Weekly Market Wrap Up, September 5-9 , 2011

The Euro Zone and America

As concern grows about Greece’s debt crisis, the euro touches a ten year low versus the yen and a six-month low versus the dollar. With the European bank and sovereign credit risk reaching an all-time high the effects are being seen here in the U.S. as the S&P has seen a 1.7 percent drop in the past week, making that a weekly drop for the past six of seven weeks. The energy, technology, and financial sectors prove to be the biggest drag on the index along with the major concerns coming from the euro zone. Since September 2, the euro has weakened nearly 4 percent against the dollar showing to be its largest weekly decline in over a year. “There is also rumors starting that Greece may default over the weekend” stated Charles St-Arnaud, a foreign- exchange strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc, in a Bloomberg report, “we are also seeing a lot of investors reducing their exposure and trying to find cover in case something happens over the weekend”. Although Greece has made statements denying such claims, these statements do not seem to be easing people’s fears. Germany’s emergency plan if Greece defaults involves steps to help banks and insures which could potentially face 50 percent losses on their Greek bonds if the next wave of bailouts are withheld.

All the euro news has seemed to overshadow President Obama’s speech, which calls for congress to pass a $447 billion plan to boost employment after jobs growth stagnated last month. This plan is estimated to boost U.S. GDP by as much as 2 percent in 2012, as stated by economists from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Moody’s Analytics Inc, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

– Charles Stack

Google’s acquisition of “the gastronomic bible”

In the same week that Yahoo decided to replace its CEO Carol Bartz, with the acquisition of Zagat, Google has made another move towards reaffirming its leadership position in the search engine landscape, and increase it advertising revenues.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google’s interest in Zagat is derived from its more than 20% searches related to local business. With Zagat’s over 350,000 contributors worldwide, Google intends to increase it footprint in local-business ads, while integrating those contributors in its Google Places, and Google Maps services.

It is estimated that the transaction for Zagat will be around the $125 million. With the recent acquisition of Motorola, and its expressed interest in Hulu, this deal seems to indicate a change on Google’s acquisition strategy. In the past Google was focused on small companies, but that now appears to be redirecting it efforts towards well-known enterprises.

– Wellington Rodriguez

Article submitted by: Charles Stack and Wellington Rodriguez of the Capital Markets Lab (CML). To learn more about the Capital Markets Lab (CML) please visit https://business.fiu.edu/capital-markets-lab/.

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