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April 2, 2010     Post-Gazette
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April 2, 2010
 

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 2, 2010 = peaking .,t. Ben Doherty MIXED The stock market is warm and cold in the past week. New home sales fell to a record low last month and bad weather discouraged buying. But orders for big ticket items like appliances and airplanes rose for a third straight month suggesting that manufacturing will con- tinue to lead the economy. New home sales fell 3.2% in February, the lowest rate since records started in 1963. Wall Street expected sales of 8308,000 on flat news. New home sales fell 20% in the Northeast, 18% in the Midwest and 4.6% in the south and gained 21% in the west. Orders for non- defense capital goods ex- cluding aircrafts rose for the third time in four months. They continue to see strong gains in industrial produc- tion as manufacturing is doing quite well. The econ- omy surged to a 5.9% annual pace. Tepid consumer spend- ing, tight credit and weak hourly housing data are among the culprits. Medial new house sales rose 6% in February to $220,500. It rose 52% versus a year ago, but the best since Septem- ber 2007. It would take 9.2 months to sell the supply of new homes at the annual sale price. February home resales fell .6% at an annual $5.02 million, the biggest since June according to the National Association of Realtors. The government has tried to expand sales by use of a tax credit. The Fed- eral Reserve has bought a lot of mortgages to keep rates low. Many analysts remain upbeat that a grow- ing economy will start to aide jobs and spur demand for jobs and homes. Stocks NEWS FROM THE ECONOMY fell after Fitch cut its rating on Portugal raising fears that Greece's debt crisis could spread to other Euro- pean countries. The Dow and the S&P sank .5% and the NASDAQ dropped, losing .7%. The 10-year US trea- suries yield shot up 15 ticks to 3.84% after a note auc- tion. Best Buy tops views as Notebooks and TVs fly off the shelves. Best Buy earned $1.82/share up 13% from last year and .3 over the average estimates of ana- lysts polled by S&P. Sales rose 12% to $16.5 billion, 3% over forecasts. Some share sales rose 7.4% up from last year's 4.8% de- cline. Analyst's expectations already were high as Best Buy reported a 13% in De- cember sales. Earnings jumped for the new year end- ing February 27TM, revenues jumped 10%, and earnings of $3.16/share for the current year. Consumers are willing to open their wallets in tough economic times. Qual- comm raises its guidance for the current quarter on strong chip sales and business. Lululemon, a specialty re- tailer of yoga and athletic wear said profits doubled as sales shot up 55%. Best Buy frequently maintained con- nected content referring to consumers adding attach- ments to the TVs or PCs. Best Buy plans to sell mil- lions of connectabIe devices. Fourth quarter sales rose 20% to $2 billion and sales of home office products rose 33%. Americans love their big TVs but sales of home office products rose to $2 bil- lion, with other home office products rising 33% and con- sumers are willing to update their offices and homes. RATE *APR RATE *APR RATE *APR RATE *APR 419 Broadway ~ Everett, MA 617-387-1110 Member FDIC Equal Housing Lender www.everettbank.com Member SIF *Annual Percentage Rates (APR) effective March 29, 2010. All Rates and APR's are calculated based on a $150,000 toen for an owner occupied dwelling, with 20% dowr~ payment. Rates on Adjustable Rata MortgaDes are fixed for the first, 7 or 10 years; then adjust annually at 2.75% above ~e weekly average yie{d on tie U S Treasury Index adjusted to a constant maturity of 1 year. The ~ndpal and interest payments for a 7/1 ARM with 0 points is $5.37 per $1,0~ borrowed. The ~ncipal and interest paymentafora lO/t ARM with 0 points is $5.37 per $1,000 barrowed. Caps on the 7 and 10YearAdjustab~e2J4. AIIrsteson Adjustable Rate Mortgages are subject to increase alter consummation of the ioen. The pdndpal end intera, st payments for the 15 Year F~ed Rata Mortgage wi~ 0 points is $7.65 per $1,000 borrowed. The pnndal and interest payment for the 30 Year Fixed Rated Mor~jage with 0 points for 30 years is $5.44 per $1,0~ borrowed. They have attracted more female shoppers, a trend that is very encouraging. Oracle's sales growth, ex- cluding SUN, which it took over in January, as the world's leader in database software and #2 to SAP, in business applications. Ora- cle is widely seen as a proxy for global tech spending. Ex- cluding SUN, Oracle's sales growth was its best since the August 2008 quarter. Oracle fell 1% in late trading. France has agreed to help heavily indebted Greece with a loan. Obamacare redistributes wealth from the rich to mod- est earners. Employers with over 50 employees who don't offer coverage will have to pay $2,000 per full-time worker. Firms with 50 em- ployees would have to pay a $42,000 fine with the 51st employee and another $2,000 for each additional one. Smaller firms would have lower labor costs, and Obamacare will be an incen- tive to outsource for larger twms. The jump in costs with the 51st worker will limit growth as it will lock work- ,ers into their jobs and in- creases the harm of layoffs. The stock market rises and fizzles in low volume as the market consolidated its re- cent run up. The sinking of a South Korean vessel didn't affect the market as the cause was unclear, Greece's debt crisis didn't affect the market, but the market was in a correction for the month of February. Leaders such as Apple and Green Mountain Coffee are up moderately from recent buying levels on good earnings. The market k by Sal Giarratani Obama Ain't No L.B.J. I grew up in a very Demo- cratic household in the 50s and 60s. My father who worked in the W.P.A Depres- sion hailed Franklin Delano Roosevelt as America's greatest president. He also admired Lyndon BRines Johnson for his strong lead- ership both at home and abroad. In later years, he turned to the Republican Party as did many blue col- lar workers who had seem- Ingly been forgotten by Washington, D.C. Over the past year or so since President Barack Obama took over the Oval Office, there have been many who called him a so- cialist. Democratic leaders mock that characterization but actions do speak louder than words. The latest rush to ram through a healthcare over- haul unacceptable to a ma- jority of Americans pits our governors against the gov- erned. The American people have been speaking loud and clear that ObamaCare isn't in our best interests. How- ever, the Democrats in Con- gress along with President Obama obviously doesn't care about what we want and what we oppose. What is behind this kind of attitude toward the people? President Obama seems quite insistent to "do it for the American people" when in actuality it really is more like do it to the American people. Why do our president and Democrat members of Congress in both Houses do what they do? The people speak out loud and clear in opposition to ObamaCare and yet the march toward the government takeover of health care marches on against the voice of the people. Recently, someone I know who called me an idiot for not supporting Obama said he was sorry he ever voted for the guy saying, "The presi- dent is a communist." I am not quite ready to call Obama that term yet but it does seem that our president is a socialist. I remember back in my younger days we had a presidential candidate named Norman Thomas who ran for president nu- merous times. When I was a college student in political science class, we studied all about Eugene Debs who ran as a socialist some 90 years ago. President Obama is much further to the left than Franklin Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson, two presidents he is linked to by the national media. Obama seemingly moves forward with his agenda to the "Europe- ization of America." Two hundred, thirty-four years ago we declared our inde- pendence from that very idea. We threw England out of America to create the American way of self-gov- ernment. We were the place where the people governed. We were of, for and by the people. Here is one American who can't wait for January 20, 2013 and the hope of a new president getting us back on track again. i:h l:skitgu fr an:attalYnS~" that Id ~-toly~glstcr It's time to call your II Bay State Chapter FREEDOMS FOUNDATION financial advisor or call me I I Judge Joseph V Ferrino (ret) John Gillis, President atHApPY61 7-26EASTER1- 7777. TO ALL! II Founder/Exec. 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