London stocks rise in opening trade - YAHOO! London stocks rise in opening trade - YAHOO!

Friday, June 1, 2012

London stocks rise in opening trade - YAHOO!

London stocks rise in opening trade - YAHOO!

London's leading stock market rose slightly at the start of trading on Friday as investors awaited the publication of key US jobs data amid ongoing eurozone strains.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.21 percent to 5,331.87 points after minor losses Thursday.

Elsewhere in Europe, the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.37 percent to 3,028.30 points while Frankfurt's DAX 30 dipped 0.07 percent to 6,259.76 points.

Investor sentiment had been undermined Thursday by poor US economic indicators and concern about the prospects for progress in the eurozone debt crisis.

GDP growth in the January-March period slowed to an annual rate of 1.9 percent from the 2011 fourth quarter's pace of 3.0 percent.

The US government will later report May jobs numbers in what could be a crucial test of the economy's momentum following a sluggish start to the year.

Analysts have forecast that the US economy added a net 150,000 jobs in May, better than April's meager 115,000 jobs but still just barely keeping up with population growth in the labor force.

Stocks Skid 2%, Dow Negative for 2012; Vix Soars - CNBC

Stocks plunged near session lows on the first day of June, with the Dow trading in negative territory for 2012, as a disappointing government jobs report in addition to dismal data from China and Europe fueled worries over the health of the global economy.

Whether the stock selloff continues through the summer "really depends on the government," said Doug Roberts, managing partner at Channel Capital Research. "If [the Fed] starts making news about QE3, than you can start to see this [selloff] is going to be relatively short-lived."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 250 points, led by H-P [HPQ  Loading...      ()   ] and AmEx [AXP  Loading...      ()   ], after logging its worst May since 2010.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both fell more than 2 percent to enter correction territory.

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, jumped above 26.

All 10 S&P sectors were firmly in negative territory, led by financials and consumer discretionary.

The U.S. added just 69,000 new jobs in May while the unemployment rate grew to 8.2 percent, fueling speculation that the Fed might be prompted to intervene with another round of quantitative easing. Economists polled by Reuters had expected nonfarm payrolls to increase 150,000 and the jobless rate to hold steady at 8.1 percent.

"It's painfully obvious the economic recovery in the U.S. isn't just slowing down, it's pulling up the emergency brake," said Todd Schoenberger, managing principal The BlackBay Group.

Also on the economic front, construction spending rose a less-than-expected 0.3 percent and the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index also came in light at 53.5—still in expansion territory but reflective of a slowdown.

"We think it is increasingly likely the Fed will announce another round of QE at the Aug. 1 or Sept. 13 meeting," Michelle Meyer, senior economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told clients in a note. "The Fed will not sit idle as the economy slows."

Bond yields found new historic depths, with the 10-year Treasury note yield dropping below 1.5 percent and the 30-year bond touching its all-time low, while energy prices hit three-year lows as well and metals including gold surged.

Adding to woes, China's slowdown worsened in May as its factories saw a further deterioration in demand at home and abroad. The darkening outlook was underlined by data showing the fourth monthly decline this year in exports from South Korea, as shipments to the United States, Europe and China all fell.

Oil prices fell to their lowest since October 2011, while gold surged more than 4 percent to trade above $1,620 an ounce, logging its biggest one-day gain in more than two years as investors rushed to the yellow metal as a safe-haven.

Gold mining stocks were sharply higher, with Barrick Gold [ABX  Loading...      ()   ] leading the way and Newmont Mining [NEM  Loading...      ()   ] topping the S&P 500 performers.

European shares finished sharply lower amid lingering fears over the debt-ridden economies of Greece and Spain.

This comes after Spain unveiled Thursday that almost 100 billion euros ($123.25 billion) had left the country in the first three months of the year and the head of the European Central Bank (ECB) lambasted its handling of Bankia, the nation's troubled lender.

Meanwhile, Facebook [FB  Loading...      ()   ] continued to trade in negative territory. The social networking giant is on track to post the biggest two-week loss of any IPO since 1995. It is down nearly 28 percent from its IPO price of $38 a share.

