More Market News

Economic News

Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.3%; Payrolls Jump
The U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly fell in January to the lowest in three years as payrolls climbed more than forecast, casting doubt on the Federal Reserve’s plan to keep interest rates low until late 2014. Click here to read the full article
Manufacturing Orders Up In December
“New orders for manufactured goods in December, up two consecutive months, increased $5.3 billion or 1.1 percent to $466.2 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. This followed a 2.2 percent November increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.6 percent. Shipments, up seven consecutive months, increased $3.4 billion or 0.7 percent to $459.4 billion. This followed a 0.2 percent November increase. Unfilled orders, up twenty of the last twenty one months, increased $12.7 billion or 1.4 percent to $911.5 billion. This followed a 1.3 percent November increase. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 6.00, down from 6.13 in November.” Click here to read the full article
Bernanke defends low rate policy for weak economy
Testifying before Congress, the Fed chief was repeatedly thrown on the defensive as he parried critiques from Republican lawmakers over the Fed’s zero interest rate policy, its focus on employment and its policy prescriptions for housing.Bernanke told the House Budget Committee that Europe’s financial crisis still threatened the U.S. recovery, and said the Fed would do everything it can to ward off damage. Click here to read the full article
U.S. Jobless Claims Decline
Weekly unemployment applications fell 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000, the government reported. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped for the third straight week to 375,750.That was the second-lowest level for the four-week average since June 2008. When applications stay consistently below 375,000, it usually signals that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate. Click here to read the full article

Business News

Facebook Sets Historic IPO
Facebook Inc. filed for an initial public offering Wednesday that could value the social network between $75 billion and $100 billion, putting the company on track for one of the biggest U.S. stock-market debuts of all time. Click here to read the full article
Sara Lee 2Q profit beats Street
Sara Lee Corp., the Downers Grove-based maker of Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausage, reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Thursday, standing by its full-year forecast despite soaring commodity costs and declining volume sales on both side of its business. Click here to read the full article

Technology Focus

Amazon’s Shares Tumble After Sales Miss Estimates: Seattle Mover
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) fell the most in three months after sales missed estimates, signaling that its investments in media services, Kindle devices and shipping promotions have been slow to pay off.
Amazon shares dropped 7.7 percent to $179.46 after the Seattle-based company said yesterday that fourth-quarter revenue was $17.4 billion, trailing the $18.3 billion estimated by analysts in a Bloomberg survey. It was the biggest one-day stock decline since Oct. 26. Click here to read the full article
Apple Names Dixon’s Browett to Lead Retail Business Amid Global Expansion
Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Tim Cook, in his first major hire since becoming chief executive officer, picked the head of the largest U.K. consumer-electronics retailer to run the iPhone maker’s chain of stores and oversee global expansion.
John Browett, 48, will start at Apple in April as a senior vice president, reporting to Cook, the Cupertino, California- based company said in a statement today. The appointment ends a more than seven-month search to replace former retail head Ron Johnson, who last year left what is now the world’s most valuable company to lead JC Penney Co. Click here to read the full article
This article was brought to you by the InvestorGuide Staff Writers and Editors.

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