These are stories Report on Business is following today. Get the top business stories through the day on BlackBerry or iPhone by bookmarking our mobile-friendly webpage.
Billionaires pledge to charity Seventeen more of the mega-wealthy have pledged the majority of their wealth to charity, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and financier Carl Icahn.
Mr. Zuckerberg, Mr. Icahn, AOL's co-founder Steve Case and and Michael Milken of bond fame have joined the list of those who are part of the Giving Pledge, which was put together by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the group said in a statement late yesterday.
Others already on the list include George Lucas, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp.
"People wait until late in their career to give back," said Mr. Zuckerberg, who is just 26.
"But why wait when there is so much to be done? With a generation of younger folks who have thrived on the success of their companies, there is a big opportunity for many of us to give back earlier in our lifetime and see the impact of our philanthropic efforts."
Markets on rise Global markets are somewhat upbeat this morning, still pumped by the U.S. tax deal that is projected to help the economic recovery.
While China's benchmark Shanghai composite slipped 1.3 per cent, Tokyo's Nikkei climbed 0.5 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng 0.3 per cent. While Germany's DAX was flat by about 6 a.m. ET, London's FTSE 100 and the Paris CAC 40 were up slightly, as were Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 futures.
"The two-day bleeding (the worst since 2008) in Treasury markets has subsided, with 10-year bond yields easing 2 basis points to 3.25 per cent after jumping another 10 basis points yesterday (and briefly hitting six-month highs of 3.33 per cent)," said BMO Nesbitt Burns economist Sal Guatieri.
"At one point, yields were up about 40 basis points since Monday morning, and are now up a full percentage point since the October low (though still down 60 basis points year-to-date). Other global "safe-haven" yields are also on the rise, including Germany and Japan.
"... U.S. equity futures are modestly higher, looking to stretch a two-year high, on the improved outlook for the U.S. economy stemming from the tax-cut deal and the postponed increases in dividend and capital gains taxes. Commodities have a firmer bid, with gold stabilizing after falling the most in five months (- 2.4 per cent) and rubber bouncing around three-decade highs."
The Bank of England today surprised no one by doing absolutely nothing at its policy meeting.
Central bank to unveil review The Bank of Canada this morning releases its review of the financial system, a semi-annual report.
"Expect updated comments and analysis regarding the state of household finances particularly given the marked slowdown in household credit growth since earlier this year," said Scotia Capital.
"But the main topics have already been flagged ... and include a focus on capital, derivatives markets, systemic risk and contingent capital."
Globe and Mail economics writer Jeremy Torobin will report on the release after it is unveiled at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Fitch downgrades Ireland If there was a race to the bottom, Greece would be beating Ireland, but only just.
Fitch Ratings today cut Ireland's credit rate by three notches in the wake of its bailout, to BBB+ from A+.
"The downgrade reflects the additional fiscal costs of restructuring and supporting the banking system, reflecting ongoing contingent liabilities arising from the guarantee of Irish bank debt and deposits (equivalent to 93.5 per cent of GDP at end Q310); weaker prospects and greater uncertainty regarding the economic outlook as a result of the recent intensification of the financial crisis; and the associated loss of access to market funding at an affordable cost, resulting in reduced fiscal financing flexibility," FItch analysts said in a statement.
"The scale and pace of the deterioration of public finances, continuing contingent fiscal and macro-financial risks emanating from the banking sector, combined with the highly uncertain economic outlook and loss of market access, means that Ireland's sovereign credit profile is no longer consistent with a high investment grade rating."
Small mercies: Ireland remains two notches above Greece.
Lululemon profit, revenue climb Lululemon Athletica Inc. today reported a jump in third-quarter profit to almost $25.7-million (U.S.) or 36 cents a share from $14.1-million or 20 cents a year earlier.
Revenue increased some 56 per cent to $175.8-million.
The Vancouver-based retailer also projected fourth-quarter revenue of $210-million to $215-million, and diluted earnings per share of 46 cents to 48 cents.
Vacancy rates decline Winnipeg was the country's tightest residential rental market in October, but the national vacancy rate fell across the country as more people sought housing of all kinds, Globe and Mail real estate writer Steve Ladurantaye reports.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said today in its Rental Market Survey that the national vacancy rate decreased to 2.6 per cent, from 2.8 per cent a year ago.
In Personal Finance today
In 2010, the bestselling finance books represented a sampling of old standards mixed with modern classics. Here are some well-written and valuable books to improve your financial life.
No-nonsense advice on how to stick to your financial resolutions from Smart Cookies columnist Angela Self.
From today's Report on Business
- Oil patch pricing carbon tariffs into new projects
- Maple Leaf defends director Purdy Crawford's independence
- Insurers ask Ottawa to ease ownership rules
- New OSC chief pledges more jail terms