Sunday, April 29, 2012

6th period: Current Events Assignment due 5/4

For this week's assignment, please find an article that is related to one of your investments in our stock market simulation game. The article should be as current as possible, but your can certainly go outside of the usual 2 week window for this posting. Hopefully, we will learn about some of the stocks that you are interested in and their potential promise in the current market. 

Do not forget to post the article title/author/source in addition to the url...a few of you lost points for that last week. Stick to the format and inform me and your classmates. 

Looking forward to the information! Have a fantastic week. Can you believe that it is already May? Only a few more current events to go!! :)


  1. Katie Mimmack pd 6
    How Japan's rail industry bounced back from the tsunami by David Millward on April 23, 2012

    In October 2000, a disaster struck in England when a train flew off the tracks, killing four people and injuring 102. It took England’s railway system more than 6 years to recover from the incident. On March 11th, 2011, a huge tsunami struck Japan and almost 19,000 people were killed. Despite the destruction and damage faced, the Japanese railway system was up and running again within 50 days of the tsunami, compared to England’s recovery time of 6 years. The Japanese railway system is well-prepared for earthquakes, having a network of 28 tremor detectors and other safety features to stop trains and keep them from turning over in the event of an emergency. Although the railway system was damaged in the tsunami, East Japan Railway, the world’s biggest railway system, was able to quickly and effectively get trains running as usual. Although the railway system carries 17 million passengers per day, not a single passenger was injured and even more safety improvements are being made.

    I think Japan’s railways are a safe and efficient way to travel. It’s amazing how well-prepared they are for disaster, and huge number of safety features they have. This article outlines Japan’s railway system really well, but I think the author should not have compared it to the train derailment that occurred in England with regard to the amount of time it took to get the trains working again. The accident in England was the fault of the railway system and people were killed because of it, whereas in Japan, the accident was not the fault of the railway and nobody was killed or injured. Also, Japan’s railway has many more riders and people who rely on it every day than that of England. Japan’s railway was able to repair the damage quicker than England because England’s railway safety had to be completely remade and they had to convince others that it was safe to ride. For the stock market simulation, one of my investments is in the East Japan Railway system. Because of its huge popularity, it will probably not be going out of business any time soon. It is also improving constantly, and there is very little chance that any accident would occur that is the railway’s fault because of all of the safety regulations. I think it can only improve in worth over time!

  2. Anna Zhang
    Top analyst: 'Apple will decline'
    By Doug Gross, CNN
    Thu April 26, 2012

    George Colony, the CEO of Forrester, a top research firm, predicts that "Apple will decline in the post Steve Jobs era." He explains that Tim Cook, the current leader of Apple, lacks the charisma that Steve Jobs possessed. Colony believes that Cook’s bureaucratic method will ultimately lead to the demise of Apple although it will still maintain to be a good company. Colony backs his prediction by citing previous similar situations such as the 20 years after Walt Disney died. He believes that Apple executives Jon Ive and Scott Forstall would be better leaders because they have the charisma or “gift of grace” necessary for the job. However, Colony’s prediction of Apple’s abated success does appear to hold true at the current moment. Apple has recently sold up to 35.1 million iPhones, 4 million Mac computers, 11.8 million iPads and 7.7 million iPods since the start of this year, which altogether led to a double in profits.

    I thought that Colony was very blunt in his use of words. This article/analysis will probably put more pressure on Tim Cook, since Colony predicts that Apple will decline due to Mr. Cook’s incompetent leadership. In our virtual stock market exchange game, I had originally planned on buying from Apple Inc. ,but then decided against it. Its latest trade amount was $603 and is currently dropping.

