Rob Black & Your Money May 25- Bernanke Prepared to Do More, Square Payments Soar, Intel Phone Chips

By: Rob Black - Wed, 25 Apr 2012 17:42:18 -0800

Winner:  Nasdaq Has Biggest Advance in 2012

Stocks rose, but the Nasdaq had its biggest gain 2012, as Apple’s earnings almost doubled and the stock was up 8%.

 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said he’s prepared to do more to stimulate growth.

Apple, the most valuable company, surged 8.7 percent for the biggest gain since November 2008.

Boeing  added 4.7 percent as earnings beat estimates after the company delivered more commercial jets while pushing production to record levels.

Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of construction equipment, slumped 5.1 percent as revenue missed projections.

It’s encouraging. The earnings season shows that companies can have good profitability in a low growth environment. As long as these earnings hold up, I’d say that’s a bright sign for the market.

The S&P 500 has risen 10 percent in 2012 on better-than-estimated economic and corporate data. U.S. companies are beating earnings estimates at the highest rate in two years as economic growth at home helps counter a drag from Europe.

Winner: Bernanke Says Fed ‘Prepared to Do More’

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank is ready to take additional action if needed to boost the economy, after leaving its policy unchanged today.

Central bankers upgraded their forecasts for economic growth and unemployment while repeating their view that borrowing costs are likely to remain “exceptionally low” at least through late 2014.

The Federal Open Market Committee “expects economic growth to remain moderate over coming quarters and then to pick up gradually,” it said in a statement.

“Despite some signs of improvement, the housing sector remains depressed.”

Winner: Intel to Be ‘Big Player’ in Phones?

Intel, expects to become a “big player” in the market over the next five years, following more than a decade of failed attempts.

Intel whose chips are debuting in smartphones for the first time this week.

It’s a billion-unit market, so there’s huge opportunity.”

Intel has announced five customer wins for its phone-chip designs, with the first device going on sale in India.

Intel  dominance in PCs has more than 80 percent of the market.

 In the past, Intel hasn’t been able to gain ground against wireless-chip rivals such as  Qualcomm.
This week’s debut means Intel is finally making headway in the market.  As of a week ago, they  had zero share. “
Qualcomm, based in San Diego, is the biggest maker chips that connect phones to cellular networks. Texas Instruments and Nvidia compete in the market as well.

Apple , meanwhile, designs its own application processors, which are manufactured by Samsung.
Mobile-phone shipments are estimated to reach 1.7 billion in 2012.
Smartphone shipments, a subset of the mobile-phone market, will surge almost 34 percent. That’s a faster pace than the PC market, which remains Intel’s main source of revenue.

Winner: Square Payment Pace Rises 25%

Square Inc., maker of credit-card readers for smartphones and tablets, has increased its payment volume 25 percent since March, when Ebay’s PayPal showed off a new mobile scanner and underscored growth in the field.

Square, founded in 2009, is processing transactions at an annualized rate of $5 billion, up from $4 billion a month ago, as more consumers embrace mobile payments.

Square is making cash from sales before 5 p.m. on any day available in merchants’ accounts on the next business day, compared with as many as five days out for other processors.

The market may top $170 billion in transactions by 2015, up from about $60 billion last year.
Square, which is closely held, was created by Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter.

Square’s technology enables U.S. businesses to handle payments through Apple’s iPhone or iPad, or through devices running on Google’s Android software. The card reader plugs into the headphone jack of the mobile device.

Payments processors are pushing deeper into the mobile-payment market with smartphone readers that allow merchants to accept payments in any location.

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