Archive by Author | victorto123

U.S Reports Lower Than Expected Retail Sales Data

The potential growth in the retailing business in the United States has been a slump since report of retail sales index has fallen 0.4 percent. Economists has expected the report to have a near neutral, unchanged report for march retail sale. The .4 percent decrease in retail sales has brought shock since this decrease is the lowest since June of last year.

Among the categories of retail sale, the lowest performing sectors were department stores and electronics. There was a 1.2 percent drop for merchandise outlet along with a 1.6 percent decrease in electronics dealer.

Employment in the United States has picked up in job employment but at a too slow of a rate. According to the Labor Department, payroll only grew by 88,000 last month, which is also the smallest increase in payroll increase since June. The Stock-index futures has also taken an impact on this new; Standard and Poor 500 index, set to mature in June, has dropped .3 percent to 1,582.4.

Written by: Victor To

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-12/retail-sales-in-u-s-dropped-in-march-by-most-in-nine-months.html

Hot Demand For Canadian Currency

Canada, once seen as a sidelined country that was not a topical discussion in its role in top moving markets, has now reached a new height of spotlight. The Canadian Currency has recently reached a new 7 week high streak. The strengthening of the currency may be due to a stronger reported housing price, growing 0.2 percent from reports and 0.1 percent from last months price. As many has seen, most of the negative news has already been exploited; however, good news are just beginning to emerge. Previous forecast of negative news such as oil pricing, has made a turn for a more favorable affect on the Canadian economy. Furthermore, the Canadian Bank has put a projection of a increase in interest rates.

The currency rate of Canadian dollar has rose .4 of a percent in comparison to the USD. The conversion rate for 1 Canadian dollar is equivalent to $1.0105 U.S dollar. Canadian bond rates however, decreased, where a the 10 year bond dropped .02 percent to rate of 1.78 percent.

Written by: Victor To

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-11/canadian-dollar-reaches-7-week-high-on-commodity-linked-demand.html

Mercedes Benz Expands Their Market Vision

Mercedes Benz’s parent company, Diamler AG, is expanding the range of vehicles offered in their attempt to regain majority ownership of the luxury-car market. The main competition that Mercedes-Benz tries to defeat is Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) and Audi. Their vision to gain higher sales and profit is by expanding the consumer market to not only the wealthy class but also to the younger crowd with a tighter budget. The switch may come from the sales record seen in previous years, where in 2005 BMW has taken the top sales position in luxury car along with car manufacture Audi, which has taken second spot in sales in 2011.  

Mercedes Benz introduced the product line of CLA class cars that is said to launch in the United States in September to gain attention from the younger consumer market. The Mercedes Benz CLA is set at a price point of $29,900 that undercuts BMW’s 3-Series line of car, which starts at $32,550, and Audi’s A4 model car, which starts at $32,500.

The expansion of this new line of car will offer appeal to younger consumer that will potentially regain lost market shares from BMW and Audi car companies.

Written by: Victor To

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-09/mercedes-counting-on-coupe-with-more-power-to-catch-bmw.html

Comptroller John Liu Urges for Transparency in Employee Diversity Data

Minority leader John Liu is taking initiative in ensuring that diversity in large corporation exists by requesting for documentations. Major banking industries are being pressured to reveal race and gender data according to John Liu’s office statement. Liu’s reasoning statement to initiate the upholding of this check is said to allow share-owners to evaluate the company’s effort to recruit and promote women and minorities.

Last year American International Group (AIG) did not openly disclose information on employees’ demographics, while other banking institution such as Goldman Sachs and MetLife did.

This year many banks along with AIG agreed to Liu’s request to disclose such data. AIG, U.S Bancorp and BNY Mellon stated that they were willing and pleased to support the effort of making the data more transparent since they are standing on the same belief of having a great diversity in the company. Goldman Sachs acknowledges diversity within the company by stating that their 20 percent of their senior officials and executives were female. Other similar operating banks also have a good ratio of women in operation: 17% at MetLife; 24& at JPMorgan Chase; 21% at Citigroup.

These companies are required to submit employee data to the U.S government but they have the option to not reveal the statistics to the public. However Liu’s attempt will urge many more companies to display the data’s to the public.

Written by: Victor To

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-09/aig-to-release-diversity-data-after-pressure-from-liu.html

 

GE Plans to Expand Their Vision

General Electric is moving into a different segment approach in their expansion of its company. The focus is now towards the oil and gas industry; sales has grew 57 percent to $15.2 billion since 2009 which concludes becoming the world world’s largest crude producer.

