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Media Navel Gaze: August 10, 2015

Mark Kollar  Follow

The Week Unpeeled

Nothing seemed to trump the Republican debates last week, except maybe the follow-on Trump discussion after the apparent front runner, The Donald, lashed out at Fox for unfair questioning with beyond acerbic comments; bully pulpits draw viewers no doubt with the event drawing reportedly the largest non-sports audience on a cable network (enough qualifiers there Fox PR folks?) at 24 million viewers.

Elsewhere:

  • The US jobless report was fairly strong meaning Fed watchers are leaning more toward a rate hike in September during the central bank's next policy meeting;
  • The national unemployment rate held steady at 5.3 percent in July while non-farm payroll added 215,000 jobs; previous months data were improved upward;
  • As a result, stocks fell Friday (rate-hike pressures) with the Dow closing at 17,373 for a loss now of some 2.5 percent for the year; other gauges like the S&P and Nasdaq are up for the year;
  • The "activists" seem to be getting more and more ink lately with a food fight now in the headlines (Mondelez and Ackman) and Amex and Ubben stepping up for probably a more quiet showdown;
  • Media companies took a big hit last week as digital ad dollars grow;
  • "The Daily Show" Jon Stewart says goodnight (which probably added to media-giant Viacom's concerns; and
  • North Korea decides to set clocks back by 30 minutes, prompting yet-another-step-to-be-out-of-sync-with-the-world stories.

LatAm Gaze:

  • Brazil's state-run oil producer Petrobras, which is undergoing a massive corruption scandal that sent some of its top executives to jail, reported an 89% plunge in its Q2 net income last week. The CEO estimates it will take five years for the company to win back the credibility it has lost among investors - but he will continue to push for management and financial changes within the company;
  • On Saturday, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff appointed a top prosecutor investigating the corruption within Petrobras to remain on the job for another two years; and
  • On Friday, Mexico posted a record-low inflation rate for a third month in a row, pointing to little pressure on prices from a sharp slump in the peso this year. Mexico's central bank sold $200 million at an average price of 16.1606 pesos per dollar in a daily currency auction on Friday to underpin Mexico's peso.  End of Story

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