U.S. factory production up, more claims in General Motors (GM) ignition switch recall and Apache (APA) selling stake in two natural gas projects.

Markets were heading lower on Monday morning after it was reported that U.S. factory production jumped higher in November. The Federal Reserve announced that production grew 1.1% last month and upwardly revised October’s growth by an additional 0.4%. This data surpassed economists’ expectations of a 0.5% rise for the month. Throughout the last 12 months, there has been a 4.8% gain in manufacturing output. The data has now surpassed the pre-recession high’s set in December 2007. There was a strong boost in domestic sales that was partially attributed to auto production, which gained 5.1% last month. There was also growth in food and wood, plastics and rubber-based products in November. Paul Dales, a senior economist with Capital Economist, said, “The strengthening in domestic demand is offsetting the effects of the weakening global backdrop and the stronger dollar.” Shares of General Motors Company (GM) were sinking down over 1% after the company reported a rise in claims for their ignition switch defect recall. The company received 64 claims in the last week, which has brought the total amount of claims to 2,326. There have been a total of 251 death claims, 156 for catastrophic injuries and 1,919 for other injuries, which still…

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Manufacturing slowed in November, Shopping season down from last year and more claims tied to General Motors (GM) recall

Markets were heading lower on Monday after manufacturing data slowed slightly in November. The Institute for Supply Management said that their November reading of national factory activity dropped to 58.7. This followed a three and a half year high in October of 59. Despite the drop, any reading above the 50 level indicates that the index is expanding. Joel Naroff, chief economist with Naroff Economic Advisors, said, “The world economy may be faltering, but that is not stopping the U.S. economy from improving.” There are 18 industries surveyed for the report and of them 14 reported growth in their sector. The data also outperformed economists’ expectations of a 58 reading. In a separate report, the National Retail Federation announced that this year’s big shopping weekend slowed from last year. The company said that shoppers spent 6.4% less over Thanksgiving weekend than they did this time last year. Costumers spent less on average as well. On average shoppers spent $380.95 at stores, which was also less than the $407.02 this time last year. Total spending was down roughly 11% to $50.9 billion throughout the holiday weekend. Shelley Kohan, vice president of RetailNext, said, “”Sales on Black Friday were very disappointing but…

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U.S. Postal Service data breach, McDonalds (MCD) sales down and General Motors (GM) ordered parts two months before recall

Markets were heading slightly higher on Monday after the United States Postal Service announced that there was a data breach the affected it’s employees and their call center. They reported that nearly 800,000 employees have had their personal information compromised along with customer’s data that called into the call center from January through August of this year. The information that was compromised from employees could include things such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and more. David Partenherimer, the spokesman for USPS, said that they start alerting employees on Monday morning and they would be covering a year of credit monitoring for it’s employees. He also said, “The intrusion is limited in scope and all operations of the Postal Service are functioning normally.” The FBI is leading the investigation. Shares of McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) were relatively flat after the company announced that worldwide sales at their established restaurants were down in October. The company partially attributed the drop from stiffer competition and their supplier scandal in Japan and China. Sales at stores open at least 13 months were down 0.5%. This did, however, beat out analysts’ expectations of a 2.2% drop. When focusing just on the U.S. same-store sales…

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ISM factory reading up, Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) sales hit higher and General Motors (GM) sales inch up.

Markets wavered on Monday after U.S. manufacturing data came in higher than expected for September. The Institute for Supply Management said that their national factory reading was up to 59 in October. This was up from the 56.6 recorded in September. The data blew past economist’s expectations of 56.2. Readings that come in above the 50 level show an expansion for the sector. Shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) were sinking after the company reported stellar sales. The company said that sales were up 22%. This marked the highest October on record since 2001. The boost was largely attributed to a growing demand for the company’s pickup trucks. The Ram truck showed sales of 39,834 vehicles, which was 36% higher over this time last year. Chrysler said that they sold 140,083 total vehicles last month. Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Chrysler, said, “Chrysler Group sales increased 22 percent in October, our eighth month of double-digit growth this year and our 55th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Chrysler Group is the industry’s fastest-growing automaker driven in part by sales of our all-new Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, and by the strong consumer demand for our award-winning…

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IBM posted loss, General Motors (GM) death total climbs to 29 from ignition recall and Toyota announces new recall

Markets wavered on Monday after shares of International Business Machines Corporation, better known as IBM, were slipping. The company posted a 4% decline in quarterly revenue for the third-quarter. The company said that revenue overall fell to $22.4 billion, which was down from the $23.34 billion this time last year. This missed analysts’ expectations of $23.37 billion. Profit from continuing operations also dropped to $3.46 billion, or $3.46 per share, from $4.14 billion, or $3.77 per share, this time last year. Chief Executive, Ginni Rometty, said, “We are disappointed in our performance. We saw a market slowdown in September in client buying behavior, and our results also point to the unprecedented pace of change in our industry.” The company has been taking steps to refocus their efforts on high-end products like Cloud and mobile security. Daniel Ives, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets, said that “IBM needs to find success and growth in the cloud through organic and acquisitive means in our opinion, otherwise there could be some darker days ahead for the tech giant (and it’s investors.)” Shares of General Motors (GM) were relatively flat on Monday after it was reported that the total number of deaths related to…