  3. Carly Narotsky, 6th pd.
    Adidas Surges to Highest Since 1995 After Raising Forecast
    by Julie Cruz, Bloomberg
    April 30, 2012

    Adidas has been doing very well recently. Their profits in the first quarter of this year surpassed estimates, so they raised the forecast for the full-year profit growth. It was originally 10 to 15 percent growth and now it is 12 to 17 percent growth. That made the stock price go up - higher than it’s been since 1995! The drastic growth is mostly due to increased sales on golf merchandise and in China, although Adidas has been doing well in Europe and North America as well. Adidas, along with other major sports apparel brands, is also predicted to benefit later this year with upcoming events such as the Olympics. However, there are reportedly some “commercial irregularities” in India, relating to the Reebok wing of the company. Reebok has installed new management in that area and is planning restructuring.

    I think it’s fantastic that Adidas is doing so well, and I will continue to invest in it for this stock market simulation competition because I bet in the next month it will only do better and better as we get closer and closer to the Olympics and European soccer championships. I would never have predicted that golf sales are making Adidas so profitable because I did not even know that Adidas makes golfing stuff, but maybe that’s because I’ve never golfed before. The fishy business in India, though, makes me think twice about my investments but it’s reassuring that there is new management and nobody seems too concerned about it.

  4. Grant DeSelm 6th
    Dow closes at a 4-year high, CNNMoney Staff

    Today, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 66 points or 0.5% when the market closed today. It finale at 13,279.40, the highest it has been since December of 2007. The S&P 500 added 8 points to round out at a gain of 0.6%, just a few points shy of being the highest of 2012. These are a few signs of hope that the US economy is growing and recovery from the market crash a few years ago. Manufacturing productivity recently has been the fastest growing economically in over a year and a half. Just like the US, China is also ramping up manufacturing as their economy too is gaining steady ground. One of the reasons for the major growth is that on Monday, the stocks ended at the lowest of April. This would cause smart stock traders to buy and hope to gain money. Construction spending rose only 0.1% in March. While that's an improvement from the 1.4% decline in February, the reading was below analyst estimates for a 0.5% increase.

    Yo yo dawg, am I really the first guy to post on here? Anyway, the Dow closing so high like it did today was a big step in our growth of a country. With the economy headed to the sky, it gives many more opportunities to people such as jobs and new products. This is also good for the world because the US has one of the largest economies in the world, despite being in trillions of dollars in debt. The only thing I wish we could do was invest in fortune 500 companies like the Dow Jones or S&P 500. I can’t believe Sanders blocked those. Aye, if anyone else reads this, leave a REPLY and say somethin’ funny.

  5. Arjun Raghavan
    Pd. 6
    Intel Corportation, Mastercard, Other Stocks hit 52-Week High, Tuesday
    No author given
    Fox Business
    May 1, 2012

    Intel Corportation, one of the companies which I invested in hit a 52-week high on Tuesday. I am very interested in Intel as I participated in a competition held by them, recently. Mastercard also hit a high this week. Intel surpassed its high at $28.78. Seeral other companies are hitting highs as the country travels on the road to recovery.

    I am very happy that many stocks are rising. Our economic downturn needs to end. Especially with the election coming up, the stok market carries even more weight.

  6. Kaitlin Jones, Period 6
    An Apple CEO-in-waiting sells 95% of his company shares
    CNN Money, By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
    May 2, 2012

    Scott Forstall, the head of iPhone and iPad software sold a total of 64,151 shares, 95% of his company shares, of APPL stock on Friday. Altogether, the 64,151 stocks were worth $38.7 million. Apple’s stock price are at a relatively high price currently, but not record high. Forstall is considered to be a possible successor to the position of CEO after Steve Jobs has passed, and Tim Cook the current CEO. The shares Forstall sold were the remains of his 120,000-share retention bonus that he received in 2008. He now holds 2,988 shares after losing some due to taxes.

    I am surprised that someone so high up in Apple would sell that many shares of his own company. The article also says that this does not mean that Forstall is not considering leaving the company, but I find it strange that he would sell all his shares. I suppose he wanted to take advantage of Apple’s relatively high stock prices, because in this economy you never know what’s going to happen day to day.