Groupon [GRPN  Loading...      ()   ] .o>slumped after the IPO lock-up on the stock sales by insiders of the company ended. Insiders are typically prevented from selling for six months after an IPO.

Beacon Federal Bancorp [BFED  Loading...      ()   ] was also a rare stock trading in positive territory, after the company said it will be acquired by Berkshire Hills Bancorp [BHLB  Loading...      ()   ] for $132 million.

And Hughes Telematics [HUTC  Loading...      ()   ] soared on news that Verizon [VZ  Loading...      ()   ] would buy the company for $612 million in cash, or $12 a share to beef up its enterprise business.

On Tap Next Week:

MONDAY: Factory orders; Earnings from Dollar General
TUESDAY: ISM non-mfg index; earnings from Hovnanian
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, ECB announcement, productivity and costs, oil inventories, Fed's Beige Book, Fed's Lockhart speaks, Fed's Lockhart speaks, Fed Basel III vote
THURSDAY: Bank of England announcement, jobless claims, Bernanke speaks, quarterly services survey, Fed's Lockhart speaks, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, consumer credit; Earnings from Lululemon Athletica, JM Smucker
FRIDAY: International trade, wholesale trade, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, Chesapeake annual meeting

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Business group’s bid for high street cash fails - Isle of Wight County Press

VENTNOR Business Association (VBA) has failed in its bid for a share of £1 million of government regeneration cash.

It applied to become one of the towns to pilot some of Mary Portas’s ideas in her report on high streets late last year.

Ventnor wanted to become one of the 12 UK towns after the government invited bids to become 'Portas Pilots’.

The VBA bid was led by Anne Noon, a former business studies lecturer and entrepreneur, who is VBA vice-chairman.

She said: "We are really disappointed.

"Between £60,000 and £100,000 would have made a real difference to Ventnor but to somewhere like Croydon it is just a drop in the ocean.

"Since the bid was prepared, two shops have closed in Ventnor and while the number of empty shops is not the problem that it is in some towns, regeneration is needed.

"We need to attract people to come here and we had a number of initiatives.

"Among them was establishing a festival pack to help people stage events, creating a new interactive website and to have Portas-style mentoring to help businesses improve their turnover.

"We will meet within the next two weeks to decide whether to bid again in the second round this month."



Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

European stocks, euro extend losses on US jobs data - YAHOO!

European stock markets slumped again and the euro hit a 23-month low versus the dollar Friday on poor US jobs data in the wake of weak economic news from China and the eurozone, traders said.

Early losses deepened after the Labor Department said the US economy only added a meager 69,000 jobs in May, pushing the unemployment rate up to 8.2 percent.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index closed down 1.14 percent at 5,260.19 points, while in Frankfurt the DAX 30 tumbled 3.42 percent to 6,050.29 points and in Paris the CAC 40 dropped 2.21 percent to 2,950.47 points.

The euro dived at one point to $1.2288, a low last seen on July 1, 2010, before recovering to $1.2389 dollars, up from $1.2361 late on Thursday.

The dollar bought 78.17 yen, down from 78.33 on Thursday.

The closely watched US workforce figures were well below expectations of a 150,000 jobs increase and for the jobless rate to hold steady at 8.1 percent.

The data showed that a nascent recovery in the job market had stalled. In the first quarter, the average number of new jobs was 226,000, while in April and May, the average fell to 73,000.

The jobs numbers sent US stocks tumbling, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping 1.80 percent to 12,170.45 points in midday trade.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 1.95 percent to 1,284.81 points, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.19 percent to 2,765.42.

The weak start to June came after a miserable May in which most markets gave up almost all the gains they had made since the turn of the year as the eurozone's debt crisis came back into sharp focus.

"It is an ugly beginning (for June) after an ugly month. Do we see more prospects of Fed monetary easing," Gekko Global Markets analyst Anita Paluch asked in reference to previous stimulus measures called quantitative easing by the US Federal Reserve.

"May's employment report clearly suggests that US labour market conditions are deteriorating again, which will undoubtedly prompt more speculation that QE3 is coming soon," added Paul Ashworth at Capital Economics.

Meanwhile in Asia, "China's manufacturing numbers overnight did nothing to quell the growing concerns that it might suffer a harder landing than previously forecast," said Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at online brokerage Interactive Investor.

