Germany Reduces Economic Growth Forecast for 2013 (AP)
German Economic Minister Phillip Roesler said Wednesday that Europe’s largest single economic engine has toned down its economic growth forecast for the coming year. Originally, the German government had predicted growth of about 1 percent for 2013, but due to weaker-than-expected Q4 performance and trouble elsewhere in Europe, that figure was more than halved to .4 percent expected growth. Minister Roesler went on to say that 2014 economic growth should quadruple that of 2013 and come in around 1.6 percent. Investors should take note that neither the 2013 or 2014 figures are cause for much excitement.
J.P. Morgan Surprises with Q4 Earnings Today (CNBC)
With financials up 30 percent overall since last January, the beginning of today’s earning reports for Q4 2012 will be closely scrutinized by investors. Leading off will be Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, both delivering before the opening bell on Wall Street today. While Morgan figures were expected to trail its previous quarter numbers — in part due to its botched “whale trade” last year — the company actually reported Q4 profits rose 53 percent, paced by mortgage lending. Goldman Sachs is due up next and will be hard-pressed to surpass Morgan. Other investment world monoliths reporting Q4 earnings before today’s opening bell include U.S. Bancorp., Mellon, Northern Trust, Schwab and M&T. If nothing else, investors should get an eyeful today.
Apple Cuts iPhone Orders and Watches Share Price Tumble (BGR)
After moving 5 million iPhones during its record-breaking launch, Apple (AAPL) now is cutting back orders for phone components, while investors scale down expectations for the stock. In the last quarter alone, analysts have been lining up to move their price expectations downward for the tech titan. Case-in-point, Nomura analyst Stuart Jeffrey reduced his original price target of $660 a share to $530 per share, a reduction of almost 20 percent. While some Apple bloggers claim these actions to be motivated by price-fixing, investors still holding shares can only hope for a rebound.