2015: A Disappointing Year for Investors

21yuan-600As the stock markets closed for the last day of this year, investors were happy to see the year come to a close. The market closed at 0.7 percent decline from the beginning of the year on 2nd January. Investors declared the year as one of the most disappointing as the stock markets never seemed to rise and were always on the decline compared to past trends.

session-6-stock-market-ms-nice-4th6th-grade-wednes-55Brad McMillan, Chief Investment Officer of Commonwealth Financial Network announced that this year was the first down year since 2011. This year was one without much volatility as there were no significant price movements this year compared to other years. The Dow industrials closed this year with a 5 percent drop its first in seven years. Investors, who followed leading trends this year, would have ended at prices lower than what they started at the beginning of the year. One major sector that performed badly this year is the energy sector. With the global drop in crude oil prices, the energy sector went down by 27 percent this year, making several investors lose their hard earned money.

However, technical giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google managed to provide returns for their investors. All these four companies ended the year with double digit gains with Amazon and Netflix gaining more than double of their last year’s gains. Bonds too fared poorly this year and closed at 0.4 percent lesser than last year.

However, analysts are hopeful that next year will be more positive. According to reports, improvements in the unemployment rate and increase in individual incomes, 2016 is set off to an upward path and the US economy continues to get back on its feet slowly but surely.

Shopping Trends of Consumers for the Holiday Season

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Consumer sales still on a slump even as the holiday season begins. The sales of consumer goods especially auto products continued on a decline for the fourth month. Analysts had predicted a slight increase in the consumer sales for the months of October and November which is usually when holiday season shopping is at a peak. But the predictions turned out false with consumer sales still on a decline even this month.

supermarket_shopper-250x250The automobile sector is the sector to be hit the worst due to drop in consumer sales. It reported a growth of 1.4 percent for September and the sales for October dropped to 0.4 percent even with the motor manufacturers hopeful to exceed sales of September. Sales of consumer products excluding automobiles, gasoline and construction materials rose up by 0.1 percent compared to September. Sales at electronic stores fell by 0.4 percent and sales at clothing stores was stagnant with no significant increase or decrease of that of September. However, online stores reported an increase in sales by 0.4 percent. These trends are an indication of the way consumers shop during the holiday season.

Customers’ Cards Hacked at Trump Group of Hotels

blog_ATM_malwareThe customers of the well known Trump chain of hotels have been victims of a hacking attack, which has been going on for the past year. The details of credit and debit cards of customers used at several Trump hotels in various locations have been hacked by unknown individuals or group of individuals. Customers’ details were also hacked at the gift shops and restaurants within the hotel.

supermarket-credit-card-250The management in an official statement announced that the hotel is working along with Federal Investigation authorities to trace the perpetrators. Also, the hotel in an effort to win back the goodwill of customers have announce free one year of identity theft protection to the victims. This crime occurred at the following Trump Hotel Locations: Soho, New York, Miami, Hawaii, Chicago, Las Vegas and Toronto. The Trump group of hotels is owned by US Presidential candidate, Donald Trump. He is the chairperson of the group of hotels and his children occupy several executive positions in the hotels.

It is to be noted that several other luxury chains of hotels, such as Mandarin Oriental have also had similar data attacks on their customers earlier this year. FBI officials are actively involved in this investigation and hope to nab the hackers quickly.