The U.S. economy is growing slowly

News comes from the united states of america that, For the fourth quarter of 2014, the economy growth was not good as they were expected and comes lower than the 3% projected by economists. And it was 2.6% only for the last quarter of 2014.

Also, The figure was weaker than the 5% growth in the third quarter of 2014.

However, the dramatic slide in fuel prices in recent months has put more money in consumers’ pockets and allowed them to spend more.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, rose by 4.3% in the fourth quarter – the fastest rise in nearly nine years – and higher than the 3.2% for the third quarter.

And some economists believe an increase could come in middle of the year, but Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said Friday’s data could delay a rise until late this year or even early 2016.

He feared that the US economy was too reliant on consumer spending given that business investment fell by an annualised rate of 1.9% – the biggest decline since the second quarter of 2009. “Ideally, a sustainable economic upturn requires business spending to be rising alongside consumer expenditure.”

“While Markit’s Flash PMI survey data signalled a further robust expansion of private sector business activity in January, the latest reading was the second weakest for 11 months and points to GDP growth sliding to 2% in the first quarter,” Mr Williamson added.

“Companies also reported the weakest monthly increase in new orders since the recession, suggesting the pace of economic growth could weaken even further in February.”

Only 15% the Google growth in Q4

Seems like Google are not happy with their result in the forth quarter of 2014 as the Reuters posted today that  – Google Inc’s revenue grew 15 percent in the fourth quarter but fell short of Wall Street’s target on declining online ad prices and unfavorable foreign exchange rates.

Shares of Google edged up 0.1 percent to $510.66 in extended trading after an initial dip on the news.

Google’s advertising revenue has come under pressure as more consumers access its online services on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, where ad rates are typically lower.

The growing popularity of mobile devices has made No. 1 social network Facebook Inc (FB.O) a greater threat in the battle for advertisers. Facebook reported on Wednesday that mobile ads on its network doubled year-over-year during the fourth quarter.

Google said on Thursday the average price of its online ads, or “cost per click,” decreased 3 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter, while the number of consumer clicks on its ads increased 14 percent.

Some analysts had hoped for gains in cost-per-click, said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis, adding that the company, which gets about half of its revenue overseas, also was hurt by the strong dollar.

“Business is slowing. The core is slowing. And what we’re saying is, it’s going to look on paper even worse as the dollar strengthens. And we are not at that point where mobile monetization is improving,” he said. “The thesis that the landscape is changing and Googleis missing out – I don’t think it will hold to be true, but they haven’t squelched it.”

Consolidated revenue in the three months ended Dec. 31 totaled $18.10 billion, compared to $15.71 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S were looking for revenue of $18.46 billon.

Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette said in a statement that revenue grew “despite strong currency headwinds.”

Net income rose to $4.76 billion, or $6.91 per share, from $3.38 billion, or $4.95 per share, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings per share of $6.88 missed analysts’ expectations of $7.11.

“She feels the economy is strong, a lot is good,” Manchin said about Yellen

The media spoke about the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday offered an upbeat assessment on the U.S. economy in a meeting with Senate Democrats, even as she noted risks from overseas, according to media reports.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia told reporters after a private luncheon with Yellen that she said “things are going well” for the U.S. economy.

“She feels the economy is strong, a lot is good,” Manchin said, according to the Journal.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer told Bloomberg: “Her message is that the economy’s getting better but there’s still a ways to go in terms of job creation.

“That worry seems, in her mind, to be paramount and that’s why she is not going to raise rates immediately,” he said.

The meeting came a day after Fed policymakers upgraded their assessment of the U.S. economy, while acknowledging that international developments could play a role in their decision on when to raise benchmark borrowing costs from near zero.

“She was generally pretty positive about fundamentals here, you know some concern about the foreign situation,” Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia said, according to the Journal.

Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois called Yellen’s comments “very positive,” according to both reports.

Also, Economists said the confident tone of the statement from the Federal Open Market Committee signals it is on track to raise interest rates this year, while making the point it is not ignoring the weaker performance of the global economy.

