Mid-day Update - Most Recent
Aug 2, 2012
The Fed announced yesterday that it is prepared to act if the economy gets worse -- But for now, nada. Which brings us to the European Central Bank, which is holding a meeting today in Frankfurt and might have a little something up its sleeve for the global economy. On Capitol Hill today, a House Committee is looking into the effects of the Supreme Court's ruling on health care; Specifically, just how the IRS will assess a tax on people who don't carry health insurance. Later this morning, Freddie Mac will tell us what the average interest rate is right now on a 30-year fixed mortgage. Last week, the rate fell below 3.5 percent for the first time in 60 years of record keeping.
Aug 1, 2012
A federal housing regulator is rejecting a White House plan to help borrowers who are underwater on their mortgages. There are about 11 million people in that category. Power has been restored in India after a huge blackout, blamed in part on rising demand for electricity in one of the world's fastest growing economies. A blackout of this magnitude would be unthinkable in China. And there's more sun and heat in the forecast for St. Louis -- not great for a region that's in the midst of the worst drought in decades. The drought is now shrinking the shipping lanes in the Mississippi River.
Jul 31, 2012
Some earnings news: BP reported a sharp fall in profits while Pfizer's quarterly earnings are higher than expected. The government said household income jumped a half percent, but consumer spending fell by a tenth of a percent. American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks talks inequality. India is dealing with a major blackout. And an Olympic round-up: NBC spoiled Missy Franklin's gold medal win before her race aired in primetime last night, some Olympic athletes are headed for Wall Street, and we talk with Clyde Drexler from 1992's Dream Team on how basketball has changed.
Jul 30, 2012
Lawyers from the two biggest smartphone producers in the world will be in federal court in San Jose, Calif., today. Samsung is being sued by Apple for more than $2 billion in damages, as well as an injunction to stop the sale of Samsung's smartphones and tablets. And we are now 99 days away from the election. One of the key themes of the campaign up to this point has been income inequality, but President Obama's former top economic adviser Larry Summers says that's not the debate we should be having. Instead, we should focus on inequality of opportunity.
Jul 27, 2012
The London Olympics begin today, and the eleven big corporate sponsors of the event will begin to bask in the global limelight. All that basking doesn't come cheap: All together, the sponsors have shelled out more than a billion dollars. Computer Hackers took over Las Vegas this week, as part of the Black Hat conference -- a gathering of hackers where they talk about the latest in security and security breaches. And after several years of sluggish advertising, the glossies have just posted ad sales for their all important September issues and the numbers are looking fat. With 658 pages of ads, it will be Vogue's thickest September issue since the financial crisis.
Jul 26, 2012
Sanford Weill was once the king of making big banks bigger. Back in 1998, he combined Travelers, the insurance company, with Citibank to create Citigroup. But now, Weill wants to break up big banks. Facebook will post its first earnings after its IPO today, but the company has had a rocky road since it started selling shares and there are still big questions about its future. And why Goodyear is working on a new kind of tire: One made partially from soybeans.
Jul 25, 2012
A report from the Congressional Budget office says President Obama's health care law could save the federal government $84 billion over the next decade. That savings is mostly because of the Supreme Court ruling last month -- and a part of the law it ruled out. Caterpillar, the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, releases its quarterly earnings today. And reports issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture don't usually create ripples beyond a small pond of farmers and investors, but today, though the USDA releases a much-anticipated briefing: the monthly food price forecast.
Jul 24, 2012
The 2012 Olympic Games begin in London on Friday, but already a venerable Olympic sport is underway: The Brits are arguing about the costs and benefits of the event, which set them back at least $15 billion so far. Speaking of $15 billion, China's government-controlled oil company, CNOOC, is snapping up Nexen of Canada for just as much. Nexen is big in the oil sands of Alberta and the Gulf of Mexico. And as this summer's drought shows no signs of letting up, many farmers are worried about the future of their crops -- but in other states, farmers see nothing but green.
Jul 23, 2012
There seems to be a major case of the "Mondays" going on in Europe, as Spain struggles with a new round of troubles. As the 19th International AIDS Conference gets underway in Washington, D.C., it is clear that we've reached a critical juncture in the AIDS fight. And Teach for America, the program that recruits recent college grads to work in underperforming schools, is making a push into the political arena. Former TFA grads already have won seats in state houses and on local school boards.
Jul 20, 2012
Two years after the Dodd-Frank Law was enacted, many in the banking sector are still grumbling about the change in regulation. How does that compare to when the rules change in another American pastime: Baseball? Schlumberger and Baker Hughes help big oil drill. But their business is softening as some drillers pull back due to the economic slowdown.