Is it time to start your own business? - Daily Telegraph Is it time to start your own business? - Daily Telegraph

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is it time to start your own business? - Daily Telegraph

Is it time to start your own business? - Daily Telegraph

If you use your car for business, invite clients into your home, offer advice or are the main breadwinner for your family, then you need the appropriate cover. Home-based firms are vulnerable to business disruption, legal claims and damage to property just like site-based ones.

But the message is clear. If you can start a lean business, attract clients and cover yourself against the worst-case scenario, now could be the best time yet to take the plunge into self-employment, regardless of the choppy waters.

What AXA can do for you

AXA’s new website for businesses — — allows start-ups to assess their insurance needs and buy cover in a clear and simple way.

Business owners who want to keep an eye on what they spend can strip out the add-ons and be safe in the knowledge that they have the basics sorted, while others can select add-ons appropriate to their structure and the service they provide — all at the click of a mouse.

Customers decide their own premium and can see at a glance how much various elements of cover cost. This modular approach, written in plain English, is a quick and pain-free way to protect your business, giving you more time to concentrate on your big idea. And for customers who want the comfort of knowing they have all the bases covered at the right level, AXA’s helpline operators are on hand to give you the best advice around the clock.

US STOCKS-Wall St up on China stimulus hopes as euro zone steadies - Reuters UK

Tue May 29, 2012 3:42pm BST

* Greek polls point to pro-bailout parties

* Spanish bank worry continues

* Vertex Pharma plunges after data correction

* Indexes up: Dow 1.1 pct, S&P 1.2 pct, Nasdaq 1.4 pct (Updates to open)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, May 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday, with each of the major indexes up more than 1 percent, on hopes China may unleash more spending measures and Greek election polls pointing to support for pro-bailout parties.

The official Shanghai Securities News reported on Tuesday, citing unidentified sources, that China's biggest banks appeared to have accelerated lending toward the end of this month as Beijing starts to fast-track its approval of infrastructure investments in an effort to stem sagging growth.

Investors were also encouraged by weekend polls in Greece that showed the conservative New Democracy party, which backs the country's international bailout, has a lead over the leftist SYRIZA party, which opposes it ahead of a June 17 election. In Ireland, voters appear poised to reluctantly approve the EU fiscal treaty on Thursday.

Investors shrugged off a private sector report which showed U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly cooled in May, falling to the lowest level in four months as Americans became more pessimistic about the job market and economic outlook. The report is one of the first in an abbreviated week heavy on economic data, culminating in Friday's payrolls report.

"The consumer confidence index itself doesn't do a whole lot for the market - we are seeing traders lining up possibly anticipating better than expected economic news as it comes out during the week either from Chicago, the ISM data or the employment data," said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

"We've got a ray of sunshine breaking out over Europe this morning that is spilling across the Atlantic."

U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

But concern about Spain's banking system continued to be monitored, as yields on 10-year Spanish bonds remained just under 6.5 percent. Many investors view the 7-percent mark as unsustainable, which could trigger the need for a bailout.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of U.S. single-family home prices edged 0.1 percent higher in 20 metropolitan areas in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, falling short of economists' forecasts for a gain of 0.2 percent. However, it was the second consecutive month of gains which could indicate stabilization in the housing market.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 137.10 points, or 1.10 percent, to 12,591.93. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 15.10 points, or 1.15 percent, to 1,332.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 40.24 points, or 1.42 percent, to 2,877.77.

Facebook Inc shares hit a new low, dropping to $30.03 on talk it was in discussion to buy Oslo-based Opera Software , while analysts said competition from Google Inc and others could push the price tag of any deal above $1 billion.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc plunged 18.1 percent to $53.10 as the biggest drag on the Nasdaq 100 index after the drugmaker released corrected data involving its cystic fibrosis treatments on Tuesday that lowered the number of patients who showed certain levels of improved lung function.

