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Business News Archives for 2013-11


Business News


Markets have been subdued all week as traders get ready for the Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday.  Volume should be light the rest of the week as everyone works to beat the weather and get home for the holidays.

 

Consumer confidence fell in November as the public perception on the job market continues to be bleak. New jobless claims fell 10,000 to 316,000 a new low for this economic cycle. (Reuters)

 

With just 28 days left till Christmas the holiday shopping season is front and center.  Sales are expected to be up 3.9% this year.  But discounters like Wal-Mart, Kohl’s and Target have lowered expectations as their target market still struggles with a slowly improving economy. (Associated Press)

 

Oregon’s often troubled air transport company, Evergreen International, is showing more signs of financial stress that has led to recent layoffs. Two recent lawsuits allege they have not paid suppliers $7.5 million and the Anchorage Downtown Marriott says they owe $77,000 in unpaid room charges. (Oregon Live)

 

Emerging markets have taken a beating this year as those countries have struggled to grow.  The world’s second largest country, India, has seen below 5% growth for four quarters, the longest such period since 2005. Reductions in government spending have been hard on the domestic economy and employment in the country. (Bloomberg)

Business News


One hundred fifty years ago today President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address for those who fought for liberty, freedom and free enterprise. Today we celebrate free enterprise as markets touched emotional highs yesterday of 16,000 on the Dow and 1800 on the S&P 500.

 

Home Depot profits surged 47% in the 3rd quarter as sales climbed 7.4%.  The company says they are seeing homeowners start to implement long-delayed home improvement projects as the economy improves. (Reuters)

 

Best Buy says their margins are being compressed by the aggressive and competitive holiday shopping season. The company announced a $54 million profit last quarter compared to a $10 million loss a year ago.  (Reuters)

 

Wal-Mart is kicking it up a notch.  The world’s largest retailer will kick off its Black Friday deals a week early.  In addition Wal-Mart enhanced its price matching program to cover specials from competitors a week before Thanksgiving. (Fox Business News)

 

Women are getting more jobs than men.  A record 67.5 million women are in the workforce, more than at the last peak in 2008 when we fell into recession.  But only 69 million men are employed as compared to the 70.9 million at its peak in 2008.  The current unemployment rate for women is 6.9% and 7.6% for men. (Department of Labor)

Business News


Today the political theater will be thick as Janet Yellen goes before the Senate Banking Committee in her quest to become the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve.  The hearing could move markets like yesterday when stocks rallied after Yellen’s testimony for today was released indicating easy money may not be going away soon. (Fox Business News)

New applications for unemployment came in at 339,000 last week. That is down 2000 from last week. (Reuters)

Productivity in this country was up 1.9% last month.  This number shows US businesses continue to find ways to do more with less. (Bloomberg)

Wal-Mart posted profits 5.5% higher than last year but same store sales fell 0.3%.  Wal-Mart says their customers continue to be challenged in this economic environment and that is impacting sales. (Reuters)

Retailer Kohl’s shares are down sharply as they reported a profits decline of 11% from last year on revenue that was essentially flat. Same store sales declined 1.6%. (Reuters)

Oregon chipmaker Triquint Semiconductor is offering buyouts to employees as they work to reduce their Hillsboro factory workforce. The company has added too much capacity over the last year and is looking to match capacity with orders. (Oregon Live)
 

Business News


November is usually the least popular month for a wedding but today we will see a boom in the wedding industry.  Eight times more people will get married in November than last year since today is 11-12-13.  Wedding have grown to a $40 billion industry in the US. (New York Times)

The National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index collapsed in October with the stated cause being the government shutdown.  The net percent of owners expecting better business conditions in six months was a net negative 17% in the survey, down 17 points from August. (NFIB)

With 43 days left till Christmas Wal-Mart is not going to be left behind this holiday shopping season.  The world’s largest retailer will open at 6pm on Thanksgiving, two hours earlier than last year. If you shop online Wal-Mart will put many of their Black Friday specials up for sale early Thursday morning. (Reuters)

Portland shoe maker KEEN has launched its own line of clothing.  The line will include pants, shirts, skirts and sweatshirts.  Products will be available only online or at its stores in Portland, San Francisco and Tokyo. (Oregon Live)

Business News


It is that special day when we remember those that protect our freedom, Veterans Day and thank you Vets.  Bond markets are closed today but equity markets are up and running for a full day of trading.

Oregon air cargo company, Evergreen Airlines, is reportedly getting ready to cease operations at the end of the month.  The company notified the state on Thursday they are laying off 131 employees.  The company has a large debt load of $280 million and sold their helicopter division this spring to help raise cash. (Yamhill Valley News-Register)

Changes in airline boarding procedures maybe in traveler’s futures. In attempts to save money airlines want to get you on the plane faster.  Boarding changes could include:

More clearly marked lanes for boarding order. Like Southwest Airlines. Early boarding for those without overhead luggage. Boarding in window, middle, isle order.
Fees that will allow you to board first. (CNBC)

Those buy backs are helping kick start the holiday buying season here in the US but who wants those used iPhones and iPads?  There is a booming secondary market for electronics in the developing parts of the world.  Leading the resale market is Texas-based eRecycling Group. (Wall Street Journal)
 

Business News


Markets sold off yesterday as good news was bad.  We got good news that the economy continues to grow and strengthen, but traders turned that sour as they worried about that meaning the Fed’s may lift their foot off the easy money gas pedal. (Seeking Alpha)

The US economy added a whopping 204,000  net jobs in October and big saw upward revisions in September and August.  The private sector added 212,000 jobs, States added 4000 jobs and the federal government shed 12,000 jobs.  In good news being bad markets initially turned lower.  (Associated Press)

Craft Brew Alliance, the makers of Widmer, Redhook and Kona beers, posted a profit increase of 50% in Q3 on a 6% increase in sales. The company says they are having a hard time raising prices in the current business environment. (Business Wire)

Exports in China rebounded in October after a tumble in September.  Exports were up twice what was expected at 5.7% growth. (Bloomberg)

China is expanding its steel production at the fastest rate in three years.  Freight traders have hired 51% more iron-ore carriers in September than the year before to meet Chinese demand.  The ore that will be carried to by these additional ships to China would build 150 Golden Gate Bridges. (Bloomberg)
 

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