S&P/Case Shiller: Monthly results show turnaround
The S&P/Case Shiller Index, a bellwether for the new housing market, has reported that home prices, on average, increased 1.3% in April compared with March for both the 10-city and 20-city composites. This announcement follows seven consecutive months of falling home prices on the indices.
But on an annual basis, home prices fell. For the 10-city composite, the decrease was 2.2% when compared with April 2011. The 20-city composite dropped 1.9%.
Both composites and 18 of 20 MSAs saw increases in their annual returns in April compared with March, with the exception of New York and Detroit. For the seventh consecutive month, Atlanta posted the only double-digit negative annual returns in April at -17.0%.
Ten of the 20 MSAs saw positive year-over-year returns — Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Tampa and Washington, D.C. No cities posted new lows in April 2012.
“It has been a long time since we enjoyed such broadbased gains,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “While one month does not make a trend, particularly during seasonally strong buying months, the combination of rising positive monthly index levels and improving annual returns is a good sign.”
Suspected counterfeiters arrested after targeting elderly clerks
An off-duty police detective running errands in Lafayette, Ind., helped authorities nab two people suspected of passing counterfeit $10 and $20 bills at Menards, Home Depot, Walmart and other stores, according to an article in the Journal and Courier.
According to a probable cause affidavit, West Lafayette police detective Jon Eager was shopping at Menards on June 15 when an assistant manager told him someone had used counterfeit $20 bills. Eager then watched surveillance footage of the female suspect.
Apparently, Eager and the suspect, later identified as 23-year-old Vashaun Hannah, both went to Walmart on their next stop. The police detective recognized Hannah at the customer service counter and called Lafayette Police as she left the store with a male accomplice.
Hannah and Scotty Gatlin, 40, were stopped by police a short time later. Tools and women’s clothing were found in their car. The pair is suspected of passing $440 in counterfeit money at Menards, $280 at Home Depot, $320 at Target, $160 at PetSmart and $50 at Walmart. They reportedly targeted older cashiers with the counterfeit bills.
Hannah and Gatlin were charged Wednesday in Tippecanoe Superior Court 1 with conspiracy to commit forgery, forgery and theft.
Lowe’s taps former Whirlpool exec for CIO
Lowe’s has hired Kevin Summers as its new chief information officer, effective July 9. He will replace Michael Brown, who announced last April that he had accepted the company’s Voluntary Separation Program and decided to retire after almost 28 years with Lowe’s.
Summers will report to chairman, president and CEO Robert Niblock. He served most recently as senior VP and global chief information officer for Whirlpool. During his career, Summers has worked in the IT field for companies such as Coca Cola, Bell South Technology Services and General Electric.
“Lowe’s has made significant investments in technology to provide employees with the tools they need to improve the customer experience. Kevin has an outstanding track record of aligning IT systems with the needs of complex businesses to achieve maximum results,” said Niblock. “We look forward to his joining the Lowe’s team as we continue to develop and execute our strategy for the future.”
As CIO, Summers will be responsible for all aspects of IT, including continuing to develop a technology portfolio that can seamlessly support the operations of the company’s stores, distribution network, e-commerce platforms and future business technology needs.