Major indices were down today as several data points emerged to indicate that the economy was slowing down further. A report from the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago showed that midwest business activity was down for the month of April. Additionally, the Census Bureau reported that the homeownership rate in the US is down to 65.4 percent, the lowest it has been in 15 years. In corporate news, an exposé in the New York Times (NYT) demonstrated that Apple’s (AAPL) effective corporate tax rate is only 9.8 percent, stirring controversy on the subject of corporate taxation. Microsoft (MSFT) is going to invest $300 million for a minority stake in a new Nook focused business spun off from Barnes & Noble (BKS).
Word on the Street
- Today closed with the S&P 500 down for the month for the first time since November.
- Apple (AAPL) only pays an effective tax rate of 9.8 percent.
- US homeownership is at its lowest since 1997.
- Business in the southwest slowed down in April.
- Microsoft (MSFT) is investing in a joint Nook venture with Barrnes and Noble (BKS)
- Loan standards have decreased as lending has picked up.
- Books-A-Million (BAMM) shares jumped dramatically on buyout offer.