Americans’ positive feelings about the economy have officially returned to the level they were at on the eve of the Great Recession, according to a new study from Pew Charitable Trusts. While that might sound comforting, it doesn’t mean consumers are actually feeling secure in their own financial stability. [More]
If you tend to move a lot of merchandise on eBay or Craigslist, you should know that the IRS wants a share of those earnings. If in 2011 you sell more than $20,000 worth of goods and have more than 200 transactions, then come early 2012 you’ll receive a shiny new flavor of 1099 form called a 1099-K, and you’ll have to pay up. If you’re an infrequent seller, where your eBay or Craigslist transactions more closely resemble a garage sale than a virtual storefront (and especially if you sell items at a loss), you probably don’t have to worry. [More]
Do you hate Bank of America? Well take today’s earnings report and wallow around in it like Ann-Margret in beans, becuse the bank has posted a loss of $1 billion before dividends to preferred shareholders—”When those dividend payments are included, the loss was $2.24 billion,” reports the New York Times.
If we owned a Blockbuster franchise, we’d seriously think about just renting out the space to a bunch of Redbox kiosks. Blockbuster reported a 42% drop in revenue for the first quarter of 2009, which CEO Jim Keyes blamed on people going out to watch movies at theaters instead. Regarding the Redbox threat, Keyes said they hope to have 3,000 kiosks functioning by the end of the year. Redbox, on the other hand, has about 12,000. [Reuters]
Nick Kapur at The Motley Fool says that men trade stocks more frequently than women. This is not a good thing; the result of all this hyperactivity and overconfidence is lower earnings on your investment. He writes, “Worse still (for unmarried guys like me) is that single men trade a whopping 67% more than single women, earning them annual net returns of 2.3% less! The authors cite increased trading costs, taxes, and a greater tendency to speculate as reasons for this underperformance.”
Blockbuster’s stock just dropped 79% this afternoon after Bloomberg published a story that said the company hired the firm Kirkland & Ellis “to evaluate restructuring options, including a possible pre-packaged bankruptcy.” Blockbuster says they’ve only hired the firm for “refinancing and capital raising initiatives,” and that they do not intend to file for bankruptcy.
EBay today announced that their net earnings fell 31% last quarter. You’d think in this economy, shoppers would be drawn to the potentially lower prices of eBay—after all, Amazon apparently did just fine. Are the headaches of dealing with eBay/PayPal outweighing the potential savings? [WSJ]
The blog Political Calculations took data from the Congressional Budget Office, “which published a study of the lowest-wage workers in the U.S. from 1979 through 2005,” and looked at the occupations of the bottom 20% of earners in the U.S. Then it took a chart of the 10 full-time jobs with the lowest annual earnings as compiled by BizJournals.com and estimated the hourly wage based on 40-hour weeks. Conclusion: don’t plan on operating a Tilt-a-Whirl and retiring comfortably.
Maybe not you, but someone’s been doing a lot of shopping at Best Buy this year, because they just posted higher 3rd quarter earnings than they had predicted, based on “strong sales.” Sales were $238 million versus $150 million a year ago. [Reuters]
For the first time ever—and spurred largely by two price increases in a year—customer traffic at Starbucks dropped last quarter. The coffee chain still reported earnings based largely on higher prices and new stores, but it’s worried enough about the falling traffic to launch a national television ad campaign this season, something it’s never done before.