China said manufacturing activity grew at a much slower rate than expected in May, further confirmation that the world's number two economy was slowing rapidly after recent poor figures on trade, investment and industrial output.

The official purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to 50.4 from 53.3 in April, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said in a statement.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 suggests contraction. HSBC said its PMI for May stood at 48.4 compared with 49.3 in April.

The Chinese data helped to send Brent oil prices below $100 a barrel for the first time in eight months.

Also on Friday, data showed that eurozone unemployment stood at a record high of 11 percent, with Spain the hardest hit at 24.3 percent in April.

More than 17.4 million people were jobless in the 17-nation single currency area in April, as 110,000 more men and women joined unemployment queues, according to Eurostat data agency.

The news comes as Greece's political and economic future remains uncertain and Spain's banking sector looked increasingly fragile, stoking fears that debt-laden Madrid could need an international bailout.

With investors still seeking refuge in safe-haven assets, the yield on 10-year German and French bonds hit fresh record lows on Friday.

The rate of return for investors on 10-year German Bunds on the secondary bond market fell to 1.125 percent, and the yield on French 10-year bonds fell to 2.124 percent.

Spain's yield dipped late in the day to 6.424 percent from 6.536 percent at the close on Thursday, with the closely-tracked spread between German and Spanish borrowing widening to 5.48 percentage points at one point.

For a eurozone country such as Spain, an interest rate above 6.0 percent is considered dangerous territory with respect to its ability to refinance public debt.

Countries that had to pay 7.0 percent or more, including Greece, Ireland and Portugal, were forced to negotiate international bailouts.

Business Highlights - Yahoo Finance


US economy appears weaker ahead of jobs report

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. economy is looking slightly weaker the day before a critical report on May job growth is due.

Economic growth was a little slower in the first three months of the year than first estimated, largely because governments and consumers spent less and businesses restocked their supplies more slowly.

The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits rose to a five-week high last week. And a survey of private companies showed only modest hiring gains last month.


Sell in May and go away: Stocks close dismal month

NEW YORK (AP) -- They sold in May and went away, all right.

With a disappointing finish on Thursday, the stock market closed what was by some measures its worst month in two years. Over five dismal weeks, Facebook fizzled, a debt crisis in Europe loomed, and nobody was in the mood to buy.

When May mercifully ended, the Dow Jones industrial average and other major indexes had erased most of the strong gains they built up through March and held on to in April.

The Dow lost 820 points for the month, its worst showing since May 2010.


Will shoppers' increased spending in May last?

NEW YORK (AP) -- Americans loosened their purse strings in May, but it may have been a temporary splurge.

Some major retailers, including Target and Macy's, on Thursday posted sales increases that beat Wall Street estimates as shoppers were lured in by Mother's Day promotions and colorful new styles of clothing. The gains followed a dismal showing from the month before.

Still, it may not be time to celebrate just yet. Revenue growth remains slower than earlier in the year, and worries about the global economy are starting to escalate again.


Yield on 10-year Treasury sinks to record low

NEW YORK (AP) -- Investors stampeded into U.S. government bonds Thursday, driving the interest rate on the 10-year Treasury note as low as 1.54 percent, a record.

People were fearful that the U.S. economy might be hitting the skids at the same time as Europe is falling apart and the economies of China and India are slowing. When investors want to protect their portfolios they tend to plow money into U.S. government bonds, which are considered among the safest in the world because they are less likely to lose value and are easily tradable.

The previous record low of 1.55 percent was set in November 1945. That was just after the end of World War II, when government price controls kept interest rates artificially low to preserve financial stability.


Euro setup is unsustainable, European Central Bank chief warns

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- The setup of the 17-country euro currency union is unsustainable, the head of the European Central Bank has told EU leaders, warning they must quickly come up with a broad vision for the future to get the bloc through the current financial crisis.

Mario Draghi said Thursday that the crisis had exposed the inadequacy of the financial and economic framework set up for the euro monetary union launched in 1999.

