Category Archives: Smart Spending News

Small used car prices decline as gas prices fall

by detroitnews.com

English: A hybrid car : Toyota Prius Plug-in H...

Washington — Prices for fuel-efficient used vehicles are falling with lower gas prices after hitting high resale values earlier this year, the National Automobile Dealers Association said Tuesday.

After double-digit percentage gains from January through May 2012, prices on many used compact and midsize cars are expected to drop up to 5 percent in June compared to May, said Jonathan Banks, senior analyst with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Used Car Guide. The trend is expected to continue this summer.

Gas prices are now averaging $3.71 a gallon — down 3.5 percent from a year ago — and well below the $3.94 a gallon national average in April.

“The trend of rising prices for used cars will reverse course in June because of declining gasoline prices combined with a normal seasonal slowdown in consumer demand for used cars,” Banks said.

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Summer gas prices – as good as they’ll get

by ketknbc.com

San Francisco, California

CNN — As the summer driving season gets underway, most Americans are enjoying lower gas prices than they might have expected when the spring began.

But prices, while well off their 2012 peak set in early April, are still higher than they’ve been at the start of most summers.

The current national average of $3.636 for a gallon of unleaded is down about 15 cents from a year ago and 30 cents from this year’s peak, according to readings from AAA. But it’s still the third-highest price on record for a Memorial Day weekend, behind only 2011 and 2008.

And experts say that despite oil futures recently falling to below $90 a barrel for the first time since November recently, the steady slide in gas prices might not extend much further.

“We might move a little lower, we might move a little higher,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst of the Oil Price Information Service, the firm that compiles the pump price averages for AAA.

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U.S. Customs Clears HTC One X, Evo 4G LTE for Sale

Image representing HTC as depicted in CrunchBase

by wired.com

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have lifted a nearly month long blockade of HTC’s two newest smartphones, the One X and the Evo 4G LTE.

“HTC has completed the review process with US Customs and HTC devices have been released, as they are in compliance with the ITC’s ruling,” the Chinese phone maker told Wired in an email. “Future shipments should continue to enter the U.S. and we are confident that we will soon be able to meet the demand for our products.”

Tom Harlin, an HTC spokesman, said the company wasn’t sure how long it would take to get its phones from Customs to retailers and carriers. But the company is working on getting the new phones on store shelves as soon as possible.

Customs officials enforced the blockade at the request of the U.S. International Trade Commission, which ruled in December that some HTC smartphones running Google’s Android operating system violated a 1996 Apple patent on a data-detecting function found in nearly all modern handsets.

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Facebook could buy Nokia to build ‘FacePhone,’ expert says

by computerworld.com

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Computerworld – While analysts ridicule the idea of a Facebook smartphone, one Paris-based marketing expert predicts that a “FacePhone” will appear in 18 months — and that the social networking giant will buy Nokia for $10 billion to make it happen.

The existing hardware-operating system partnership between Nokia and Microsoft will also play into Facebook’s plans for a smartphone, which means the device would use the Windows Phone operating system, said Paul Amsellem, managing director of Mobile Network Group, a mobile marketing company.

“Facebook will launch the FacePhone. And whether it has a blue color and a logo with a big F on it, it will definitely be disruptive,” Amsellem said in a telephone interview. “Even at this moment, Facebook doesn’t know what it will look like, but they need to do it.”

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ILO Says Global Youth Unemployment May Stay Elevated For Years

by bloomberg.com

Unemployment Rates

Global youth unemployment has climbed to almost 75 million and is projected to stay that high for years to come, the International Labor Organization said.

The jobless rate among people aged 15 to 24 is forecast to rise from 12.6 percent in 2011 to 12.7 percent this year and remain there through 2016, the Geneva-based ILO said in a report published today.

“Since 2007, the global youth unemployment rate has started rising again, and the increase between 2008 and the height of the economic crisis in 2009 effectively wiped out much of the gains made in previous years,” the ILO said in the report. “Nearly 75 million youth are unemployed around the world, an increase of more than 4 million since 2007.”

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New Comcast services threaten wireless text and data revenue

by news.cnet.com

Logo of Comcast Latina: Insigne Comcast

Comcast is taking aim at traditional SMS text messaging and wireless data revenue with two new services introduced this week at the Cable Show.

BOSTON — Comcast is taking aim at wireless operators with new services introduced here at the NCTA’s Cable Show that will undercut mobile carrier fees for text messaging and offer an alternative to mobile data services.

Over the past two days Comcast has made two new product announcements that could threaten revenue for wireless companies. At the same time, though, the company is also partnering with the nation’s largest wireless provider, Verizon Wireless.