Lufkin, a company that makes artificial lift equipments that brings crude and other material to the surface has rallying in revenue, which is up 37 percent compared to last year to $ 1.3 billion. Lufkin is a strong company that has over 4,500 employees in over 40 countries; also they specialize in equipments in submersible pumps, power transmission and automation system. GE attempts to buy Lufkin company to aid them in their expanding market of oil market. They are willing to pay $3.3 billion to purchase the company. GE will buy out this Lufkin Industries for a price of 13.5 times the value of Lufkin EBITA value.

The stock increase for Lufkin surged 38 percent, the largest increase since November 1990 due to this breaking news.

Written by: Victor To

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-08/general-electric-to-purchase-lufkin-industries-for-3-3-billion.html

U.S Currency Versus Gold Price

Gold prices has been unsteady for the previous months, with great fluctuation from day to day trade sessions and news-outbreak. Gold however, has reached its continuum eight week slow-decrease, which is a streak that has lasted longest ever since 2004. The reason for the decline may result from the increase in the US dollar value, which then turns metal into alternative assets investments instead of the direct place investors go to for the need of safe haven.

Gold currently trades at a price of $1,576.11 an ounce, a .3 percent decline. The decline did occur after a great fluctuation of gold price which took place in last week’s gold price market; prices rallied 1.7 percent to $1,583.20.

The decline in gold value has a positive correlation to the US currency. As David Lennox, a analyst suspects, U.S. Currency are gradually growing because people has no better place to invest their money. He also mentions that U.S economy is in a better shape relative to other places.

Written by: Victor To

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-08/gold-resumes-decline-as-investors-cut-holdings-dollar-advances.html

Increase in Rainfall Yields Lower Cost in Crop Production

Crops prices are at a decline due to greater forecast in growth from higher than average rainfall. The abundant rainfall in the Daloa region, where about 1/3 of Ivory cost crop are produced, has close to three times the average rainfall. Based on the supply of crops, the commodities price for Standard and Poor’s GSCI gauge on 24 commodities is down 3.3 percent last week, the biggest decline since October 2012.

Previous concerns on the prospective dry weather has driven price higher. However, this increase increase did not last long since the actually reports show a above normal average, which eventually caused a decease in price. The commodity price of Cocoa for July has dropped .09 percent to $2,191 a metric in on NYSE Liffe trade session. Also While sugar, also know as refined sugar, has dropped by .2 percent to $489 a ton; raw sugar fell .3 percent to 17.62 cents per pound. Robusta Coffee dropped .5 percent to $2,046 a ton and Arabic beans are down .5 percent to $1.3885 a pound.

Written by: Victor To

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-05/cocoa-falls-a-3rd-day-as-rain-may-help-crop-sugar-also-declines.html

Wal-Mart Claims the Bond Market

Wal-mart once again gets the title of lowest cost not only in average consumer goods produce but also, named the lowest borrowing costs. Furthermore, the company that has a recognizable rating of AA by Standard & Poor and Aa2 by Moody’s Investors.

Wal-Mart has sold $1 billion notes, due on April 2016, that yields a .6 percent. This percent is larger than similar treasuries by 30 basis points. Longer term bonds also expands with higher prices; a 1.25 billion valued bond due for maturity on April 2018 yields a 1.125 percent rate; a 10 year bond debt yields 2.55 percent; lastly the 30 year debt bonds yields a 4 percent return rate. These numbers has attracts many bond savy onlookers. This has taken many potential clients away from shorter term bonds which includes GlaxoSmithKline Plc, PepsiCo Inc and Praxair Inc; while for the longer term bonds it competes against Medtronic Inc. and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV.

Despite being a strong competitor in bonds, the company maintains a good record of cash balance sheet which qualifies it for positive rating on both Moody’s and S&P rating.

Written by: Victor To

Source:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-05/wal-mart-bonds-fly-off-shelf-as-shoppers-stew-corporate-finance.html

Topic of Sandy Re-Introduced

The topic on Super Storm Sandy is once again introduced when decisions on rebuilding the affected areas are once again brought up. The storm, which occurred on October 29th 2012, has brought many trouble which included: the lost of power for many, destroyed houses, and deterioration of mass transit. Despite the clear indication of much needed funds, actions were not taken right away. However, since re-election is coming up for Governor Christie, his actions towards the storm is once again reinstated. He said that: we shall not inspect where the nature has a hard impact but rather allocate the time and funds to rebuild the affected areas.

The damage of the storm has taken a big toll on New Jersey’s tax revenue. Super-storm Sandy has costed 5 billion in just property damage, which results in a lost of over $77 million dollar in tax revenue.

