Here were the unofficial closing bell levels:
Dow Jones 10,301.86 -1.29 (-0.01%)
S&P 500 1,079.37 +0.12 (0.01%)
Nasdaq 2,181.87 +8.39 (0.39%)
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It seems as if everyone is worried about the economy going into a double-dip recession these days. Worry in and of itself can be very destructive, both to your mental state and to the economy overall. Besides pulling out your hair, causing acid reflux and other health problems, worry can actually become self-fulfilling prophecy and cause the very thing you are most afraid of.
A number of years ago when I read Dale Carnegie's book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, one method he suggested was just to accept the worst case scenario and then move on with life from there.
So accept it: THE ECONOMY IS DOOMED! it's going to be 10 years of economic nightmare!
Imagine taking the personal connections and interactions that occur every day on the likes of Facebook and Twitter... and bringing them to bear on an education. To a large extent, this hasn't been done yet, but the potential is profound. In a new report by the Center for Community Survey for Student Engagement, two-year programs aren't taking advantage of the tools at their disposal -- plenty of growth is still possible. Kay McClenney, director of the CCSSE, says, "Colleges are not taking advantage of that particular set of tools for making connections with students to the extent that they could."
The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a distributor of business information and educational materials which counts Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL) as a related stock, issued third-quarter results earlier today. Sales contracted over 8%. Net income on a dollar basis dropped almost 14%. Earnings per diluted share decreased a very unlucky 13% to $1.07. At least expectations were taken out. Earnings.com indicates a beat of two pennies for per-share profit.
The declines are pretty understandable. When you think about McGraw-Hill, you understand fairly quickly that the company's business model is tied closely to the economy. Education markets must be tough given all the budget cuts happening in school systems across the country. Plus, spending by administrators is probably done these days very slowly and carefully.
A new bill that would revamp student loan programs in the United States passed the House of Representatives. The proposed program, which would affect the largest change on college aid since they came into existence in the 1960s would push private lenders out of the business and put the U.S. government in control.
The new measure would end subsidies for private lenders, increase Pell Grants available for students in financial need, and create grants for community colleges. The proposal includes almost all of President Obama's key points on higher education from the campaign trail. It passed the House 253 – 171, with most representatives sticking to party lines.
With the chances of finding a job fairly slim, people are certainly thinking about starting -- or even buying -- a business. But, which industry to go into?
It's a tough decision. Yet, there are still opportunities. To get some insight on this, I had a chance to talk to Toon van Beeck, who is the senior analyst with IBISWorld. Let's take a look:
This post is part of a special annual report -- Top Stock Picks '09 -- in which TheStockAdvisors.com asked 75 leading newsletter advisors to select their favorite investment for the new year.
The editor of The Coolcat Report explains, "The company's revenues and earnings have been steady despite the negative economy."
The advisor continues, "Apollo Group provides academic access and opportunity to more than 350,000 students through its subsidiaries, which include University of Phoenix.
"Other divisions include the Institute for Professional Development, College for Financial Planning, Western International University, Meritus University, Insight Schools and Apollo Global. It also owns Aptimus, a provider of innovative digital media solutions.
"The company's educational programs and services are provided at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels in 40 states and the District of Columbia; Puerto Rico; Alberta and British Columbia, Canada; Mexico; Chile; and the Netherlands, as well as online throughout the world.
Financial winter is here and the temperature of the market seems to be dropping anew. Credit markets are frozen and the line for government handouts grows by the day. There is no easy fix to the morass.
That much is clear.
As such, we will have plenty of time to contemplate exactly where it is we want to go from here. Hopefully, we won't make the same mistakes twice, and, in that way, some good may come out of the carnage after all.
We all know how we got into this mess. Greed and debt led to asset value growth that was unsustainable. The piper is calling in a major way.
He'll have plenty of listeners, mainly those now unemployed. Job losses are growing by the minute with some speculating that unemployment rates will grow to 10% or more before this recession is finished.
Certainly, the craziness in the mortgage market with its Wall Street accomplice had much to do with our troubles today. But then again, so did weakness in our education system. Shortcomings there have as much to do with job losses to overseas competition as anything else.
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