It’s official: Windows 8 in 2012

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer on Monday confirmed that Windows 8, the next iteration of the software giant's operating system, will be available in 2012.

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Amazon is selling Lady Gaga’s album for $0.99

The online retailer is also throwing in 20GB of cloud music. Now what will Apple do?

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Indian stocks to see range-bound opening: Tuesday Market Preview

Economic concerns are driving investors from riskier bets to save haven assets

The domestic equities market is likely to witness a range-bound opening on weak cues from the global arena. While the key US indices closed lower overnight on concerns about the pace of the global recovery, markets in Asia, which opened mixed, were lower in early trade on Tuesday on fears that the developments in Europe would hurt the export-oriented economies in the region. The SGX Nifty was choppy in early trade and was six points down at 5,376 over its previous close of 5,382.

Yesterday the market traded lower, tracking weak Asian markets in morning trade. The decline, after two days of gains, was on account of the ongoing debt crisis in Europe and news that a ministerial panel is likely to meet this week to decide on diesel and domestic LPG prices.

The Sensex and Nifty opened at 18,269 and 5,457 respectively which were the day's high, too. The market then started its downward journey. The market fell to the day's low in the post-noon trade, after which it was range-bound till the end of the session.

The Nifty traded close to its support of 5,340. The Sensex fell 333 points to close at 17,993 while Nifty fell 100 points to close at 5,387.

The indices also hit their two-month lows around the same time with Sensex falling to 17,971 (its lowest intra-day since 24 March 2011) and Nifty was at 5,373 (its lowest mid-session decline since 22 March 2011). A gap-down opening of the key European markets, on account of debt issues of some countries in the region, and US futures trading lower also added to the woes back home.

The US market settled lower on Monday as investors were concerned about the pace of the global economic recovery on sovereign debt concerns plaguing Eurozone members. A preliminary report from China that indicted a slowdown in factory output in May, a signal that the government’s rate-tightening initiatives are showing results also weighed on the sentiments. Besides, a pile-up of foreclosed homes with banks and mortgage lenders has dented margins for the lenders while homes are becoming cheaper for buyers.

The Dow tumbled 130.78 points (1.05%) to 12,381.26. The S&P 500 shed 15.90 points (1.19%) to 1,317.37 and the Nasdaq declined 44.42 points (1.58%) to 2,758.90.

Asian bourses, which opened mixed, were mostly lower in early trade on Tuesday on debt issues plaguing Europe stoking fears that the export-oriented economies of the region would be impacted. Preliminary reports of a fall in China’s factory output in May also hurt sentiments.

This apart, Japan’s trade balance dipped 700 billion yen ($8.5 billion) into the red in April, the largest deficit since the financial crisis. Exports plunged as supply chain disruptions and other effects of the March earthquake and tsunami disaster stalled factories, even as imports of fuel and other products increased.

Meanwhile, oil prices fell 2% on Monday sending investors out of commodities and into safer havens. Brent crude for July delivery fell $2.29 to settle at $110.10 a barrel and falling intra-day as low as $108.58. US July crude dropped $2.40 to settle at $97.70 a barrel, having fallen to a low of $96.37 in intra-day trade.

The Shanghai Composite declined 0.67%, the Hang Seng and the Jakarta Composite shed 0.09% each, the KLSE Composite fell by 0.15%, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.09%, the Seoul Composite shed 0.01% and the Taiwan Weighted was down 0.81%. On the other hand, the Straits Times added 0.02%.

Back home, the government on Monday eased rules for incorporating not-for-profit companies, by giving the Registrar of Companies the power to directly issue licences. It has reduced the time taken for setting up Section 25 companies by doing away with some mandatory provisions, ministry of corporate affairs Joint Secretary Avinash Srivastav told reporters.

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