The effort to rebuild the destroyed area results from a strong interest in the amount of tourist revenue generate every year. New Jersey’s statewide revenue on tourism spending and investments sums up to over $40 billion last year, before the occurrence of super-storm Sandy. Governor Christie proposed a $25 million dollar advertising campaign in his attempt to allure tourist back.

Written by: Victor To

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-03/sandy-tax-gutting-fuels-christie-rebuild-as-cuomo-seeks-buyouts.html

New Vacancy Rates in New York City

Position has now switched as new technology companies are residing in places such as Manhattan where it fills up some of the vacancy gap. The vacancies level in lower Manhattan improved recently. The percent vacant has fallen to a new low since 2008. This resulted from the expanding technology sector that are settling along downtown Manhattan.

The vacancy rate has dropped from 9.2 percent to 8 percent when compared with real estate usage last year. Despite the growth for the technological sector in New York City, the financial industry has shown stagnant movement in improvement. Furthermore the total office vacancies remained the same, coming in at 9.1 percent. However, the average price per square foot demanded by landlord grew 1.2 percent to 59.60 per square foot.

Lower Manhattan are said to be due for a hard drop in the upcoming quarter, resulting in a about 12-13 percent vacancy rate since office space at Brookfield Place are set open after the departure of Merrill Lynch Company. The lease will expire on September and the office space are set to be vacant for about 6 months. Along with this new office space opening up at Brookfield, when the Freedom Tower opens more vacant spaces are expected to become available. 

Written by: Victor To

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-03/downtown-nyc-office-vacancies-fall-on-technology-demand.html

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

Conflict Within Anheuser-Busch Company

Employees working at the Anheuser-Busch company claims that the beer company has altered the alcoholic content of beers by watering down the drinks. In response the employee, James Clark, the Anheuser-Busch submitted a lawsuit to sue Clark for conducting trade secrets.

The lawsuit, filed in Sacramento on March 29th, should be dismissed due to the California law which bars strategic lawsuits against public participation in terms of intimidation.

According to Clark’s attorney Robert Carichoff, the lawsuit against Clark is used to silence him and to punish him for standing up for the general public. He also stresses the point that if this case is allowed to be tried then it will cause conflict between the employee for speaking out for the general public and their own safety.

Additional cases of such altercation of water where issued in 8 other lawsuits which claims that beer were watered down in Bud Ice, Budweiser, Busch Ice and Michelob beer. Anheuser-Busch has fought back at these allegation by starting a water donation campaign where they donated canned water for disaster relief and stating that people probably tested that rather than their original beer.

Written by: Victor To

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-01/ex-bud-worker-accuses-company-of-shakedown-over-complaint.html

Approval for Facebook’s Acquisition of Atlas Corp.

Facebook has successful won the approval from the U.S. antitrust authorities for their acquisition of Atlas Advertiser Suite, an advertisement company. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced approval on March 29, 2013; an victory for Facebook since the social network service based company relays heavily on advertisement clients for profit.

This acquisition of Atlas by Facebook, will be a threat to Google especially since Google has a 18 percent U.S display-ad market while Facebook only trails slightly behind with a 15 percent market share.

The service that Atlas contributes include monitoring the performance of the effectiveness of an advertisement campaign on its own company and well as other sites on the web; Atlas can also help companies choose and place ads on certain websites that are envisioned, based on statistics, to be the most effective. This information and service that Facebook will potentially own is a great measure in making more efficient and better marketing campaigns. The purchase of Atlas is a decision that is deemed to be brilliant, since online advertising business is set to grow at a continual pace for many years to come.

Written by: Victor To

Source:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-29/zuckerberg-deal-with-microsoft-wins-antitrust-approval.html

China’s Tactics to Prevent a Housing Bubble Crisis

The American housing bubble crisis has been sent a signal to many countries for their outlook on any possible similar situation. China has taken precautions when they saw a possibility of a housing bubble occurring in China. In China’s capital, Beijing, there is a law that forbids any single-person households from buying more than 1 residential unit and for those with the second homes, the government bumped up the minimum down payment.

To further an effective cool down in the rise of property demand increase, the government tries disincentive people to buy housing property by initiating a 20 percent capital gain tax on the property. Despite these laws to deter people from causing a housing bubble crisis, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences proclaims that this will only cause a short term cool down since the demand for properties are still going to rise in the long run.

Examples of growth are shown in last year statistics where Beijing had a 5.9 percent increase compared to 2011; in Shanghai, housing prices grew a substantial 3.4 percent when compared to previous year.

Written by: Victor To

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-30/beijing-bans-single-person-households-from-buying-second-homes.html