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June 10, 2011     Post-Gazette
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June 10, 2011

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Page.4 PO.ST-GAZE.TTI,,J,UI 10, 2.0,11 FinanciailyS peaki n g Ben Doherty DEPARTMENT STORES DISAPPOINT Retailers disappoint with slow May sales. 58% of chains missed analysts' views. Luxury stores are do- ing well but the economic struggles hurt mid-level cus- tomers. Strong sales from luxury chains and higher gas prices mashed other- wise lackluster. My Retailer reports for May, as signs of a slowdown movement. Sales of stores open at least a year climbed 5.2% versus last year according to Retail Metrics. That beat its yearly forecasts of 5.1% but 58% of chains missed targets. Costco + 13% hikes led the market. It's obvious that gas prices are hurting the lower- end consumer. Luxury re- tailer Saks led with a 20.2% gain. JC Penney's same store sales fell 1%, while Target grew 2.8%. Target's CEO Greg Steinhafel said in a statement. His shoppers continue to shop 'cautiously in light of higher energy cost and inflationary pressures," he said. Macy's did best with a 7.4% same store sales gain. The S&P Index fell to a two month low. Zumiz, which sells to surfers, snowboarders and skateboarders sales fell 12%. in the U.S. hurt demand for sum- mer goods such as bathing suits, tank tops and outdoor patio furniture didn't sell. Joy Global earnings rose 32% to $1.52, beating by 17 cents as rising demand for metals spurred production. Revenue topped estimates as minors are expanding their production to keep up with demand. It revised its. full year estimate to 85.30- $5.60/share earnings..The stock climbed 5.4% to $90.51. The CEO of clipmaker Rich Templeton said that the analog sector offers the best volume. Con- tending that the ARM Hold- ing Company has done bet- ter than Intel and that Intel lost ground to the ARM hold- ings chips in the tablet PC market. Intel edged up.9% and ARM climbed 2.5%. Broadcoms CEO sees the chip design and Qualcom eventually combating the market. Qualcom rose 1.1% on the news. According to a University of Michigan sttrdy, deaths during major surgeries in the US have dropped signifi- cantly in the past decade. Death fell for high risk con- cerns and heart surgeries performed on 3.2 million people from 1999-2008. Can- cer surgery felll Heart sur- gery deaths fell 11-19%. Technology advances played a part. Hundreds of small hospitals stopped doing high risk cancer surgeries leav- ing it to better equipped larger hospitals. Based on air traffic data passenger traffic in April grew 11.9% versus last year and freight traffic rose 3.3%. United, Continental, US Air- ways and Alaska Air and other airlines face higher fuel prices and the offset of Japan's earthquake and tsu- nami. The industry will still make money this year but lower than the $8.6 billion in profits estimated. Mortgage rates hit a new low as fixed rates dropped to 4.53% the lowest this year. The 15 year rate fell to 3.74% a new low but this has not helped the housing market. OPEC may lift its oil .target for the first time in four years. They want to bring down oil prices amid signs the global economy is slow- ing.' Oil ministers said OPECs oil ministers meet on June 8 th. Oil prices are too high, $100/barrel, oil is scaring people one source said. The market CIPS Con- struction Index rose seven points in May to 54. Reading's above 50 indicate growth. Hiring in this sector rose for the first time in years raising hopes that con- struction will hold up despite deep cuts in government spending. The unemploy- ment report for May is up 180,400 and the jobless rate stayed at 9%. Alkermes expects a lift from its takeover of Elan Pharmaceuticals. It hasn't had a profit in two years. Revenue fell and profits dis- appeared. Alkermes logged strong losses in 2008, 2009 and 2010. On May 19 th it re- ported a loss of $13.1 million or .14C/share. Full year losses were .48/share ver- sus .42 in 2010. Analysts pulled support and expected it to double digit sales growth in the next three quarters. Several US siles of Ampru and could reach $500 million in the u.S. The 10 year US Treasury Note is seeking to yield 3.95% the first time it fell below the 3% level. It's time to call your financial advisor or call me at 617-261-7777. City Council at Large Racing Straight to November? by Sal Giarratani It appears there are only seven candidates for Boston City Council at Large who turned in the required sig- natures to make ballot status, which means no September preliminary elec- tion. All four incumbents, Stephen Murphy, John Connolly, Ayanna Pressley and Felix G. Arroyo will be on the ballot, as will former City Council President Michael F. Flaherty, Scan Ryan of Jamaica Plain and Will Dorcena of Hyde Park. Unless one of the other can- didates who turned in papers gets the required 1,500 sig- natures, all the candidates will have to stand by until November. It also means the campaign won't start this summer but will begin after Labor Day. The campaign's time will be shortened and there will be no Sep- tember primary to point out strengths and weaknesses to the candidates. None of those who've made ballot status seemed to downplay the lack of a preliminary election but as former City Councilor Michael McCormack says, "I The Agency for all your