Friday, May 29, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - May 29

GDP Revised to Smaller Decline in Q1 - The GDP for the 1st quarter of 2009 was revised to a smaller contraction by the Commerce Department on Friday. The revised estimate was for -5.7% (annualized) GDP versus the initial estimate of -6.1% GDP. The revisions, which came from more complete information not available then (1 month ago), saw higher inventory building and greater exports, offset by weaker consumer spending, compared with the first estimate.

Most economists are predicting a -2% GDP in Q2 2009 and a positive GDP in Q3 2009. There have been a wide range of estimates for Q3 with +1.4% GDP being the most prevalent.

Consumer Sentiment Rises in May - The consumer sentiment index rose to 68.7 from 65.1 in April. The estimate in mid-May was 67.9. The index is at its highest level since September with more Americans believing the end of the recession is approaching according to a survey released Friday by the University of Michigan and Reuters.

GM News - There is quite literally more news to post on GM than one would believe since the bankruptcy deadline is fast approaching. There are developing stores on the following: 35% of bondholders tendered debt; bondholders may recoup $14 billion out of $27 billion; reportedly reached a deal to sell Opel to Magna; shares trade below $1 for the first time in 76 years; to build compact cars in US; UAW likely to approve deal; etc.

Obama Creates "Cyber Czar" - Calling cyber-security one of his "key management priorities," President Barack Obama on Friday announced the creation of a White House cyber-security chief position. Obama didn't name anyone to the post on Friday but said a focus on threats to U.S. computer networks is overdue. "Cyberspace is real, and so are the risks that come with it," Obama said at the White House. "We're not as prepared as we should be."

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