Econowatch: Bad news for Crocs stock

A scorecard on the state of the economy in North America and beyond

Good news

  • American consumers felt more upbeat in December, the Conference Board said. Its consumer attitudes index rose to 78.1 from 72.0 in November. Must have been the spirit of Christmas.
  • It wasn’t all that long ago people were openly predicting the end of the euro. But on Jan. 1 Latvia became the 18th country to adopt the currency, a sign the euro isn’t about to go away just yet.
  • The IMF says central banks around the world have boosted their holdings of Canadian currency 23.5 per cent since the end of 2012, to US$112.5 billion. They like us, they really like us.
  • Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg donated nearly $1 billion of the company’s shares to charity in 2013, as the number of wealthy donors giving at least $1 million rose 57 per cent last year.
  • Fiat signed a deal to buy the final chunk of Chrysler Group LLC it didn’t already own, a big win for Fiat’s Italian-Canadian CEO Sergio Marchionne and his plan to build the world’s seventh largest auto group.
  • More than a dozen American states boosted their minimum wage on Jan. 1, with more to follow in 2014, a move economists expect will boost consumer spending.

Bad news

  • Bombardier suffered a big setback with its rail division when it lost a $600-million contract to modernize the London Underground’s signalling system.
  • Local government debt in China has surged since the end of 2010 by 67 per cent to roughly US$3 trillion. The loans went to fuel China’s infrastructure boom, but economists worried it could spark China’s own financial crisis.
  • While the situation for America’s factories continues to improve, the pace of Canadian manufacturing activity slowed again, this time to a four-month low, according to RBC.
  • The U.S. government warned that oil from the Bakken shale deposit in North Dakota, the type that exploded in the Lac-Mégantic train derailment, may be more flammable than other forms of crude. You don’t say.
  • Another week, another customer relations crisis for Target Corp. Following revelations that customer credit cards were hacked, the company said some gift cards bought over Christmas don’t work.
  • Hewlett-Packard raised the number of jobs it plans to cut in 2014 by 5,000, to a total of 34,000, as the shrinking computer company tries to restructure its business.

Stock Signs

  • Crocs, the maker of chunky, brightly coloured foam clogs, has faced declining sales as consumers waffle over whether plastic shoes are a practical option or a screaming fashion disaster. The company has received a $200-million lifeline from the private equity firm Blackstone Group. There’s just no accounting for taste on Wall Street.
  • BlackBerry ended its pitiful marketing gimmick—sorry, collaboration—with singer Alicia Keys, who was named “global creative director” last year. The move by CEO John Chen is a symbolic nod BlackBerry is sharpening its focus on the enterprise market.
  • Since taking over Berkshire Hathaway in 1965, Warren Buffett has maintained an annual goal to increase the company’s net worth by more than the S&P 500 index over the previous five-year period. With the index, including dividends, up 128 per cent since 2008, analysts say it’s the first time Buffett has ever missed his mark.
  • General Mills, one of the world’s largest food companies, has bet consumers will be drawn to Cheerios free of all genetically modified ingredients. The move is part of a larger trend by food makers ditching GMOs in the hopes it will pay off in higher sales.



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Econowatch: Bad news for Crocs stock

  1. Countries have been joining the EU all along….it’s only rightwing NAmericans who keep predicting an end to it…..same as they keep predicting disaster for China. Because it’s what they wish would happen….so we could retain the top spot without having to work for it.

  2. Thought this article would be about our nation’s economy, but nope.

  3. Here is one or two you missed

    i) #4 on the Top Ten list of Conservative ‘accomplishments’ of the last 10 years…

    “Strongest Economy in the G7″

    source — http://www.conservative.ca/?page_id=3934

    ii) G8 selected stock market indexes – 2013 % increase

    Selected stock market indicies — G8 countries
    % change (in $US terms) on Dec 31, 2012

    Country | % increase

    Germany 28.7
    Japan 27.9
    U.S. 25.7
    Italy 23.2
    E.U. 21.7
    France 20.7
    U.K. 15.5
    Canada 1.0

    source — Jan 11, 2014 edition of The Economist, pg 77, Markets table

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