U.S. stocks rose to the highs of the day after the senators’ remarks on their meeting with Yellen were reported. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced as much as 1.1 percent before closing 1 percent higher at 2,021.25.

The worst performance for the dollar today

Non of The U.S. Conference Board (CB) Consumer Confidence or The New Home Sales protected the U.S. dollar from loosing gains against the major currencies today.

By the issuance of the gloomy US durable goods data today, the eyes of investors turned to the results of the Fed meeting on Wednesday.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported that total durable goods orders dropped 3.4% last month, compared to expectations for a gain of 0.5%. Orders for durable goods in November were revised down to a 2.1% drop from a previously reported decline of 0.9%.

Core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation items, declined by 0.8% in December, disappointing forecasts for a 0.6% gain. Core durable goods orders declined by 1.3% in November, whose figure was revised from previously reported drop of 0.7%.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.70% at 94.63, not far from Friday’s more than 11-year highs of 95.77.

Also,The Fed is expected to reiterate that those global risks have not yet put the U.S. recovery or the Fed’s rate plans off track when it issues its policy statement at the close of its two-day meeting on tomorrow.

IBM Biggest Layoffs Ever

Every one talks today about IBM is about to lay off over a quarter of its workforce and that means that more thank 10k jobs will be cut. Of course because of the bad performance at the end of 2014 as most of the old school tech companies were IBM share declined more that 50%.

But the (Reuters) posted today that IBM (IBM.N) dismissed on Monday a Forbes magazine report claiming the technology firm is preparing to cut about 26 percent of its workforce, which would represent its biggest-ever layoffs.

IBM is cutting jobs, as disclosed in its latest earnings report last week, but those reductions will affect “several thousand” employees, a “small fraction” of what Forbes reported, according to an emailed statement from IBM to Reuters. Forbes had said as many as 112,000 employees could be laid off.

The technology giant has been steadily reshaping its 400,000-plus staff for several years, laying off workers in some areas and hiring in new growth businesses.

A report last Thursday on Forbes’ website by pseudonymous Silicon Valley technology gossip columnist Robert Cringely said IBM planned to break with that gradual approach and suddenly lay off 26 percent of its global workforce.

IBM did not issue a categorical denial of the report, but strongly suggested it was inaccurate.

“IBM does not comment on rumors, even ridiculous or baseless ones,” the company said in the email. “If anyone had checked information readily available from our public earnings statements, or had simply asked us, they would know that IBM has already announced the company has just taken a $600 million charge for workforce rebalancing. This equates to several thousand people, a small fraction of what’s been reported.”

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What is the new Saudi King facing now?

After the death of his half-brother King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who named in 2012 as crown prince, started today his first day as King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on the job with a crisis. As Bloomberg posted today.

Also they added :

Just hours before he was named king following the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Yemeni president appointed through a Saudi-led initiative resigned under pressure from rebels the Gulf Arabs say are backed by their main rival, Iran.

It highlighted the tests the new king faces. There’s the rising influence of Iran as the country pursues talks with the U.S. that could lead to its international rehabilitation. At home, Salman takes the helm of the world’s largest oil exporter after a more than 50 percent plunge in the price of crude.

“Of all the kings Saudi Arabia has had, King Salman’s ascension to the throne comes at the worst time in the history of the kingdom,” Kamran Bokhari, adviser for Middle Eastern and South Asian affairs at Texas-based consulting firm Stratfor, said by telephone from Toronto. “He comes in with so many domestic and external challenges.”

Salman, born in Riyadh in 1935, is about the same age as his predecessor, when he became monarch. Abdullah, born in 1924, was carried into a mosque on Friday before his burial.

While crown prince he took on more responsibilities as Abdullah’s health failed, chairing cabinet meetings and representing his country at functions abroad.

And now the world and specially the Arabic world are monitoring his action in this hard time with big expectations to save the situation and correct the current crisis with his over 50 year serving in diplomatic corps.

Drift the oil companies with the price .

