What Is Important in the Financial World: Apple Watch, OECD Economic Forecast

TS Sandy Image from NOAA
TS Sandy Image from NOAA

Ford on the Rise

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) shares reached a 52-week high, which is a sign Wall Street is willing to forgive the company's atrocious performance in Europe. The trend also is surprising because Ford does not have a major presence in the world's largest car market - China. At $15.28, Ford shares have risen from a 52-week low of $8.82, which means the auto manufacturer has added $50 billion in market value since that trough. Ford's stock has not been able to outpace that of General Motors (NYSE: GM) over the past year,though. This may be because GM is the leading car company in China, which offers it the promise of tremendous growth outside the injured European Union markets. In Ford's favor, it has done better than its major rivals in the United States market this year. Ford's sales rose by 12.7% in the first four months. GM's were higher by only 9.8% and Chrysler's by 8.5%. And sales of Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), which is supposed to be the turnaround manufacturer of the year, are up only 6.1%. Who cares about Europe?

Talking Up Apple

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook tried to salvage the company's reputation yesterday, which has been hurt by a lack of new products and a loss of market share to Samsung in the critical smartphone market. At the AllThingsD conference, Cook promised in an interview with Walt Mossberg that the new Apple would be just as successful as the old Apple under Steve Jobs:

As for Google Glass, it's probably not likely to be a mass-market item, Cook said. "It's probably more likely to appeal to certain markets," Cook said. But wearables as a broader market, Cook said, could be a profoundly interesting area of technology. Cook notes that he wears a Nike FuelBand. "I think Nike did a great job with this." Most of the good ones on the market do only one thing. The ones that do more than one thing don't do anything particularly well. "There's lots of things to solve in this space," he said, adding it is an area that is "ripe for exploration."Lots of companies will be doing things in this space. Walt: Will Apple be one of them? Cook: I don't want to answer that one.

Apple's new watch must be on its way.

OECD Economic Outlook

The new OECD Economic Outlook did not have much in it that was different from other major studies and predictions from agencies like the International Monetary Fund. Europe is in trouble. The United States will be OK. The developing world will be the source of most gross domestic product improvement in the next two years.

The global economy is moving forward, but divergence between countries and regions reflects the uneven progress made toward recovery from the economic crisis, according to the OECD's latest Economic Outlook. Historically high unemployment remains the most serious challenge facing governments.

World real gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to increase by 3.1% this year and by 4% in 2014. Across OECD countries, GDP is projected to rise by 1.2% this year and by 2.3% in 2014, while growth in non-OECD countries will rise by 5.5% this year and 6.2% in 2014.

In the US, activity is projected to rise by 1.9% this year and by a further 2.8% in 2014. GDP in the euro area is expected to decline by 0.6% this year and then rebound by 1.1% in 2014, while in Japan GDP is expected to grow by 1.6% in 2013 and 1.4% in 2014.

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