S&P 500 Closes Out the Week at its Highest Since 2007; Congress Passes Budget Deal

Weekly Wrap Up

It was a shorter week than usual for trading due to the New Year holiday on Tuesday. Late Monday night a deal was reached in Washington that would increase taxes on the wealthiest 2% in America and prevent tax hikes and spending cuts for the time being. The major indices surged after this news and ended positive for the week.

In corporate news, tech stocks such as Hewlett-Packard (HPQ: Charts, News) and Apple (AAPL: Charts, News) saw gains mid-week.
The auto industry had its best performance in five years as companies like Toyota (TM) and General Motors (GM) reported sales far better than expected in the US. MidAmerican Energy acquired SunPower's PV projects for $2.5 million. By Friday the dollar climbed to a near 2-1/2 year best against the Japanese yen but erased earlier gains against the euro after the US jobs report. More Market News

Economic News

Fed Sees Bond Buying Ending this Year
There was a general sense among Federal Reserve officials that their bond-buying program would last, at most, until the end of the year, according to the minutes from their meeting last month that were released on Thursday. (Source: MarketWatch) Click here to read the full article
Unemployment Rate Unchanged, Ditto for Economic Uncertainty
The December jobs report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the economy remained in low gear, with private employers continuing to add jobs just slightly faster than the number of new workers seeking them. That's about the same as it has been since the summer of 2012. In fact, the total number of jobs created last year -- 1.84 million -- was the same as in 2011. (Source: LA Times) Click here to read the full article
Auto Sales Reach a New Post-Recession High
In a key sign of a stronger economy, automakers posted a strong December to cap off the industry's best annual U.S. sales since 2007. (Source: LA Times) Click here to read the full article

Business News

Five Stocks to Watch in 2013
2013 promises to be an interesting year for stocks. Below are listed five stocks which will figure prominently both in the news and in investor portfolios. Our list includes social media giant Facebook (FB: Charts, News), which had a landmark Initial Public Offering last year and proceeded to lose more than half of its value. (Source: InvestorGuide) Click here to read the full article
Avis to Buy Zipcar as Slow Economy Boosts Car-Share Business
Car rental company Avis Budget Group Inc (CAR: Charts, News) will buy Zipcar Inc (ZIP: Charts, News) for about $500 million, surpassing larger rivals Hertz Global Holdings Inc (HTZ: Charts, News) and Enterprise Holdings Inc (EPRIH.UL: Charts, News) to become the No.1 player in the fast-growing U.S. car-sharing market. (Source: Yahoo! Finance) Click here to read the full article
Hewlett-Packard Declares War on Autonomy
Shares of computing giant Hewlett-Packard (HPQ: Charts, News) slid last week, after the company reported that it was being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations that its subsidiary, British software firm Autonomy Corp., had engaged in accounting malpractices prior to being acquired by HP in October 2011. Last month, HP claimed that it was misled into overpaying for Autonomy, which it acquired for $11.1 billion under former CEO Leo Apotheker’s short and stormy reign. (Source: InvestorGuide) Click here to read the full article

Technology Focus

Microsoft Slams 'Weak' Google FTC Settlement
Microsoft says (MSFT: Charts, News) the Federal Trade Commission's settlement with Google (GOOG: Charts, News) is "weak" and questioned the agency's finding that Google Search benefits consumers despite evidence the company uses its search system to promote its other products. (Source: InformationWeek) Click here to read the full article
Nokia Bounces Back on Strong Windows Phone 8 Lumia Sales
To many market watchers, it’s a miracle that Nokia (NOK: Charts, News) is still trading today. The company, which was once the undisputed leader of the mobile handset market, nearly hit $1 per share in July, before strongly bouncing back 130% to current levels on hopes that Microsoft’s (MSFT: Charts, News) Windows 8 Phones would restore its ailing Lumia line. Although some investors have profited from this recent rally, Nokia remains a shadow of its former self, with shares trading 90% lower than its all-time high near $40 per share five years ago. Now that the company has survived the impending 2012 doomsday that many analysts had forecast, does it have a chance to turn it all around in 2013? (Source: InvestorGuide) Click here to read the full article

Your Money

4 Important 2013 Payroll Updates & Tax Changes For Small Business
Last night, the House voted 257-167 to approve a bill to prevent the fiscal cliff. The plan maintains tax cuts for those earning less than $400,000/year and couples earning less than $450,000/year. Those individuals earning more will see increased tax rates. (Source: Forbes) Click here to read the full article
5 Anti-Resolutions for 2013
Every year, countless numbers of my optimistic peers will write a list of New Year's resolutions. These lists will include lofty ambitions such as "get a promotion" as well as easier goals like "go to the gym." Regardless of the goal, most resolutions will be forgotten faster than New Year's confetti. (Source: Inc.com) Click here to read the full article
Published on Jan 4, 2013
By InvestorGuide Staff

Copyrighted 2020. Content published with author's permission.

Posted in ...