The Financial Index is Daily Capital’s roundup of our Editor’s Picks for the day – featured trends and market analysis from around the Web.
Financial Times: While news coming out of China seems to be growth-centered and positive, this picture tells a different story. A 5,800 cubic foot blast furnace factory, the parking lot – empty. Shortened shift, slower production, and dropping steel prices are the reality at this factory.
FT.com/Alphaville: The European Central Bank needs to be more up front about its role in helping solve the Eurozone debt crisis. If growth continues to slow, the ECB will need to take action, but first, it needs to be a lot more clear about how, when and in what form that action will be. If its message continues to stay muddled, the ECB may hamper its own efforts.
MSNBC.com Business: Americans are raiding their savings, from college funds to retirement accounts, to get by in the hot/cold economy. Along with a spike in credit card usage and dipping personal savings rates, this could be bad news for economic recovery.
ValueWalk.com: Warren Buffet argues that the wealthiest people should pay more in taxes. Nearly three quarters of millionaires surveyed support Buffet, saying that the “very wealthy” should have to. However, 49% don’t think they count as “very wealthy” and think that the taxes shouldn’t apply to them.
The Big Picture: Hedge funds lots enough money in 2008 to cancel out all profits from the last 10 years. Only 17 percent of mutual funds invested in large-capital stocks beat the SPX. Volatile markets and a flat market made 2011 a tough year for both.
Bloomberg: Those with good credit scores pursuing better ones may be doing so in vain. FICO scores beyond 760 offer little additional benefit, Bloomberg says.
Bloomberg: A rebound in hiring is gaining momentum as companies add more US workers. Companies from Boeing to GE to Chobani Yogurt are adding hundreds of workers, inspiring optimism and supporting economic growth and stability.
Motley Fool: Wall Street Analysts have a couple of things in common with your local weather man: they can’t predict the future and are often wrong. In this pessimistic economy, however, investors should still pay attention – particularly to calls to sell. Dan Caplinger compiles five of Wall Streets least favorite stocks, on which analysts’ calls are probably right.