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Snow Cars

by barry on February 11, 2013

Recent weather has caused people to reevaluate there transportation   Snow in record amounts up and down the east coast caused CNN to investigate the best cars for snow and here is what they found.

If you live where it snows, all-wheel drive is a good thing. But it’s not everything. A little extra ground clearance, for instance, also makes it easier for your car to get through the thick stuff. Also, even in New England and Colorado, it doesn’t snow all year round, so your vehicle needs to be a good driving partner the rest of the year, too.

A great example of what we’re talking about is the new Audi AllRoad, a model that’s making a return engagement after having been absent from American dealerships since the 2005 model year. Basically, it’s a slightly raised up Audi A4 with a butched-up wagon body. But with Audi performance and Quattro all-wheel-drive, it’s a nice mix of performance car attitude and muck-slogging capability. And it’s cooler than a typical crossover.

One other thing: If it really snows a lot, a good set of winter tires would be a helpful addition to any car. While all-wheel drive helps a car to get going in the snow, it does nothing for you when it comes time to stop. Good tires designed for handling cold, slippery stuff help a lot with that.


We realize that none of the pictures in this gallery actually show a car in any sort of snow. If you happen to have a snow globe handy on your desk, we recommend holding that up near your computer monitor. You’ll get the impression.

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Housing Market Returns in a Big Way

by barry on February 4, 2013

Large hedge funds, institutional investors, and wealthy individual are jumping back into the real estate market.  Low interest rates and rising prices forming the foundation of this resurgence.  CNN Reports….

Investors are betting big on the housing recovery.

Hedge funds and private equity firms have been rushing in to buy up companies and assets in every part of the housing supply chain, including undeveloped land, homebuilders, foreclosed homes, and building parts manufacturers.

One of the most notable moves is coming from hedge fund manager John Paulson, best known for his big (and lucrative) bets against subprime mortgages in 2006 and 2007.

Now, he’s turned his attention to snapping up undeveloped land in areas hardest hit by the housing crisis. “Land is the accordion in the home building equation,” said Michael Barr, who runs Paulson’s real estate investments. “It falls the most in a downturn, but also rises the most in an upturn.”
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Fiscal Cliff and The GDP

by barry on January 29, 2013

The battle about the cliff dominated the news  cycle for many weeks, and now USA Today is revisiting the issue with regards to the GDP.

GDP report will reveal fiscal cliff fears’ impact

This week’s preliminary report on gross domestic product will give the first clear picture of how fears of the fiscal cliff hurt the late-2012 economy — and the early data suggest the answer will be “not much.”

The report, due out Wednesday, is likely to show overall growth slowed to about 1.2% in the last three months of the year, from 3.1% in the third quarter, according to economists’ consensus estimate.

That’s way below the economy’s estimated growth capacity of about 2.5%. But fourth-quarter GDP will be deflated by the big trade deficit in November, and third-quarter results were artificially boosted by rising inventories, said Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi.

Meanwhile, a growing pile of data on retail sales, business investment and jobs shows that the fiscal cliff didn’t affect the domestic economy as much as some feared — and that it may also shake off tax increases approved this month.

That could set the stage for growth to pick up sharply if Washington makes a market-friendly deal on spending cuts, Mesirow Financial economist Diane Swonk said.

“It’s hard to see the effects of the fiscal cliff,” Zandi said. “Business investment bounced right back after falling in the third quarter, which suggests it had nothing to do with the cliff. And employment growth suggests it had no impact on layoffs or hiring decisions.”

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Toyota Is Number One

January 28, 2013

As the battle for the top auto maker goes back and forth.  CNN is reporting Toyota is making new runs. Toyota officially recaptured the title of world”s largest automaker Monday, as its final 2012 sales total topped General Motors, which held the lead in 2011. Earlier this month, General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) announced global sales of 9.29 million vehicles [...]

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Stamps 46 Cents Can Help Huge Postal Losses

January 25, 2013

The Hug losses posted by the postal service forced another rise in the cost of stamps.  CNN reports the US Postal service will increase the price of stamps to 46 cents. Starting Sunday, you’ll need another penny to send a card to Grandma. The price of sending mail with a first-class stamp, the kind of [...]

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Apple Coming Up Soft

January 24, 2013

Although they sold over 40 million IPhone 5s apple saw there shares slip on the NYSE.  According to CNN that fall had to do with the bit smart phone up starts are taking out of the market. What Apple’s earnings really mean The company is not quite as perfect as everybody thought. But it is [...]

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Google Blows Through 4th Quarter

January 23, 2013

According to CNN Money Google’s performance was pushed by click ads.  The search engine giant is controlling the market share at almost a 93 % clip.  WOW!!! Google’s got a mobile dilemma. The search giant’s sales soared in the fourth quarter as clicks on ads exploded, boosted by mobile searches — but the amount that advertisers paid Google for [...]

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Bernanke and The Recovery

January 22, 2013

Will Ben Bernanke be back?  The question has investors nervous.  As a species investors do not handle change well.  But early overreactions is normally followed by cooler heads.  CNN reports… Bernanke won’t be back in 2014, say economists Economists believe we have only one more year of Ben Bernanke’s tumultuous tenure as chairman of the Federal Reserve. And most [...]

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Boeing, FAA, and The Dreamliner

January 17, 2013

The plot thikens as the FAA orders all 787 dreamliners grounded.  This is more bad news for Boeing as it deals with the latest fall outs surrounds the bugs plaguing the new aircraft. Fliers losing faith in Boeing Dreamliner Pauline Weaver was in no hurry to get back on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner — even [...]

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Detriot Auto Show Standouts

January 16, 2013

United State Car makers are no the only ones making noise at this year’s auto show, BMW mini aims to rock the competition. Hopped-up John Cooper Works version of the Paceman “big” Mini Cooper — a crossover coupe, Mini calls it — shows up at Detroit, goes on sale in March. First, BMW’s Mini Cooper [...]

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