WSJ By The Numbers - Top 10 for Sept.20

A compendium of revealing stats and the key leading economic and business indicators based on today's Wall Street Journal article and reports:

University of Michigan reclaimed the No. 1 spot from Dartmouth as the top business school, according to the Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive rankings. Dartmouth topped the list in three of the Journal's six annual rankings and Michigan scored two wins. The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School topped once. 

Harris Interactive conducted the online survey of 4,125 recruiters (up from 3,267 respondents in 2005) from Dec. 13, 2005, to March 16, 2006 -- with respondents rating only schools where they said they had recent recruiting experience. To qualify for any of the three rankings, a school had to receive at least 20 recruiter ratings. (THE TOP BUSINESS SCHOOLS: RECRUITERS' M.B.A. PICKS - WSJ)

August construction starts on single-family homes declined 20.6% from a year earlier. Residential-construction activity contributed at least 0.5 percentage point to economic growth in 2004 and 2005, according to government data. However, a slowing housing market subtracted 0.63 percentage point from economic growth in this year's second quarter. (New-Home Starts Sink As Sales Slow, Inventories Rise - WSJ)
Big Numbers From Oracle's Earnings Results Yesterday:
  • Latest quarter earnings rose 29% to $670 million
  • Revenue jumped 30% to $3.59 billion 
  • Stock price was up 32% this year - hit four years high last week
  • Sales of new software licenses rose 28% to $804 million
  • Sales of new licenses for "database technology" rose 15% to $576 million 
  • Spent $20 billion in 2005 to snap up PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems and 20 other business-applications software makers

(As Oracle Digests Acquisitions, Earnings Surge - WSJ)

U.S. imported a just $99 million of goods from Iran, while shipping $55 million of goods to Iran through July of this year. However the other UN Security Council members have seen their total trade with Iran on track to top $22 billion this year, up from $18 billion in 2005. Germany is Iran's largest supplier of foreign goods, with exports last year of more than $5.4 billion. The Chinese get around 18% of their crude oil from Iran. In the first half of this year China imported $5.16 billion of oil from Iran, a 56% increase from the pace of imports in 2005.  (Nations' Rich Trade With Iran Is Hurdle For Sanctions Plan - WSJ)
Yahoo yesterday warned that weakening Internet ad sales would hurt its third-quarter revenue, hurt by the difficulties of some U.S. car companies and the cooling in home sales (mortgage financing ads). TNS Media Intelligence estimates overall advertising by U.S. car makers dropped 13.3% to $3.79 billion in the first half of the year. Local newspapers saw a $600 million reduction in auto spending in the first six months. However TNS figures show that auto makers' spending on online display ads, banners, buttons and pop ups, was up 49% to $170 million in the first half. (Yahoo Warns Of Weakness In Web-Ad Sales - WSJ)
DVRs penetration is expected to grow to 18% of television households by the end of the year, up from 10% now, according to Nielsen Media Research. Sony is launching a new TV ad for its Bravia LCD TVs, targeting people watching with a digital video recorder. (Sony Tries to Lure DVR Ad-Skippers - WSJ)

Demography is Destiny - the aging of the developed world, based on the latest data from the U.N. Demographic Commission:  (Gray World - WSJ)

  • In the U.S. in 1950 there were seven people of working age (20-65) for every retiree, 

  • Today, there are almost five for every retiree. 

  • By 2030, when the last of the baby boom generation retires, that ratio will fall down below 3 to 1. 

Harvard University's endowment achieved an investment return of 16.7% in its fiscal year ended June 30, reaching more than $29 billion, boosted by investments in commodities and emerging markets. Harvard remains the university with the largest endowment in the country. Harvard said that according to preliminary numbers, its performance was also slightly above the median return of the 25 largest university endowments. Stanford University endowment earned 19.4% for the same period. In fiscal 2006, Harvard's endowment grew by $3.3 billion. (Harvard's Endowment Surpasses $29 Billion - WSJ)

Goldman Sachs Group is planning to invest $1 billion in India over the next two years, in a range of industries that are fueling India's fast growth. The firms has over 1,000 people in India offices and we are recruiting more financial analysts and software engineers. (Goldman Scouts India's Markets For Investments - WSJ)
In a survey of more than 500 affluent investors conducted this summer by Spectrem Group, just more than half said they would follow their financial adviser to a new firm. Clients of full-service brokerage firms were the least likely to follow, while clients of independent financial planners were the most likely to exhibit that loyalty. (Star Brokers Are Finding Grass Is Greener at Poaching Firms - WSJ)

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