Oil Prices Continue To….Drop?


Posted by Admin - May 19th, 2010

Despite a massive oil spill off the coast of Louisiana that is spewing thousands of gallons into the Gulf of Mexico each day, oil prices have fallen for the seventh day in a row.

Crude oil dropped for a seventh day, its longest losing streak in five months, on concern gasoline demand is slowing in the U.S. and speculation the European debt crisis will worsen.Oil slumped to its weakest level in seven months after the euro touched a four-year low earlier today as European nations struggled to meet austerity requirements. An American Petroleum Institute report showed gasoline inventories in the world’s biggest energy consumer rose 981,000 barrels last week. The Energy Department will release its data later today.

The movements of oil prices continue to confound everyone! It makes one wonder how much prices would have fallen if not for this massive oil spill.


Baidu Gains from Google’s Exit from China


Posted by Admin - April 29th, 2010

A couple of months ago Google pulled out of China rather than help them censor Internet search results. When Google pulled out of China there was a widespread concern that no company would be able to replace them. However, Chinese search engine Baidu seems to think otherwise.

Baidu’s American Depositary Shares — which have already more than doubled this year on Google’s shuttering of its Google.cn site — soaring 14 percent to $710 (468 pounds) in after-hours trade from its close of $621.38 in regular trading.

“It’s not going to happen overnight but over time Google’s traffic will decline gradually and over time we expect one-third of the advertising dollar to shift to Baidu,” said Elinor Leung, a CLSA analyst in Hong Kong, said citing a 2-3 year period

Baidu captured more than 64 percent of China’s search market in the first quarter, up from 58.4 in the fourth quarter, while Google’s share fell to 31 percent from 35.6 percent, according to research firm Analysys International.

It is impressive that Baidu has been able to capitalize on Google’s withdrawal so quickly. They far outpaced analysts estimates of what they would make in the first quarter.


Home Sales Fall, Again.


Posted by Admin - March 23rd, 2010

In the month fo February, the sale of homes and condos sank, again, for the third month in a row. Existing home sales fell by .06%–not a major dip, but not quite the recovery many were expecting either.

Sales of existing homes have thus fallen three consecutive months, after having risen steadily through the fall in response to a federal subsidy for first-time home buyers. The tax credit has been restored and expanded to repeat buyers, but there has been no rebound in sales yet.

“The latest report adds further evidence that the extended home-buyers tax credit has so far failed to stimulate demand,” wrote Anna Piretti, an economist for BNP Paribas.

This fall could have a major effect on prognostications about the economy over the next year or so. Many economists were predicting a fairly quick recovery, but these numbers seem to contradict those claims.


The Best and Brightest


Posted by Admin - February 8th, 2010

Every year there is a ritual which millions of Americans participate in yearly, involving advertising and football. By the end of that first sentence every reader knew I was referring to the Superbowl Ads. They are the funniest, most effective, most expensive advertisements you will see on television each year. Many people who do not like football at all will gather around the television to watch the funniest advertisements the marketing industry has to offer.

Super Bowl advertisers, who adopted a more pragmatic approach in 2009, seemed to return to humor, relying on a familiar Big Game ad tactic: comedic violence. The shift, ad executives said, means marketers think recession-weary consumers want a reason to smile.

Budlight, Coke, and Snickers scored big points with me when I watched the game, but advertisers seemed to think a lot of the Denny’s and Doritos commercials.


Cash for New Cars


Posted by Admin - December 1st, 2009

A visit to virtually any car lot in the nation right now will tell you that the sale of automobiles has slowed down significantly over the past year or so. Having spoke with several car salesmen, I can tell you that they are really hurting in the industry. However, it seems that there may be some good news.

A new study released today shows that auto-industry sales number are increasing, although the climb is slow. GM, Ford, Toyota, and Honda all reported sales that were roughly equal to last month, which may signify that the falling sales have stopped and may be back on the upswing. Chrysler reported a 25% fall in sales, while Hyundai reported a 46% increase–clearly outperforming their competitors. This should be great news for car dealers all over the nation, even those who sell Chrysler’s, because an rising tide in the market will help to float all firms.

Sales were flat in October, so two consecutive months in which sales were largely unchanged is a positive sign for an industry suffering its steepest one-year slump since the 1970s.

More here.