Stocks End Down on Uncertain Economic Picture

Weekly Wrap Up

Major indices were down this week even as low foreclosures rates gave investors some signs of hope, but other signs from the economy were negative. For instance, jobless claims rose, and signs from the Chinese economy seem to point towards a reduction in their level of growth, something that would impact the whole world economy. Facebook made the biggest splash in financial circles this week when they announced their $1 billion acquisition of popular mobile photo-sharing app Instapaper. More Market News

Economic News

Trade deficit narrows, boosting economic growth forecast
Economists sharply raised their forecast for first-quarter economic growth after news of an unexpectedly big drop in the nation’s trade deficit in February.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday the trade deficit narrowed in February to $46 billion from $52.5 billion in January.
Most of the decline was due to a sharper-than-expected 2.7% falloff in imports, much of that from China. U.S. exports in February was up a tiny 0.1%. Click here to read the full article
Jobless claims unexpectedly rise last week
New claims for unemployment benefits rose last week to their highest level since January, a development that could raise fears the labor market recovery was stalling after job creation slowed in March.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 380,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week's figure was revised up to 367,000 from the previously reported 357,000. Click here to read the full article
Foreclosures Down to 5-Year Low
There's good news on the real estate front ... at least for now. RealtyTrac reports U.S. home foreclosures are at their lowest levels since 2007. Why the dip, and what's in it for consumers? Click here to read the full article
China's growth falls to nearly 3-year low
China's economic growth fell to its lowest level in nearly three years in the first quarter but analysts said the economy should rebound in coming months.

Growth in the world's second-biggest economy declined to a still-robust 8.1 per cent in the three months ending in March, data showed Friday. That was down from the previous quarter's 8.9 per cent and the weakest rate since the second quarter of 2009. Click here to read the full article

Business News

Goldman Sachs to Pay $22 Million Over Analyst Huddle Claims

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/04/12/bloomberg_articlesM2DJ3M0D9L3501-M2DQF.DTL#ixzz1rx2cDnL3

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will pay $22 million to resolve U.S. regulators' claims that the firm failed to implement policies to keep its stock analysts from tipping select clients about upcoming research changes. Click here to read the full article
P Morgan, Wells Fargo 1Q Results Suggest Mortgages Are On Mend
In the kick-off to a week of first-quarter bank earnings reports, results from two industry heavyweights--J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC)--showed strong gains in their mortgage lines.

Wells Fargo reported a 42% increase in income from its mortgage-banking business, to $2.87 billion from $2.02 billion in the year-ago quarter. At J.P. Morgan, mortgage profits swung to a $461 million gain in the quarter, from a $1.1 billion loss last year. The bank's mortgage revenue rose 80%, to $1.6 billion. Click here to read the full article

Technology Focus

Facebook Buys Instagram For $1 Billion, Turns Budding Rival Into Its Standalone Photo App
Facebook has just finished a deal to acquire mobile photo sharing app Instagram for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock. Instagram will remain an independently branded standalone app that’s separate from Facebook, but the services will increase their ties to each other. The transaction should go through this quarter pending some standard closing procedures Click here to read the full article
Google to split stock to keep power with founders
Google improved its short-term finances even as it seeks to preserve its long-term interests.
The online search leader reported a 61 percent increase in its net income for the first three months of the year and announced plans to issue a new class of stock to shareholders. The new shares won't have any voting power and will help Google's senior leaders keep control years from now. Click here to read the full article
Published on Apr 13, 2012
By InvestorGuide Staff

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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