Why Your Next Tweet Could Be Worth $1.5M

Feb 3, 2014 8:46am

Morning Money Memo…

Your next tweet could be worth a $1.5 million. The online insurance company Esurance will give away the money to a lucky person who tweets a message with the hashtag #esurancesave30 by tomorrow. This may be the largest cash prize ever in Twitter-based contest.

Another rough-and-tumble week may be coming on Wall Street. While investors were happy to close the books on a down January, there’s still talk of turbulent trading to come. Asian stocks closed lower overnight. Japan is officially in correction territory as The Nikkei is down more than 10 percent from last year’s high.

Worries about a mixed corporate earnings season, a slowdown in China’s economic growth, and currency weakness in emerging market economies are all seen as factors in the stock market’s decline this year. But the biggest reason could be that the market was vulnerable to a correction after last year’s stunning rise.

This is a crowded week for economic reports with new data on construction spending, factory orders and vehicle sales. But the most attention will be given to the January jobs report from the Labor Department, especially after December’s disappointing numbers of new jobs.

Even if this survey is much stronger there’s no doubt that long-term unemployment will remain very high. “When you look at what happened during the recession we lost a lot of jobs and we may not see all those jobs come back,” says Jennifer Grasz of CareerBuilder.  “A lot of those job seekers are concerned that if I am out of work for a long period of time is there this perception of, have my skills depreciated especially’ in the technology field.”

Janet Yellen is set to be sworn in today as the new head of the Federal Reserve. With her appointment Yellen becomes one of the most powerful women in the world. In her job as vice chair at the Fed, Yellen was a leading advocate for the aggressive stimulus aimed at keeping interest rates as low as possible.

America’s schools are in danger of falling behind those in other countries with better broadband access. The White House says it’s lined up private support for President Obama’s pledge to connect 15,000 schools and 20 million students with high-speed Internet service over the next few years.

A White House education event tomorrow will focus on the ConnectED initiative. According to Chief of staff Denis McDonough, companies will commit more than $500 million. The Education Department says about 80 percent of US schools have slow or out-of-date Internet capabilities.

AT&T is reducing cellphone rates for family plans with large amounts of data. The new rates apply to plans with at least 10 gigabytes of data shared by two or more phones on a single account. Savings start at $10 per phone per month. Families with at least four phones could save 20 percent. The changes are part AT&T’s latest effort to get customers to pay more overall by upgrading from lower-use plans. In some cases, families will actually pay less if they upgrade. But for the most part, more data means more revenue for AT&T.

China is becoming a land of entrepreneurs and inventors. Business Insider reports there are 130,000 apps from Chinese developers in Apple’s App Store. The numbers were released during the company’s quarterly earnings call. The App Store had more than one million apps in total as of last October. The number of apps coming out of China is likely to rise as Apple’s reach grows in Asia.


Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow

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