Draghi said the central bank had done what it could to fight the 2 ½-year-old debt crisis by reducing interest rates and giving €1 trillion ($1.2 trillion) in emergency loans to banks. But it was now up to governments to chart a course ahead by reducing deficits, carrying out sweeping reforms to spur growth and strengthening the euro's basic institutions.


New York City soda ban could be a blow for drink makers

NEW YORK (AP) -- Is the Big Gulp to blame for obesity in the Big Apple? New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks so.

But Bloomberg's proposal Thursday that the city bar restaurants, delis and movie theaters from serving large cups of sodas and other sugary drinks is a bitter twist for companies that make beverages like Coke, Dr Pepper and Pepsi. The ban, which would be the first of its kind in the nation, comes at a time when soda consumption has been declining.

The industry has struggled in recent years as more health-conscious Americans have shifted away from sugary sodas toward bottled water and sports drinks like Gatorade. That's led to a 20-percent reduction in the calories consumed per capita through carbonated beverages over the last decade, according industry tracker Beverage Digest.

Bloomberg's proposal could reduce soda consumption further in New York.


Los Angeles vote could spell end for bag of a thousand uses

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Ah, the little plastic grocery bag, we hardly got to know you.

It seems as if the single-use grocery bag, as it's formally known, has been around forever, but it wasn't introduced in U.S. supermarkets until 1977 in a move that prompted perhaps the most-asked question of the following decade: "Paper or plastic?"

As the years went by and plastic won, people began to find myriad other makeshift uses for the little bags with the briefcase-like handles. You could line small trash cans with them, use one to scoop up dog doo and another to carry wet towels home from the beach. You could even use them to take pictures in the rain and not destroy your camera.

The discarded bags, though, had a nasty habit of washing up on beaches by the thousands, clogging storm drains and getting tangled in all sorts of stuff. That raised the ire of environmentalists, who have been on a ban-the-bag quest for years.

Now, with the city of Los Angeles taking the first step toward joining nearly four dozen other California municipalities in outlawing them, the humble little polyethylene bag may be headed for the trash heap of history.


US 30-year mortgage rate falls to record 3.75 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average U.S. rates on 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgages dropped to record lows again this week, with the 15-year loan dipping below 3 percent for the first time ever.

Low rates have helped brighten the outlook for home sales this year. They have made home-buying and refinancing more attractive to those who can qualify.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 3.75 percent. That's down from 3.78 percent last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.


Cricket gets prepaid iPhone

NEW YORK (AP) -- Leap Wireless International Inc., the parent of the Cricket cellphone service, on Thursday said it will be the first mainland U.S. phone company to sell recent iPhone models on a prepaid, no-contract basis.

Starting June 22, Leap will sell the iPhone 4S starting at $500 and the iPhone 4 starting at $400. Service will cost $55 per month for unlimited calls, texting and data.

Leap Wireless International Inc., which is based in San Diego, focuses on selling no-contract service to low-income households. Its own network is limited to certain cities. In other places, it uses Sprint Nextel Corp.'s network.


Sycamore Partners buying Talbots for $193.3 million

HINGHAM, Mass. (AP) -- The struggling women's clothing chain Talbots is being taken private by Sycamore Partners for about $193.3 million in cash, an abrupt turnaround after buyout talks appeared to stall last week.

Talbots said Thursday that its stockholders will receive $2.75 per share, which is less than the $3.05 per share previously offered by the private equity firm but more than double Wednesday's closing price of $1.29. It's also a 76 percent premium to the closing price on December 6, when Sycamore made its first offer of $3 per share.

The Hingham, Mass., retailer has about 70.3 million outstanding shares, according to FactSet.


By The Associated Press(equals)

The Dow Jones Industrial average closed down 26.41 points to end the month at 12,393.45. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 2.99 points to close at 1,310.33. The Nasdaq composite index fell 10.02 points to 2,827.34.

Benchmark U.S. crude lost $1.29 to end at $86.53 per barrel in New York, while Brent crude fell $1.60 to finish at $101.87 per barrel in London.

Natural gas rose less than a penny to end at $2.422 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil fell by 3.36 cents to finish at $2.7062 per gallon, and wholesale gasoline lost 3.32 cents to end at $2.825 per gallon.

