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S&P Has Five Day Streak, US Weekly Reports Give Hope (FIO, JCP)

By: , dated August 9th, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up

This was mostly a positive week with all three major US indices starting out strong with gains. The S&P 500 continued a five day positive streak through Friday. Several reports including the decrease in jobless claims a shrinking trade deficit have given hope to the US economy. At the end of the week, weak Chinese trade data loomed over the market and investors look towards stimulus even more from the world banks.

Some of the biggest gainers of the week were Fusions-io (FIO: Charts, News), Cisco Systems (CSCO: Charts, News) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ: Charts, News) while Monster Beverage (MNST: Charts, News) and Yahoo! (YHOO: Charts, News) saw declines. More Market News

Economic News

Jobless Claims Fall in Sign of US Job Market Mending
Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign the labor market may keep improving after hiring picked up in July.
Jobless claims unexpectedly dropped by 6,000 to 361,000 in the week ended Aug. 4, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 43 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase to 370,000. Other reports showed consumer confidence dropped to a two-month low and home prices climbed by the most since 2006. Source: Bloomberg. Click here to read the full article
Growing Paychecks Boost Americans’ Purchasing Power
Americans’ paychecks in the first half of 2012 grew at the fastest pace in five years, pointing to an improvement in purchasing power that may help propel the economic expansion. Source: Bloomberg. Click here to read the full article
USDA Estimates of Corn and Soybean Production Drop as Drought Takes Its Toll on Farmers
The government slashed its expectations for U.S. corn and soybean production for the second consecutive month Friday, predicting what could be the lowest average corn yield in more than 15 years as the worst drought in decades scorches major farm states. Source: Washington Post. Click here to read the full article

Business News

Goldman Sachs Won’t Face US Charges for Mortgage Securities
The Justice Department said it would not pursue criminal charges against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. or its employees related to allegations by a Senate panel that the bank deceived investors and Congress about its activities in the subprime mortgage market.

After an “exhaustive review” that began last year, investigators “concluded that the burden of proof to bring a criminal case could not be met based on the law and facts as they exist at this time,” the Justice Department said in a statement released Thursday night. Source: LATimes Click here to read the full article

JC Penney Shares Soar Despite Huge Earnings Disappointment
Big box retailer JC Penney (JCP: Charts, News) reported 2nd quarter earnings this morning. With the stock already down 37% for 2012, expectations were low. Specifically, the analysts were looking for a loss of $0.25 on $3.2 billion in revenue. What JCP reported instead was a loss of $0.37 on sales of $3.02 billion. Source: Yahoo! Finance. Click here to read the full article

Technology Focus

FTC Settles Facebook Privacy Complaint Sans Google-Like Fine
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has inked a final settlement with Facebook (FB: Charts, News) over the company’s privacy practices.
Under terms of the settlement, Facebook has agreed to provide users with “clear and prominent notice” anytime their information is shared. But before that can happen, Facebook must obtain its users’ “express consent” before sharing any information that exists outside the auspices of its privacy settings. In addition, the agency will force Facebook to maintain a “comprehensive privacy program,” and subject its service to biennial privacy audits. Click here to read the full article
Starbucks and Square Want Your Phone to Be Your Wallet
After years of fits and starts, the prospect of using your phone to make purchases instead of your credit and debit cards is entering a promising era. The struggle for who will control your virtual wallet is intensifying, and while it’s far from certain what will replace plastic, it’s almost certain something will, very soon. Source: Reuters. Click here to read the full article

Your Money

5 Questions Great Job Candidates Ask
Be honest. Raise your hand if you feel the part of the job interview where you ask the candidate, “Do you have any questions for me?” is almost always a waste of time.

Thought so.

The problem is most candidates don’t actually care about your answers; they just hope to make themselves look good by asking “smart” questions. To them, what they ask is more important than how you answer. Source: Inc.com. Click here to read the full article

The Fear and Loathing of the One Percent
Are they the whiny rich? Or besieged job creators?

Whatever you call them, and whatever your politics, there is no doubting that the One Percent is on the defensive – culturally, financially and psychologically. And now a new poll shows that their fear and lack of risk taking may be imposing real financial costs on the economy. Source: CNBC. Click here to read the full article

What New Mortgage Rules Mean For You
It’s not just homeowners facing foreclosure who are concerned about their mortgages. Plenty of consumers in good financial standing have been griping about the handling of their loans. Source: Reuters. Click here to read the full article
This article was brought to you by the InvestorGuide Staff Writers and Editors.

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