RIP ‘70s Japanese Tech Titans? (Reuters)
The holy trinity of Japanese tech titans of the 1970s have hit upon hard times — meaning investors in Sony Corp (SNE), Sharp Corp (6753: Tokyo) and Panasonic (PC) need to carefully consider their positions going forward. Of the three companies, Sony appears in the best shape — kept afloat by continued strong sales of PlayStation consoles and smartphones. The same can’t be said for Sharp and Panasonic, unfortunately, with the former needing a large cash infusion to offset massive write downs last quarter… and the latter cutting its dividend for the first time in six decades and posting a $10 billion loss — actions which sent shares tumbling by one-fifth last week.
Far East Tug of War: Solid Chinese Data Grapples with Slumping Japanese Tech (BusinessRecorder)
Asian stock markets ended up mixed on Thursday — the first full day of trading after Hurricane Sandy closed down the U.S. market for two days. Some indexes showed strength as reflected by the Chinese Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) score of 50.2. — up from 49.8 in September (readings above 50 indicate economic expansion). These include: Hong Kong, rising 0.83%, or 180.05 points, to 21,821.87, while Shanghai gained 1.72%, or 35.55 points, to 2,104.43. In addition, Tokyo closed 0.21% higher, jumping 18.58 points to 8,946.87. While other indexes slumped in response to Japanese tech giant Panasonic’s share price swoon: Seoul dipped 0.71%, or 13.62 points, to 1,898.44 and Sydney fell 1.32%, or 59.4 points, to 4,457.6.
Final Jobs Report to Signal Election Homestretch (YahooFinance.com)
Spin doctors for both President Obama and Mitt Romney will be shifting into overdrive beginning today in an effort to shape the expected unemployment increase into a benefit for their candidate. In fact, the candidates’ media teams are going to be making their cases 24/7, meaning you and I will be inundated with political messages. So, until the results of the election are known late next Tuesday night or early next Wednesday (hopefully), investors may just want to practice the same skill employed by Mid-Atlantic residents earlier this week to get through Hurricane Sandy: hunker down, and wait for it to end.