Finance news. My opinion.

July 31, 2014

Ratings agency: Argentina in ’selective default’

Filed under: loans, prices — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 7:27 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Standard & Poor’s says some Argentine bonds are in ’selective default’ in what could be the start of a wave of downgrades amid a standoff between the South American country and some creditors.

The ratings agency says it lowered its rating on some Argentine bonds because the country did not make a $539 million interest payment due on June 30.

Argentina tried to make the payment but was prevented by a New York judge as part of an effort to force the country to settle a dispute with U cash advance to savings account.S. creditors.

S&P said Wednesday it could revise the rating if Argentina were to make the interest payments.

The downgrade came as the economy minister led a last-gasp effort to strike a deal with hedge funds demanding payments of about $1.5 billion.


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July 29, 2014

UPS 2Q profit drops 58 percent

Filed under: loans, term — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 4:31 pm

ATLANTA (AP) — United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) on Tuesday reported net income that declined by 58 percent in its second quarter, and missed analysts’ expectations.

The Atlanta-based company said profit declined to $454 million, or 49 cents per share, from $1.07 billion, or $1.13 per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were $1.21 per share. The average per-share estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for profit of $1.24.

The company said revenue climbed 5.6 percent to $14.27 billion from $13.51 billion in the same quarter a year ago, and beat Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected $14.07 billion, according to Zacks.

United Parcel Service shares have fallen $2.42, or 2.3 percent, to $102.66 since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed 7.1 percent. However, the stock has risen $15.85, or 18 percent, in the last 12 months.


This story was generated automatically by Automated Insights ( using data from Zacks Investment Research. Full UPS report:


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July 28, 2014


Filed under: lenders, management — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 1:35 am

On a Chinese hospital ship off Hawaii, crew members demonstrate traditional massage techniques to U.S. sailors. The mood is one of collegiality, even after China opted out of Japan-led humanitarian drills at the world

July 24, 2014

Breitburn buying QR Energy in $1.46 billion deal

Filed under: house, prices — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 7:36 pm

HOUSTON (AP) — Breitburn Energy is buying QR Energy LP in a deal worth about $1.46 billion.

QR unitholders will receive approximately 72 million common units of Breitburn Energy Partners LP, or 0.9856 of a Breitburn unit, for each unit of QR Energy that they own. The consideration to be received by QR unitholders is valued at $22.48 per unit, a 19 percent premium to Wednesday’s closing price of $18.87.

Shares of Houston’s QR Energy rose more than 8 percent before the opening bell Thursday.

The companies put the transaction’s value at approximately $3 billion, including QR’s existing debt and outstanding convertible preferred units.

The senior management team at Breitburn Energy Partners LP will lead the combined business. Once the transaction, closes Breitburn will add a new director to its board that is mutually agreed upon by both companies.

The boards of both companies unanimously approved the deal, which is targeted to close later this year or in early 2015. It still needs approval from QR unitholders.


July 23, 2014

Canada Border Services review finds 19,000 outdated lookout warnings

Filed under: Uncategorized, debt — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 5:04 am

OTTAWA—An internal review has revealed that Canada’s border agency had more than 19,000 outdated electronic notices warning officers to be on the lookout for suspicious travellers.

The Canada Border Services Agency discovered the old notices earlier this year following the review of about 117,000 active lookouts to ensure each contained up-to-date information, says a new federal report.

Accuracy and timeliness are vital because the border agency is supposed to use lookouts to intercept suspected terrorists, organized criminals and others of concern attempting to enter Canada.

An outdated or inaccurate lookout could also mean a traveller is stopped at the border and subjected to unnecessary scrutiny.

The notices are based on intelligence information, past customs seizures, immigration violations and known national security risks.

Last fall, federal auditor general Michael Ferguson found the border agency was not consistently monitoring the results of lookouts and lacked a consistent process for recording the results when someone was intercepted. Ferguson noted the agency had made little progress on its monitoring of immigration lookouts since a 2007 study.

