The 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.
- 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;
- 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.