To end the second week of November the Dow Jones gained 73 points to finish at 10,270 while oil prices dropped below $77. Oil traders cited American’s decline in consumption as the main reason for the sell off. In other news JC Penny reported a whopping loss of 78% in the third quarter, while the swiss government takes on google.
Consumer confidence came in at 66 today, its lowest level in three months. This comes at the same time JC Penny reported a large loss due to pension plans. JC Penny did report that their outlook will improve as their pension plans are now under control. JC Penny has a deal in the works where they can take on more top brands including Liz Claiborne at the end of a five year cycle. The brand power should propel profits down the road. Currently JC Penny claims same store sales are weak due to shoppers concern over their jobs and income.
The Swiss government is preparing to file a suite against Google over their street view map service. The Swiss who have always leaned towards privacy in their countries policy are upset over the relatively new imaging service Google provides. Google’s street view allows users to zoom into most major roads and get a close up view of what it would look like if one was standing right on the street. It is revolutionary and has been a great boon to real estate professionals in helping investigate listings without having to drive there in person. Many recreational users enjoy using it to plan vacations, view their friends places, and even investigate places in their own city. Google sends a truck around with a special 360 degree camera to snap the pictures and upload to the database. The implications are that there are other cars and people that appear in these pictures without knowledge and certainly without consent. The Swiss argue that any person or license plate should be blurred out of the picture before they are uploaded. Further, they insist homeowners should be notified a week before the images are going to be taken. Google claims they are not afraid of the suite and are prepared to defend themselves.