Weekly Wrap Up
In domestic news, JD Power and Associates lowered the auto sales forecast for 2012 on lowering demand. Sales are still expected to increase slightly over 2011 numbers.
In corporate news, Bank of America (BAC: Charts, News) posted a boosted third quarter profit thanks to accounting gains, but the business still continues to struggle. Apple (AAPL: Charts, News) shares sunk mid-week after the tech giant reported less than stellar earnings as sales of the iPhone fell. More Market News
Stocks traded sharply higher Friday following news that a group of euro zone finance ministers have approved the next round of aid for Greece and amid optimism over the euro zone ahead of the EU summit on Sunday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied sharply, led by Travelers (TRV: Charts, News) and AmEx (AXP: Charts, News), after logging a decline in the previous session. The blue-chip index is on track for its fourth-straight winning week. Click here to read the full article
The risk of a double-dip recession caused J.D. Power and Associates to lower its 2012 U.S. auto sales forecast by about 2 percent, which would still be a modest rise over expected 2011 sales, the consultancy said Friday.
"The risk of a double-dip recession has increased to nearly 40 percent, driving the reduction in the forecast for 2012," said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power. Click here to read the full article
Bank of America Corp (BAC: Charts, News)posted a third-quarter profit, boosted by accounting gains, but its main businesses struggled as income from lending and investment banking fell.
CEO Brian Moynihan, under pressure to turn around the bank, has been selling assets to boost capital. Those efforts resulted in the bank ceding its ranking as the largest U.S. bank by assets to JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM: Charts, News). But they could also cut into future revenue. (Source: Reuters) Click here to read the full article
As the housing market began its collapse, Wall Street firms and sophisticated investors searched for ways to profit. Some of them found an easy method: Stuff a portfolio with risky mortgage-related investments, sell it to unsuspecting customers and bet against it.
The transaction involved a $1 billion portfolio of mortgage-related investments, many of which were handpicked for the portfolio by Citigroup without telling investors of its role or that it had made bets that the investments would fall in value. (Source: NY Times) Click here to read the full article
Apple (AAPL: Charts, News) turned in a rare miss for its September quarter's results, but Sterne Agee said that miss wasn't about Apple's business being bad, but rather, "because iPhone expectations simply got out of hand." In a research note obtained by The Mac Observer, Mr. Wu told clients that Wall Street lost sight of the fact that an expected product transition would dampen iPhone sales.
"We are not proud modeling 18.5 million iPhones which turned out higher than actual 17 million shipments," Mr. Wu wrote, "but we were materially below consensus of 20 million, not to mention some analysts who assumed as high as 23 million units. (Source: Mac Observer) Click here to read the full article
With its Android-powered, full-color Kindle Fire tablet just around the corner, Amazon (AMZN: Charts, News) has announced a new e-book format to take advantage of its richer features. The new file format, Kindle Format 8 (KF8), is based on HTML5, and with it, Amazon aims to bring some of the flexibility and power that HTML5 offers to the world of e-books.
HTML-based e-book formats are not new; EPUB, Mobipocket, and the current Kindle format (a variant of Mobipocket) are all based on subsets of HTML. However, the existing formats are very limited, offering publishers little control over fonts, layout, and text formatting. This makes them ill-suited to, for example, children's books, comics, and technical publications. Formats like PDF offer much richer control over presentation, but forfeit the ability to reflow text to adjust to different screen and font sizes, essential to a true e-book format. (Source: Arstechnica.com) Click here to read the full article
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis on Thursday announced a partnership with Facebook designed to connect the jobless with companies that are hiring. The Social Jobs Partnership will aggregate a variety of existing, but often little-known, job-search services on a new Facebook page in hopes of drawing more attention to them.
"Landing on this page can help Americans land good jobs," Solis said at a Washington news conference with representatives from Facebook, the National Assn. of Colleges and Employers, the National Assn. of State Workforce Agencies and the DirectEmployers Assn. (Source: LA Times) Click here to read the full article
The Mexican economy was in ruins in 1982. Oil prices had fallen, the peso was devalued, interest rates were high, and some banks were nationalized. Yet a young entrepreneur saw opportunities and invested heavily during that downturn. He acquired clusters of companies, across industries, from foreign and native investors, who were fleeing the collapsing nation. His father had told him that nations never go bust forever. Good times always return. That entrepreneur is Carlos Slim, now the richest person in the world. (Source: Harvard Business Review) Click here to read the full article