Rob Black's "Winners & Losers" Bankers Have Our Back, Comcast Deploys Skype to TVs, J-Lo Power

By: Rob Black - Wed, 16 May 2012 15:02:43 -0800

Loser: S&P 500 Falls Fourth Day on Europe Fret

Stocks retreated, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lower for a fourth straight day, as concern about Europe’s debt crisis overshadowed better-than-estimated data on housing starts and industrial production.

Two euro-area officials said the European Central Bank has no immediate plans to boost stimulus.
The Dollar Index rose for a record 13th straight day, reducing the appeal of commodities.

 J.C. Penney  tumbled 19 percent, the most since the market crash in 1987, on disappointing results.
General Motors  rose 2.9 percent as Berkshire Hathaway Inc. disclosed a stake in the automaker.

The situation in Europe is extremely precarious. More needs to be done. You can’t have a lot of confidence that assets will stabilize.”

Winner:  Several Fed Reserve Members Support Helping Economy

Several Federal Reserve policy makers said a loss of momentum in growth or increased risks to their economic outlook could warrant additional action to keep the recovery going.

The minutes show Fed policy makers refining the conditions under which further monetary stimulus could be necessary. At the March meeting, “a couple” of FOMC members said additional action may be needed if the economy lost momentum or if inflation were too low.

The FOMC also discussed the conditions under which they may change their guidance that the economy is likely to warrant low interest rates through at least late 2014.

The central bank expects the unemployment rate to fall to 7.8 percent to 8.0 percent by the final three months of this year.

Gross domestic product is likely to rise by 2.4 percent to 2.9 percent this year.

A stabilization of housing, the industry at the heart of the financial crisis, may boost the economy.

Winner: J.Lo's No. 1 On The Celebrity 100
 
Jennifer Lopez, with $52 million in earnings over the last 12 months and a massive amount of fame, lands at No. 1 on Forbes Celebrity 100 list.

A few years ago it looked like Lopez was done. Her albums, failed to find the broad audience and her movies, like El Cantante, flopped.

Then in 2010 the singer landed a judge’s chair on American Idol.

She split from Mark Anthony.

She scored lucrative endorsement deals with companies like L’Oreal and Gillette.

She now has a line of clothing at Kohl’s, a top-selling fragrance and she was able to secure a nice bump—to $20 million–on her Idol salary for a second season.

With 6.6 million followers on Twitter and 12 million fans on Facebook, she’s also proved a master of social media.

In second place is Oprah Winfrey who still  managed to earn more than anyone else on the list ($165 million) thanks to her empire of spin-off shows (Dr. Phil, Rachael Ray).

 Ranking third: Justin Bieber. Only 18, Bieber earned $55 million in the past year thanks to touring and record sales.

Winner: Comcast Launching Skype Video Calling

Comcast is launching  Skype-based HD video calling for Xfinity triple-play customers for $9.95 a month.

The service will allow customers to make and received video calls from their TVs in HD picture quality.
Customers will also be able to send and receive Skype instant messages while watching TV at the same time.

And you can make Skype audio calls.

To use the service, customers will need Xfinity Internet service, an HDMI-capable Comcast set-top box and a Skype account.

The other party does not have to have comcast but does need to be logged onto their skype account.


 

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