  7. Tim Bogan / 6th Period
    Amazon Gets Into the Sitcom Business
    All Things D, Author: Peter Kafka
    May 2, 2012

    Amazon has recently been acquiring more and more old television shows for its free video service, but plans to begin creating shows of their own. Amazon has shared a few details on its plan to create kids’ programs and sitcoms produced by their newly formed, Amazon Studios. Amazon is soliciting scripts via the Web, paying out modest fees for scripts they like. Amazon intends to actually produce and distribute the shows via its “Amazon Instant Video” offering. The head of Amazon Studios, Roy Price, believes the shows produces should be just like real TV shows with matching production budgets.

    Seeing as Amazon has already made an impact on the book industry, they may have a chance to make some real advances in this field. As Amazon currently buys shows to put on their site from Hollywood, there is not a real reason for Hollywood to be afraid at the moment. If this project is profitable, Hollywood could be facing some serious competition. This sort of entrepreneurship is the kind of thing that creates great companies that are prosperous in the long run.

  8. Natalie Bulik-Sullivan, Pd. 6
    McDonald’s Profit Rises 11%, but Investors Fret Over 2012
    The New York Times, January 24, 2012

    In December of 2011, the McDonald’s Corporation had strong fourth-quarter earnings. Its profits totaled of $1.38 billion, which is roughly 11% more than what was seen in 2010. Economists were predicting that the corporation’s sales would increase 5.9% in the next year, with a higher increase in Europe than in the United States. However, investors also feared at the time this article was written that the company’s planned simultaneous increase in spending would lower this year’s profits. The spending would be a result of higher taxes, renovations, new institutions, and new investments in technology. McDonald’s is also expanding its reach in China, which, according to McDonald’s spokespeople, is expected to have less of an influence on its future financial activities than it did in the fourth quarter of 2011.
    This article is several months old, so it is interesting to compare the predictions to what actually happened with this company’s stock. The fears mentioned above had already sent McDonald’s stock down 2% at the time of the article. According to the stock game website, McDonald’s stocks are lower than predicted in January about $1.37. I sense that the fall of McDonald’s is rapidly approaching, but that may just be wishful thinking.

  9. Paul Miller
    Is McDonald's on the Verge of Faltering?
    By Alyce Lomax

    Over the past years McDonald's stock has been very good but people are wondering if it is an as good of an investment as before. Experts say that their stock has finally gotten ahead of itself and in this uncertain economy, things could quickly go downhill. The reason why Mickey D's success has been great is because their competition has not been very good although Wendy's is gaining some ground. Their last quarter was very good because of their operational successes. It has become a no-brainer for investors' portfolios for a while now, but people have been raising questions about its future success. They say past performance is no guarantee for future success and the coming months could be difficult.

    I think that McDonald's will keep on chugging along and the stock won't go down because no competition has really presented itself. They come up with great ideas and everyone can agree that McDonald's fries are the best. Although they are changing CEOs, I would expect that the future successor would be advised be very knowledgeable people and have help along the way when he needs it. I like McDonald's a lot but its too bad that there are no close ones to me. I tend to go to Wendy's but I do admit that I like McDonald's fries and deserts the best. We have done a stock game in class and I have invested stock in McDonald's because it is doing very well.

  10. Ashley Powell
    Apple stocks’ influence on markets grows
    By matt krantz
    Apple is single handedly influencing the market right now. The first quarter earnings just came out and it made Apple’s stock jump from $49.72 to $610. These jumps made the entire stock market jump up and look like it was doing better. Apple has $110 billion in cash and investments which makes it one of the most invested in companies in the market. Even though apple has been doing so good most of the experts are saying to go ahead and sell your apple stocks and take the gain that you made. They say this upward trend is going to come back down and it already had some.
    I am not very happy with apple at the moment because right now they are not making me any money in our stock market game. They have actually lost me quite a bit of money and if it were not for them I would be making money right now. I hope that they go a little above the price that I bought them and I will cut my loses and sell them.

