MORE SIGNS OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY
• The U.S. Labor Dept. reported in July that the consumer price
index, the government’s leading indicator of inflation, was flat
in May. That means inflation is “tame and not a problem,”
says one official.
• The U.S. Commerce Dept. says housing starts jumped 11.6 percent
in May, led by a 24 percent increase in the Midwest.
These numbers seem to indicate that economic recovery is on track
and not as weak as the market perceives it to be, experts say.
THE FUTURE OF FUTURES
U.S. investors may soon be able to buy and sell single-stock futures.
If approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, single-stock
futures would enable investors to trade stock without putting up as
much cash as currently required under stock margin rules.
Single-stock futures have been popular overseas for some time and
were authorized by Congress in late 2000. In July of this year a final
rules package was approved by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Critics say single-stock futures, which will be available to individual
and institutional traders, could be complicated and, therefore, risky
MEN-WOMEN PAY DISPARITY NARROWS, BUT STILL
The pay disparity between men and women workers narrowed during the
1990s, but as of 1999 the U.S. Census Bureau says women still earned
only 73 cents for every dollar men were paid.
The report does not mean women necessarily were paid less than men
for doing the same job. The Census Bureau looked at total earnings
for full-time workers in all industries. It found the national median
income for men is $35,922 and $26,292 for women.
YOU’VE GOT AIR MAIL
Boeing Co., Chicago, IL, says Lufthansa and British Airways have signed
on as trial customers for its Connexion in-flight Internet service.
The two airlines say they will offer the high-speed Internet connection
on one 747-400 during three-month trials beginning in early 2003.
Boeing plans to formally launch Connexion in 2004.