Financial News 8/12/12 – 8/18/12


-Japan’s GDP grew at a lower than expected rate of 1.4% in the second quarter as the consumer driven recovery showed signs of weakness.  The reading marks a sharp slowdown from the 5.5% growth seen in the first quarter.  8/13

-Greece’s economy remained firmly in recession in the second quarter as the debt strapped nation reported GDP of -6.2%.  The reading makes instituting new austerity measures all the more difficult as the country endures its 5th year of recession.  8/14

-The producer price index edged up 0.3% in July. 8/15

-Retail sales jumped by 0.8% in July outpacing expectations and providing further confidence that the economy still is growing moderately. 8/15

-The Euro-zone economy contracted at a 0.7% annual rate in the second quarter after being flat in the first quarter.  8/15

-Inflation remained steady in July as the CPI rose 1.4% from a year earlier, but remained at the 1.4% level for the 4th straight month.  8/16

-Consumer sentiment increased in August reaching its highest level since May. 8/18


-Google is purchasing Frommer’s, the travel guide, for $25 million as it looks to move more heavily into creating content.  8/14

-Google announced it would cut the workforce of Motorola Mobility by 4,000 or 20% in an attempt to return the newly acquired business unit to profitability.  8/14

-Groupon returned to profitability after its most recent quarter but its previous strong growth has dissipated.

-Cisco’s earnings shot up 56% on a 4% rise in revenue and said it would increase its dividend.  8/16

-The insider sale ban expired on Thursday meaning an additional 271 million shares were available for trading.  The stock sank 6.3% to now be down about 50% from its IPO.  8/17

-Wal-Mart’s earnings rose solidly in its most recent quarter up 5.7% on higher sales.  The company also slightly raised its earnings guidance, but reiterated that the economy remains tough for both its domestic and international customers.  8/17


-U.K. bank Standard Chartered agreed to pay $340 million to settle charges with a New York regulator it illegally handled funds from Iranian customers violating money laundering laws.  8/15


-Companies sold $75 billion in investment grade corporate debt in July; the highest month ever as investors clamor for high quality corporate bonds with higher yields than treasuries.  Companies are eager to lock in low rates. 8/13

-Greece had its largest debt auction in 2 years.   8/15

-As investors have begun to doubt that the Fed will take additional action Treasuries have seen rates rise.  The yield on the 10 year treasury rose to 1.803% for its highest level in 3 months.  8/16

-Global stocks rose as investors concerns were further eased as Angela Markel said German remains committed to holding the Euro zone together.  The S&P 500 and Dow gained 0.7% as both benchmarks neared multi year highs.  Europe rose 0.3% to move close to a 5 month high. Oil rose to $95.60 a barrel. 8/17

-It was another positive week for U.S. Stocks as the Dow rose 0.5% and the S&P 500 rose 0.9% on moderately upbeat economic reports.  Gains were seen internationally as well as Europe rose 1.1% and Japan gained 3.0% to move to its highest level in 3 months.  8/18

There is no guarantee that any investment strategy, including those described here, will be successful. Any investment or investment strategy can lose money. Past performance does not guarantee or predict future results. You should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Raffa Wealth Management, LLC. This information was gathered from reliable sources but we cannot guarantee accuracy. Indexes do not reflect the fees associated with actual investments and such fees would reduce the performance illustrated.
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