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October 1, 2014

Hong Kong

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Hong Kong

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September 29, 2014

Bond Warnings Emerge as

Filed under: online, technology — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 5:52 am

For bond investors who are convinced a lack of inflation will keep the Federal Reserve from upending Treasuries when it begins to raise interest rates, there

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September 27, 2014

Worst drop for stocks since July as Apple sinks

Filed under: Homes, management — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 12:36 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A swoon in technology stocks left the market with its worst drop since July.

Apple sank nearly 4 percent after the company pulled a software update for the iPhone after users complained that they weren’t able to make calls.

The Dow Jones industrial average slumped 264 points, or 1.5 percent, to 16,945 Thursday. That wiped out the Dow’s gain of 154 points the day before. The index down 2 percent for the week.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 32 points, or 1 payday loans.6 percent, to 1,966.

The Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, fell 88 points, or 1.9 percent, to 4,466.

U.S. government bond prices rose sharply as investors sought safety. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.51 percent.

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September 25, 2014

U.S. durable goods fell 18.2 percent in August

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WASHINGTON • Business orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell by a record amount in August, dragged lower by a plunge in demand for commercial aircraft. But orders in a key category that tracks business investment plans posted a gain.

Orders for durable goods fell 18.2 percent in August following a 22.5 percent increase in July, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Both the big increase and the big drop were records. They reflected a sharp swing in demand for commercial aircraft, an extremely volatile category that can skew overall results. Airplane orders fell 74.3 percent in August.

A key category that serves as a proxy for business plans for investment rose 0.6 percent. Manufacturing production has been a key source of strength for the economy this year, and economists are looking for this to continue.

Economists are looking for businesses to step up spending to expand and modernize their operations, a move that will help economic growth.

In addition to the decline in demand for commercial aircraft, orders for motor vehicles and parts also fell, declining 6.4 percent after a 10 percent increase in July. The August dip was expected to be temporary given the strong sales gains automakers have enjoyed this year.

Excluding the volatile transportation category, orders would have risen 0.7 percent in August after a 0.5 percent drop outside of transportation in July.

Industries showing higher demand in August included machinery, where orders rose 0.7 percent and electrical equipment and appliances, where orders rose 3.1 percent.

A separate report from the Federal Reserve showed that manufacturing output declined 0.4 percent in August, marking the first decline in seven months. The drop in production came from a sharp fall in production at auto plants, due mainly to seasonal adjustment issues paydayloan.

Broad increases in manufacturing this year have pointed to stronger growth across the economy, suggesting that manufacturers expect business investment and consumer spending to improve in the coming months.

A closely watched index compiled by the Institute for Supply Management showed that manufacturing rose to the highest level in more than three years. The ISM manufacturing gauge increased to 59 in August, the highest point since March 2011. The index in July stood at 57.1. Any reading above 50 signals that manufacturing is growing.

Factories are benefiting from strong demand for aircraft, furniture and steel. The boost in manufacturing has helped to offset a slowdown in home building. But U.S. manufacturers face challenges in some of their major export markets. The European economy is performing sluggishly while slower growth in China has weighed on business activity in that country.

The U.S. economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at a 4.2 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter. It was a significant rebound from the 2.1 percent contraction in the first quarter that reflected in part a severe winter that disrupted the economic activity. That GDP figure will be revised for a final time on Friday and many economists believe it will adjusted higher, to a growth rate of 4.6 percent.

Economists expect that continued gains in employment will spur consumer spending and translate into annual growth of around 3 percent in the second half of this year.

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September 24, 2014

Tim Hortons, Burger King deal moves ahead as U.S. cracks down on tax inversions

Filed under: Business, money — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 9:04 am

Plans by the U.S. Treasury Department to crack down on corporate inversions will not affect Burger King Worldwide Inc.’s deal to buy Tim Hortons Inc.

The agreement is “moving forward as planned,” Tim Hortons spokesperson Scott Bonikowsky said in an email. “As we’ve said previously, this deal has always been driven by long-term growth and not by tax benefits.”

Still, investors fretted over what the move by the U.S. government could mean for other pending deals.

Burger King’s stock fell 83 cents (U.S) to close at $30.23 (U.S.) per share on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday while on the Toronto Stock Exchange, shares of Tim Hortons fell 9 cents (Canadian) to close at $88.04 (Canadian)

Shares of Pfizer Inc., which tried this year to buy AstraZeneca Plc and move abroad, fell 13 cents (U.S.) to close at $30.05 (U.S.) apiece.

