(CNN) – Dust off your old comic books: a collector has sold a near-mint copy of the first issue of the Batman comic book for a whopping $850,000.
The seller reaped a stunning return on investment, after paying $315,000 for the No. 1 issue two years ago, according to the auctioneer. The comic book was priced a mere 10 cents when it was published in 1940.
The sale to an investor partnership was arranged privately by Dallas-based collectibles auction house, Heritage Auctions. The identities of the buyer and sellers have not been revealed.
Playing on nostalgia, vintage comic book sales have been on the rise in recent years. A rare comic book collection reaped Heritage Auctions over $8.9 million in February, breaking the company’s own world record of $6.03 million from May 2011. According to Heritage, comic auctions grossed no more than $2.2 million when the company began auctioning comics over a decade ago.
(CNN) – Women have been breaking through the glass ceiling toward senior positions in greater numbers, but U.S. research suggests there is now a “green ceiling” that female executives face to get investor cash.
Researchers at the University of Utah and Washington University found that when MBA students are presented an identical IPO offering, they are less likely to invest if the company is led by a female CEO than a man.
That comes despite the fact women holding corporate officer positions in the U.S. increased to 55% from 10% between 1997 and 2007, the study notes.
“Given the increasing numbers of women executives in the top management teams of IPO firms, the lack of female-led IPO firms is a curious fact, especially since women-owned private businesses represent almost half of the new businesses formed in the United States,” the authors said.
(CNN) – As chill autumn winds curl down Wall Street, the ghosts of Octobers past haunt global investors who stare in fright at the events unfolding in Europe; a bad September for most portfolios threatens to turn into an even worse October.
As CNNMoney writes, stocks have tumbled into the fourth quarter with the first day of trade on Monday. The ill wind followed the sun, with markets finishing down in a sell-off that stretched from Hong Kong to New York. The swoon began in Asia, where the Hang Seng index closed down about 4.4%, with heavy losses of some big Chinese banks signaling to investors that Beijing will not buoy global markets. If that didn’t scare investors, news that troubled Greece fell short of budget deficit targets did.
But the wild machinations of the past several months pale compared to the market drops that have earned October its Halloween reputation on Wall Street:
The meeting of minds for Europe’s two largest economies basically produced few tangible results to solving the Continent’s ongoing debt crisis. The main outcomes: a “no” to increasing a European bailout fund, a “no” to Euro bonds and a “yes” to resubmitting a transaction tax proposal that had failed EU passage in 2010.
In Japan, the Nikkei closed down 0.55%. Major exporters Nissan, Toyota and Sony were heavyweights that dragged down the index, all falling between 1.5% and 2.5%. Honda throttled back to be the biggest loser of the Japanese export bunch, down 2.48%.
(CNN) - For two days markets have been awash with rumors that French sovereign debt was about to be downgraded and that the French bank Societe Generale was in financial trouble. Was it true? At times it didn't matter.
The French market and SocGen's share price were pummeled by investors who decided there must be some truth in all of this. It was only when the ratings agencies reaffirmed France’s AAA rating and SocGen denied all rumors – without even saying what they were – that things got better.
Every day cold hard facts are the fuel that drives the markets: News about a company or country, favorable or not. But markets are living organisms, made up of Alpha type men and women desperate to take advantage of situations real or perceived. So in the absence of facts, they will listen to rumors and try and judge whether those rumors are likely to be true; then buy or sell on the back of them.
For instance, last Friday the big rumor was that the U.S. was about to lose its AAA rating. No one from the ratings agencies would confirm or deny it, so the rumor just got stronger. And the rumor was true: After the market closed S&P did downgrade American debt.
London (CNN) – As world markets remain in turmoil and economists bet on a return to recession, hedge fund managers are being given another chance to prove they are worth their hefty pay packets.
Hedge funds are similar to mutual funds in that they raise capital from investors and pool it together.
But it’s what they do with that money that makes them different.
Like other funds, they measure their performance against an index buying stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies. Yet, hedge funds also use an array of sophisticated investment techniques which allow them to make money not just when markets are rising but when they are falling as well.
In China, the state-run media is full of scathing editorials about America's mounting debt.
Commentary published by the Xinhua news agency over the weekend stated the U.S. should live within its means. The agency said the alarm has rung and Washington politicians need to stop playing chicken.
An article in the Communist Party newspaper Global Times reads "The World Should Kick America's Behind".
The downgrade of U.S. credit by ratings agency Standard and Poor’s from AAA to AA+ is feeding fears in some circles that China could damage the American economy, by selling its massive debt holdings.
(CNN) – So gold has broken the $1600 barrier – a significant price milestone.
But as sure as we talk about it this week, we’ll likely be talking about another hundred-dollar price jump again soon as global investors head for safe havens. That’s because 2011 has been packed with crises of confidence around the world – and we may be in for more.
Simply put, crises are to the price of gold as matches are to bottle rockets: One makes the other go pop.
Hong Kong, China (CNN) – Foster’s iconic slogan “Australian for beer” may soon be plastered over with one in Chinese, Japanese or Spanish.
SABMiller’s unsolicited attempt to buyout Australia’s number one brewer underscored its $10 billion offering as an undervaluation. And that’s knocked the beer goggles off other competitors.
They’re now sidling up to the bar to see if Foster’s is the cool refreshing beverage that could sweeten their portfolio too.
But can you imagine a Foster’s owned by China’s Qingdao, Japan’s Asahi or Mexico’s Grupo Modelo, which makes Corona? It’s possible, but SABMiller says hold on. The world’s number two brewer says it’s still in pursuit and the party’s just begun.
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