Morning Business Memo:
AT&T says weekend sales of the iPhone 5 broke records, calling it the most successful launch of any iPhone product. Long lines are expected this Friday at Apple stores when the smartphone goes on sale.
It was available for pre-order last Friday and was a sales rush as soon as “5″ was posted. Zdnet.com says carrier sites struggled to keep up with demand. “AT&T’s own site hiccuped through the early morning and eventually came back online close to two hours after the device went on sale.”
The Dow Jones index is now just 4 percent shy of its all time high set in October 2007. So far the Dow has gained more than 11 percent this year Last week’s stock surge came after the Federal Reserve’s announcement of unlimited QE3 – or quantitative easing. Perhaps the most important shift by the Fed is on cutting unemployment. For the first time since the late 1970′s, the Fed is putting a stronger public emphasis on boosting the jobs market than reducing inflation. That’s a seismic shift, and it’s taken a few days for markets and economists to digest the new policy. A key part of the Fed’s strategy is to nudge investors towards risk: i.e. stocks. Another aim of the Fed is to keep mortgage rates and the cost of other loans as low as possible for at least three more years.
Annoyed by telemarketers making calls you don’t want? Complaints to the government about unwanted phone solicitations are up, raising questions about how well the do not call registry is working. Government figures show monthly robocall complaints have climbed from about 65,000 in October 2010 to more than 212,000 this April
President Obama is to announce a trade complaint against China, targeting subsidies for Chinese cars and auto parts. The new case is to be brought before the World Trade Organization. The president is expected to speak about the complaint today during a campaign stop in Ohio. Mitt Romney has criticized Obama for being weak on China to the detriment of U.S. workers
General Motors executives want the government to sell its shares in the company – at a big loss. The Wall Street Journal says The Treasury Department has no plans to reduce its stake until the share price rises. “GM executives have grown increasingly frustrated with that ownership,” says the Journal, “and the stigma of being known as ‘Government Motors.’” Executives are also said to be “irked” at the continued curbs on corporate jet use and pay rates for top earners at GM. A sale today would leave the government – and taxpayers – with a multibillion dollar loss if the Treasury Department sold its entire stake.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio ABCNews.com twitter.com/daviesabc