  11. Julian Wilson
    6th Period
    ‘The Scream’ sold for nearly $120 million by Adam Reiss and Richard Roth
    This article is about Eduard Munch’s painting ‘The Scream’ being sold at a recent auction at Sotheby’s. it sold for almost $120 million, which is the new world record for selling an artwork at auction. Sotheby’s is a famous auction house in New York, whose previous record was a work by Picasso which sold for $106.5 million. This version of ‘The Scream’ is one of four, but the only one available at public auction. This is significant because ‘The Scream’ is a very iconic work of art, which depicts relatable human emotion, and speaks to many people. It also shows how much art means to people, because $120 million is a significant amount of money.
    I thought this was a really interesting article because I am currently taking AP Art History and we have learned about ‘The Scream.’ This relates to what we are learning in class because you can invest in Sotheby’s auction house. This article made me curious about how much famous paintings in general sell for.

  12. Catherine Romaine
    6th period
    How low can Apple go?
    by Philip Elmer-DeWitt
    CNN Money, 5/3/12

    This article is about the Apple stock (AAPL)and how it has been going up and down over this past month. The main question is if there is a low point to the Apple stock. Even during the recession, Apple's price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) only dropped to 12.6. The three factors to whether or not the P/E drops are the quant funds, Apple's money, and reasonableness. By the end of this year, it is expected that Apple's quarterly earnings will reach about $50 a share.

    I picked this article because one of the stocks I invested in was Apple. Apple has become a huge name in the stock market in the past few years. It is a huge stock and is doing very well. I think that Apple will continue to increase. All of their products are selling very well and will continue to sell.

  13. Natalie Ragazzo
    'Target, Macy's Sales Trail Estimates After Early Easter'
    by Sapna Maheshwari
    May 3rd, 2012
    Sales at Target Corp. rose 1.1 percent. Target is the second largest discount chain in the United States. This fall was short of the average projection for a 2.9 percent gain found by researchers. Macy's, the second largest United States.'s department store also fell short. They only had a 1.2 percent decrease when expected an 1.9 percent. Retailers were watching the slow sales gain after Easter. It was said that holiday shifts were especially hard on companies this year. The sudden cold break this winter also gave the companies a little bit on difficulty. I chose to do this article because I have a stock in Target. It is one of the stocks that is gaining me the most money and I hope it continues to do so. I hope the heat wave that we just got will improve Target's selling because I believe people are realizing the heat is finally here. Another reason I bought in Target is because they certainly seem like a strong company and who doesn't love Target?

  14. David Hicks, Pd. 6
    Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. Reports Sales Gain But Declining Gross Margin In Second Quarter
    No specified author
    Vending Market Watch, May 3rd, 2012

    Green Mountain Coffee revealed its earnings for the second quarter of this year today, which were lower than expected but still positive. Net sales have increased by 37% over last year, and the company appears to be experiencing growth in general. The company accounts its successes to their recent introduction of the Keurig® single cup brewing system, despite not meeting the speculation that the market had for the company. The company stated that they will remain optimistic of the future despite only having a little over 10% of the total 90 million households with a coffee maker who use their single cup system. On a less optimistic side, they announced their growth margin decrease of 2.1%, which is a significant blow to the company. Green pouches and warranties, among other things, were responsible for this collapse, but GMCR is still optimistic, expecting growth in the 3rd Quarter 2012.
    I believe that GMCR is ridiculously optimistic right now, and it shows. Today, their stock dropped by 50% because of the announcement, and it appears that stockholders do not share the same optimism as they do. Unfortunately, they are trying to cash in on a relatively dry business, very few people are willing to pay for their new single cup brewing system and it is beginning to show. Demand appears as if it is leveling out, but only time will tell with GMCR’s performance. This relates to what we are doing in class because it addresses the market

  15. Emma Beck
    Per. 6
    May 2, 2012
    New York Times
    By Stephanie Clifford and Julie Bosman
    Target, Unhappy With Being an Amazon Showroom, Will Stop selling Kindles

    Target has decided to stop selling kindles at their stores. Target finds that many costumers look online at their website. Once finding the price, they go to the Amazon website and buy from there. Target sometimes puts sales on the Kindles as a way to get more people to come into the stores to buy their Kindles. Target has decided to keep carrying Apple products, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook.