Stocks plunge on disappointing jobs report - MSN Money
Charley BlaineUpdated: 2:39 p.m. ET

Stocks dropped sharply today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) going negative for the year, after the Labor Department said the national unemployment rate rose to 8.2% in May and payroll employment growth fell dramatically.

The economy created just 69,000 new jobs in May, down from 77,000 in April and 143,000 in March. The payroll gains were much less than the consensus estimate of 150,000. Worse, the payroll gains for April and March were cut by a total of 49,000 jobs. In a note to clients, Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist of High Frequency Economics, summed up the report in three words: "This is horrible."

There was renewed speculation that the Federal Reserve might try new measures to stimulate the economy, although Chairman Ben Bernanke and others have said they wouldn't move unless the economy shows serious deterioration.

It's questionable if today's jobs report meets that standard. A report on manufacturing missed estimates slightly but suggested more strength in the economy than the jobs reports indicates. Automakers were reporting decent May sales, but the reports were generally below Wall Street estimates.

At 2:39 p.m. ET, the Dow was down 247 points to 12,146. The index is now down 0.6% for 2012. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was off 29 points to 1,281. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) was off 71 points to 2,757. If the losses hold, they will be the third straight for the indexes and the worst point losses for the three indexes since Nov. 1.

Article continues below.

The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX), meanwhile, was down 57 points to 2,468. The index is heavily influenced by Apple (AAPL), which was down $14.09 to $563.64, subtracting more than 13 points from the index by itself. Facebook (FB) was down $1.60 to $28.

Interest rates were lower, as investors around the world sought safety in bonds. The U.S. 10-year note yield fell to 1.46% from Thursday's 1.58%. The German 10-year bond was yielding 1.172% after falling to as low as 1.172%.

Financial stocks were the weakest sector of the S&P 500, down more than 3.4% overall. All 19 sectors of the index were lower. Bank of America (BAC) was down 36 cents to $6.99. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) dropped $1.35 to $31.81.

Utility stocks were the best performers. The Dow Jones Utility Average ($UTIL) was off just 3 points to 465.

The Dow has now fallen 8.3% since peaking on May 1. The S&P 500 is off 9.5% since its peak of 1,419 on April 2, though it remains up 2.1% for the year. The Nasdaq has dropped 11.4% since peaking on March 26. Its gain has been cut from 20% to 6.3%. A loss of 10% or more is the popular definition of a correction.

Warm weather, Europe and China may be hurting U.S.
Unseasonably warm weather, which brought forward hiring into the winter months, has been blamed for the step back in March and April.

The report contained a number of worrisome elements. Over the last three months, the economy has added 96,000 jobs a month, compared with 250,000-plus in December, January and February. The average workweek fell slightly; average weekly earnings were up just 0.1%.

The payroll survey -- the one from which the unemployment rate is derived -- was stronger, with total employment up 422,000.

Part-time employment, however, accounted for all of the gain and then some. And the alternative measure of unemployment, which includes the traditional measure plus those who have given up or are working part time because they can't find full-time employment, rose to 14.8% from 14.5% in April. It's still down from 15.4% a year ago.

"While this report hardly qualifies as a disaster, it does confirm that there's a real slowdown under way, and not just some weather-related quirks," said Philippa Dunne and Doug Henwood of the Liscio Report, a newsletter that tracks state finances.

What's not clear is the cause. Most economists believe it is worry that Europe's worsening problems will spill over to this country.

"Some had believed that we had decoupled from China slowing and all the problems in Europe, but that seems to be short-sighted," Malcolm Polley, president and chief investment officer of Stewart Capital Advisors in Indiana, Pa., told Reuters.

The report came as stocks in Europe plunged after the European Union's statistics service said unemployment in the eurozone nations hit 11%.

Manufacturing activity declined across the continent, with activity in Spain, France, Greece and even Germany hitting three-year lows. China also contributed to the day's distress after two reports on manufacturing showed growth continuing to slow.

Manufacturing in the United Kingdom also fell back.

European nations have been struggling with a tottering banking system. Spain's largest banks are largely wards of the state, and a big issue now appears to be finding a eurozone-wide mechanism to guarantee bank deposits, as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. does in the United States.

