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Greece Does it Again! Negative Impact on US Markets Persists

By: , dated May 11th, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up

Markets fail to gain momentum this week as economic woes in Europe were put to the forefront. Leadership changes in France and Greece have left investors wondering that is in store for the troubled nations. Greece woes specifically continue to help depress long term economic outlook

In domestic news, new job opening in March rose to the highest level since 2008, shining some sunshine on economic recovery. The producer price index fell in April, as well, a possible sign of easing inflation.

In corporate news, Ford (F: Charts, News) decided to boost factory production for the year by 40,000, a great sign the auto industry is continuing its comeback. Investors look ahead to next week for the long awaited Facebook IPO. More Market News

Economic News

Bernanke: Banks are stronger, but mortgage lending is sluggish
American banks have made significant strides in boosting their financial health since the recession, but the same cannot be said of their lending activity, especially for home mortgages, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said.

In a speech Thursday, the Fed chairman gave America’s banking system a generally clean bill of health, citing stronger capital and leverage ratios, better credit quality and improvements in a number of “key systemic risk measures.” (Source: LA Times) Click here to read the full article

Producer Price Index Unexpectedly Falls 0.2% in April
U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell in April as energy costs dropped by the most in six months, a sign of easing inflation pressures that could give the Federal Reserve more room to help the economy should growth weaken.

The Labor Department said on Friday its seasonally adjusted producer price index dropped 0.2 percent last month. That was the first drop of the year and the biggest decline since October. (Source: CNBC) Click here to read the full article

Business News

iPhone Costs Sprint CEO $3.25 Million
Sprint Nextel (S: Charts, News) CEO Dan Hesse is taking a $3.25 million pay cut because of the nasty toll the iPhone has taken on the company’s bottom line.
The move is an attempt to appease some of Sprint’s most vocal shareholders, including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, who oppose Hesse’s reelection to the company’s board. (Source: NBC Montana) Click here to read the full article
Ford to boost factory output by 40,000 vehicles
Rising car and truck sales have prompted Ford Motor Co. (F: Charts, News)to add a week of production at 13 North American factories so the company can make another 40,000 vehicles this year.

Ford said Tuesday that it would cut in half the normal two-week summer shutdown at six assembly plants and seven engine and parts plants. Auto plants normally close for two weeks around the July 4 holiday as they switch over to make vehicles for the next model year. (Source: Associated Press) Click here to read the full article

BofA initiates home loan modification offers
Homeowners with a Bank of America (BAC: Charts, News) mortgage have good reason to check their mailbox.

The lender said Tuesday it has begun mailing out letters to customers who may qualify to have their home loans reduced as part of a multistate settlement over alleged foreclosure abuses.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company estimates that more than 200,000 of its customers could potentially be in line for a reduction in the principal balance on their mortgage. (Source: Associated Press) Click here to read the full article

Technology Focus

Facebook co-founder renounces U.S. citizenship
Eduardo Saverin, one of Facebook’s four co-founders, has renounced his U.S. citizenship, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

The expatriation, first reported by Bloomberg, comes just before the social network is expected to launch an initial public offering of its stock next week. (Source: CNN Money) Click here to read the full article

IPO pipeline clears ahead of Facebook
Activity in the market for initial public offerings is drying up ahead of the much-anticipated debut of Facebook Inc. late next week.

The IPO market largely fizzled this week. Out of a dozen deals originally expected to price during the period, only four ended up pulling the trigger. A couple of those may try again next week, despite the risk of poor comparisons with the juggernaut that is Facebook, which is currently slated to price nearly $12 billion worth of its shares late Thursday. (Source: Market Watch) Click here to read the full article

Your Money

Shareholders’ revolt will shift markets, economies
The weapons might be proxy forms rather than Molotov cocktails, and the rebellions might be staged in hotel conference rooms rather than on the streets. But there is still a whiff of insurrection in the air.

After a decade during which executive pay soared higher and higher, the patience of the people who actually own the world’s largest companies – the shareholders – looks finally to have snapped. (Source: Market Watch) Click here to read the full article

Taxing jobs out of existence
Bill Hewlett and David Packard, tinkering in a California garage, began what became Hewlett-Packard. Steve Jobs and a friend built a computer in the California garage that became Apple’s birthplace. Bill Cook had no garage, so he launched Cook Medical in a spare bedroom in an apartment in this university town. Half a century ago, in flight from Chicago’s winters, he settled here and began making cardiovascular catheters and other medical instruments. One thing led to another, as things have a way of doing when the government stays out of the way, and although Cook died last year, Cook Medical, with its subsidiaries, is the world’s largest family-owned medical devices company. (Source: Washington Post) Click here to read the full article
This article was brought to you by the InvestorGuide Staff Writers and Editors.

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