Monday, September 12, 2011

Morning Brief: Investors brace for another rocky week; report says ad spending up 3.2% in first half of year, but slowing; explosion reported at French nuclear power plant

Markets in Europe are extremely weak again today as investors (and everyone else) worldwide continue to be concerned about the deteriorating economies of countries such as Greece.

As of 8 EDT, the German Dax was down another three and a half percent, while the French CAC $0 was down nearly five percent. All markets, with the exception of the British FTSE 100 were still at 52-week lows.

The New York Times is leading this morning is leading with a story concerning the economy:

In Greece, the epicenter of the Continent’s financial disarray, government officials announced new austerity measures on Sunday, even as the country’s finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, warned that the Greek economy was expected to shrink much more sharply this year than previously anticipated. In a revision, a contraction of 5.3 percent in 2011 was predicted, rather than the 3.8 percent forecast in May.
Stock futures indicate Wall Street will open down this morning.

News sources are reporting that the nuclear power plant at Marcoule à Codolet, near Nimes, France has had an explosion.

According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, the French regulatory body l'Autorité de sûreté nucléaire (ASN) is saying that one person is reported dead and four other injured, one seriously.
Le Figaro: La préfecture avait auparavant fait état de quatre blessés. Selon les premières informations, l'explosion a touché un four servant à fondre des déchets radioactifs métalliques de faible et très faible activité, précise l'ASN dans un communiqué.

According to initial reports, the explosion hit a furnace for melting metal radioactive waste of low and very low activity, the ASN said in a statement. – Google translation

Kantar Media is reporting that total advertising spending is up 3.2 percent so far this year. The research company reported, however, that the rate of growth is slowing with the economy, with second quarter ad spending up 2.8 percent.

"Advertising grew at a slower rate in the second quarter, contributing to speculation about the durability of an advertising recovery that is into its second year," said Jon Swallen, SVP Research at Kantar Media North America. "Key ad spend indicators are painting a mixed picture. On one hand, a majority of media types actually improved their performance from Q1 to Q2. On the other, spending growth for the Top 100 advertisers stalled in Q2 and the ad market became more dependent on the comparatively smaller budgets of mid-sized advertisers as the main source of growth."