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Archive for November, 2012

PARIS The euro zone’s crisis is far from over and its members must tighten budgets and forge a banking union to leave behind the “fairy world” that allowed problems to grow, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Friday. Draghi’s call for reform was echoed by International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, who said implementing a banking union with powers to supervise all banks in the euro zone should be the currency bloc’s top priority. Speaking in Paris, where the government is trying to dispel concerns raised by the IMF that France could be left behind as Italy and […]

NEW YORK Stock futures inched higher on the final trading day of the month, but the mood was still cautious with the market firmly focused on U.S. budget talks. * Whole Foods Market Inc announced a special cash dividend of $ 2.00 per share. In expectation of higher dividend tax rates in 2013, companies have been shifting dividends or announcing special payouts to shareholders. * After a close relationship for several years, Facebook Inc and Zynga Inc revised terms of a partnership agreement between the companies; under the new pact, Zynga will have limited ability to promote its site on […]

Business activity in the U.S. Midwest expanded for the first time since August, a report showed on Friday, buoyed by an improvement in the labor market. But the forward-looking new orders gauge dropped to its lowest in more than three years, suggesting the improvement may be short-lived. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer rose to 50.4, just shy of the 50.5 reading forecast by economists. The measure was 49.9 in October.  A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the regional economy. The forward-looking new orders index fell to 45.3 from 50.6 — the lowest since June 2009. The gauge […]

SAN FRANCISCO Tech stocks tried to edge upward in early trading Friday, but it was notable losses from Zynga Inc. and Groupon Inc. that took the sector’s spotlight. Zynga shares fell almost 9%, to $ 2.39 after the company on Thursday announced changes to it online-gaming partnership with Facebook Inc. , while Groupon was down by more than 8%, at $ 4.16 as the online daily deal company’s board decided to stick with Chief Executive Andrew Mason. The Nasdaq Composite Index remained near its breakeven point of 3,011.

Consumer spending fell in October for the first time in five months as superstorm Sandy choked off car sales, suggesting slower economic growth in the fourth quarter. The Commerce Department said on Friday consumer spending fell 0.2 percent after a 0.8 percent increase in September. It said Sandy had impacted on income growth last month, but it had made adjustments to wages for storm-related work interruptions. Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, would be flat last month. While the storm slammed the brakes on automobile purchases, the drop in […]

The Annual Election period for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplementary insurance (Medigap or Med Supp), or a Part D drug plan is in full swing and as many large employers exit the retiree group health market, many Medicare-eligible seniors are making health coverage decisions on their own. It’s no secret that navigating the Medicare world is tough, but private health insurance exchanges are helping seniors find the right coverage at the best cost. According to Aon Hewitt’s 2012 survey of almost 450 private and public plan sponsors representing 5.8 million retirees, six in 10 employers have reviewed or are currently reviewing […]

President Barack Obama, reapplying his re-election campaign theme of protecting the middle class, heads to Pennsylvania on Friday suggesting that Republicans could spoil Christmas by driving the country over the “fiscal cliff.” The president’s road trip, visiting a factory that makes Tinkertoys, is infuriating Republicans, with House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner calling it a “victory lap” Thursday as he rejected Obama’s proposals to avoid the cliff, which is a combination of tax increases and spending cuts set to start taking effect in January. But Boehner confronts challenges not only from Democrats but increasingly from other Republicans, some of whom […]

Consumer electronics heavyweight Apple (AAPL) announced on Friday that its iPhone 5 will launch in China in December, opening up the blockbuster smartphone to the country’s faster-growing economy. The development comes as the U.S. economy is being slowed down by the fiscal cliff and Apple is increasingly relying on Asia and China specifically for a chunk of its sales. In the wake of receiving regulatory approval from the Chinese government, Apple said its iPhone 5 is scheduled to launch in China on December 14, joining 47 other countries where the smartphone is currently on sale. Like in the U.S., Apple […]

ATHENS Greece has extended the deadline for its banks to report already-delayed financial results to December 21, according to a finance ministry decree published on Friday by a financial website. The government had postponed the deadline to October 31 and then to the end of November, pending their recapitalization from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. “The deadline to publish listed banks’ financial results for the third quarter of 2012… is extended to December 21,” said the decree published by the www.taxheaven.gr website. The new reporting date comes after a December 13 deadline to complete a debt buy […]

Dear Cashing In, Another holiday season is about to come and go without me getting to do what I really want to do with rewards — take a flight back home for the holidays. I live in the New York area and most of my family is in Los Angeles and San Francisco. We usually gather in San Francisco for the holidays. My goal in 2013 is to get on a free flight for either the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday to go home. Right now, I have three general purpose rewards credit cards: a Visa (my main card), a Discover […]

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