Japanese Market to Lose 10%?; Mortgage Applications up at the End of August; LinkedIn’s Secondary Offering Seeking $1 Billion

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Japanese Market to Lose 10%? (Bloomberg)

Despite all of the positive notes struck by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic reforms, nearly two-thirds of economists polled by Bloomberg fear that the country’s stock market could crater, should Abe not follow through on proposed tax hikes next April. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Senior Economist Masamichi Adachi said a delay “could push stocks down 10 percent, wiping out $418 billion in market cap. If you’re invested in Japan or Japanese companies, your wealth depends on Abe making the right call… but that’s what he’s done since taking office.

Mortgage Applications up at the End of August (Reuters)

For the first time in four weeks, applications for home loans in the United States picked up steam, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. It’s seasonally adjusted index of application activity — which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand — rose 1.3 percent in August. With interest rates on 30-year mortgages at 4.8 percent prior to that — their highest level this year — it’s not hard to see why fewer applications had been made. However, mortgage companies reduced the rate back down to 4.73 percent, and “presto,” more applications. With the fickle nature of the nation’s home buyers, if you’re an investor in home builders or related companies, monitor rates as an important indicator of future performance.

LinkedIn’s Secondary Offering Seeking $1 Billion (FinancialTimes)

Two years after its initial public offering (IPO), LinkedIn will have a secondary offering of $1 billion in stock. The social media star is looking for funding to “increase its financial flexibility and fuel expansion, including potential acquisitions,” according to the Financial Times. With the company holding more than $870 million in cash at the end of June, this move prompts speculation that the company is on the prowl for takeover candidates, in addition to its recent acquisitions of Pulse (mobile newsreader) and SlideShare (online presentation site). Shareholders in LinkedIn have already seen their investment double since the IPO, and this could be more icing on a pretty well-frosted cake.

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