Weekly Wrap Up
Spain, Europe’s fourth-largest economy, set itself on Friday a softer 2012 deficit target than originally agreed to under the euro zone’s austerity drive. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Spain’s new 2012 target of 5.8 percent of gross domestic product was more realistic than the original goal of 4.4 percent but still fiscally demanding. Click here to read the full article
The S&P 500 has traded in a tight range in the past two weeks, mostly holding on to a gain of nearly 9 percent since the beginning of the year.
Even though both the Nasdaq and S&P were on track for their third straight weekly advance, gains were limited as economic data throughout the week cast some doubt on the strength of the economic recovery. Click here to read the full article
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threw cold water on the improving economic outlook Wednesday, saying further significant declines in unemployment are not likely without stronger economic growth. Click here to read the full article
The U.S. economy grew slightly faster than initially thought in the fourth quarter and a gauge of factory activity in the Midwest hit a 10 month-high in February, pointing to underlying strength in the economy. Click here to read the full article
The Federal Reserve is giving the financial industry and general public more time to weigh in on new rules that would impose stricter capital and liquidity standards on the nation’s largest banks.
The Fed said on Friday it is extending the comment period on the proposal to April 30 from March 31. Click here to read the full article
Eastman Kodak Co has agreed to sell its online photo services business to Shutterfly Inc for $23.8 million, kicking off the bankrupt photography pioneer’s relaunch as a much slimmer company although a patent sale seen crucial to its turnaround may still be months away. Click here to read the full article
More than 1.3 million Americans opened new credit union accounts last year, up from less than 600,000 in 2010, the National Credit Union Administration reported. That brings the number of credit union members to a record 91.8 million. Click here to read the full article
General Motors Co. will acquire a 7% stake in French auto maker PSA Peugeot Citroën as part of a broad alliance that each expects will generate significant cost savings at their struggling European car operations.
The alliance will include sharing of vehicle architectures, components and the creation of a global procurement joint venture. Combined purchases will be about $125 billion a year, the companies said. They plan to build some vehicles together as soon as 2016. Click here to read the full article
Facebook Inc. (FB) hired Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and Citigroup Inc. (C) to work on its $5 billion initial public offering and boost its accessible credit, said a person with direct knowledge of the situation. Click here to read the full article
Apple sent out invitations to news media on Tuesday with an image showing part of an iPad screen. The company had been widely expected to reveal the third version of its popular tablet computer soon, close to the anniversary of the launch of the iPad 2. Click here to read the full article
A test, or “beta,” version of the revamped operating system will be unveiled Wednesday in Barcelona, nudging Windows 8 a step closer to its anticipated mass market release in September or October. The company will offer the most extensive look at Windows 8′s progress since it released an early version of the system to developers five months ago. Click here to read the full article
Dell looks like it’s going to be shifting its focus to enterprise and away from consumer PCs. Brad Anderson, president of Dell’s enterprise group, said today that “we’re no longer a PC company, we’re an IT company,” according to PC Pro. He continued on to say that “Dell’s changing very quickly,” and that “it’s no longer about shiny boxes, it’s about IT solutions.” Dell’s most recent earnings would appear to back up the claim that enterprise is where the money is at – 30 percent of the company’s overall revenue last year was accounted for by that single division, and the group brought in 50 percent of the company’s operating income last quarter. Click here to read the full article
From 1965 through 2011: Berkshire Hathaway’s book value per share grew 19.8% a year. This is basically Warren Buffett’s long-term record. Of course, he ran an investment partnership before this where he averaged 30% a year over about 10 years. If you factor this part of Warren Buffett’s career in, his returns are about 22% a year. Regardless, we are talking 20% to 22% a year compounded over a 56-year investment career. It is the length of the career that makes this so impressive. See my article on Walter Schloss’s 47-year investment career for a comparison. Between Warren Buffett, Walter Schloss, and Ben Graham you have something like 130 years of investing in common stocks – and yet you have very little overlap between them owning the same stocks at the same times. The careers of these 3 men are a treasure trove of truly long-term investing results. The concept of luck is pretty unimportant when we’re talking about 3 obviously intellectually connected men each picking hundreds of stocks over 3 to 5 decades. Learn everything you can about these men. What they really owned. And when they owned it. Their system works. Click here to read the full article