What's Important in the Financial World (12/21/2012)


U.K. Nears Recession

Add the United Kingdom to the long line of countries that have gotten into more economic trouble that expected. The Office for National Statistics cut its figure for third-quarter GDP growth to 0.9%, in place of the 1% previously posted. That puts the nation on the cusp of a recession, like so many others in the region. Many there already have fallen into a period of "negative growth." The Office for National Statistics reports:

Facebook Message Fees

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has scrounged up another way that might make it money. So far, Wall St. has been disappointed about the revenue Facebook has managed to derive from its one billion users. The new scheme will allow the social network to collect $1 each for certain messages sent by members. A revolt over the move is likely, because Facebook users revolt over almost everything the company does to their experience. Facebook management writes:

Today we're starting a small experiment to test the usefulness of economic signals to determine relevance. This test will give a small number of people the option to pay to have a message routed to the Inbox rather than the Other folder of a recipient that they are not connected with.

Several commentators and researchers have noted that imposing a financial cost on the sender may be the most effective way to discourage unwanted messages and facilitate delivery of messages that are relevant and useful.

Dell Dropped from S&P 100

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) has been kicked out of the S&P 100. The PC company has struggled to remain relevant, and successful, for years. Perhaps Standard & Poor's finally has acknowledged that Dell does not have much of a future. According to S&P:

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBVwi) will replace Dell Inc. (NASD:DELL) in the S&P 100, and Federated Investors Inc. (NYSE:FII) in the S&P 500. Federated will replace ITT Educational Services Inc. (NYSE:ESI) in the S&P MidCap 400, and ITT Educational Services will replace NCI Inc. (NASD:NCIT) in the S&P SmallCap 600. S&P 100 and 500 constituent Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) is spinning off AbbVie in a transaction expected to be completed after the close of trading on December 31. The Abbott Laboratories stub will remain in the S&P 100 and 500. Dell has a market capitalization below $18.5 billion and is no longer representative of the mega-cap market space. Federated Investors' market capitalization is below $2.2 billion, making it more representative of the mid-cap market space, and ITT Educational Services' market capitalization is below $450 million making it more representative of the small-cap market space. NCI Corp.is ranked #600 in the S&P SmallCap 600.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Market Open Tagged: ABBVwi, ABT, DELL, ESI, FB, FII