Markets Down After Turbulence in Europe and Disappointing Earnings

Weekly Wrap Up

Early in the week the Federal Reserve announced no intention to take further action in order to boost the economy, citing signs of growth in the economy and fearing that more aggressive action would lead to high inflation later. The Euro has been down this week relative to the dollar, a sign of the softening of the European economic situation. Though Fitch expressed increased--though by no means high--confidence in France's AAA status, they expressed concern for many other EU member nations, whose collapse would bring France with them.

The week brought many Q3 earnings reports.
Spotlights include FedEx (FDX: Charts, News) exceeding investor expectations, and Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIMM: Charts, News) seeing a 71 percent drop in year over year profits. More Market News

Economic News

Labor Market Notches Gains
The number of U.S. workers seeking jobless benefits last week fell to its lowest point since May 2008, a sign that the labor market may finally be gaining strength. Click here to read the full article
Mortgage rates fall to record lows
Mortgage rates sunk to record lows again this week.
The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.94%, matching the all-time low hit in early October, according to Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate survey. Meanwhile, 15-year fixed-rate loans hit a new record low of 3.21%, surpassing the record set on October 6. Click here to read the full article

Business News

FedEx Profit Tops Estimates as Consumers Boost Shipments
FedEx Corp. posted quarterly profit that beat analysts’ estimates as U.S. consumers bolstered by a better labor market increased holiday orders from online retailers.

Demand in the home delivery and SmartPost programs helped fuel a 76 percent gain in net income at FedEx, an economic bellwether because it moves goods ranging from pharmaceuticals to financial documents. The company also said today it was buying 27 new Boeing Co. freighters. Click here to read the full article
GE's Fourth Dividend Increase Since 2010 Boosts Payout 13%
General Electric Co. raised its quarterly dividend 13 percent, the fourth increase in less than two years as Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt returns cash to investors. Click here to read the full article

Technology Focus

RIM reports fiscal Q3 earnings: profits down 71 percent on $5.17 billion revenue
RIM announced its third-quarter earnings today, and it's not a pretty picture. The company reported earnings of $265 million — 51 cents per share — for the quarter, down 71 percent from $911 million from the same quarter a year ago. The number isn't all about declining smartphone sales, though — it includes the $485 million hit the company took thanks to unsold PlayBooks, as well as a $54 million charge from the worldwide outage it suffered this fall. Click here to read the full article
Intel cuts 4Q outlook citing supply shortages
Chip maker Intel Corp. caused shares for the entire microchip sector to sink when it cut its fourth-quarter revenue outlook Monday.
Intel is the latest technology company to feel the impact of hard-disk-drive shortages stemming from monsoonal flooding in Thailand. The world's largest maker of microprocessors says it now expects fourth-quarter revenue of $13.4 billion to $14 billion, down from $14.2 billion to $15.2 billion during the key holiday quarter. Wall Street was looking for revenue of $14.65 billion, according to FactSet. Click here to read the full article
Published on Dec 16, 2011
By InvestorGuide Staff

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