Posts Tagged ‘Media Navel Gaze’

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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Media Navel GazeThe Week Unpeeled

The best news story of the week was literally otherworldly when a robot of sorts made the first-ever landing on a comet and beamed back pictures to mere mortals on Earth, thanks to the French.  Other otherworldly events starred Kim Kardashian (but not even going there #breaktheinternet).

Elsewhere:

  • President Obama signed a “landmark” agreement with China last week to reduce greenhouse gas pollution;
  • Warren Buffett buys Duracell;
  • Oil trades below $75 a gallon;
  • Goldman names 78 to partner, the second-smallest class on record since going public 15 years ago;
  • Hasbro acquisition talks of DreamWorks breakdown;
  • Halliburton in talks to buy Baker Hughes in a move no doubt tied to declining oil prices and may be the start of more consolidation;
  • Stocks continued to make record highs with the Dow gaining 0.4 percent on the week to end at 17,634;
  • High Art:  Sotheby’s and Christie’s staged fall auctions in what has been called the “hottest two weeks ever in art history,” selling more than $2 billion in works with headlines focused on Warhol’s and Steve Cohen’s $101 million purchase of a Giacometti sculpture; and
  • Low Art: Duck Dynasty may hit the Great White Way as a musical. End of Story
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Media Navel GazeThe Week Unpeeled

Mid-term elections coverage and commentary seemed to be the major focus for most of the week, with Republicans now set to take control of the House and Senate next year, fueling speculation of a renewed focus on such business issues as corporate taxes, financial regulations and the Keystone XL pipeline (NYT and everywhere else); Obama sounded surprisingly positive following the  results and markets rallied to record levels. Elise Stefanik became the youngest women elected at 30 years old to Congress, a Republican from New York.

Elsewhere:

  • The US jobs report for October showed that the national unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent and non-farm payroll increased by 214,000 positions, slightly below expectations but prior months were revised upward;
  • The Dow, meanwhile, reached new highs, closing Friday up 1.1 percent for the week at 17,573;
  • The US is sending more troops to Iraq;
  • Tinder Exec demoted to president from CEO (is that a swipe left or right?) after calling boss Barry Diller a below-the-belt term;
  • Detroit to exit from bankruptcy following the approval of its plan;
  • Shake It Off: Taylor Swift exited Spotify; no bankruptcies; and
  • A teenage Target employee (and likely Swift fan) became a Twitter star and guest on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” after his photo was posted online and the world gushed and swooned (a marketing start-up firm claimed ownership of the idea then had to backpedal). Target issued a statement denying any involvement and now Gaze is talking about it, proving #youcanmakesomethingfromnothing and #thisisbetterthanthekardashians. End of Story
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Media Navel GazeThe Week Unpeeled

Ebola and ISIS seemed to move below the fold last week with the economy and markets regaining attention after the Bank of Japan announced a surprise stimulus move that made stocks look attractive and sent the Dow to record highs, with blue chips climbing 3.5 percent to end on Friday at 17,390, a record close.

Elsewhere:

  • However, the Fed said it would end its bond-purchase program (no more easy money), also known as QE2, but debate continues on just what will happen next amid big sign of a strengthening economy;
  • No surprise then that US GDP showed an 3.5-percent increase in the third quarter;
  • Gas prices continued to fall to around a national average of $3.00 per gallon;
  • A Virgin Galactic space craft came apart in a test flight killing a pilot and putting on hold Justin Bieber’s trip (yup, he’s on the wait list);
  • Apple is talking about selling products in Iran, or iIran;
  • In other Apple news, Tim Cook came out in Bloomberg Businessweek in a move that received front-page coverage most places commenting on the resonance of the announcement with Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein calling him the Chief Executive of the Fortune One. End of Story
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