What's Important in the Financial World (9/11/2012)

iPhone 5 Speculation Swirls

As the launch date of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 5 approaches (probably tomorrow), the speculation about how many units will be sold multiplies. Famous Apple-watcher Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray says 10 million by the end of September. Dozens of other Wall St. analysts have their own guesses, which are mostly less than Munster's. One of the unanswered questions is the extent to which 4G-enabled smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S III, which have been in the market for months, have satisfied the appetites of people who want handsets that work on superfast wireless networks. One thing almost every observer believes is that iPhone 5 unit sales will be essential to unprecedented revenue for Apple's final quarter of the calendar year, and to its stock price, which sits just short of $700 a share. There are plenty of people who believe that breakout sales of the iPhone 5 will take Apple's stock to $1,000.

No Delay for German Constitutional Court

There was some worry that late challenges to whether Germany can legally help fund the bailout of many of its neighbors would slow a decision about its constitutionality of such actions. But, Germany's Constitutional Court said it would not delay its ruling. According to Reuters:

The court said it would go ahead with Wednesday's ruling on the legality of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the fiscal compact for budget discipline, whose implementation has been delayed for months by the German judges.

The Constitutional Court issued a brief statement saying the ruling at 10 a.m. (0800 GMT) on Wednesday "will go ahead as scheduled", meaning conservative lawmaker Peter Gauweiler's last-minute challenge would not cause further delays.

The Rich Get Richer - Again

The new Economic Policy Institute study - "The State of Working America, 12th Edition" - shows that the rich have gotten richer as the poor have gotten poorer. In addition, the middle class has done poorly as well. The study does not bring much to the view that there are "two Americas" economically. The EPI analysts write:

Low- and middle-income workers and their families would have had far better income growth over the past 30 years if economic policies had not directed the fruits of economic growth to the highest-income Americans,


had there been no growth in income disparities since 1979, annual income for a middle-income household would have been $88,875 in 2007, $18,897 higher than the $69,978 it actually was. The median household lost wealth between 1983 and 2010 and had just $57,000 in net worth in 2010, rather than the $119,000 it would have had if wealth had grown equally across all households over this period.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Market Open Tagged: AAPL, featured