Fear: 1 year later. Greed: 10 years gone. and Come visit the U.S. – and create jobs!
There are two big investing anniversaries coming up, and they represent the best of those two opposing market forces: Fear and greed. It was almost a year ago that the stock market hit bottom. Take your pick on which panic-stricken day to celebrate. The S&P 500 hit a demonic intra-day low of 666 on March 6, and a closing low on March 9. There’s your fear. Now, if you want to feel old, here’s your greed. It was nearly 10 years ago (10!) that the Nasdaq hit its all-time high. At the end of the dot-com frenzy, the tech-laden index closed at 5,048 on March 10, 2000. It actually went as high as 5,132 that day.
Did these events teach investors anything? Maybe not. While the sell-off early last year was arguably overdone, it’s safe to wonder if the nearly 70% surge since then is nothing more than the inflating of another bubble. [Read the full article]
Next up on the jobs-creation agenda: Lure more foreign travelers to the United States.
President Obama on Thursday signed the Travel Promotion Act, which creates a nonprofit corporation to market overseas visits to United States. The venture will be funded by a $10 fee on foreign travelers and up to $100 million from the tourism industry.
America is one of the few developed countries that doesn’t market itself abroad, according to industry experts, though states, resorts, hotel chains and attractions certainly promote themselves.
Marketing campaigns funded by the act could attract an additional 1.6 million international visitors a year, generating $4 billion in spending and creating 40,000 jobs, according to consulting firm Oxford Economics, which has conducted research on behalf of the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group. [Read the full article]
It was an outsize mark because Lutz was an outsize personality. Standing well over six feet and silver- haired, he created a stir whenever he appeared in public. Although fluent in several European languages, he spoke pungent, unaccented English and was accustomed to dominating conversations.
It was Lutz, while working at Chrysler, who referred to an early dent- resistant but overweight GM minivan as "the plastic pachyderm, and coined the description angry kitchen appliance" to describe the benighted Pontiac Aztek.
The relationship between Lutz and the journalists who covered him was a longtime romance that he cleverly exploited . He pretended they were equal partners in his five-star world of fast cars and international travel and kept them titillated with high-level gossip. His frequent admonitions to "protect me on this or don’t let this come from me were always honored. [Read the full article]
Maine’s lobstermen are working harder for less, as demand drops for their expanding harvest.
Lobstermen pulled in a robust 76.3 million pounds in 2009, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources. That’s the largest harvest in years, according to state records and estimates, but only in terms of volume.
The 2009 take was worth $223.7 million, which is about $22 million less than the prior year, according to the department. State statistics show that the harvest has dropped in value, year-to-year, since 2005, when it totaled nearly $318 million.
As with most things, the recession is to blame. Cash-strapped consumers are avoiding delicacies such as lobsters, driving down the overall price, according to George Lapointe, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources.
"I think it’s largely a function of supply and demand, and the world economic condition," he said. [Read the full article]