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48 Hours to Oil Price Jump?; Goldman Drops a Brick on BRIC; Manhattan Real Estate Demand Rising Sky High

48 Hours to Oil Price Jump? (AP)
With civil unrest growing in Egypt, the world’s concern for the people in the Middle East trails only its concern for the continued free flow of oil from that region. And in 48 hours, both situations may hit the boiling point, as Egypt’s military has given the country’s reviled President Mohammed Morsi 48 hours to step down. On one hand, this would answer the demands of some of the millions of Egyptians who have taken to the streets to protest President Morsi. On the other hand, it would go against the wishes of Morsi’s Muslim backers — who’ve also taken to the streets en masse. Safe to say, there’s going to be an immensely powerful group of people outraged when the military’s 48-hour deadline arrives… And if that unhappiness interrupts the flow of oil passing through Egypt, investors could see an intense jump in oil from its current $98 a barrel price.

Goldman Drops a Brick on BRIC (CNBC)
Goldman Sachs officially got out of the BRIC business late yesterday, removing its recommendation for investors to purchase a basket of stocks with its highest exposure to the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Instead, Goldman now prefers companies with the majority of exposure in domestic, U.S. markets. In a published note from Goldman Sachs on Monday, the company stated its reasoning for the switch as, “The contrast between accelerating U.S. GDP growth and weakening and uncertain China growth represents a headwind to U.S. firms with high BRICs sales relative to domestic-facing firms.” Specifically, Goldman feels that BRIC-based exposure will grow sales by just 3 percent, while those with U.S.-based exposure will double that and grow by 6 percent. Who’s going to argue with that logic?

Manhattan Real Estate Demand Rising Sky High (Bloomberg)
The demand for Manhattan apartment space in Q213 sent the spring selling season into overdrive, approaching levels not seen since before the global financial crisis of 2008. In fact, the median price on spaces rented rose 4.3 percent from the previous year, hitting an average of $865,000, according to Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Purchases also climbed to their highest level in six years, up 19 percent over the previous year. Due to such a frenzied purchasing pace, with buyers gobbling up units before they even hit the market, the number of properties for sale plummeted 31 percent to their lowest level in 12 years. If you’re considering real estate as an investment in New York, you may want to begin your search outside of Manhattan.

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