In the latest Comcast product announcement, the company said it will allow its voice subscribers to make phone calls and send text messages for free using either Wi-Fi or 3G/4G cellular networks.

The new service, called Voice 2Go, will be available through the Xfinity Connect Mobile app, which can be installed on Apple iOS and Google Android devices. Users can make phone calls and send text messages through the app using their home phone number. The calls do not count against their wireless minutes. And text messages bypass the carrier SMS network and are free. (Calls and texts sent over 3G and 4G networks do consume data services.)

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Google officially acquires Motorola Mobility for US$12.5 billion

by asia.cnet.com

 

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

After waiting months for the go-ahead to say so, Google CEO Larry Page today announced that his company now officially owns Motorola Mobility.

 

Google announced plans to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in August. Upon doing so, the companies had to clear regulatory hurdles to get the deal done. Regulators in both the U.S. and the European Union approved the acquisition back in February, but the companies were forced to wait for China. Over the weekend, China approved the deal, paving the way for Google to close it.

 

As part of the acquisition, Page announced today that Motorola Mobility chief Sanjay Jha has stepped down from his post. In his place, Google has named “long-time Googler” Dennis Woodside to be the mobile firm’s new chief executive.

 

“I’ve known Dennis for nearly a decade, and he’s been phenomenal at building teams and delivering on some of Google’s biggest bets,” Page wrote in the blog post. “One of his first jobs at Google was to put on his backpack and build our businesses across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia. More recently he helped increase our revenue in the U.S. from US$10.8 billion to US$17.5 billion in under three years as President of the Americas region.”

 

It has been widely believed that the main reason Google acquired Motorola Mobility was for its patents. The search company and its vendor partners are currently waging legal battles around the world with a host of companies over claims that Android violates patents. Motorola Mobility holds thousands of patents and patent applications that could come in handy for any future legal proceedings.

 

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Scrutiny of Facebook IPO builds

by usatoday.com

 

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Fallout from Facebook’s initial public offering intensified Tuesday as the shares plunged again, and more questions arose about whether the social-networking giant’s IPO was handled properly.

 

Facebook shares fell $3.03, or nearly 9%, to $31 Tuesday, leaving them down more than 18% from the $38 offering price. Since the shares started trading Friday, a steady stream of negative news has plagued Facebook, centering on how the deal’s underwriters and the Nasdaq stock exchange handled the highly hyped IPO. “Facebook’s credibility has been further destroyed,” says Francis Gaskins of IPOdesktop.com.

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission will look into how the market functioned with respect to trading in Facebook, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro said as she left a Senate hearing Tuesday. The SEC did not announce a formal investigation.

 

Also Tuesday, the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts subpoenaed Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter on Facebook’s IPO. The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office confirmed the subpoena but would not provide details.

 

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Hewlett-Packard Said To Consider Cutting Up To 25,000 Jobs

by bloomberg.com

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Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) is considering cutting as many as 25,000 jobs, or 8 percent of its workforce, to reduce costs and help the company contend with ebbing demand for computers and services, people briefed on the plans said.

The number to be cut includes 10,000 to 15,000 from Hewlett-Packard’s enterprise services group, which sells a range of information-technology services and has been beset by declining profitability, said these people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t final and may change.

Meg Whitman, chief executive officer since September, is seeking to reverse the growth slump that led to the ouster of her predecessor, Leo Apotheker. The company’s PC sales are dropping as consumers favor tablets, such as Apple Inc.’s iPad, and it has been slow to adapt to the shift toward cloud computing, away from the IT services Hewlett-Packard provides.

“Hewlett-Packard could make the difficult decision of announcing” a workforce reduction, Brian Marshall, an analyst at ISI Group, wrote in a research note earlier this month. This “would enable investments in strategic, higher growth areas.”

Eliminating 18,000 jobs could result in savings of about $1.2 billion and add 50 cents to annual per-share earnings, he estimated.

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Questions and answers on blockbuster Facebook IPO

by dailyfinance.com

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Taking a company public isn’t as simple as collecting Facebook friends.

Even if the company is Facebook.

When the social media company’s stock starts trading Friday under the symbol FB, buyer demand is expected to explode. At its initial offering price of $38 a share, the 8-year-old upstart is worth $104 billion. That’s more than such giants as Disney and Kraft.

The riches that will flow to the company and its early investors total nearly $16 billion.

As with any initial offering, Facebook’s IPO follows lots of negotiation — over price, paperwork, selling and buying. Here are some questions and answers about its public debut:

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