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  • Pharmaceutical Sector Shake-up - 8 may 2014
  • In an effort to boost share prices and profits, thereby keeping shareholders satisfied, major pharmaceutical companies are currently negotiating mergers, acquisitions and hostile takeovers which will essentially narrow their focus, allowing them to specialize in various fields. This latest trend of divesting assets is quite a turnaround from a few years ago when drug companies were diversifying through acquisitions to avoid an 'eggs-in-one-basket' scenario. Analysts note that deals currently underway are focusing on cutting costs and boosting sales to produce results investors have come to expect based on performance over the last two decades or so. However, the bullish activity in the pharmaceutical sector has been driven, in large part, by marketing of new products. With patents expiring and generic medicines flooding the market, many drugmakers have seen their revenue level out, or dip in recent months and will be hard-pushed to match past performances.

  • Europe Crisis, Stagnant Job Market Plague Investors - 5 September 2011
  • Investors face a new week on Wall Street with Europe's financial crisis and non-existent job growth fuelling fears of a double-dip recession. While some analysts are of the opinion that the United States is likely to avoid a recession, even if only by a narrow margin, others feel that it is only a matter of time before the economy slips into recession territory. Last week’s report of zero job growth, among other factors, resulted in consumer confidence falling to its lowest level since August 2009. With consumers fearful of job losses, the majority of consumers are holding back on buying anything that is not considered to be an absolute necessity, which in turn hits retailers and consumer product suppliers as trade slows down, and the economy slows down with it.

  • AT&T/T-Mobile Face Antitrust Issues - 1 September 2011
  • In the current economic climate, mergers and acquisitions offer potential for growth, as well as a means to cut costs by the laying off of staff and sharing of resources. The danger in M&A activity is the domination of markets by monopolies, and this is where antitrust authorities step in to ensure that markets remain competitive and consumers have a choice in products and services. The proposed takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T has been big news recently and it is no secret that AT&T was counting on this acquisition to compete with Verizon. But yesterday, the Department of Justice stepped in to block the $39 billion takeover in its current form, noting that the deal would push up prices for consumers and reduce competition.

  • Saving is Priority One, But Investing is Everything Thereafter - 5 January 2011
  • The past two years have been some of the severest on record when it comes to measuring how tough economic times can affect a family’s financial well being, much less the nation as a whole. Budgeting and priority setting become tougher elements of a prudent financial plan, but short-term thriftiness can bode well for long-term financial security, as long as you stick to your plan.

  • Fairtrade – Promoting Sustainable Development - 1 March 2010
  • Closely linked to the principles of ethical consumerism, green brands and sustainable development, are the principles of Fairtrade. All of which may have some impact on eco-conscious investors who have taken the decision to pursue strategic sustainable investing, supporting stock market listed companies with strong corporate social responsibility programs. Recognizing that very often farmers and their workers at the beginning of the production chain, mainly in developing countries, are not always paid as they should be, Fairtrade’s goal is to offer support to these often marginalized groups as they move towards economic self-sufficiency, sustainability and stability.

  • Gold Price Spikes as Jobs Disappoint - 11 January 2010
  • Just when it appeared that the gold price was ready to reverse its long-running and fast-paced upward trend, speculators have begun to jump back in. After falling to a 60-day low of $1,080.50, the price of gold reached its highest point in just over a month at the close of New York trade on January 6th.

  • Third Quarter Earnings Loom Ahead - 28 September 2009
  • Friday saw stocks on Wall Street falling for the third straight session, after having enjoyed a fairly consistent rally since the lows of March. It would appear that investors reacted negatively to the Federal Reserve's meeting on Wednesday, with Thursday's dismal existing home sales report, durable goods orders and oil slump, as well as a mix of disappointing economic news on Friday adding to the Wall Street gloom. While many in the know are disappointed at the retreat, few are surprised, anticipating that the road to recovery is going to be a lot rockier than has been indicated recently by stock market performance.

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