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Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew unveiled new rules late on Monday that will make it harder for U.S. companies to move their addresses outside the country to reduce their taxes.

Those measures include a prohibition on what are known as “hopscotch” loans that allow companies access foreign cash without paying U.S. taxes.

“This action will significantly diminish the ability of inverted companies to escape U.S. taxation,” Lew told reporters, adding that some firms considering these deals may find that “inversions so longer make economic sense.”

The rules, which target what are known as inversions, apply to deal that close starting Tuesday.

The move was expected, tax experts say, but “what came as a surprise is how aggressive it was. It was very expansive, more so that people expected,” said James Hines, a law professor at the University of Michigan who specializes in tax and economics.

“This is actually a pretty small tax issue,” Hines added. “It’s not in the top 10 of pressing tax policy issues, but it gets a lot of attention. It’s very visible to people. Tim Hortons and Burger King are household names.”

The Treasury announcement heightened the tension between the government and companies considering obtaining a foreign address to lower their tax bills. Lew and President Barack Obama made clear that they were prepared to use rulemaking authority to try to stop some deals, even at the risk of a backlash from the companies and from Republicans, who complained that Lew’s moves went too far.

“It will certainly persuade some companies not to do these transactions but ultimately there’s a perception these transactions will continue to occur because the tax costs the remaining U.S. parent company remains high,” said Dan Lundenberg, partner and national leader on U.S. corporate tax services at Grant Thornton Consulting in Toronto.

“It will make these transactions more difficult but it’s not likely to shut them down completely,” Lundenberg said.

Boarder corporate tax reform is unlikely to come before this year’s mid-term elections in November, or even the U.S. presidential election in 2016, tax experts say.

Technology giants Apple Inc. and Google Inc. are two high-profile examples of companies that have acknowledged that they use legal loopholes to keep billions of dollars in profits offshore as part of efforts to reduce their U.S. corporate tax bills.

“The U.S. needs more fundamental reform and that would bring a great deal of new tax revenues, instead of tweaking the system at the margin,” said Art Cockfield, law professor at Queen’s University.

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September 22, 2014

U.S. conducts first airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State

Filed under: Mortgage, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 8:32 pm

The U.S. conducted its first airstrikes in Syria, a major expansion of President Barack Obama’s effort to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist Islamic State.

“U.S. military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said tonight in an e-mailed statement.

The U.S. is seeking to reverse the advances of Islamic State, a Sunni extremist group that has seized a swath of territory across Iraq and Syria. The U.S. has conducted more than 190 airstrikes against Islamic State targets, all of them in Iraq until now. ISIL is an acronym for the group’s former name.

Obama said in a televised speech on Sept. 10 that he would “not hesitate to take action” against the group “in Syria as well as Iraq.”

“The decision to conduct theses strikes was made earlier today by the U.S. Central Command commander under authorization granted him by the commander in chief,” Kirby said tonight in his statement.

While Iraq’s government has invited the U.S. and other nations to help it fight Islamic State, no such request has come from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose ouster the U.S. seeks.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a U.S. Senate hearing on Sept. 17 that in helping to defend Iraq, “you have a right of hot pursuit, you have a right to be able to attack those people who are attacking you as a matter of self- defense.”

Russia’s Opposition

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin, whose country backs Assad, told the UN Security Council on Sept. 19 that any attacks inside Syria without Assad’s approval would be “considered illegal” under international law.

Some U.S. allies have also shown reluctance to extend the strikes into Iraq.

While France has joined the U.S. in airstrikes in Iraq, President Francois Hollande ruled out attacking in Syria.

“We’re very concerned with the aspects of international law,” Hollande said last week at a press conference. “We’ve been called in by the Iraqis; we’re not called on in Syria.”

Army General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate hearing last week that about two-thirds of Islamic State’s personnel, which the Central Intelligence Agency estimates at roughly 20,000 to 31,500, are in Syria credit report.

Dempsey told the panel that attacks on Syria “will not look like ‘shock and awe’” airstrikes that opened the 2003 Iraq War because that isn’t how Islamic State is organized, “but it will be persistent and sustainable.”

‘Targeted Actions’

“This plan includes targeted actions” against Islamic State positions, including “command and control, logistics capabilities and infrastructure,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said last week.

