Who’s Afraid of the Rising Dollar? Not the Thriving U.S. Economy
The dollar is rising, and that continues to be a good thing for the U.S. economy, despite some doubt. Companies like Pfizer Inc. to Microsoft Corp., Procter & Gamble Co. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. have blamed the strongest dollar in more than a decade for crimping profits in 2014, or indicated it will hurt them this year. However, they may be missing the bigger picture. Here’s why.
The bigger picture is hardly so dire. Viewed as a whole, American business is much less vulnerable to the dollar’s rise than are the U.S.-based multinational giants. The exchange rate poses an even smaller threat to U.S. economic growth, which wrapped up its best year since 2010. While a strong dollar may weaken exports, it also means cheaper oil, less costly goods from overseas and continued low inflation — all good things for an economy that’s powered by consumer spending.
“There’s going to be some pain for large corporations, but broadly speaking, the increase in the dollar is something the U.S. economy is able to absorb,” said Michelle Meyer, senior U.S. economist at Bank of America Corp. in New York.
Cisco CEO: We’re going to ‘crush’ Facebook and ‘have fun’ beating VMware
Cisco is off to a hot start in 2015, and they have some big plans to keep it rolling well into the future. After a stellar earnings report, Cisco’s CEO John Chambers is making some big statements this week, specifically regarding competitors like Facebook. What does he have in store?
An hour before Cisco’s earnings, Facebook announced some big progress in its efforts to build a new kind of computer network, using products it developed for itself and is sharing with the world. It urged others to join it in building the same kind of network. Cisco is the dominant player in the network industry, so Facebook’s efforts are a rebuff of Cisco’s ways.
Facebook isn’t alone. A number of startups, like Plexxi and Pluribus, are doing a similar thing, using off-the-shelf components and open source software. They say their networks are less expensive and easier to manage than the traditional way (i.e., a Cisco network).
Apple to build solar farm for California operations
Apple continues to grow as it solidifies itself as the world’s top tech company, and perhaps the top company all around. That’s why it’s no surprise that they’re expanding. It’s HOW they’re expanding that’s raising some eyebrows these days; but in a good way. They are currently in plans to spend around $850 million to build a solar farm that would power all of its California operations. And that’s a big deal.
Apple’s investment in the solar farm is a significant expansion of its efforts to shift toward renewable energy sources, including wind and solar, to power its operations. Renewable energy has powered the company’s corporate campuses in Austin, Texas, and Sacramento for many years. In 2013, Apple completed a transition to using 100 percent renewable energy to power its data centers.
Last week, the company said it would invest $2 billion to convert a sapphire glass plant in Arizona into a data center that would be powered mostly by solar energy.
Source: The Boston Globe
Investing in Energy Efficiency: How Better Production Equals Bigger Gains
Efficient energy solutions are big business these days, and have great future potential. That’s why, as an investor, it’s critical to examine what the investment potential is in the industry, and how to make smart, long-term decisions. In our latest blog, we go over why efficient production is key to both efficient energy, and a great investment.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), “Energy efficiency is a way of managing and restraining the growth in energy consumption. Something is more energy efficient if it delivers more services for the same energy input, or the same services for less energy input.” This concept is applicable to a number of industries, but in terms of investment there are two hot markets where energy efficiency has investors buzzing: electric vehicles, and scalable, efficient production equipment. For now, let’s take a look at the future of efficient production equipment and why it’s a good buy as an alternative investment with major growth potential.
Read more about investing in energy efficiency.