Saturday, May 30, 2015

Customer Satisfaction Ratings for Cable TV and Internet are not Good

Customer Satisfaction Ratings, cable tv, internet

Almost all the Cable TV providers got the lowest scores possible for value. Customers seems always dissatisfied with pay TV and Internet providers, they consistently receive poor ratings. Most of the complaint are rising monthly bills, poor customer service and little flexibility in packages. It has plagued major players like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and others.

In the latest Consumer Reports survey, it asked customers to rate TV, Internet, and phone services, as well as bundled packages, and the ratings for value was so bad 38 out of the 39 Internet services, and 20 out of the 24 TV providers, received the lowest possible scores possible and 19 out of the 20 bundles have also received poor scores.

Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications are in the bottom of the pack along with Comcast.

Here's the report

Thursday, May 21, 2015

U.S. jobless claims Up to 274,000

U.S. jobless claims, jobless, claims

US citizens who are filing new claims for unemployment benefits went up last week. The initial jobless claims went up by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 274,000 in the week ended May 16 according to the Labor Department. The forecast was 271,000.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Fed rate hike likely in June According to Policymakers

- Fed have 2 more months of data before next meeting
- Williams: Don't want to be locked into set pace of rate hikes
- Markets are discounting June rate hike, see December likely

The Federal Reserve is likey to raise interest rates this coming June, according to 2 top US central bankers last Friday. As long as economic data strengthens as expected from a dismal first quarter. It came from the hawkish-leaning chief of the Cleveland Fed and from the centrist head of the San Francisco Fed.

The Fed has maintained the interest rates near zero since December 2008. The key, both Loretta Mester, president of the Cleveland Fed, and John Williams, president of the San Francisco Fed, said, is that by a quirk of the calendar there will be two more months of data for many of the key gauges the Fed follows, including the US jobless rate, jobs gains, retail sales and others. All scheduled Fed policy meetings, including the next one, in June, are "on the table," Mester told reporters in Philadelphia. "There are a whole bunch of data releases that will come out between now and June. But to me the employment reports will be indicative of a lot."

The US economy's weak winter performance, including near-zero growth in gross domestic product, has pushed back market expectations for a policy tightening to September or December, when key Fed meetings are also scheduled. Yet the Fed has telegraphed a rate hike this year, and unemployment, at 5.5 percent, is not too far from what many economists believe represents full employment.

"I agree with the way my colleague Loretta Mester put it," Williams told reporters after a speech at Chapman University, repeating Mester's phrase that all meetings are "on the table." "Really positive data trends, improvement in the labor market, signs that improve the confidence and the expectation that inflation will move back to 2 percent - I mean could imagine that constellation of data coming in, whether before June or meetings right after that too," Williams said. "But that would require the data to be good."

Both Mester and Williams pointed to recent data showing inflation may be firming, suggested they are gaining confidence it is heading toward the Fed's 2 percent target. Looking beyond the Fed's first rate hike, Williams said the US central bank should put some "space" between the start of policy normalization and the decision to allow the Fed's giant balance sheet to shrink.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

China's Foreign Direct Investment is Up by 2.2% in March at $12.4 billion

China has gained $12.4 billion of foreign direct investment in March which is up by 2.2% from a year earlier according to the Ministry of Commerce. Last February they have tallied $8.56 billion FDI which is  0.9% higher than a year earlier. China first quarter (January-March) FDI for the year 2015 is up by 11.3% at $34.88 billion.

This is good news considering a series of bad news about China economy, like slowing industrial activity and decreasing GDP.

Investment from European countries posted large year-on-year gains in the 1st quarter of 2015, with France and UK investment up 40% and 259% respectively. In aggregate, European Union countries invested $2.02 billion, up 30.5%.

Friday, April 3, 2015

McDonald's Raises Wage by $1 an hour, Workers say not Enough

McDonald, McDonald wages, McDonald slave

Ronald McDonald won't happy about this news. McDonald's announced that they will be increasing the wages for their 90,000 employees of about at least $1 an hour more than the minimum wage. However, workers and labor groups are not happy about the increase they say that the pay-increase plan is too little for too few people. Since the pay hike will not cover the employees at franchises, which make up 90% of McDonald's roughly 14,000 U.S. stores. The pay hike will start July 1.

Organizers are planning a massive rally scheduled on April 15, they are fighting for a $15 hourly minimum wage.

The company said that by the end of 2016, the average hourly wage for McDonald's workers at those stores will be more than $10 an hour, up from $9 an hour.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gold at 2 and half week high, Euro Gains Against Dollar

Hong Kong Gold

Gold prices surge ended lower on Wednesday after surging in a 5 day rally and ended close to 2 and a half week high Tuesday as a result of expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates until September. Also the U.S. dollar index has been weak recently that prop up the prices of precious metals.

Both Gold and silver have gained some momentum, the April Comex gold was last up $5.10 at $1,192.80 an ounce, it peaked at $1,195.30. May Comex silver was last up $0.049 at $16.94 an ounce. The Gold's 5-day rally that started when the U.S. Federal Reserve last week warn about the U.S. economy and the pace of any rate-hike.

Analyst expects the price of Gold could go up to $1,200 in the immediate future and $1,240 in the next quarter.

The demand for gold which do not pay interest had been hurt by expectations of a near-term rate hike, however it all change when the U.S. Federal Reserve surprised investors by indicating that they won't rush raising the interest rates. They may hold it to current level up to at least September.

A weaker dollar also makes bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies, and increases its appeal as a hedge.

The Euro has edged out the US dollar early Wednesday. It went up sharply against the dollar about 0.5% in early European trade to $1.0966, well above its recent 12-year low of under $1.05.

The euro also gained against the yen and the British pound. Brent crude oil rose 0.1% to $55.14 a barrel.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ericsson To Downsize 2,200 Swedish Jobs to Cut Cost

Ericsson, business, finance

Ericsson AB will be downsizing their workforce and about 2,200 jobs in Sweden will be cut to cut cost which is part of the company's cost-reduction plan to improve profitability as a result of slowing sales. The majority of it will be in the research and development and supply functions, it is about 2% of the company's workforce. The plan was announced back in November to lessen spending by 9 billion kronor ($1 billion) over three years.

Ericsson is the world’s largest manufacturer of wireless networks. Their goal is to boost earnings since their main rivals Nokia Oyj and Huawei Technologies Co. are beating them out in sales growth amid a prolonged period of slow industry wide expansion. The company predicts that the wireless-network gear market will grow at an average 2 to 4% a year through 2017.

About half of the positions affected by the cutbacks are in Stockholm, while Ericsson will shut its operations in Katrineholm, according to Ericsson. They have also axed 1,550 jobs in the Sweden back in 2012. Fourth-quarter sales per worker totaled about $77,500, compared with $87,000 at Finnish rival Nokia, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.