Posts Tagged ‘Media Navel Gaze’

Media Navel GazeThe Week Unpeeled

With most of the media coverage out of the US seemingly focused on the Super Bowl, some off-the-field news managed to get ink (like high-flying tech/social media earnings) with mixed economic reports sending stock markets lower as global growth concerns (Greece, for example) offset any upbeat domestic reports (tepid GDP figures but extremely strong consumer spending).  The Dow, in fact, closed the month down 3.7 percent to end Friday at 17,164.

Elsewhere:

  • Apple quarterly profit jumped 38 percent to an incredible $18 billion and its market cap hit $683 billion (more than double Microsoft as several observed);
  • Facebook saw revenue increase by 49 percent in the recent quarter but the cash spigot was wide open with expenses up 87 percent; the company reported a whopping 1.39 billion monthly users worldwide;
  • And Google growth slowed;
  • But in more brick-and-burger businesses, Shake Shack went public, landing a valuation of $745 million and even a front-page story in The New York Times;
  • Michelle Obama goes public in Saudi Arabia sans headscarf, causing a bit of a head shake but protocol experts say she was fashion appropriate; and
  • Romney bowed out;

In LatAm:

  • Brazil holds local elections Sunday for seats in its governing house and there is a chance that President Rousseff’s Working Party (PT) will not win a majority in any sector.
  • Moody’s lowered its credit rating on Brazilian oil company Petrobras to one notch above junk level amidst the ongoing “Lava Jato” corruption investigation
  • Bolivian state-owned oil company YPFB invested $29.1 million in its platform during January, a single-month record.
  • Argentine President Cristina Kirchner will visit Chinese President Xi Jinping this week to discuss expanding the two nations’ business relations
  • Peru and India announced plans to begin negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement. End of Story
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Media Navel GazeThe Week Unpeeled

Big news-packed week, with President Obama delivering the State of the Union (complete with full-scale digital coverage from the media and the White House), where the president seemed to close the chapter on the economic downturn and upturn the focus on helping the middle class by taxing higher earners; some pundits said the delivery was more of a end-of-term victory lap one year ahead of schedule.

Elsewhere:

  • The King of Saudi Arabia died, raising uncertainty in the relatively stable nation;
  • The US-backed Yemen government collapsed; raising uncertainty in a highly unstable nation;
  • Europe is launching a QE program, proposing to buy $58 billion in bonds a month;
  • The Dow rose a bit last week, up 0.9 percent to end Friday at 17,672, helped a bit by the Eurozone stimulus announcement;
  • “American Sniper” was a box-office winner and fodder for red and blue commentary on combat, guns and war all week;
  • Google’s going cellular, planning to offer wireless service;

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Media Navel GazeThe Week Unpeeled

The US employment report, on top of a heap of other positive economic data lately, kept market commentary upbeat and the markets themselves at record levels – again – with non-farm payroll adding some 321,000 jobs in November, helping to make this year the best in job creation in 15 years.  The unemployment rate stayed at 5.8 percent.  All combined, holiday sales are expected to be brisk, which should propel the economy well into 2015.

Elsewhere:

  • The Dow, flirting with the 18,000 level, closed at 17,958 for the 34th record close of the year;
  • James Watson, the Nobel Prize winner who discovered the structure of DNA, sold the medal more than 50 years later for $4.1 million, a sum he is expected to give to charity to help clear his “unperson status” from extremely questionable race statements years ago;
  • Uber, amid a financing round of $1.2 billion, was valued at $40 billion, or no doubt #surgevaluations;
  • Big buyouts at The New York Times announced with some star bylines like Stuart Ellliot taking a bow;
  • Two editors from The New Republic magazine resigned amid shake-up;
  • In truly shocking news, Rolling Stone backed off from its rape story at University of Virginia, coverage at the time that dominated the media and coverage this time around that light up social media; and
  • Best headline:  The Journal story on adult dancers, “Exotic Dancers Win Another Lap in Legal Battle Over Wages.” End of Story
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Media Navel GazeThe Week Unpeeled

Black Friday was more shades of grey really with early-bird specials taking the usual punch out of post-Thanksgiving mall mayhem and big retailers now seeing more and more of their customers shop online (about 40 percent).  Still, some reports showed that overall online sales were down 5 percent so far this season.  Cyber Monday (that seems quaint now, right?) awaits.

Elsewhere:

  • November proved to be an extremely strong month for stocks where records were anything but rare and the Dow ended the month up 2.5 percent to close at 17,828 (Walmart, by the way, led the charge, up 3 percent on Friday);
  • The US economy grew at its fastest pace in more than a decade, with GDP in the third quarter rising 3.9 percent, suggesting perhaps that the indicators are catching up to the stock market at last;
  • A Ferguson jury did not charge a Missouri policeman in the killing of a teen, sparking protests in cities around America and front-page and editorial coverage throughout the week;
  • US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned, apparently amid misaligned views on strikes against ISIS; and
  • Snooki wed. End of Story
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Media Navel GazeThe Week Unpeeled

The gloves came off at home last week in quite a few cases with President Obama pulling a run around Congress and announcing a plan that would give millions of immigrants some protection against deportation, a move that is sure to raise ire among lawmakers and make for an even more contentious final two years in the White House.

Elsewhere:

  • In an equally offensive move, the Fed said it is reviewing oversight of major Wall Street banks in an effort no doubt to counter any perceptions of lax governance;
  • And also, the Keystone pipeline vote failed to pass, by one vote, setting the stage for battles for additional votes.  Stay tuned;
  • Amazon is planning to enter the streaming video market, making for a suddenly crowded market;
  • NBC’s Today show exec Jamie Horowitz from ESPN was fired after just 10 weeks on the job;
  • Orange County Register reporters, in a bid to save money, have now been asked to deliver the paper after filing stories;
  • The markets staged a global rally last week, with the Dow hitting another record, closing Friday up 1 percent to end at 17,801;
  • The British government barred entry last week to England for an American who claims and promotes himself as a “pick-up artist” (others use much different language), the first probably sexism charge at the border and one that clearly manifested itself by the traveler’s viral self promotions;
  • Director Mike Nichols, died, an obit that appeared on many front pages, including The New York Times, last week; and
  • Shirtstorm happened. End of Story
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