I am travelling on the U.S. West coast. During the next 10 days, posting will be more limited and impacted by Pacific time…
Trade Deficit Widens The U.S. trade gap widened by 15.8% to $48.73 billion in November as imports of products like cellphone increased.
U.S. imports were up 3.8% to $231.28 billion, with increased shipments of cell phones and related goods alone accounting for a fifth of the overall gain.
U.S exports were up 1% to $182.55 billion in November. Sales of foods, feeds and beverages fell slightly while selling of capital goods such as telecommunications equipment rose marginally.
Wells Fargo Profit Rises as Bank Boosts Lending Wells Fargo & Co., the largest U.S. home lender, reported a 24 percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings as the bank extended more credit. The shares slipped as margins narrowed and mortgage applications waned.
American Express plans to cut 5,400 jobs in its biggest retrenchment in a decade, as the company pares back its travel business that has been hammered by the rise of Internet-based hotel- and airfare-reservation services
The epidemic of long-term unemployment, one of the most pernicious and persistent challenges bedeviling the U.S. economy, is finally showing signs of easing.
The long-term unemployed—those out of work more than six months—made up 39.1% of all job seekers in December, according to the Labor Department, the first time that figure has dropped below 40% in more than three years.
The problem is far from solved. Nearly 4.8 million Americans have been out of work for more than six months, down from a peak of more than 6.5 million in 2010 but still a level without precedent since World War II.
California is predicting a surplus for its next fiscal year, in a turnaround from the steep deficits of recent times, as cost cuts, tax increases and an improving economy have started to put the state on firmer financial footing.
China’s Inflation Accelerates as Chill Boosts Food Prices China’s inflation accelerated more than forecast to a seven-month high as the nation’s coldest winter in 28 years pushed up vegetable prices, a pickup that may limit room for easing to support an economic recovery.
The consumer price index rose 2.5 percent in December from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today in Beijing. That compares with a 2 percent gain in November. The decline in the producer-price index eased to 1.9 percent.
Cash poured into U.S. stock funds at a blistering pace in the latest week, as investors flocked into equities after a yearlong rally and an early-January jump.
For the week ended Wednesday, investors sent $18 billion into stock funds and exchange-traded funds. The biggest week in 2012 saw $11.4 billion in inflows.
For all of 2012, stock funds and ETFs picked up a net of just $3 billion, though weekly inflows at times easily topped that figure. This week’s inflow marks the biggest weekly cash influx since June 2008 and the fourth-largest inflow since 2000, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.