As we know that the huge drop in the oil prices brought harm to most of the countries who export to it, and now the damage cross to the companies who dig the earth for it.

4.1.1

And as they say ( No money , No honey )

As Bloomberg mentioned today in there post that :

Oil drillers will begin collapsing under the weight of lower crude prices during the second quarter and energy explorers who employ them will shortly follow, according to Conway Mackenzie Inc., the largest U.S. restructuring firm.

Companies that drill wells and manage fields on behalf of oil producers will be the first to fall after the benchmark American crude, West Texas Intermediate, lost 55 percent of its value in seven months, said John T. Young, whose firm led the city ofDetroit through its 2013 bankruptcy.

Oil companies have slashed thousands of jobs, delayed billions of dollars in projects and dropped or scaled back expansion plans in response to the prolonged rout in crude prices. For oilfield service providers that test wells and line the holes with steel and cement, the impact of price reductions forced upon them by explorers will start to pinch hard during the second quarter, Young said Thursday.

“The second quarter is going to be devastating for the service companies,” Young said in a telephone interview from Houston. “There are certainly companies that are going to die.”

Oilfield-service providers are facing a “double-whammy,” he said. Even as oil companies are demanding 20 percent to 30 percent price reductions, they’re also extending wait times before paying their bills, enlarging cash-flow gaps for the drilling and equipment firms, he said.

Therefore, It seems to be no one will come through that.

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Victims Of The SNB Bomb In 2015

From Inside the Forex market, news leaked out about big companies collapsed and faded after the SNB bomb in Thursday

It was i big shock in the market and maybe it was presentiment of the decline in global growth forecasts in 2015.

And one of the well known companies that effected in Swiss Franc Turmoil was the FXCM.

FXCM Inc. (FXCM), the currency-trading firm that almost collapsed last week when the Swiss franc surged, saw its shares plunge after disclosing the terms of its bailout by Leucadia National Corp. (LUK)

FXCM, which closed Thursday at $12.63, tumbled to $1.52 at 11:33 a.m. in New York. Leucadia, the owner of investment bank Jefferies Group LLC, can force a sale of the currency broker and keep most of the proceeds for itself under terms of a $300 million loan, FXCM said late yesterday in a statement. Analysts at Citigroup Inc. said today in a report that the deal “essentially wiped out” the value of FXCM’s stock.

“They pursued a bunch of alternatives and I’m sure they felt this was the least destructive for the FXCM shareholders,” William Katz, the Citigroup analyst who wrote the report, said in a telephone interview. “It basically, under most scenarios, wipes out the value of the equity.”

Leucadia Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler extended a lifeline to FXCM, the largest U.S. retail foreign-exchange broker, after the Swiss central bank’s surprise decision last week to let the franc trade freely against the euro. The New York-based broker had allowed customers to trade with as much as 200-to-1 leverage and couldn’t close out their trades before taking losses.

“Things happened so quickly,” Katz said. “That’s the lesson about having a lot of leverage in a retail FX trading account. It doesn’t leave a lot of margin for error.”

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What Is The European Central Bank Facing Now?

The Eurozone in a critical situation and the EUR is shaking and weak in the market, this is what the ECB and Draghi facing now.

But, 8 years is long time to get the EU economy back on track as Bloomberg posted today under a headline ” Can Mario Draghi Afford to Wait Eight Years to Get EU Economy Back on Track?”

Also, they added: Mario Draghi’s plan to stimulate Europe’s economy by buying asset-backed securities is underwhelming investors, with purchases bogged down by bureaucracy and paperwork.

Since the European Central Bank president started the program eight weeks ago, 2.12 billion euros ($2.46 billion) of debt has been acquired. At this pace it will take almost eight years to reach even one tenth of his 1 trillion-euro target for balance sheet expansion.

The reason for the slow progress is that it takes as long as five days for ECB officials to approve purchases and asset managers hired to buy the debt are required to compile lengthy documents detailing the investment case for each bond. It’s fueling speculation Draghi will initiate a quantitative easing program buying government bonds when the bank’s Governing Council meets on Thursday in Frankfurt.

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