Market slips in low volume trade; data mixed

–(– 01/01/2010 – US Market industry news provided by Financial News USA. A more upbeat outlook on jobs pushed Americans’ confidence in the economy higher in December for the second month in a row, a survey released Tuesday said.

Consumers’ expectations for the job market over the next six months reached their highest level in two years, but Americans remain gloomy about their current prospects.

The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 52.9, up from a revised 50.6 in November, but the reading is still far short of the 90 that would signify a solid economy. In October, consumer confidence was 48.7. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters predicted a reading of 52 for December.

NEW YORK (AP) — Home prices rose for the fifth month in a row in October, but the recovery is shaky with only 11 of the 20 metro areas tracked showing gains.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday edged up 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted reading of 145.36 in October from September. [Read the full article]

Shares Nvidia Corp. and Marvell Technology Group Ltd. rose Wednesday as Kaufman Bros. upgraded the chip makers, saying both should benefit from improving demand for personal computers.

Nvidia was up 46 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $18.48 in morning trading, while Marvell rose 55 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $20.81.

In a note to investors, Kaufman analyst Suji De Silva upgraded Marvell to “Buy” from “Hold” and raised his price target to $25 from $20. He said the Santa Clara, Calif., company should “see continued strong growth” in its data storage business, which makes up about half the company’s revenue.

He said he expects Marvell’s storage business to grow revenue by 18 percent in its next fiscal year, which begins in February.

De Silva said Nvidia, a company also based in Santa Clara that makes graphics chips for PCs, still faces obstacles: supply constraints, competition from rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and uncertainty over the launch of new products. [Read the full article]

A new proposal to curb global warming could jump start stalled Senate greenhouse gas discussions and put an average of $1,100 a year back into the pockets of American consumers.

Known as cap-and-dividend, the recently introduced bill would require oil, coal, and natural gas companies to buy permits each month to sell their fuel. Three quarters of the proceeds would be returned to the public each month in the form of a dividend check, with the remaining money going towards renewable energy, conservation or assistance programs.

By driving up the cost of fossil fuel and making renewables more competitive, supporters say the plan will result in the same emission reductions as the current cap-and-trade bills before Congress. But they say it will be much more simple to operate.

“The act provides businesses and investors with a simple, predictable mechanism that will open the way to clean energy expansion while achieving America’s goals of reducing carbon emissions,” Sen. [Read the full article] About Financial News USA

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