Insurance Coverages Richard Settipane ,AUTO HOMEOWNERS TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference SPECIALIST in RESTAURANT and BUSINESS POLICIES CALL TODAY FOR YOUR QUOTE 617-523-3456 - Fax 617-723-9212 1 Longfellow - Place Suite 2322 - Boston, MA 02114 Conveniently located with Free Parking think it changes it signifi- cantly. It's one roll of the dice. One day in November is going to decide it." Former City Councilor John Tobin added, "It's a clarion call to get out the votes in Novem- ber." As he said, if you needed to shake up your base before November, you're not going to have that opportunity this time around. My good friend and pO l- itical .consultant Joyce Ferriabough referring to Flaherty and the four incumbents stated, "Folks expect there to be some great political theater as it rolls down to November." I agree it has all the ingre- dients to make great HBO series, or in this case mini-series. by Sal Ciarratani /--- We are the Freedom Trail "Life isn't a master plan, so change it. Life is a song, so sing it." My car always has the radio playing. I love my music sta- tions like Oldies 103, WRKO, Magic 106.7, WJIB and WZLX. The other day I was listening to my old music on WJIB and the song playing was one of those old '70s soul songs and the above quote came from the lyrics of that old 45 record. Sometimes while driving and aging on the roads of life, you think about lots of things that have had a great impact on who you are, where you've been and where you're going. When I was young, I sang along with Paul McCartney as he thought about being 64 years old. Next year, I'm about to find out the meaning of that old song. I just heard Bob Dylan turned 70 years old and that Tonto has died. It is said that you are in big trouble if you have more memories than dreams. I still dream and sometimes I ac- tually remember them and understand their meanings. Sometimes it is just a mess of random thoughts spliced together in the dark. I have come to understand, there are but a handful of sto- ries in life. They get played over and over with slightly dif- ferent plots. The names changed, but the meat of the manner never changes. I re- membered walking across the Boston Common and passing by hustlers trying to make a quick buck off a game of three-card Monty. There's a pea somewhere but not where you think it is. You've been set-up and become just another pigeon. Sometimes I wonder why life has disappeared. The old days when things seemed easier and saner are no more. It has become a game of chance like what those hus- tiers play by a park bench. In the summer in Boston's North End, you see all the tourists following those red-colored bricks that make up the Free- dom Trail, taking folks from the Paul Revere House over to the Old North Church and beyond. God forbid anyone got lost on vacation. Lately, I've been talking retirement because I don't know ff I can take all this fun I'm having. What else might I do since I'll be living at f Pine Street without a retire- ment job? Perhaps, next time I'll enjoy my job better and not just watch the clock until quitting time. I've main- tained a good sense of humor over the years. It's part of the contents of my survival kit. After all that rain for most of May, many of us look so de- pressed we might as well need some meds to get by. It would be easier ff we had a master plan mapped out for us from our birth. A place of mind that offers an escape rather than locks that keeps us down. Life should be a song, a song to sing out loud. Often, we raise the white flag of surrender and say our hands are tied and there is noth- ing we can do. Such talk keeps our hands tied. Think- ing like that keeps us doing lots of nothing. We can always do something from singing to doing. Living a life of passive words will keep us down and hold us back. Words have power and power creates opportunity to stay the same or change. When you're driving down nowhere, you get there fast. We need to always be on the move seeking more out of life. Here I am one year shy of that old Beatles tune by McCartney and I still seek to dream. Doing nothing leads to nothing. We can whisper the song of life or we can scream it from the rooftops. Maybe, we need to take a real Freedom Trail walk to see both our past and our future. In the end, all of us are our own masters of our life's mas- ter plan. We become what we are. You can listen to all the old music you wish but never forget to sing those new songs lurking in our futures. Some- times all we see is good mu- sic. Is that enough for you? Should we be seeking a fu- ture to live for ahead of us that includes every part of our humanness? Listening to music is some- times much more than just old songs. Get a master plan and never quit before your time departs at the gate of life. Take your dreams along for the ride. Unchain yourself from your fears and quit and share in the job and not be the madness. I I I I " 345 Broadway, Revere 781-286-CASH I Honest & Trusted for 33 Years!! I NOBILE INSURAN ALBANO F. PONTE, CEP Financial and Estate Planning Email afponte @ Phone 617-320-0022 MICHAEL F. NOBILE, CPCU ARLINGTON 148A Massachusetts Avenue Arlington, MA 02474 (781) 646-1200 Fax (781) 646-1148 MEDFORD 39 Salem Street Medford, MA 02155 (781) 395-4200 Fax (781) 391-8493 BOSTON 30 Prince Street Boston, MA 02113 (617) 523-6766 Fax (617) 523-0078 J