Crude oil drops, but gold rises
Crude oil (-CL) was down $3.13 to $83.40 a barrel, potentially its lowest price since Oct. 10. It had traded as low as $82.70. Brent crude, the benchmark North Sea oil, fell to $99.12 a barrel, down $2.75. Brent hasn't traded below $100 a barrel since Oct. 4.

Crude in New York is off more than 15% this year and 26% since peaking at $109.77 a barrel on Feb. 24. Brent has fallen 22% since peaking on March 1.

The national average retail price of gasoline fell to $3.611 a gallon today, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report, from $3.626 on Thursday. Gasoline is still up 10% for the year but down 8.3% from a peak of $3.936 in early April.

Gold (-GC), however, jumped $57.90 to settle at $1,622.10 an ounce. Silver (-SI) closed up 75.5 cents to $28.51 an ounce, and copper (-HG) rose 5.2 cents to $3.3135 a pound.

The euro, however, moved higher against the dollar, trading at $1.24285, up from Thursday's $1.2364. It had traded as low as $1.23183.

Auto stocks fall as sales disappoint
Auto sales were good. They were very good. But not good enough for Wall Street.

Shares of most automakers, including Ford Motor (F), Toyota (TM), Honda Motor (HMC) and Nissan (NSANY), were all lower this afternoon as automakers reported May sales.

GM deliveries last month rose 11% to 245,256. Toyota's sales surged 87% to 202,973, Chrysler's climbed 30% to 150,041 and Nissan's increased 21% to 91,794.

But the consensus estimates ahead of the reports were for gains of 15% by GM, 93% by Toyota, 40% by Chrysler and 29% by Nissan.

Volkswagen's (VLKAY) U.S. sales so far in 2012 are the company's best since 1973.

GM shares moved up 88 cents to $23.08 this afternoon after the company said it plans to offer a lump-sum payment to about 42,000 current retirees to invest as they see fit. Those who don't accept will get their pensions via a group annuity purchased through Prudential Insurance. The move is expected to cut GM's pension obligations by some $26 billion.

Wal-Mart is the best Dow performer; gold stocks jump
None of the 30 Dow stocks was showing gains. The best performer was Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), down 27 cents to $65.55.

Only seventeen S&P 500 stocks were higher, along with just four Nasdaq-100 stocks were higher.

Gold miners were having a big day. Newmont Mining (NEM), the largest U.S. gold producer, was the S&P 500 leader, up $2.81 to $49.97. Randgold Resources (GOLD) was the Nasdaq-100 the leader, up 5.6% to $83.75.

Shelley Zapp, President of UNIT4 Business Software, Recognized as "Executive of the Year" by VIATeC Technology Awards - Market Wire

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA and MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE--(Marketwire - June 1, 2012) - Shelley Zapp, president of UNIT4 Business Software, has been recognized as the "Executive of the Year" last night from the Victoria Advanced Technology Council (VIATeC). UNIT4 Business Software is a local subsidiary of a worldwide company UNIT4, the world's leading provider of ERP solutions for Businesses Living IN Change (BLINC™). The company competes successfully against multi-billion dollar giants such as SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft thanks to Agresso Business World. The company has been steadily expanding its business throughout North America, and has enjoyed strong growth over the last five years while also growing its employee footprint locally in Victoria.

The VIATeC Technology Awards celebrate each year the achievements of companies that are responsible for making Greater Victoria the fastest growing technology region in British Columbia. The Executive of the Year award recognizes an individual who had a significant impact on the success of an organization as a direct result of their leadership.

Shelley Zapp joined the company as a developer 13 years ago. Shelley's hard work and dedication enabled her to rise through the ranks and assume the role of President in 2004. Since that time, Shelley has grown the company to five times its size and revenue. These achievements positioned the North American subsidiary as one of the top performing divisions of the UNIT4 group globally. Shelley's wisdom, integrity, social judgment and effective leadership established her as the leading country manager within the group.

"It's a great honour to be recognized by peers last night," said Shelley Zapp, president of Unit4 Business Software. "I am very fortunate to work for such a great company and be part of a talented team. I owe this award to our collaborative culture driven by the "can-do" attitude of everyone at UNIT4 Business Software".

