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December 23, 2011     Post-Gazette
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December 23, 2011

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, DECEMBER 23, 2011 FinanciallyS peaki n g with Ben Doherty ZYNGA IPO STUMBLES AS STOCK DROPS 5% Analysts say big numbers of restricted stock made in- stitutions pause. Zynga ended its first trading down 5% @ 9.50 after pricing its stock @ $10. The top ends of its range investors were a little jittery. Still Zynga raised $I billion, making it the largest IPO since Google which raised $1.67 billion. While Google richly rewarded early investors, the jury is still out on Zynga and other internets that have gone public in the recent past. Linkedln faired better than Zynga on their first few days unlike Groupon and Angie's List but they all traded on lower than their "pop" prices. Zynga is profitable but inves- tors fear its reliance on Facebook. Zynga reported net income of $597 million in 2010, and earned $30.7 mil- lion on sales of $828 million in the current quarter. But the current quarter at least $510 million came from em- ployees' restricted stock which matured with the of- fering. This scared even some institutional investors. Stock analyst Bhatia rates the stock as underperform- ing, but other tech watchers are still bullish. Starting in 2012 the company is coming out with new games and whether they can be as suc- cessful as the older games remains to be seen. This will drive trading on the NASDAQ to new lows. Lows outnum- bered new highs every day of the week. Among Investor's Daily 197 groups, only three groups rose more than 1% for the week. Airlines, newspa- pers and cement and only two other stocks gained more than 1% for the week. Alevion Pharmacy and Dollar General. The S&P 500's weekly loss was 2.8%. From a longer prospective, cash is king even gold has lost its luster. The SPDR Index fell almost 7% for the week. Mar- ket Watches, blamed the trimming of the Indexes on a report that Fitch threatened to cut ratings on six Euro- pean Union nations. Italy, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Slovenia and Cyprus, but it affirmed France's AAA rating after the close, but down- graded Belgium's rating by two notches on Monday. Af- ter nine years and 4500 American lives the United States formally ended its military mission in Iraq starting with our $800 mil- lion in cash. The number of jobless claims rank is 366,000 for the week, the lowest since May 2008. The PPI rose 8% over analysts' earnings estimates. Worst year since 2008. Isn't likely to be a breakout with little reduction in unemployment until after the 2012 elec- tions. Jobless claims falling to a three year low as strong factory surveys offered fur- ther evidence that the U.S. economy is in better shape than the rest of the world. The European debt crisis and Congress' statement on extended Medicare. The four year moving average dropped to a seasonable ad- justed 385,000 and the low- est level since May 2008. Analysts say retailers kept staff over Thanksgiving prob- ably helped. 16 th Annual Taste of Eastie East Boston Main Streets will host the 16 ta Annual Taste of Eastie at the Hilton Boston Logan Airport on Thursday evening January 19, 2012. Entertainment will be provided by DJ John Dudley. Food and fun highlight this wonderful evening including raffles and auctions. Over twenty-five local restaurants will showcase their delicious cuisine from South and Central American favorites to Mediterranean, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Italian and American. Tickets can be purchased at MP&CO Or the Main Streets office at 146 Maverick Street or Online at or by calling 617- 561-1044. Tickets make great gifts for the Holidays so call nowT About East Boston Main Streets. EBMS is a non-profit corporation. Our mission is to create vibrant business districts by initiating private and public improvements, promoting commerce, and supporting efforts that improve the quality of life for all who live, work and do business in East Boston. ,Seasons C reetin00s (o a ,/Ill the 00Bcst th, ru q 00?olanda an Cellucci and Grandchildren Milan, 0000llec f imitri Q,-R.) Brown Fights VA Bureaucracy US Senator Scott Brown, R-MA. recently held a two- hour meeting at Quincy City Hall concerning the bureau- cracy of the VA system. At this session, he heard from veterans, veteran agents and the director of the VA's Boston regional office. It seemed appropriate for Brown, a member of the Sen- ate Veterans Affairs Com- mittee and also an officer in the Massachusetts Army National Guard to hold this hearing in Quincy. Brown didn't fault the VA for any lack of concern but he sympathized with all those who spoke before him at Quincy City Hall about the long delays that tens of thou- sands of veterans say they face when applying for ben- efits. Over a dozen veterans from Quincy and the South Shore were in attendance to let Brown know their per- sonal stories on the VA log jam they were facing. They all did agree that the VA has been overwhelmed by new claims from Iraq and Af- ghanistan veterans. Brown added that claims have doubled since 2001 and said the VA is aiming to cut the average time to complete a claim by two-thirds by 2015. Brown listened to all the personal experiences veter- ans have had to survive. One story stood out. Paul DeMaio of Plymouth was a retired state trooper who was called up for active duty with his Guard unit in 2003 in the first months of the Iraq in- vasion. The supply convoy he was on was under con- stant fire. Today, eight years later, he suffers from post- traumatic stress disorder, hearing and memory loss from a later stroke. He is still struggling to get full disability benefits from the Veterans Administra- tion. According to a news story in the Patriot-Ledger, DeMaio told Brown about his ordeal and stated, "I hope no one has to go through what I've been going through." This past September, the VA gave him a 60 percent dis- ability status which he is now appealing with the help of Brown's office. As a Vietnam-era US Air Force veteran and past pub- lic communications officer for Dorchester's DAV, Post 13, I appreciated Sen. Brown taking the time to listen to our disabled veterans. In the military, there's a saying, "Leave no one behind." The VA system is doing the best it can but there is still room for much improvement un- til the VA leaves no veteran behind a wall of paperwork. Fighting the enemy was bad enough but taking on gov- ernment bureaucracy can seem worse at times. Folks like Paul DeMaio have gone through enough nightmares, haven't they? Happy Holidays from CO-OPERATIVE Bank 419 Broadway Everett, MA 02149 Member FDIC