“Only in Syria can ISIS be defeated,” said Jean-Pierre Filiu, a former French diplomat who served in Syria and is now a professor of Middle East studies at Sciences Po, a university in Paris. ISIS is an acronym for a former name of Islamic State.

“The head of the snake is in Syria,” Filiu said by video teleconference at a forum today sponsored by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

As the U.S. expands its air campaign over Syria, the Pentagon has at its disposal manned B-1B bombers and F-16, F-15E and F/A-18 fighters. It also has Predator drones capable of dropping laser and satellite-guided bombs, including one with a 13-pound warhead called the AGM-176 Griffin.

Tomahawk Missiles

U.S. flexibility in hitting Islamic State targets also is aided by the capabilities of the latest version of Raytheon Co.’s Tomahawk cruise missiles, which can be redirected in flight to new targets. The Navy has warships in the Persian Gulf capable of launching Tomahawks.

The latest Tomahawk’s “key advantage” is “you fly it and it can receive changes in targeting, changes in direction,” the Navy’s chief of operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, told reporters last year. “It can go up and actually loiter.”

Airstrikes are just the beginning of what will be needed to defeat Islamic State in what promises to be a years-long mission that ultimately will require some trained ground troops, said Michael Eisenstadt, director of the Washington Institute’s military and security studies program.

“On its own, it won’t be enough to defeat ISIS,” Eisenstadt said at the forum today.

While Obama is counting on Iraqi and moderate Syrian rebel ground troops, “Our battlefield partners in Iraq and Syria are not ready yet,” Eisenstadt said.

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September 21, 2014

G-20 says close to goal of $2 trillion in growth

Filed under: Homes, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 5:40 am

SYDNEY (AP) — Finance chiefs from the 20 largest economies say they are close to reaching their goal of boosting world GDP by more than $2 trillion over the next five years.

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey is the host of the Group of 20 meeting in the northern Australian city of Cairns. He said on Sunday that the G-20 finance ministers and central bankers had agreed to more than 900 policy initiatives to meet the goal they set earlier this year.

The G-20 said an analysis of those initiatives show they should boost the combined gross domestic product of member countries by 1.8 percent above levels expected for the next five years. That’s just short of the group’s target of 2 percent.

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September 19, 2014

Leading Economic Indicators in U.S. Increased 0.2% in August - Bloomberg

Filed under: Finance, marketing — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 9:52 am

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September 17, 2014

Meet Dr. Zane Cohen, the face of Rob Ford

Filed under: Mortgage, legal — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 6:56 pm

Dr. Zane Cohen, the man leading Mayor Rob Ford’s medical team, is an expert in colon and rectal surgery with a storied history.

Cohen became the public face of Ford’s medical saga with an abdominal tumour when he delivered a statement to the media Thursday evening at Mount Sinai Hospital.

“We are not going to have the results of the biopsy for another week,” Cohen told reporters. “Until we have that, there’s very little I can tell you as far as what we are going to have to do.”

Though his 45-year medical career has focused on colon and rectal surgery, Cohen proved himself a deft hand at public relations when it came time to field questions.

As TV cameras rolled, Cohen batted away reporters’ enticements to speculate about Ford’s prognosis.

“As a doctor, we don’t deal in possibilities. We deal in facts. We don’t have those facts. We won’t have the biopsy results for another week,” Cohen said payday loans. “And when that happens, we will inform the family and we will proceed from there.”

Possibly drawing on his teaching experience as a professor of surgery at the University of Toronto, Cohen shushed clamouring reporters with a raised hand and delivered a brief “anatomy lesson” on the colon.

Asked by one reporter whether the stress of the mayoral campaign could be a possible factor into the tumour’s growth, Cohen curtly replied: “I’m not a believer in stress-related masses.”

Cohen was awarded a medical degree in 1969 by the University of Toronto, according to his biography on Mount Sinai Hospital’s website. He is the director of a centre for digestive diseases at the hospital that bears his name.

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September 16, 2014

US stocks open lower ahead of Fed meeting

Filed under: management, money — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 11:12 am

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are falling in early trading ahead of an important Federal Reserve meeting.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,979 shortly after markets opened Tuesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 40 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,990. The Nasdaq fell 13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,505.

Fed policy makers start a two-day meeting Tuesday and many investors expect the central bank to indicate that it is moving closer to raising its key interest rate as the economy continues to strengthen. The Fed has held the rate close to zero for more than five years, which has helped the stock market surge.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note eased to at 2.58 percent from 2.59 percent late Monday.

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