2010 Business In Review: Wall Street Rallies But Main Street Continues To Suffer
Updated: 01/01/2011 05:43 PM
By: Annika Pergament
The official end of the recession came in 2010. And, although the situation on Wall Street improved dramatically over the year, economic conditions for Main Street still showed distress. NY1's Annika Pergament filed the following report looking back at business in 2010.
Toyota faced an uphill battle in 2010, as problems with its pedals and acceleration grabbed the public’s attention. Toyota ended up recalling more than eight-million vehicles, along with taking a major hit in sales.
A major hit is just what Apple’s iPad is. The company unveiled the tablet in January with much fanfare, and it’s been flying off the shelves ever since. To date, seven-million have been served.
Apple did hit a speed bump over the summer with the release of its iPhone 4. Customers complained about reception, and the tech giant ended up offering free cases to fix the glitch.
But no matter, its share price continues to soar and Apple shot past Microsoft to become the world's biggest tech company based on market value.
Oil giant BP saw its stock plummet, as it attempted to plug the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico. All told, the company estimates $40 billion in cleanup and other costs related to the spill.
Meanwhile on Wall Street, the stock market buoyed back to levels not seen since before the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers over two years ago. The Dow and Nasdaq made huge gains over the course of the year, roughly 10 percent and 15 percent respectively.
Those numbers were not affected by the “flash crash” on May 6th, when the Dow sank nearly 1,000 points in the matter of minutes. A Securities and Exchange Commission investigation determined a computer program sparks the selling.
Goldman Sachs continues to rake in profits, while still the target of repeated criticism. The SEC slapped the bank with a lawsuit for knowingly selling risky financial products to its customers. Goldman ponied up $500 million to settle the suit.
Concerns over faulty paperwork caused lenders to halt foreclosure proceedings across the nation. Major lenders put the brakes on hundreds of thousands of home repossessions amid worries the paperwork hasn't been done properly. Foreclosures continued to hover at record levels.
The high rate of unemployment didn’t budge in 2010. It began the year at 9.7, and by year's end was virtually unchanged.
One bright spot? The price of gold. The price of the precious metal rallies past $1,400 an ounce, up nearly 30 percent for the year. Sometimes all that glitters is gold.
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