Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Summary of business headlines
The invitations have been sent out and now the anticipation escalates. Many are betting Apple's invitation to a March 7th "special event" will be the unveiling of the iPad3. Details were scarce besides the tease "we have something you really have to see. And touch." Since the release of the last iPad, several challengers have stepped up including the Kindle Fire by Amazon, which at half the price of an iPad, is nibbling away at some of Apple's dominance. Speaking of tech gadgets - Sony says it has sold 1.2 million of its PlayStation Vita mobile gaming system since going worldwide last week. Jia Wu of Strategy Analytics described Vita's inauguration as a "decent start." Yahoo says Facebook is using its technology and should pay for it, according to both companies. Yahoo, in an email statement, said it would not hesitate to sue Facebook for licensing fees. Such a lawsuit would introduce the new social networking sector to the old world of patent battles engulfing other parts of the tech sector. On Wall Street, investors had consumer, factory, and housing data to consider. Consumer confidence hit a one-year high in February, but orders for big ticket items saw their biggest drop in three years in January, and home prices in December slumped to a 9-year low on a seasonally adjusted basis. A second-day drop in the price of oil to less than $107 a barrel boosted investor sentiment. As for the reaction: The Dow finally closed above 13,000 for the first time since before the collapse of Lehman Brothers back in 2008. European investors were in a joyful mood as well - lifting stocks in Germany, France, and the U.K.