    I think that it is kind of ridiculous that Target is reacting like this. I think that it is understandable for Amazon to sell their own product more than Target. I also think that it sounds a lot like kids playing on the playground, not sharing because they made them mad. I also think that it is crazy for them to give up on Kindles so soon when they sold so many at the beginning. I also think that it is obnoxious that they are not going to sell the Kindles, but will continue to sell the Nook and Apple products.

  16. Sorry i accidentally sent the email before i was finished! this is the finished version!

    Maddie McNeal
    Retirement Planning
    Scott Sheffield
    Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Slipped To Session Lows
    May 4, 2012

    Apple was doing very well but then fell to session lows for the past five trading sessions. The stock was down .75% from before. In the past three trading sessions the stock has done fairly well in the morning but then could not uphold the morning's success. Apple reported a much stronger finish than anticipated second quarter due to the strong iPhone sales. The net income for the second quarter will be much greater than third quarter which they anticipate will be much less. However, many investors are ignoring this fact and eagerly await the new iPhone.
    Apple is a very successful company whose stock is very influential. Many people have invested in Apple and expect them to do well. I believe that in time they will boost their stocks once again. People continuously buy Apple products. They haven't gone out of style yet!

  17. Laura Sullivan
    Period 6th
    Coke Stock Split May Irk Warren Buffet
    By: Don Dion

    The relationship between Coca-Cola and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett has been successful for decades, but their relationship may face problems with the 2-for-1 stock split. This move would attract new investor and boost liquidity. When other companies have tried to split Warren Buffett was strongly against it and the split ending up hurting the other companies. This split would be Coca-Cola’s 11th split.

    I think that splitting Coca-Cola would be smart for the company. I think it would help the company why getting it new short-term minded individuals to invest in the Company. It may hurt those that are already invested by giving them a feeling of less power, but I think it’s better for the company in the long run. This relates to what we’re doing in class because I bought some stock from Coca-Cola.

  18. Colin Bergey
    Stocks Fall After Weak Jobs Report
    by "CNNMoney staff"
    May 4th, 2012

    The stock market fell sharply this morning and has continued to fall, but less harshly, since it opened. This fall was due to a disappointing jobs report for the month of April 2012. The report stated a gain of 115,000 jobs, which was less than the expected 160,000 new jobs. The unemployment rates have been falling over the past 9 months. This confirms that the economy is in a slow state of recovery. U.S. stocks also slipped thursday because of talk of a weak jobs report.
    I think that no matter the state of the economy, investors should hold on to their stocks until they really need the money. People who panic and sell stocks because of day to day news will only lose money in the long run. The market will quickly recover from this news and continue to go up with the state of the economy. I think it is ridiculous that people try to sell as the market drops quickly.

  19. Nate Hebert
    by The economist staff
    March 24th 2012

    The most recent iPad was released March 16th and it was the most successful version yet. But some buyers are debating about the iPad’s tendancy to heat up along with its stock. Apple’s share price has increased by 83% in the past year. This now puts Apple as the largest company in the world over Exxon. The share price keeps soaring. On March 20th it’s shares cost a record high of 605.96 dollars. The only question left is if the company will continue to grow. Many people believe that the company will stall due to the recent death of Steve Jobs because most of the innovation of the company was by him.

    To answer the question that many people are asking, I would say that Apple will do alright for the next few years. Steve Jobs has had ideas he has left the company that they will continue to use and make a profit. It will get interesting when Job’s ideas run out and someone else will have to create a new product. This has to do with what we are talking about in class because it is about economics and stocks. Ayo, if you read this DO NOT REPLY. Thank you.

  20. Gabe Foster-6th Period
    Oil Prices Plunge 6% For the Week by Aaron Smith
    CNNMoney 5/4/12

    The price of oil dropped 6% this week to under $100 a barrel. Oil, a good indicator of gasoline prices had been rising rapidly recently and had raised fears of extremely high gas prices, as much as five dollars a gallon. Gas prices had reached their peak back in February and started to fall but took a much faster drop this week. The stock market in general has taken a hit this week with all the major markets falling several percent.

