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NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures rose Tuesday, a day after fears about European debt sparked …


US stock futures edge up after steep declines
May 24, 2011, 8:44 a.m. EDT
Associated Press

Journal By Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures rose Tuesday, a day after fears about European debt sparked steep declines in financial markets around the world.

Ahead of the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 39, or 0.3 percent, at 12,401. Standard & Poor’s 500 futures are up 5, or 0.4 percent, at 1,319. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 7, or 0.3, at 2,322.

The modest advance in futures trading came despite more troubling news about the state of European debt management.

Greece‘s main opposition party said it opposed the government’s new austerity measures. The announcement dashed hopes that the country might be able to repair its finances enough to get another loan package from the International Monetary Fund.

Ratings agency Moody’s warned that a Greek restructuring of its debt would constitute a default. Moody’s said such a move would hurt the credit ratings of Greece and other debt-laden European countries. The ratings agency also said it would review 14 British financial institutions for a possible downgrade.

Nonetheless, European stocks recovered Tuesday after Monday’s declines.

The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares rose 0.4 percent in midday trading. Germany’s DAX rose 0.7 percent and the CAC-40 in France was 0.2 percent higher. The euro also rose slightly against the dollar after falling to a two-month low Monday.

In economic news, the Commerce Department is expected to report at 10 a.m. Eastern on how many new homes were bought in April, offering traders a glimpse at the housing market.

Analysts expect sales to have been roughly flat, rising slightly to an annual rate of 303,000 from 300,000 in March. That is still far below the 700,000 in annual sales seen as representing a healthy market.

New homes are unappealing to budget-conscious families because their median price is nearly 31 percent higher than previously-occupied homes. That’s twice the price difference typical of a healthy economy. At their current rate, new-home sales are on track to experience a sixth straight year of declines.

The Dow fell as much as 180 points Monday before paring back some of its losses after Greece, Italy and Spain suffered weekend setbacks in their attempts to control their debt. The Dow fell 130.78 points, or 1 percent, to close at 12,381.26.The S&P 500 index lost 15.90, or 1.2 percent, to 1,317.37. The Nasdaq dropped 44.42, or 1.6 percent, to 2,758.90.

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Calvin Ledsome Sr.,

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Egypt is near to securing a $2.2 billion loan from the World Bank


Minister: Egypt nearing deal with World Bank
May 16, 2011, 11:55 a.m. EDT
Associated Press

Journal By Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,

Owner and Founder of: http://www.LedSomeBioMetrics.com

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CAIRO (AP) — Egypt is near to securing a $2.2 billion loan from the World Bank, the finance minister announced, as the country’s military rulers said Monday the unrest of the past few months has battered economic growth rates and is costing the nation $40 million per day in lost tourism revenues.

Finance Minister Samir Radwan also said an International Monetary Fund team was expected in Cairo within days to look at ways of supporting the government’s efforts to boost the economy. His comments came in a statement released by the ministry and did not make clear when the deal may be completed.

Separately, Brig. Mahmoud Nasr, the deputy defense minister for financial affairs, said the unrest led to an 80 percent decline in revenues from tourism, a vital sector.

The figures revealed by the Supreme Military Council‘s finance chief offered yet another window into the drubbing sustained by the Arab world‘s most populous nation in the wake of the mass protests that deposed former President Hosni Mubarak.

Those protests expanded after Mubarak’s ouster in mid-February to include widespread labor strikes that resulted in a sharp reduction in manufacturing and exports even as foreign direct investment and tourism revenues plummeted. With revenue falling and costs mounting, Egypt has reached out to the World Bank and the IMF for aid.

Nasr, in comments carried by the official MENA news agency, said GDP growth was at around 1-2 percent compared to pre-unrest forecasts of around 6 percent for the fiscal year ending June 30. The projection is even lower than that offered by Radwan and other officials who had estimated GDP growth would slow to between 2 and 3 percent in the current fiscal year.

While the mass protests that toppled Mubarak were largely fueled by a crescendo of frustration at the growing income disparity and soaring prices in a country where about half the 80 million residents live on or below the World Bank’s $2 per day poverty threshold, the continuation of the protests has only served to exacerbate the nation’s economic troubles.

Annual urban inflation climbed to 12.1 percent in April compared to 11.5 percent in March, the government said last week, citing a continued rise in food prices.

The economic troubles have been building for months.

