While overall consumer spending continues to fluctuate this year between marginal growth and zero growth, luxury spending is experiencing a rebound. Often considered a harbinger for consumer spending in general, global luxury goods sales rose 15% in the first quarter of 2010 alone, compared with a year ago. And many individual luxury companies have reported
While Germany emerged from Europe’s recent turmoil with accelerating economic growth and strengthening exports, the Eurozone still faces imbalances. Growth accelerated despite debt turmoil For the second quarter, Germany reported a stronger-than-expected expansion of 2.2% — its best quarterly result since 1990, the year of the country’s reunification. It achieved this despite the market turmoil
The recent Dodd-Frank Act introduced sweeping changes to the derivatives market. Daniel Farrell, Putnam’s Head of Equity Trading, discusses how Putnam uses derivative contracts and the impact of the bill on Putnam equity funds. Broadly speaking, what are derivatives and how are they used? Derivatives are investments whose value is based on — or “derived”
Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis’s pending bid to acquire majority ownership of Alcon, an eye care products maker, in a deal valued at about $40 billion, stood out against a backdrop of only 3% mergers-and-acquisitions growth across industry sectors globally for the first half of 2010. While we aren’t likely to see many more large-scale mergers,
What are the potential implications for consumer-sector stocks? At the margin, we think the impact of increased regulation and taxation on financial services companies could be negative — particularly for businesses that touch the consumer directly, such as credit card companies. Anything that slows economic growth, increases uncertainty, or decreases confidence is negative. What are
China’s GDP soared 11.9% in the first quarter of 2010. And that growth is likely to continue to have a significant impact on certain commodities that China must import. How does China’s growth affect natural resources? China imports a significant share of the world’s commodities. China ranks third in the world in thermal coal reserves.
The importance of investment diversification took on more prominence in recent weeks, as sovereign debt concerns in Greece and other European Union (EU) countries played a role in increasing volatility in the equity and currency markets. Putnam Europe Equity Fund is focused on achieving diversification by investing in the securities of established large and midsize