    This article is good news for people who have to drive places, most people, but bad news for people invested in oil. In the stock market simulation I had some money in an oil company and lost a lot of money for it. I’m glad it’s not real money. I am glad to see that gas prices are not going to be as high at least for a little while. This means I won’t have to hear my parents complain every time we go to fill the car up.

  21. Mikko Rich-voorhees 6th
    Is Mark Zuckerberg a risk factor for Facebook's IPO? Lance Whitney
    In hopes of going public, Mark Zuckerberg was listed as a “risk factor” by fox news correspondent Charles Gasparino. One of the issues with this would be Zuckerberg’s leaving which would greatly hurt the company, but all the shares and voting rights he would own would also be troublesome. Zuckerberg will hold about 57% of the companies voting shares, but will no longer head Facebook and a new CEO and board members will take charge. All the other shareholders will own the remaining part of the company.
    This affects the Facebook stocks the most probably; by going public this leaves more shares for the people to purchase and more opportunities for them. Zuckerberg will even be a shareholder, but a majority shareholder with over half of the stocks. This relates to the economics we are studying, because it affects the stock market. This is an example of how companies are managed within the stock market in order for people to maximize their wealth.

  22. Ryan Castellano
    Period 6, 5/4/12
    Barnes & Noble's shares soar on Microsoft Nook investment CNN, 4/30/12

    A few days ago Microsoft put 300 Million bucks into the Barnes & Noble's Nook tablet used mainly for reading. Microsoft has invested over 1.7 Billion dollars into the Nook, over two times the total market profit of it. The situation with the 300 Million was that an app for Barnes and Noble’s Nook would come up with the Windows 8 system. The new app would undermine the sale of the tablet, even though they would have very similar objectives. This objective of course is reading electronic books. The Nook has ran into trouble in the past keeping up with their successful competitor the Amazon Kindle also made for e-books.

    I personally like the Nook way better than the kindle but I think that many other people love the kindle. However having a partnership with windows 8 will attract more customers. Selling through an app in place of a pricy tablet they will be able to make more money on electronic books while also successfully selling their tablets.

  23. Crescentia Cho/ 6th period
    Amazon wants to expand into sitcom
    Seattle Times Patrick Kevin Day
    May 3, 2012

    In 2010, Amazon began to enter the movie production business with Amazon studios. To get different ideas, they had a competition where average people submitted their ideas of movies. When the competition was over, they had 15 original ideas that could be potentially turned into movies. While Amazon was developing movies from these ideas, a lot of people had interest in turning the original series into comedy and children genres. Therefore, they have decided to solicit ideas of series for comedy and younger children. It will be produced to stream on Amazon Instant Video service.

    I think that this will have a huge benefit on their company. Amazon is already known for online shopping: music, books, clothes, and many others. If movies were added to that category, I feel like the company would expand and earn more money. This could be a kid safe environment so that parents don’t have to worry about the stuff that their children are watching. I think that this will be popular with children, parents, and other age groups because there will be funny series along with kid safe ones.

  24. John Morales, 6th period
    Forbes Earnings Preview: Macys
    Source: Forbes
    Date: 5-3-12

    For upcoming May 9th, expectations for higher results have risen. The consensus analyst consider that a stock can rise from 37 cents to 39 cents per share. Since a year ago Macys has gone up 30%, which at first each stock only contributed 30 cents per share. Now Analysts are predicting for a earnings share of $3.36 for the fiscal year. Revenue is said to be at 4.1% better than last year's. In three consecutive quarters Macys has seen its profit rise. A majority of Analysts rate Macys as a favorable buy. Macys makes more than its other competitors such as Target, Kohl's, and JC Penney.

    I think that Macys is doing well and it could possibly do even better overtime. Macys income is favoring me because I invested in it. As of me I think investing in Macys isn't a bad idea and it can favor someone.