Saturday, November 28, 2015

Archive: March, 2011

POSTED: Monday, March 14, 2011, 11:10 AM
Filed Under: Small Business

Optimism about the improving economy is trickling down to small business.

Last week, the National Federation of Independent Business said its Index of Small Business Optimism gained 0.4 points in February to 94.5.

That marks its highest level since December 2007, which happens to have been the month the recession began. But as the trade association’s chief economist William C. Dunkelberg said in the report, it’s not a level that signals a “shift into ‘second gear’ for economic growth.”

POSTED: Friday, March 11, 2011, 9:07 AM

Leave it to Thursday's rout on Wall Street to end any celebrating over the two-year run of the current bull market.

Still, the anniversary is an opportunity to evaluate which Philadelphia-area public companies are more or less valuable now than they were on March 9, 2009, when the major stock market indexes touched their most-recent lows.

Bull and bear markets are simply prolonged periods of rising or falling stock prices. During the bear market that growled from Oct. 9, 2007, to March 9, 2009, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 53.8 percent of its value.

POSTED: Thursday, March 10, 2011, 2:36 PM
Filed Under: Financial Services

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has been conducting its monthly survey of manufacturers in the region since 1968.

Released on the third Thursday of every month, the findings of the Business Outlook Survey are widely anticipated and seen as an early indicator of how manufacturing is faring nationwide as measured by the Institute for Supply Management.

On Thursday, the Fed debuted a new quarterly survey that focuses on the services sector, but really tries to illuminate the state of low- and moderate-income households.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 5:09 PM
Filed Under: Technology

Philadelphia has been chosen as one of 24 cities worldwide to participate in IBM's Smarter Cities Challenge.

What that means is the Armonk, N.Y. computer and information-services giant will provide six IBM consultants and technology geeks later this year to help the city use technology better to support literacy and workforce training programs.

The Mayor's Office said the total value of IBM's investment will be about $400,000.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 1:00 AM

When Amanda Steinberg lived in New York in the last decade, she proved her Internet chops by raking in a six-figure salary. Trouble is, she was very skilled at spending all of it, too.

“I had not created any net worth,” she said.

Worse, when she sought out information on how to get her financial house in order, she found much of the advice didn’t apply to someone who didn’t have assets to invest or address the difference between the financial situations of men and women.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 7:00 PM
Filed Under: Pharma, Biotech

GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. gave a small biotechnology firm some bad news recently.

It told Targacept Inc. that it would be terminating a strategic alliance, formed in July 2007, to support development of treatments for pain, smoking cessation, addiction, obesity, and Parkinson’s disease.

Perhaps it was fortunate timing that Targacept, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., disclosed the alliance’s end March 3, when the stock market was rallying strongly. Targacept shares closed at $29.94, up 18 cents that day.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 4:08 PM
Filed Under: Economic Development

Robert B. Zoellick, president of the World Bank, will be on the University of Delaware campus Wednesday for a “conversation” as part the school’s Global Agenda series on how the rest of the world views the United States.

Zoellick won’t be giving a speech so much as answering questions posed by Ralph Begleiter, director of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication, and those in the audience.

One topic that should come up is food prices, as their increase has been a contributing factor in the ongoing unrest in the Middle East. The World Bank’s Food Price Index shows prices to be 29 percent higher than a year ago.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 1:30 PM
Filed Under: Small Business

A key measure of business formation shows 2010 had the highest rate of activity in 15 years.

That’s the good news. But here are two pieces of bad news. First, many of those new businesses created jobs only for their entrepreneurs, not others.

Second, Philadelphia ranks dead last - again - among the 15 biggest metropolitan areas in terms of entrepreneurial activity. And Pennsylvania didn’t fare much better, surpassing only West Virginia, the state with the most frigid business climate.

About this blog
Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at

Mike Armstrong Inquirer Columnist
Also on
letter icon Newsletter