About VIATeC

VIATeC is the conduit that connects people, knowledge and resources to grow a successful technology sector in Greater Victoria. The organization was founded in 1989 to promote and enhance the development of the local advanced technology industry. Since its inception, the Victoria tech sector has grown to over 1,100 technology companies, employing more than 15,000 people and generating in excess of $1 billion in annual revenues.

About UNIT4 Business Software

UNIT4 Business Software in North America ( is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UNIT4, a global business software and services company aimed at helping dynamic public sector and non-profit organizations, as well as people and service-centric companies, to embrace change simply, quickly and cost effectively in a market sector it calls 'Businesses Living IN Change' (BLINC)™. Agresso Business World is widely acknowledged as the business software solution that delivers the lowest Total Cost of Change. The software's unique Vita architecture allows for ongoing, post-implementation changes by business users, without the external IT costs typical of disparate systems.

Over 3,000 companies and organizations in 100 countries deploy Agresso Business World for both operational support and strategic management. The company's role-based, Web Services and Services-Oriented Architecture (SOA) enabled solutions include Financial Management, Human Resources and Payroll, Procurement Management, Project Costing and Billing, Reporting and Analytics, Business Process Automation, and Field Services and Asset Maintenance.

The names of actual companies or products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. Agresso, Agresso Business World and BLINC are registered trademarks of UNIT4 Business Software.

Asian Stocks, Oil Slump on China Manufacturing; Dollar Advances - Bloomberg

Treasuries rallied, driving 10-year yields below 1.50 percent for the first time, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average erased its 2012 gain after U.S. employers created the fewest jobs in a year and Chinese manufacturing slowed. Commodities slumped.

Yields on 10-year Treasuries dropped nine basis points to 1.47 percent at 2:28 p.m. New York time and slid as low as 1.4387 percent earlier. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) sank 2.2 percent, its biggest drop of the year, after completing its worst monthly slide since September. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slumped 1.9 percent. The S&P GSCI gauge of 24 commodities slipped to the lowest level since October as oil plunged 3.3 percent to an eight-month low of $83.23 a barrel. Germany’s two- year note yield turned negative during the day for the first time ever. Gold rallied 4 percent.

Payrolls climbed by 69,000 last month, less than the most- pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey, after a revised 77,000 gain in April that was smaller than initially estimated, the Labor Department said. The median estimate called for a 150,000 increase in May. The jobless rate rose to 8.2 percent. A report showed Chinese manufacturing grew less than estimated.

“The bond market has reacted to every rainstorm as if it’s a hurricane,” David Kelly, chief market strategist at JPMorgan Funds, told Bloomberg Television. “What’s happened in markets over the last few years is valuations have gotten more and more extreme. In fact I don’t think that there’s been a more extreme day in the relative valuations of stocks and bonds in the last 50 years.”

Treasury Rally

Treasuries last month had their highest returns since August, returning 1.8 percent, reflecting the declining stability of the 17-member euro currency amid a worsening sovereign debt crisis, according to indexes compiled by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The MSCI All-Country World Index (MXWD) of shares lost 8.9 percent including dividends, the biggest monthly decline since September. The euro declined 6.6 percent versus the dollar in May, also the most since September.

Thirty-year Treasury bond yields declined 11 basis points to 2.53 percent, and fell to 2.5089 percent earlier, the lowest in Federal Reserve records beginning in 1953.

Valuation measures show Treasuries are at the most expensive levels ever. The term premium, a model created by economists at the Fed, reached negative 0.95 percent, the most expensive level ever. A negative reading indicates investors are willing to accept yields below what’s considered fair value.

‘Unemployment Crisis’

The S&P 500 has tumbled almost 10 percent after it peaked in 2012 on April 2, when it reached a four-year high of 1,419.04. It is trading for less than 13 times its companies reported earnings, the lowest since November, and has been stuck below its five-decade average multiple of 16.4 for more than two years. Losses in stocks accelerated this year after the April 6 employment report from the Labor Department showed the slowest job creation in five months. Today’s report showed employers added the fewest workers in a year, bolstering concern that the job-market recovery is stalling.

