Monday, April 30, 2012 – The Euro is Actually Kind of Important – Corporate Campaign Bribery – OWS Comes out of Hibernation

DOW – 14 = 13,213SPX – 5 = 1397NAS – 22 = 304610 YR YLD – .02 = 1.91%OIL -.07 = 104.80GOLD + 1.50 = 1665.30SILV – .26 = 31.11PLAT – 4.00 = 1574.00 A sharp drop in an index of Midwestern manufacturing and a slowdown in U.S. consumer spending last month added to worries that the U.S. economy is slowing down. Weaker earnings reports from health insurer Humana and the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Euronext. The losses were broad. Nine of the ten industry groups in the S&P 500 fell, led by materials. Only telecoms rose. The Spanish government said that country’s economy shrank 0.3 percent in the first three months of the year, the second straight quarter of contraction. Spain is the fourth-largest economy among the 17 countries that use the euro. The worry is that Europe’s bailout funds won’t be big enough to rescue Spain if it needs help. Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Spain’s government debt to just three notches above junk Friday. Earlier today, S&P lowered its rating for 11 Spanish banks, which are loaded with bad debt from a collapsed housing market. The good news is the euro hasn’t collapse, at least not yet. Somehow, the countries of the European Union continue to overcome their varied self-interest and they seem to do just enough to avoid catastrophe, at least for now. One reason the Euro still exists is because it is more than a monetary union, it is also …

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