“Given the seriousness of the threats that lookouts are designed to address, even one missed lookout is cause for concern,” the auditor general said. “Without relevant performance data, the agency does not have information on whether lookouts are working as intended or how it can improve on results.”

The border agency’s own study confirmed problems with the lookout system.

In response to a request from the House of Commons standing committee on public accounts, the government recently issued an update on the border agency’s efforts to improve the management and effectiveness of the lookouts program.

The agency also made a number of changes to its computer systems to make it easier to find possible matches associated with a lookout and to provide partners with more timely information.

In his fall report, Ferguson also expressed concerns about information the border agency receives from airlines with the aim of zeroing in on suspected security threats.

Air carriers are required to provide the border agency with advance information about passengers entering Canada to allow for screening of travellers before they arrive. Complete and accurate information helps the agency identify people who might need closer examination once their plane lands.

Ferguson found the border agency did not receive all of the necessary information about passengers, and recommended it take steps already developed to fix the problems.


July 21, 2014

World stocks weak as pressure on Russia grows

Filed under: finance, loans — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 2:08 pm

BEIJING (AP) — World stock markets remained on the back foot Monday as tensions grew between Russia and the West over the downing of an airliner in eastern Ukraine.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX was off 0.7 percent at 9,654.54 and France’s CAC-40 shed 0.4 percent to 4,315.92. Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.3 percent to 6,732.16.

Futures pointed to losses on Wall Street. Dow futures were down 0.1 percent at 17,009 and S&P 500 futures shed 0.1 percent to 1,969.

The shooting down last week of the Malaysia Airlines plane with 298 people aboard has rattled markets, which worried about how Western governments, already alarmed by Russia’s support for rebels in Ukraine’s east, would react.

The disaster, in an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists, has sparked international condemnation and increased pressure on Russia to stop meddling in Ukraine. Russian officials have blamed Ukraine’s government for creating the situation and atmosphere in which the plane was downed.

“The more pressure that builds on Russia the more volatile European indices will be,” said strategist Evan Lucas at IG Markets in a report. “With the strong trade links between the continent and Russia, any disruptions to this through sanctions will cause profit taking on European indices payday loan.”

China’s Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.2 percent to 2,054.48 points and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent at 23,387.14. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.1 percent to 5,539.90.

Seoul’s Kospi fell 0.1 percent to 2,018.50 ahead of this week’s release of quarterly economic growth data. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.

Markets in Southeast Asia were mostly higher. Jakarta rose 0.8 percent despite tensions over presidential election results due out Tuesday, with both candidates claiming victory.

Investors were looking ahead to U.S. earnings reports amid hopes American economic growth is recovering. Results from Apple, Microsoft and Coca Cola were due out Tuesday and Caterpillar on Thursday.

In energy markets, U.S. benchmark crude for August delivery was down 1 cent to $103.12 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed 6 cents on Friday to close at $103.13.

The euro rose to $1.3537 from $1.3525 late Friday. The dollar fell to 101.31 yen from 101.36 yen.


July 13, 2014

Former Nike missile site in Hecker sells for $227,000

Filed under: lenders, management — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 10:55 am

HECKER • A former Nike Hercules missile site four miles south of here sold at auction Saturday for $227,000, the auction manager said.

Wayne Keller, managing broker of Buy-A-Farm, said the auction lasted roughly 20 minutes, and had only four or five bidders. Others, hoping for a bargain, were quickly priced out when the starting bid of $70,000 rose in increments of $10,000.

Keller said that buyer Ron Mertens, a Smithton businessman, had no specific plans for the property — yet.

The 14-acre site, officially Nike Missile Site SL-40, boasts three underground bunkers, complete with working elevator pads, as well as three surface-level buildings. From 1960 to 1968, the site contained dozens of nuclear warhead-equipped missiles, part of the era’s defense against Soviet bombers.

