Archive | April 2, 2013

China Beats United States’ Oil Imports

The Controversy of the United States being the heaviest oil importer may now come to an end. According to OPEC, China will be the new top crude oil importer by the year 2014. This is due to the fact that Asia’s contentious growth lead to the high the demand oil import; while the United States are making the effort to cut down on the amount of foreign oil imports.

China will be importing at a rate of over 6 million barrels a day by 2014 according to OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries). China’s growth for foreign imported oil rose 1.3 percent to about 5.57 barrels a day according to December 2012 record; by this rate the oil import will only meet 60 percent of the country’s need.

On the contrary, United States oil import has declined 21 percent last year and trend shows that the decline will persist on the upcoming years. OPEC claims that by the year 2014, United States oil import will drop to less than 6 million barrels per day. This decline may result from United States self provided oil since it produces about 84 percent of its oil demand; domestic crude oil are produced at a rate of 7.159 million barrels a day.

Written by: Victor To

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-02/china-to-surpass-u-s-as-world-s-top-crude-importer-opec-says.html

Corporate News: Tesla Expects Profit as Car Deliveries Pick Up

Tesla Motors Inc., the luxury electric-car maker, saw shares go up 16% on Monday after it was reported that the company would present first-quarter profits.  Tesla has reported a loss every quarter since it went public in 2010.  The recent success of Tesla is good news for shareholders since analysts predicted a loss of seven cents a share in the first quarter.  However, the popularity of its Model S has played a major role in the auto-maker’s recent success.  Tesla delivered 4,750 Model S vehicles in the first quarter, which was 250 more than expected.  The 60 kWh Model S, which has an estimated range of 230 miles, starts at under $70,000.

Tesla’s story is an encouraging one, as it has managed to reach profitability in a market with only a few established giants.  The news came at a critical time for the auto-maker, as pointed out by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.  Musk also expressed through Twitter that “really exciting” news would be revealed soon.

Written by: Constantine Kostikas

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Car Sales Keep Up Their Streak

Automakers are reporting sales of record high since 2007, March sales of new cars were at its highest in five years. The recent improvement in the economy and housing market has spurred customer’s interest in new cars and trucks. Full size pick up truck’s demands soared as the housing market is continually doing well and the improving economy is restoring confidence in peoples purchasing confidence.  Lacey Plache, an economist says that the “wealth effect” is making Americans feel more comfortable with buying new cars.  Not only is the American economy improving, Japanese automakers are also doing well since the recent earthquake and tsunami. The natural disasters caused a lot of damage to Japanese automakers but the companies like Toyota and Honda are making turnarounds from inventory problems. They are introducing new models and updating showrooms more often to attract new customers.

The car industry is a good indicator of our recovering economy. With confidence restored, consumers are more willing to spend money on wants such as cars and houses. The money that is spent is used to stimulate the economy even further improving the market a little more each time. I’m glad the economy is showing signs of recovery because as a college student, I hope I can graduate with little difficulty in landing a job.

Written by: Wilson Tang

Source:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/03/business/car-sales-keep-up-their-streak.html?ref=business&_r=0

 

Corporations Turn To Social Media To Release New Information

Social media has been growing in popularity over the last few years, and as more and more people start using social media outlets, large companies have been doing the same to reach out to their customers. The SEC has recently allowed companies to not only reach out to its customers via social networking but investors as well. The SEC is allowing corporations to release information about their company on social networking sites as long as its investors are well informed on which sites the information is being published on.

It is very smart of these corporations to turn to social media when publishing information because more people are willing to look over this information, and news in this form is more accessible than news aired on television. Posting information through social media lets a larger quantity of people know what is going on within a corporation, and if the news is positive, it may just increase costumer confidence in that corporation. As technology advances and people turn towards new means of communications it is good that corporations account for these actions and ultimately benefit themselves.

Written by: Jessica Ho
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Goldstein, Steve. (2013). SEC Backs Social Media for Disclosing Corporate Information. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved From: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323611604578398862292997352.html?mod=WSJ_business_whatsNews

Gals Who Code

Aiming to close the gender gap in the technology field, organizations such as Girls Who Code, are teaching coding skills to younger females so they have a valuable skill set when they decide to enter the work field. Along 19 other high school girls, Julia Geist took part in an eight week that taught software programming, public speaking, product development. Previously, when asked to draw a computer scientist, the sixteen year old drew a businessman with a suit and tie, very similar to her other classmates. Thanks to Girls Who Code, she says “I see a computer scientist could be anyone” including her.

Although women represent half of the workforce, their scare presence in the technology industry is not unheard of; according to the University of Colorado’s National Center for Women and Information Technology, women hold less than 25 percent of all jobs in the technology and computer field. “We actively recruit women, but there’s just not that many women who want to do this kind of work and are equipped to do the work from their education,” said Adam Messinger, the CTO of Twitter. He is also a board member of Girls Who Code, and he notes that the industry is trying to address this issue before women start their careers, by teaching girls how to code when they are young. In addition, even Bill Gates of Microsoft and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook endorse the teaching of code to all students in school as evident by their participation in code.org.

 

Written by Kevin Zhang

Source:

Miller, Claire. “Opening a Gateway for Girls to Enter the Computer Field.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 02 Apr. 2013. Web. 02 Apr. 2013. <http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/04/02/opening-a-gateway-for-girls-to-enter-the-computer-field/?ref=business&gt;.

U.S. Stocks Reach New Heights

There has been a lot of positive signs that the United States economy has been improving. In middle of Tuesday this week, the Dow Jones had  jumped 95 points or 0.7% making it a new record. Also Standards and Poors rose 10 points and even NASDAQ rise up 25 points. 

