EU in Recession after Q3 Contraction (AP)
Eurostat reported negative economic growth in the third quarter for the 17-member European Union (EU). On the heels of Q2 2012’s .2% backslide, this second straight quarter of contraction signaled to investors that the EU has fallen back into a recession for the first time in the last three years. With five EU countries currently in recession (Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus), and the prospects for region-wide growth dim, this situation is far from resolving itself.
Is Another Credit Downgrade Looming for the United States? (Reuters)
U.S. bond holders and investors in general are being warned that there is an increased likelihood of another cut in the United States’ credit rating, should U.S. government leaders not be able to soften the blow of the looming fiscal cliff. Since the Nov. 6 presidential election, the news agency Reuters has conducted interviews with all three main credit rating agencies and received across-the-board agreement that the U.S. government’s credit rating likely will suffer in the coming year, especially if deficits continue to soar.
5-Hour Energy Drink Investigation Could Aid Rivals (YahooFinance.com)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating the company that produces 5-Hour Energy drinks, privately held Living Essentials LLC. Investors know that the multi-billion dollar energy drink sector is a rapid-growth one. And if the scope of negative publicity grows around 5-Hour Energy — one of the industry leaders — that would open up significant market share for energy-drink rivals. The FDA said there have been 93 “adverse events” associated with the drink, resulting in 33 hospitalizations and 13 deaths (since 2008 alone). But a specific cause-and-effect link has not been found with the energy drink so far.