CNBC has a list of big name U.S. companies that could slide into default – meaning they won’t be able to meet their financial obligations, including paying their employees.
There are a few technology companies on CNBC’s liability list, and it makes for an interesting slideshow – but only if you’re lucky enough not to be employed by any of these companies.
Check out the entire list at: http://www.cnbc.com/id/29640663
Elsewhere, I’ve never been a big fan of solar energy, at least as a widespread, consumer-demand-type energy program that promises to solve even some of our oil dependency needs.
Now it seems that the emperor really doesn’t have any panels. Case in point, the number of applications in the state of California – a hotbed of solar energy sandbaggery – have declined by huge numbers. According to the California Solar Initiative commission, applications for commercial and private solar energy usage ran at about a pace of 1,000 for most of 2008. But 2009 has cast a cloud over the solar movement – just at a time when Washington is considering a carbon tax that will guarantee a big uptick in American’s household utility bills. Applications fell to 608 in January and 646 in February. Halfway through March, only 188 applications were filed for solar energy platforms in California.
Turns out that consumer appetite for pricey rooftop solar panels is waning - another victim of the economic downturn. But, if you want to invest in solar energy, there’s an index that allows you to do so. It’s called the Ardour Solar Energy Index (SOLRX). It’s trading off its 2008 highs – but it does offer a composite of solar energy stocks that provide a good representation of how the industry is doing.
Like I said, I’m not convinced solar is viable. But with the federal government pouring billions into alternative energy, a rebound in solar stocks might happen – but only if the economy cooperates.
Even so, I'm still not a believer.
One last tidbit for today. Apple had been fairly resilient through the first year or so of the current recession, but the bloom has definitely fallen off the rose. According to the technology analytics firm NPL reports that Apple Macintosh sales are down 16% from the same period a year ago. All told, Apple revenues are off by 22% when measured against the same time period. NPR also sees Apple’s market share in decline – down from 12% in 2008 to 11” of the retail personal computer market in the U.S.
Apple is soon shipping new versions of the iMac and the new Mac mini, which should provide some buoyancy going forward. But Apple’s Achilles heel has always been its high prices – a fact that consumers have already noticed, as the NPL data indicates.