Monday, June 20, 2011

There's Contagion in the Air

Moody's threat to downgrade Italian debt raises eurozone contagion fears

Moody's has threatened to cut Italy's credit ratings on concerns over a possible rise in eurozone interest rates may derail the country's fragile economic recovery, raising more fears of contagion from the Greek debt crisis.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Facebook status updates: 2012 IPO, $100B valuation? Plus slowing growth

Facebook status updates: 2012 IPO, $100B valuation? Plus slowing growth

An interesting juxtaposition of Facebook news: CNBC, citing the familiar People Familiar With the Matter, reports that the world’s largest social network will probably go public at the beginning of next year, with a valuation of more than $100 billion. And Inside Facebook says that as the Palo Alto company nears 700 million users, its traffic has dropped for the second month in a row.

Signs of the company jumping the shark — although of course, two months’ worth of data hardly constitutes a trend — are mostly in the United States, according to the latter report, with Facebook losing members in its home country for the first time in May: from 155.2 million users at the beginning of the month to 149.4 million at the end. (Speculation about the reasons are making the rounds on the blogosphere, from users getting bored to users tiring of privacy issues.) Facebook also lost users in Canada and some parts of Europe, while gaining users in places such as Mexico, Brazil, India and Indonesia, says Inside Facebook, which used Facebook’s ad data to prepare the report.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Horror for US Economy as Data Falls off Cliff

Horror for US Economy as Data Falls off Cliff
Published: Wednesday, 1 Jun 2011 | 2:09 PM ET Text Size
By: Patrick Allen
CNBC EMEA Head of News

The last month has been a horror show for the U.S. economy, with economic data falling off a cliff, according to Mike Riddell, a fund manager at M&G Investments in London.

"It seems that almost every bit of data about the health of the US economy has disappointed expectations recently," said Riddell, in a note sent to CNBC on Wednesday.

"US house prices have fallen by more than 5 percent year on year, pending home sales have collapsed and existing home sales disappointed, the trend of improving jobless claims has arrested, first quarter GDP wasn’t revised upwards by the 0.4 percent forecast, durables goods orders shrank, manufacturing surveys from Philadelphia Fed, Richmond Fed and Chicago Fed were all very disappointing."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 279.65 points

"Interest rates are amazingly low and that, thanks to Ben Bernanke, is driving everything," Yastrow said. "We’re on the verge of a great, great depression. The [Federal Reserve] knows it.

Wall Street Baffled by Slowing Economy, Low Yields: Trader
Published: Wednesday, 1 Jun 2011 | 11:06 AM ET Text Size 
By: Margo D. Beller
Special to

Wall Street is having a hard time figuring out what to do now that the U.S. economy appears to be sputtering and yields are so low, Peter Yastrow, market strategist for Yastrow Origer, told CNBC.

"What we’ve got right now is almost near panic going on with money managers and people who are responsible for money," he said. "They can not find a yield and you just don’t want to be putting your money into commodities or things that are punts that might work out or they might not depending on what happens with the economy.