Ed’s Daily Notes for July 25th   Leave a comment

Reuters (via Yahoo Finance): Spanish unemployment falls for first time in two years

The best news out of Europe in quite some time:

Spain’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell for the first time in two years in the second quarter, adding weight to the government’s contention that the worst of the country’s economic slump may be over.

A strong tourist season helped the unemployment rate dip to 26.3 percent from 27.2 percent in the first quarter, the National Statistics Institute said on Thursday.

That left 5.98 million people out of work – a far greater proportion of the population [than] every other euro zone country bar Greece – but the drop was the first since the same period of 2011.

“Almost all the improvement we’ve seen today, in terms of the number of people working and the unemployment rate, is due to seasonal factors,” Angel Laborda, economist at think tank Funcas, said.

In Europe, a seasonal improvement is better than nothing at all. On top of this:

CNBC (via Yahoo Finance): UK economy doubles rate of growth

Britain’s economy expanded at its fastest pace since early 2011 in the second quarter of 2013, showing growth of 0.6 percent from the first quarter, according to preliminary estimates. The data met analyst expectations.

A strengthening services sector helped to boost the official gross domestic product (GDP) figures, released on Thursday. It follows expansion of 0.3 percent in the first three months of the year.

All of the economy’s major sectors – agriculture, production, construction and services – increased quarter-on-quarter, with services leading the way, contributing 0.48 percentage points to the 0.6 percent GDP rise.

Fox News: Google unveils new Nexus 7, world’s highest resolution tablet

Google on Wednesday unveiled and will make immediately available the latest version of Android, the largest mobile software platform in the world. Android powers over 70 million tablet devices and is on more than a billion gadgets overall, explained Sundar Pichai, who oversees the company’s Android and Chrome operating systems.

“By our accounts, one in two tablets sold worldwide is based on Android,” Pichai said.

The latest version of the software, named Jellybean, is being updated to version 4.3; the biggest improvement comes to multiuser support, such that a family can each have their own profile on a single device. It will be made available on a brand new version of the company’s flagship Nexus 7, a wildly popular 7-inch tablet that dramatically undercuts the Apple iPad and goes head to head with Amazon’s Kindle Fire product.

The new tablet has a 1,920 × 1,200 pixel resolution, or 1080p — making it the world’s highest resolution tablet, said Google’s Hugo Barra.

…The device is far sleeker too, 6 mm slimmer and 50 grams lighter. It has dual stereo speakers, a CPU that’s twice as fast and a graphics processor that is four times as fast, he said.

…Since its introduction last summer, the 7-inch model has proven particular popular among consumers looking for a less expensive alternative to Apple’s iPad. The newly announced Nexus 7 with 16 gigabytes of storage will sell for $229, $20 more than a Kindle Fire HD with a similar size display. That compares to $499 for an iPad with a 10-inch screen and the same amount of storage. A 32GB version will sell for $269, and a version with 4G LTE network connectivity — which will work with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon — will cost $349.

The new tablet will go on sale Tuesday, July 30, both online and in a variety of stores.

If I was shopping for a tablet, I would certainly consider the Nexus 7. Unfortunately for investors, the only way to invest in this news is through Google stock. The manufacturer, Asus, a Taiwanese company, is only thinly traded in the U.S. as a pink sheet stock.

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Posted July 25, 2013 by edmcgon in Economy, News, Stocks

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