It was a tough week for the U.S. economy:
- The Dow Industrials fell nearly 200 points to wind up at 11,951. It’s the sixth week in a row. The Dow suffered its longest slump through 2002. Blue-chip index fell below 12,000 for the first time since March. S&P 500 lost 2.2% this week to 1270.
- Ben Bernanke said the economic recovery remains “uneven.” But he is optimistic about growth in the second half of the year.
- OPEC warned on oil production; President Obama said he’d open up the U.S. strategic reserve
- First-time unemployment claims were higher than expected, at 427,000 once again. Only 25% of the 8.7 million jobs lost during the Great Recession have been recovered.
- The Federal Reserve (through the QEI and II) now owns more U.S. Debt than China.
- Investors are turning bearish. The latest weekly reading by the American Association of Individual Investors shows 47.7% of its members are negative on the stock market and a meager 24.4% are bullish. As Barron’s points out, “Bull markets rarely go kaput when just about everyone pays at least lip service to the need for caution.”
- Greece looks to be teetering on the brink of default, causing the international investing community to worry about Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy (the PIIGS).
Other News on the Ilyce Glink Show
- Would you spend $230,000 on a guard dog? Hard to imagine, but celebrities and the super-rich have decided that spending $40,000+ on security is extremely important. Dogs that have won awards go for a lot more. Julia, the dog profiled in today’s New York Times, speaks German, and is trained in the “sport of Schutzhund.” Her trainer says she is a “perfect lady” inside the house and ferocious outside.
- Citigroup announced a big data breach and said their network has been hacked. Possibly 200,000 or more have been affected (watch for a letter). According to the Associated Press, “In just the past three months, hackers have penetrated 100 million Sony PlayStation accounts, the networks of Lockheed Martin and the customer email databases of a company that does marketing for Best Buy and Target.
- What are college commencement speakers talking about? According to a New York Times analysis in today’s paper, world issues were mentioned 296 times; love and passion were mentioned 118 times; job, work and career issues were mentioned 243 times; and the economy and money were only mentioned 33 times – and money (or the lack thereof) is going to be a key driver in these graduates lives. (Oh, well. I guess if I’d been asked to give a commencement address, that number would have gone up a bit!)
READ MORE IN THE THINKGLINK COMMUNITY
We produce anywhere from 15 to 25 original pieces of content each week in the ThinkGlink community. Here’s what you’ll find online this week:
- This week, I wrote a story called Housing Market Predictions: Home Values Continue to Sink, where I talked about the results of the latest S&P Case/Shiller Home Value Index.
- Financial Planner Roger Wohlner talked about Why You Might Need Life Insurance In Retirement.
- There’s also a very helpful story on the Tax Differences Between Owning And Renting A Home by Eva Rosenberg.
- Linda Rey writes about How the Insurance Marketplace Can Affect Your Insurance Premiums.
- From the Equifax Personal Finance Blog’s credit experts this week, we have a post by CredAbility.org’s Mechel Glass: Avoiding Foreclosure: Learning How the Application Process Works Can Help Homeowners Get Their Mortgage Loan Modified.
- This week, you’ll find Top 5 Turnaround Towns: Home Prices Expected To Rise Here, What Can You Buy For Less Than $3,000?
- I also write some posts on what celebrities like Charlie Sheen and Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are buying or selling.
- When I filled in for Clark Howard, I blogged about Fraud Alerts and Security Freezes in the show notes.
- But be sure to check out the site for some of our great new posts. Sign for for the FREE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER (on any page of the website, check the right navigation bar) for the latest pieces and Sam’s Real Estate Law column.
Browse and Buy Ebooks and Podcasts in the Think Glink Store
Hope you have a great week! We have a fantastic show planned for next week. Don’t forget to tune in 11a to 1p ET or listen online at www.wsbradio.com.