“The weak jobs report confirms that the U.S. is vulnerable to a European situation that is going from bad to worse,” said Mohamed El-Erian, the chief executive officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., the largest manager of bond funds. “The report’s details speak to an unemployment crisis that is getting more stubbornly embedded in the structure of the economy. Looking forward, the employment situation will be further challenged by an ongoing synchronized global slowing.”

The Dow average slumped as much as 280.83 points, or 2.3 percent, to 12,112.62, below its level of 12,217.56 at the end of 2011.

Dow Leaders

Hewlett-Packard Co., Bank of America Corp. and American Express Co. dropped at least 4.5 percent to lead losses among all 30 Dow companies. Wynn Resorts Ltd., MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands Corp. slumped at least 5 percent as Macau casino gambling revenue grew at the slowest pace since July 2009. Facebook Inc. slid 5.5 percent after yesterday rallying 5 percent, the best gain since its initial public offering last month.

The U.S. jobs data extended an earlier global slump in stocks triggered after China led a slowdown in manufacturing across Asia. China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 50.4 in May from 53.3 in April, China’s statistics bureau and logistics federation said today in Beijing. Economists projected 52, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. Measures for India, South Korea and Taiwan also declined.

Shaoul’s Take

“As if clear evidence of an emerging market slowdown and Europe’s woes were not enough to contend with, the market will now have to digest one of the nastier non-farm payroll reports we have seen in recent months,” Michael Shaoul, chairman of Marketfield Asset Management in New York, which oversees more than $1.9 billion, wrote in an e-mail to clients.

Gold producers in the U.S. and Canada jumped as signs of weakening job growth in the U.S. fueled expectations that the Federal Reserve will take further steps to spur growth, boosting the appeal of the precious metal as an inflation hedge. Newmont Mining Corp., the largest U.S. gold producer, rallied 8.3 percent. Canada’s S&P/TSX Gold Index rallied 7.9 percent, the most since September 2009, as all 40 of its stocks advanced. Gold for August delivery rose as much as 4.3 percent to $1,632 an ounce.

After today’s jobs report, the Fed is more likely to provide added stimulus when its current effort winds down, according to Morgan Stanley. The probability of more central bank policy action is 80 percent, up from 50 percent, the firm said.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 1.9 percent today to close at the lowest level since Dec. 19. Spain’s IBEX 35 Index extended its year-to-date decline to 29 percent and closed at the lowest level in nine years. Italy’s FTSE MIB Index lost 1 percent to a three-year low.

Yen Rallies

The yen rose against 12 of 16 peers as investors sought the perceived safety of the currency. The euro added 0.3 percent versus the yen after earlier falling to its lowest level in more than 11 years versus the Japanese currency as euro-bloc unemployment surged to the highest on record. The yen rose to its strongest in almost four months against the dollar as the premium investors get for investing in U.S. debt over Japanese securities fell to a record.

The Dollar Index, a gauge of the currency against six major peers, slipped 0.3 percent to 82.798 after reaching the highest level since August 2010 yesterday. Wheat, natural gas and oil led losses in 17 of 24 commodities tracked by the S&P GSCI Index.

ECB Speculation

Spanish and Italian government bonds advanced, outperforming benchmark German bunds, on speculation the European Central Bank may purchase the securities to stem an increase in borrowing costs. Italian 10-year bond yields dropped 16 basis points, or 0.16 percentage point, to 5.74 percent. The yield on similar-maturity Spanish securities dropped three basis points to 6.53 percent.

“I imagine there is speculation that the ECB may be forced to move given how much yields have rocketed,” said John Davies, a fixed-income strategist at WestLB AG in London. “But if we were really getting strong speculation that the ECB was intending to step in I think we would be down 30 or 40 basis points.”

An ECB spokesman in Frankfurt declined to comment when reached by phone today.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slumped 1.3 percent as benchmark gauges in India, Taiwan, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia led declines.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nick Baker in New York at; Rita Nazareth in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Nagi at

Enlarge image Treasuries Surge as Stocks Plunge After Jobs Report

Treasuries Surge as Stocks Plunge After Jobs Report

Treasuries Surge as Stocks Plunge After Jobs Report

Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange.

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

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