As the demonstrations unfolded in the end of January, the stock market plunged — a drop that Nasr said led to losses of 113 billion pounds ($19 billion). The exchange remained closed for nearly two months as officials first grappled with bank closures and strikes in the sector, then sought to enact safeguards to prevent its collapse once it reopened.

The market, which reopened near the end of March, has vacillated between moderate gains and losses. On Monday, the benchmark EGX30 index closed 1.2 percent higher, at 5,127 points, but its year-to-date losses were still at more than 28 percent.

The government and the military rulers have been trying to revive the economy, but the near daily protests have crimped those efforts and led to a 40 percent drop in exports and almost a halving of the nation’s pre-crisis manufacturing levels, officials have said.

Despite the losses, Nasr said the military was “optimistic,” noting that the unrest had not affected the country’s economic infrastructure and that factories were not damaged. As a result, the challenges are “difficult, but not impossible,” he said.

The coming period is a time “for action and production, not words,” Nasr was quoted as saying, so that Egypt can move beyond the current crisis.

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Calvin Ledsome Sr.,

Owner and Founder of: 

Thank you for visiting, do come back for more news…
Warmest regards,

PS., Hello Reader, What Party Do You Want Running The US Government 2013? Make Your Selection Below!

The world’s major economies are pledging to provide support for the regime changes


Major economies pledge support for regime changes

Posted by Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,
Owner and Founder of: http://www.LedSomeBioMetrics.com
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The world’s major economies are pledging to provide support for the regime changes that are occurring in the Middle East and North Africa. An Obama administration official is comparing what is occurring now to the fall of the Berlin Wall more than two decades ago.

The United States and France issued a joint statement after talks on Thursday saying major nations stood ready with international lending institutions to provide economic support for the new governments in Egypt and Tunisia.

U.S. Treasury Undersecretary Lael Brainard wrote in an opinion piece that the transformations that were occurring in the region could be as successful in unlocking economic prosperity as events after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said in their statement summarizing the talks that the group would put together a joint action plan with early recommendations coming in May to support “inclusive and sustained growth, transparency and improved governance.”

Brainard wrote in an article for Foreign Policy magazine‘s website that “across the Middle East and North Africa, unprecedented upheavals are creating historic opportunities to expand the circle of democratic societies.”

Brainard cautioned that the reforms and efforts to provide greater economic growth for the region’s young people would take a number of years, with many challenges ahead. “We must be prepared to work through the setbacks and scale up successes,” she wrote.

The discussions on the Middle East occurred at the start of three days of finance talks designed to deal with various challenges facing the global economy, from soaring food and energy prices to continued tensions between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, over currencies and trade.

The United States was being represented at the talks by Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The discussions Friday were taking place among the Group of 20, which includes traditional economic powers such as the United States and European nations and major developing powers such as Brazil, China and India.

Lagarde was leading the talks because France is this year’s head of the G-20, the group that since the financial crisis in 2008 has become the major steering body for the global economy.

The G-20 talks were scheduled to conclude Friday afternoon with a joint statement of goals and news conferences by Lagarde and other finance officials.

The finance talks will wrap up on Saturday with meetings of the policy-setting panels of the 187-nation International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Thursday that a major goal for his institution will be to win support from the rich countries for more assistance to poor nations that are facing food crises. A 36 percent surge in food prices over the past year has pushed an additional 44 million people into poverty.

“We have to put food first and protect the poor and vulnerable, who spend most of their money on food,” Zoellick told reporters Thursday.

The G-20 talks will be focused on making more progress on a set of economic indicators that the group can use to gauge whether countries are pursuing the correct policies to prevent the growth of dangerous imbalances in trade and government debt, which contributed to the last financial crisis.

The United States is pushing for the indicators to be set up, hoping they can be used to bring more pressure on China to allow its currency to rise in value against the dollar as a way to narrow the huge trade gap that exists between China and the U.S.

However, Chinese officials do not want the rebalancing process to be used as a way to attack China’s currency policies, and it was unclear whether any progress will be made during the Washington talks.

“There are lots of things to worry about, and we want to make sure we don’t fall back into another crisis as we did not that long ago,” Canadian Finance Minister James Flaherty told reporters.

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that while the global economy began growing again last year after the most severe downturn since World War II, there still were multiple risks to the recovery.

“The recovery is getting stronger but … it is not the recovery we want because it is still imbalanced,” Strauss-Kahn said. “We must be aware of complacency, and we need urgent action.”

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Associated Press writer Harry Dunphy contributed to this report.

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Calvin Ledsome Sr.,

Owner and Founder of: 

Thank you for visiting, do come back for more news…
Warmest regards,