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Facebook IPO Lukewarm, Markets Suffer Worst Week Since November

By: , dated May 18th, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up

Markets took a significant beating throughout the week, concluding Friday with small losses across the board, notching the worst weekly losses since November. The biggest news of the week was the long awaited Facebook IPO (FB: Charts, News) on Friday. The opening price of $38 turned out to be relatively accurate as shares rose nearly 13% before settling very close to their initial level.

In other market news, Greece’s debt rating was downgraded again as continued Euro woes helped depress US stocks. Mortgage rates continue to fall lower, hitting a new record of 3.795%. New housing data, though gloomy, does highlight a few optimiistic improvements. More Market News

Economic News

Greece downgraded deeper into junk
Fitch Ratings cited the increased risk that Greece, operating now with a caretaker government, could be forced to leave the eurozone following more elections next month. (Source: CNN Money) Click here to read the full article
30-year mortgage rate falls to record 3.795
Average U.S. rates for 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgages fell to record lows for the third straight week. The steady decline has made home-buying and refinancing more affordable than ever for those who can qualify.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year loan dipped to 3.79 percent. That’s down from 3.83 percent last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s. (Source: Sun Times) Click here to read the full article

Federal Reserve minutes: Fiscal cliff could hurt economy
“Participants expected that the government sector would be a drag on economic growth over coming quarters. They generally saw the U.S. fiscal situation also as a risk to the economic outlook; if agreement is not reached on a plan for the federal budget, a sharp fiscal tightening could occur at the start of 2013,” the minutes from the meeting said. (Source: Yahoo Finance) Click here to read the full article
Newest housing data highlights improvements
The latest round of real estate data shows home-builder confidence soaring as U.S. homes become more affordable. In California, sales and prices appear to be on the mend.

In a note on Tuesday, Ian Sheperdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, wrote that the improvements in U.S. housing could be a result of credit loosening. The lack of ready availability of home loans has been one of the stumbling blocks to a rising market, he wrote. (Source: LA Times) Click here to read the full article

Business News

Facebook’s Zuckerberg opens Wall Street by ringing Nasdaq bell
Facebook (FB: Charts, News) founder Mark Zuckerberg rang the Nasdaq’s opening bell from Menlo Park, Calif., heralding the start of Wall Street trading and the social networking juggernaut’s public debut.

Facebook, which raised $16 billion in its initial public offering late Thursday, won’t start trading on the stock market until 8 a.m. PDT.

The delay is intended to allow for orderly trading given the investor frenzy and media hype surrounding the historic IPO. (Source: LA times) Click here to read the full article

Facebook IPO hits third-biggest of all time
Today’s Initial Public Offering of the social network known as Facebook (FB: Charts, News) has already set their stock up in the record books as the third largest IPO in history behind Visa (V: Charts, News)and Enel. If Facebook’s stock does sit at $16 billion as projected, it will be just behind Enel, an electric utility part-owned by the Italian government which earned $16.5 billion at its own IPO. Facebook is currently not projected to reach much higher than that, with Visa’s 2008 IPO at $17.9 billion USD keeping the high mark extremely high, as it were. (Source: Slash Gear) Click here to read the full article
10 Takes on the $38 Facebook IPO
Late yesterday, Facebook priced its IPO shares at $38 per share, which put the company’s valuation at $104 billion, the largest ever for a Wall Street debut. (Source: Minyanville) Click here to read the full article
Wal-Mart beats profit target, shares up 3%
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT: Charts, News)said Thursday its first-quarter profit increased 10% to $3.74 billion, or $1.09 a share, from $3.4 billion, or 97 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Total revenue at the Bentonville, Ark., mass market retailer rose 8.5% to $113 billion. (Source: Market Watch) Click here to read the full article

Technology Focus

Reports: Hewlett-Packard mulling 25,000 to 30,000 job cuts to cope with dwindling PC demand
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ: Charts, News) is poised to eliminate as many as 30,000 jobs to compensate for dwindling demand for personal computers as more people connect to the Internet on smartphones and tablets, according to reports published Thursday. (Source: Washington Post) Click here to read the full article
Groupon Shares Surge On 1Q Results, Though Questions Remain
Though the company’s sequential revenue growth, particularly in North America, impressed investors, questions remain about whether Groupon’s growth is sustainable and if the company will be able to address its accounting issues. (Source: Wall Street Journal) Click here to read the full article
Levinsohn takes on CEO role at struggling Yahoo
Just one day into the job, Yahoo’s (YHOO: Charts, News) interim CEO Ross Levinsohn is in charge of a company struggling with administrative chaos, industry position and growing competitors. (Source: Computer World) Click here to read the full article

Your Money

U.S. imposes stiff tariffs on Chinese for ‘dumping’ solar panels
The U.S. has decided to slap tariffs of 31% and higher on solar panels imported from China for “dumping” them in the American market, the Commerce Department announced Thursday in a widely anticipated decision expected to have significant implications for this global renewable energy industry. (Source: LA Times) Click here to read the full article
This article was brought to you by the InvestorGuide Staff Writers and Editors.

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