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U.S. growth projected lower, Tiffany & Co. (TIF) shares higher and General Motors (GM) moving SRX production to Tennessee

Markets were heading slightly higher on Wednesday morning after U.S. growth was forecast to rise a minimal 1.5% this year. The Congressional Budget Office announced that they are projecting slower growth, which was only underscored by the slow performance during the first quarter of the year. This is lower than the 2.6% projection that was reported in July by the White House. Throughout the first-quarter of the year the economy expanded at a 0.9% rate. For the coming year, the CBO said they are expecting growth of 3.4% during 2015 and 2016. They also added that they are expecting unemployment to drop below 6%. Maryland Representative, Chris Van Hollen, said, “There is no question we have made progress – businesses have added 9.9 million jobs over 53 straight months of job growth. But there is more we need to do.” Shares of Tiffany & Co. (TIF) were rising after the company reported that profits had grown over 16% during the second-quarter. The company partially attributed the rise to growing sales overseas. Same-store sales were up 3%, while earnings came in at $124.1 million, or $0.96 per share, beating out analysts’ expectations of $0.85 per share. The company also increased their…

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Priceline (PCLN) posts higher profits, Amazon.com (AMZN) in another dispute and General Motors (GM) facing another lawsuit

Markets were heading slightly higher on Monday morning after Priceline Group (PCLN) announced a rise in profits. The online travel site said that they had higher than expected quarterly profits, which was partially attributed to a rise in hotel and airline bookings. Net profits were up to $576.5 million, or $10.89 per share during the second-quarter, which was up from the $437.3 million, or $8.39 per share at this time last year. Revenue was up 26% to $2.12 billion. Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) shares were moving higher after the company was reportedly stopped certain Disney movie preorders while a dispute rises with Hachette. The company is, what appears to be, in another contract dispute with publisher Hachette Book Group. Physical copies of certain films were not available to pre-order yesterday on Amazon.com. Movies included were ones such as “Malificent” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The digital pre-orders were still available. The recent argument between the two companies has been over the price that Amazon can charge for e-books. Hachette is the fourth-largest U.S. book publisher. Hachette’s CEO Michael Pietsch, said, “Both Hachette and Amazon are big businesses and neither should claim a monopoly on enlightenment, but we do believe in…

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Markets up after U.S. military strikes in Iraq, McDonalds (MCD) feeling affects of China food scare and General Motors (GM) announces third recall

Markets were headed higher on Friday after it was announced that the United States bombed Islamic State positions on Iraq. It was announced that U.S. warplanes struck Iraq for the first time since American forces left the country in 2011. President Obama gave approval on relief supplies and air strikes overnight. This news comes shortly after President Obama said that we must act to prevent potential genocide of minorities. Shares of McDonald’s Corp (MCD) were down slightly after the company announced that they were not sure if they would reach their 2014 sales growth for the year after the recent food scare in China. The company had to quickly find new suppliers so that they would still be able to produce their Chicken McNuggets and Big Macs after a TV report in China showed factory workers using expired meat products and tampering with production dates. Customers have also been turning elsewhere for their fast food meals once the report aired. Mark Kalinowski, an analyst with Janney Capital Markets, said that this warning could potentially cause the first full year of global sales declines at the restaurant since 2002. McDonalds announced on Monday that sales in both China and Japan were…

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Consumer sentiment up in June, Nike (NKE) on the rise after World Cup exposure and General Motors (GM) recalls after lawsuit

Markets were heading lower after the final reading for June’s consumer sentiment data came in showing a gain. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s reading for June showed an increase to 82.5 from May’s 81.9. This surpassed analysts’ expectations of 82. The barometer of current economic conditions crept up from May’s 94.5 to 96.6 in June. This was above expectations of 96.0. There was, however, a drop in one section of the report. The gauge of consumer expectations fell from 73.7 to 73.5. The survey’s director, Richard Curtin, said, “Consumers believe the first decline in economic activity was due to the hard winter weather, and that the economy has already returned to positive economic growth.” Shares of Nike, Inc. (NKE) were on the rise after the company reported a giant leap during their fourth-quarter. The company reported $698 million in profits and $7.43 billion in revenue. Both of these numbers beat out analysts’ expectations. There was a large increase in their soccer revenue of 21% to a grand total of $2.3 billion for the year. Nike has been getting massive global exposure at the World Cup. Nike has been dressing 10 teams during the World Cup, including the U.S. team. They…

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General Motors (GM) Recall Drama, while Consumer Sentiments Impresss

General Motors

Markets were headed slightly lower on Friday morning after the U.S. producer prices index dropped in February. The Labor Department announced that the seasonally adjusted producer price index fell 0.1%. This was below the 0.2% increase economists were expecting. The dip was partially attributed to a drop in costs for services. The data shows little sign of rising inflation pressures. Inflation has maintained incredibly low levels in the most recent years due to high unemployment rates. This data leads many to believe the Fed will continue to hold their interest rates near the zero mark for months to come. John Canally, an economist and investment strategist with LPL Financial, said, “There is nothing in this report that raises any concerns about inflation. The economy is running too far below capacity for that to happen.” The index was recently renamed and had the service industry and construction added to it’s roster of sectors included in the data. The previous name for the index was the PPI for finished goods. Consumer Sentiment readings came in this morning and were below analysts expectations. The preliminary reading of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan overall index showed that sentiment was down to 79.9 in March…

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