According to the article, healthcare stocks have been a huge reason to why the stocks are performing well. 

In recent days and weeks, the news about the rise of stocks have been positive. And the news about United States are making me feel better about this economy. I am looking forward to upcoming good news about more rise of stocks.

-Derby Ng

http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323296504578398053061816998

 

Fannie Mae Reports Profit

The U.S Government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in September of 2008; since mid-2007, Fannie Mae has posted losses in 17 of 18 quarters totaling $166.6 billion. In an annual profit report published today however, Fannie reported an annual profit of $17.2 billion, its first annual profit since 2006 and coincidently its largest profit ever. Fannie’s stellar performance in 2012 contrasts sharply to its losses a year earlier of $16.9 billion but reflects a turnaround by the housing market and a decline in the number of bad home loans.

Fannie Mae has received $116.2 billion in federal aid since its takeover and has since paid out $35.6 billion in dividends. Nonetheless, the company still holds $248 billion in nonperforming mortgages and has concluded recently that it does not qualify for certain tax benefits. The company would have seen a drastic reduction in bailout funds if such benefits were posted because those benefits would have boosted its net worth… and Fannie really can’t afford that at the moment.

Evan Chang

Source:

The Wall Street Journal

Russian Economy Slows to Weakest Growth Since 2009 Slump

04-02-2013 - Medvedev Sad

It would seem that as the European Union falls, Russia is falling along with it. Given that more than half of the trade that occurs in Russia involves the E.U., it is only natural that the E.U.’s recession is harming Russia’s economy. The demand for Russian goods and commodities has plummeted. The Finance Minister has noted that at the current rate of growth, Russia is actually in a state of stagnation.

Unfortunately, it would seem that Russia is reaching for unrealistic goals, unable to even tell that the country can not grow at the 5 percent rate that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wants. “There’s ‘virtually no chance'” of even reaching 3.6 percent according to the Deputy Finance Minister.

I never really took the time to look at Russia and its economy, but now I see that it is mostly crippled by the E.U.’s decline. If the global economy is weak, it would seem that Russia’s main sources of growth, like steel exporting, are forced to a standstill. If the E.U. continues the path of stricter austerity measures,the outcome does not bode well for Russia. Russia is already suffering due to the cuts in spending, but if the cuts are increased, Russia could end with little to no growth at all, given that current estimates place growth at under 2 percent already.

Source:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-02/russian-economy-slows-to-weakest-growth-since-2009-slump.html

A Setback For Resellers Of Digital Products

ReDigi is a company that came up with the idea of reselling digital media. Their platform allows customers to resell digital copies of music they bought from sites like iTunes, and resell them online, creating a digital secondary market. Record companies accepted this business idea until Capitol Records sued ReDigi in early 2012 for copyright infringement. Because this case’s decision would determine the profitability of a new market, many spectators paid attention to its progress. Unfortunately, a New York judge ruled that the reselling of digital media is illegal because the copy is not “used” and does not fall under the first sale doctrine. Book authors also agree with this decision because prices in the primary market would drop if this was legal.

This decision has made it more difficult for bigger companies like Apple and Amazon to sell digital copies through their websites. On the other hand, if the judge approved ReDigi’s business idea, the music industry may continue to decline because the Internet has given people easy access to digital media already.

 

Written By: Melody Mark

Source:

Sisario, Ben. “A Setback for Resellers of Digital Products.” New York Times. The New York Times Company, 1 Apr. 2013. Web. 2 Apr. 2013.

MasterCard Pins ATM Fraud on Owners

MasterCard Inc., set a deadline for thousands of ATM owners to authenticate debit-card transactions to use computer chips instead of magnetic strips. If the ATM owners choose to not upgrade their ATMs, they would be financially responsible for fraudulent transactions, where losses can count quickly and wipe out annual profits of a machine. Last year, the counterfeit cards used at ATMs amounted to an estimated $426 million last year, while people in New York were also arrested for stealing money by counterfeit cards. Companies such as Visa and MasterCard are supporting ATM operators to get chip-based cards because they are widely used around the world and more secure. The only negative issue with this chip-based card is the costs to manufacture them, as well as to upgrade all of the machines. The estimated costs are more than $860 million, to upgrade the machines.

Many merchants of ATMs are not converting their cards just yet because due to technology nowadays, they may not need the chip enabled plastic since many people are allowed to make payments through their mobile devices. I personally believe that ATM owners should not have to face this shift so soon because in our society technology is becoming more advanced by how we make payments. The amount estimated in counterfeit cards is actually less than the costs to upgrade all of the machines throughout the U.S. as well.

Written by: Samantha Chin

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Sidel, R. (2013, April 1). MasterCard Pins ATM Fraud on Owners. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from The Wall Street Journal : http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324883604578396270849121246.html?mod=WSJ_business_whatsNews

New Disney Characters Make It Big in TV’s Preschool Playground

The children are our future, and are also the future of television channels. The value of their brand loyalty is immeasurable and because of this many channels such as Nick and Disney are trying to retain children as they grow up. “Dora the Explorer” came out on Nick Jr during 2000, and since then it has remained cable television’s No. 1 channel dedicated to preschool children. A major reason for Nick Jr’s success was the lack of competition. However, since Disney Junior has launched Nick Jr. ratings has already dropped more than 50 percent. Disney Junior shows are doing so well, their merchandise sales are expected to surpass $1.5 billion this year alone. According to studies, children between two and five spend roughly 32 hours watching TV every week. Disney and Nick are trying to give children a positive introduction to their channels. If done properly, they believe they will have a loyal demographic that will migrate from show to show within the network channel as they grow older.

URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/business/media/disney-junior-challenges-nick-jr-in-preschool-tv.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

-Jonathan Chan