It is well-preserved, having been used for several years by the Career Center of Southern Illinois for automotive repair classes and more recently leased for storage and a workshop.

Keller told the Post-Dispatch last month that potential buyers considered using the site for a plant testing facility, warehouses, a home and a museum.


July 10, 2014

Corn falls below $4 a bushel for first time since 2010

Filed under: house, management — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 5:35 am

CHICAGO • Corn futures dropped below $4 a bushel for the first time in four years on bets that rain will boost yields for crops in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower. Soybeans extended the longest slump since 2009.

Forecasts for cooler and wet weather in the Corn Belt over the next week will favor plants, Bethesda, Md.-based Commodity Weather Group said Tuesday. The showers and mild temperatures are improving the outlook for U.S. production, already forecast by the government to reach a record for a second straight season.

A bumper U.S. crop will help global stockpiles before the 2015 Northern Hemisphere harvest rise to the highest since 2000, a Bloomberg News survey showed. Soybean inventories will probably jump to a record, according to the average analyst estimate. Bigger crops are helping to keep a lid on world food inflation, with the United Nations reporting a third monthly drop in prices in June.

“We’ll pollinate two-thirds of the corn crop over the next couple of weeks, and the weather looks nearly ideal,” Arlan Suderman, a senior market analyst at Peoria, Illinois-based Water Street Solutions, said in a telephone interview. “It’s hard to argue the bears are wrong.”

On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for December delivery fell 1.2 percent to $3.9925 at 9:55 a.m., after touching $3 instant payday loan.9875, the lowest since July 2010. The grain entered a bear market last week.

Global reserves may rise to 184.47 million metric tons, the Bloomberg News survey of 15 analysts showed. That would top the USDA’s June forecast for 182.65 million. The agency will update its outlook for world crops on July 11.

As of July 6, about 75 percent of the U.S. crop was in good or excellent condition, according to the USDA. About 15 percent of corn was pollinating as of July 6, compared with 5 percent the previous week.

An index of 55 food items fell 1.8 percent to 206 from 209.8 in May, the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization said July 3. World prices were 2.8 percent lower than a year earlier.

Soybean futures for November delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $11.095 a bushel on the CBOT. Prices headed for a eighth straight day of losses, the longest streak since February 2009.

The USDA may raise its forecast for domestic production to 3.789 billion bushels, from 3.635 billion estimated last month, according to Bloomberg’s survey. The corn harvest may be 13.931 billion bushels, similar to last month’s estimate.


July 3, 2014

Gross Says Slow Wage Growth Outweighs Jobs for Fed Policy - Bloomberg

Filed under: Uncategorized, house — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 5:37 pm

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June 30, 2014

Oil price weakens ahead of China data

Filed under: mortgage, news — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 11:29 am

The price of oil declined Monday as markets waited for the preliminary reading of China’s manufacturing for June.

Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was down 56 cents to $105.18 a barrel at 0800 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract closed down 10 cents at $105.74 on Friday.

Brent crude, used to price international oils, slipped 62 cents to $112.68 a barrel in London.

Oil prices were steady going into the weekend as markets grew accustomed to news reports of violence in Iraq where the Iraqi government is trying to wrest back some of the territory it has lost to insurgents, Desmond Chua, a market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said in a commentary. The price of oil rose in recent weeks as investors worried that the surge of violence in the oil-rich country would strain crude supplies payday loans lenders.

Earlier on Monday, the extremist group that has seized much of Syria and Iraq declared the establishment of a new Islamic state and demanded allegiance from Muslims worldwide.

On Tuesday, a preliminary reading of Chinese factory activity will give investors the latest gauge of the slowdown in China, the world’s biggest energy consumer.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

—Wholesale gasoline drifted down 2.2 cents to $3.052 a gallon.

—Natural gas added 0.6 cent to $4.415 per 1,000 cubic feet.

—Heating oil was down 2.2 cents to $2.982 a gallon.


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