Defense equipment manufacturer Teledyne Technologies Inc said it would buy LeCroy Corp for $240.5 million in cash to add more products to its portfolio. LeCroy shares surged 56.3 percent to $14.29 while Teledyne advanced 0.8 percent to $60.32. (Editing by Padraic Cassidy, Dave Zimmerman)

Business jargon and bad spelling in job advertisements shrink the talent pool for employers, finds Monster -

In a survey of over 2,000 job seekers, three quarters say they regularly see jargon or acronyms while searching for jobs and over half (57%) say this puts them off applying. With 60% of respondents saying they find jargon or acronyms in job ads annoying and a third (32%) saying it confuses them, terms such as 'leverage' , 'self starter' and 'bottleneck' were highlighted as the most common offenders.

Worryingly, many job seekers also report spelling mistakes and basic grammatical errors as a regular problem in job ads. Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) say they are shocked by the number of spelling mistakes they come across, particularly when many ads specify they are looking for candidates with 'good attention to detail.' Examples of the worst spelling mistakes given by candidates include an employer looking for someone 'capable of ruining an office', and another recruiting a 'resauce manager' (resource manager) and an 'ales manager' (sales manager).

Unclear and nonsensical job titles are also a problem for job seekers with 40% of respondents regularly seeing job titles they don't understand and almost two thirds (64%) saying this puts them off applying for the job. Unclear job titles could cause other problems for employers, as they are not ranked highly in search engine optimisation (SEO), so candidates may not be able to find the roles in the first place.

"In such a competitive job market and with many employers still reporting skills shortages, it is worrying that so many job seekers are put off applying due to poorly written job ads," said David Henry, MD at Monster.

"We regularly see job ads flooded with jargon, with businesses looking for candidates who can 'hit the ground running,' before 'penetrating the market' with 'top line ideas'. Our findings suggest that corporate waffle, jargon and acronyms could be seriously affecting employers' chances of finding the right candidates. Furthermore, advertising a role unclearly or incorrectly means many recruiters could be wasting time sifting through unsuitable CVs.

"But the most worrying finding is the extent of spelling and grammatical errors reported by job seekers, with one in four reporting this as their biggest bugbear. A job ad must make a good first impression and poor attention to detail could not only put off talented applicants but also cause permanent damage to employer brand."


Stocks open lower as Europe overshadows jobs data - Yahoo Finance

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks slipped in early trading Thursday as unease over Europe overshadowed an encouraging report on unemployment claims and good results from big retailers including Wal-Mart Stores.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 48 points at 12,548 in the first half-hour of trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell seven points to 1,317. The Nasdaq composite fell 19 points to 2,854.

The Labor Department reported that applications for unemployment benefits held steady last week, a sign that layoffs are not increasing.

Wal-Mart stock rose 5 percent after reporting a 10 percent jump in first-quarter income, beating Wall Street expectations. It was a big turnaround for the retailer, which had suffered during the economic downturn as low-income customers were hit hard by joblessness and home foreclosures.

Despite positive news from the U.S., investors continue to fret about developments in Europe and whether Greece might be forced to exit the euro bloc, something that investors fear would cause turmoil on global markets.

Greece's caretaker Cabinet was sworn in Thursday and will hold power at least until next month's election. In the recently-held elections Greeks didn't given any party a majority, but they did give strong support to politicians who rejected the tough austerity measures that came with the country's financial bailout.

Without that rescue package, Greece will likely default and be forced to leave the 17-country euro zone, which would destabilize other countries that use the euro. German, French and Spanish stock markets all fell more than 1 percent.

Collateral economic damage is already being felt by other members of the euro bloc.

Spain was forced to pay sharply higher interest rates to raise $3.18 billion in a debt auction Thursday. And shares of Bankia, which Spain nationalized last week, plunged 20 percent on a report from the newspaper El Mundo stating that depositors have withdrawn over $1 billion since last Wednesday.

Oil prices continued to trade lower, falling below $93 a barrel on Thursday, extending a sharp two-week sell-off, as traders worried about the potential impact on global growth from the European crisis. Crude oil has plummeted about 12 percent from $106 two weeks ago.

Energy companies traded lower. Chesapeake Energy fell 4 percent, while WPX Energy declined 6 percent.

Among other stocks making big moves:

— GameStop fell 9 percent after the world's largest video game retailer reported its first-quarter profit fell 9.8 percent, as fewer customers visited its stores and bought new games and systems.

— Sears Holdings rose 7 percent after the beleaguered retailer turned a profit in the first quarter, benefiting from a gain on the sale of some stores.

No comments: