Jennie GarthAfter announcing her divorce from husband of over a decade Peter Facinelli in March, Jennie Garth of "90210" fame said she was past the "darkest parts" of the split and looking forward to the future. But now, many fans are worried as Garth was seen sporting major weight loss and a skinny figure in photos snapped in New York City and on her personal Twitter account looking dramatically thin.
Dollar Weakens Amid Reaction to U.S. GDP Data
The dollar is weaker in early afternoon trading on Wednesday in New York, plunging to its lowest levels in nearly two weeks against the euro and sterling. Meanwhile, the buck moved away from a five-week low posted against the yen on Tuesday.
Mostly disappointing U.S. gross domestic product data was largely shrugged off, fueling some of the risk appetite on the day as equities and higher yielding currencies rallied.
Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce showed that while consumer spending rebounded in the first three months of the year, the headline reading on first quarter GDP contracted by much more than expected.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve concludes its two-day meeting on Wednesday, with the Federal Open Market Committee due to announce the results of the meeting at about 2:15 pm ET. The Fed is widely expected to leave key interest rates unchanged near zero.
Traders are also keeping an eye on the spread of the swine flu and its potential impact on the global economy, with the World Health Organization expected to lift its threat level yet again.
The greenback extended its losing streak against the euro, plunging to 1.3307 in early afternoon trading, its lowest level in over two weeks. With the retreat, the dollar continues to move away from a monthly high of 1.2884, set last week.
The buck is now approaching another support level of 1.3387, set earlier in April.
Traders considered a positive consumer sentiment reading from the Eurozone, prompting interest in the higher yielding currency.
A survey conducted by the European Commission showed that Eurozone economic sentiment rose to 67.2 in April from a revised reading of 64.7 in March, the first significant increase since May 2007. The index came in above the expected reading of 65.6.
Also on Wednesday, the German government said the economy will grow 0.5 percent in 2010, benefiting from stimulus measures and recovery of exports.
However, the government also said that the economy will shrink 6 percent this year, the worst contraction since the World War II, and sharper than a 2.25 percent fall predicted in January.
Against the pound, the buck snapped out of a trading range, falling to a 12-day low of 1.4799. With the move, the dollar is moving towards its January low of 1.5070, set April 16.
The greenback snapped its losing streak against the yen, rising to 97.00 on the day. The move came after the buck plummeted to 95.62 on Tuesday, setting a five-week low. The dollar leveled off since hitting a 3-month high of 101.43 yen on April 6th.
On the U.S. economic front, an advance GDP report from the Department of Commerce showed that the U.S. economy contracted at an annual rate of 6.1 percent in the first quarter compared to a 6.3 percent drop in the fourth quarter. Economists had been expecting a more modest decline of about 4.7 percent.
A steep drop in private inventories played a big part in the sharper than expected contraction in GDP, with the drop in inventories subtracting 2.8 percentage points from first quarter GDP.
Earlier this morning, President Barack Obama addressed the swine flu outbreak, as the first U.S. death from the influenza strain was confirmed. He assured the public that the government is fully dedicated to stopping the spread of the disease, noting the $1.5 billion request for emergency funding he sent to Congress Tuesday.
For comments and feedback: contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Stocks Holding Onto Strong Gains In Early Afternoon Trading - U.S. Commentary
With traders reacting positively to the latest economic news, stocks are seeing substantial strength in early afternoon trading on Wednesday. Easing concerns about the impact of the swine flu outbreak has also helped to push the markets higher.
The strength in the markets also comes on the heels of some positive earnings news, with media giant Time Warner (TWX) reporting adjusted first quarter earnings that fell year-over-year but still came in better than expected.
While a report released by the Commerce Department before the start of trading showed that gross domestic product fell by more than expected in the first quarter, the decrease was largely due to a substantial drop in inventories.
The Commerce Department said GDP decreased at an annual rate of 6.1 percent in the first quarter, better than in the previous quarter, but considerably worse than the 4.7 percent decline economists had anticipated.
The bigger than expected decrease came as a steep drop in inventories subtracted 2.8 percentage points from first quarter GDP.
Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak, noted, The huge inventory drawdown will be reversed to some extent to the upside, thus helping economic activity.
Later in the day, trading is likely to be impacted by the Federal Reserve's announcement of the outcome of its two-day policy-setting meeting.
While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders are likely to pay close attention to the accompanying statement, looking for indications of the Fed's future plans regarding the capital markets as well as its outlook for the economy.
In other news, President Obama and Vice President Biden welcomed Senator Arlen Specter to the Democratic Party on Wednesday, a day after the 5-term senator announced that he was leaving the Republican camp.
At a press conference held at the White House, Obama promised Specter his full support as the senator gears up to run for a 6th term as a member of his new party. The president praised Specter's courage and independence in switching parties.
The major averages have drifted down off their best levels of the day in recent trading, although they remain firmly positive. The Dow is up 147.27 at 8,164.22, the Nasdaq is up 40.00 at 1,713.81 and the S&P 500 is up 17.19 at 862.35.
A vast majority of the major sectors are showing strong upward move on the day, reflecting broad based strength in the markets. Healthcare provider stocks continue to turn in some of the best performances in early afternoon trading.
Electronic storage stocks are also posting particularly strong gains, driving the Amex Disk Drive Index up 4.8 percent to a level that would mark its best closing level in over three and a half months. Hutchinson is helping to lead the sector higher, rising 17.7 percent.
With the price of oil showing a notable upward move, oil service stocks are also posting strong gains. The Philadelphia Oil Service Index is currently up 4.1 percent, as crude for June delivery is rising $0.71 to $50.63 a barrel.
Banking, airline, and networking stocks are also posting significant gains, with the Kbw Bank Index up 3.8 percent, while the Amex Airline Index and the Amex Networking Index are climbing 3.7 percent and 3.6 percent higher, respectively.
Noteworthy gains are also being shown by stocks in the steel, real estate, housing, and defense sectors.
Stocks In The News
Wyndham Worldwide (WYN) is posting a gain of 33.6 percent after releasing quarterly results that pleased investors and included strong guidance. With the advance, the stock has risen to its highest level in over six and a half months.
The company reported first quarter adjusted net income of $0.41 per share compared to the $0.35 per share expected by investors. Net revenues for the quarter declined to $901 million but beat the 838.91 million analysts were looking for.
Additionally, DreamWorks Animation (DWA) is up 23.6 percent after the company reported first quarter earnings that crushed analyst estimates. The company earned $0.71 per share, while analysts expected $0.45 per share.
Meanwhile, E*TRADE Financial (ETFC) is down 31.3 percent on the day after posting a first quarter loss of $0.41 per share, compared to a loss of $0.20 per share a year-ago. Analysts expected the company to report a loss of $0.40 per share.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region ended Wednesday's trading firmly in positive territory, as traders went bargain hunting. However, the Japanese market remained closed on account of Showa Day.
The major European markets also experienced substantial strength, with the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index advancing 2.3 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index rose 2.2 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries have continued to show a lack of direction ahead of the announcement from the Federal Reserve. The yield on the benchmark ten-year note is currently up less than a basis point at 3.007 percent.
For comments and feedback: contact email@example.com
Confession App is no substitute to sacrament - Father Federico Lombardi
Following the launch of the iPhone App aimed to help Catholics for confession, Father Federico Lombardi, the Director of the Holy See Press Office issued a clarification on the church's position on receiving the sacrament of penance.
The Vatican Radio quoted Lombardi as stating that it is essential to understand that the sacrament of penance requires a personal dialogue between the penitent and the confessor in order for absolution to be given. This cannot be replaced by any computer application such as the iPhone.
Lombardi however said that in today's era of digitalization, such means can be used in the preparation for confession. But he feels that such technology is by no means a substitute for the sacrament.
The statement signifies that although the Roman Catholic Church still supports the development of the new application, yet it can never act as a substitute for actual confession.
Quoting Patrick Leinen, co-founder of Little iApps which developed the application, CNN reported that the Confession app is an aid to confession and in no way, (can) shape or form a replacement.
Developed for those who frequent the sacrament and those who wish to return - this was the notion which guided Leinen to develop the new tool.
The app offers features like password protected customized profiles, a guide to performing the sacrament and also a list of acts of contrition. Available in Apple's iTunes store, the app guides users through an Examination of Conscience to help them prepare for confession before stepping into the confessional.
This is followed by a second stage where stepwise instructions are given to guide users what to do inside the confessional. The last part is a space to record any absolution or penance from the priest.
After announcing her divorce from husband of over a decade Peter Facinelli in March, Jennie Garth of "90210" fame said she was past the "darkest parts" of the split and looking forward to the future. But now, many fans are worried as Garth was seen sporting major weight loss and a pin-thin figure.
Garth, 40, was spotted in New York City on Tuesday morning looking "dramatically slimmed down -- bordering on frail," according to Us Weekly, who posted photos of the star strolling to the "Fox & Friends" set in skinny blue pants and a white blazer. Other photos on the star's Twitter account show Garth sporting the massive weight loss.
The Daily Mail called the actress "another victim of the heartbreak diet" adding that the divorce "has taken its toll" on Garth, whose face appeared equally as thin as her body.
According to Celebrity-Gossip.Net, Garth did not talk about the aftermath of the divorce, but did speak of her children, whom she shares joint custody with Facinelli.
"We have three beautiful girls together and we're raising them together. And that's what we're focusing on," she said, Celebrity-Gossip.Net reported.
Celebrity Health & Fitness said her weight loss could be attribute to the phenomenon known as the "divorce diet."
Celebrity Health & Fitness wrote:
"The 'divorce diet' is a well-known phenomenon and many women who go through a marital breakup experience losing weight at an alarming rate. The cause is mostly attributed to stress, according to medical references.
"During a prolonged traumatic event, individuals tend to burn more calories and eat less without even realizing it. People who have experienced the syndrome say they literally forget to eat.
"Men can also experience drastic weight fluctuation, although the more pronounced cases seem to involve women."
Back in March, Garth spoke out about the divorce and the struggle she endured.
"I was very resistant," she told People in March. "I didn't want it to happen. It took me some time to come to peace with it."
"I've gone through my darkest parts and I'm coming out of it," she said. "I'm okay. I don't know what the future holds, but then I've never been a planner. And maybe that's a good thing."
Garth and Facinelli announced their divorce back in March after 11 years of marriage, with rumors circulating that he had cheated while filming "Twilight: Breaking Dawn" in Vancouver.
"While we have decided to end our marriage, we both share the same deep love and devotion to our children," the couple said in a statement released to People in March. "We remain dedicated to raising our beautiful daughters together. We ask for privacy and respect during this time."
Rumors continued to circulate of alleged affairs but the couple noted that there was not another man or woman involved.
"There are rumors out there which are completely untrue and hurtful to our family," the two told People. "We just want to make it very clear -- there are no third parties involved."
The pair first met on the set of a made-for-TV movie, "An Unfinished Affair" and married in 2001. They have three children together: 14-year-old Luca, nine-year-old Lola and Fiona, 5.
On week after filing the divorce papers citing "irreconcilable differences," Facinelli spoke out about the divorce from his wife of over a decade.
"She'll always be in my life. I love her, we're just going to have a different relationship . . . we're very dedicated to being great parents," Facinelli said while he was a co-host on "Live! With Kelly" with Kelly Ripa.
Do you think Jennie Garth lost too much weight or looks great?