Morning Business Memo:
Just how high can Apple go? Thanks to even bigger than expected pre-sales for the iPhone 5, Apple’s share price briefly rose to over $700 before closing at $699.78 on the Nasdaq market. The bounce came after the company announced record first-day orders for the iPhone 5, more than twice as many presales as the 4S got. Last year Apple became the world’s most highly valued company, zooming past oil giant Exxon. Its stock has gained 73 percent in value this year. The iPhone 5 goes on sale in Apple stores on Friday morning. Some analysts estimate 6 million smart phones may be sold in the first weekend.
Was yesterday’s sudden drop in crude prices the oil market’s equivalent of the flash crash? A spokesman for NYMEX owner CME Group says there no technical problems, but regulators are asking questions. Oil futures dropped more than $3 a barrel in less than a minute yesterday afternoon, erasing gains made last week. The cause of the plunge was unclear. The latest quote for light sweet crude is around $97 – about $3 lower than this time yesterday.
More than at any time in recent years, American consumers are getting their budgets under control. Household debt has declined sharply in the past four years. The rise of online budgeting sites may be one reason for the trend. ”A lot of these sites have really gotten good over the years,” says Stacey Rapacon with Kiplinger.com. On Mint.com and other budgeting sites you enter your spending data first. “It lines everything up and all of your transactions and it helps you really analyze your spending.,” says Rapacon. “You link it up with your financial accounts so you do provide your user name and passwords to your bank account credit card account.” That raises security concerns for some consumers, but these budgeting sites say they have bank level firewalls.
Google has bought the digital photo editing service Snapseed. The deal gives Google a competitor against Facebook’s Instagram. Its tools are used to display, touch up and share photos taken on smartphones and tablets. Facebook bought Instagram for $715 million in a deal that closed last month. Google didn’t disclose terms of its acquisition.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio ABCNews.com twitter.com/daviesabc