U.S. Updates Sochi Security Warning for Olympics Travelers

The State Department warns of cyber security and lodging problems

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The U.S. State Department updated its security warning for Russia shortly after the Opening Ceremonies for the 2014 Olympics began in Sochi Friday. “The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens planning to attend the 2014 Olympic Games in Russia that they should remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times.” It also issued special warnings about cybersecurity and hotel shortages in its press release.

“U.S. travelers should be aware of cyber security threats and understand that they have no expectation of privacy when sharing sensitive or personal information utilizing Russian electronic communication networks,” the alert said.

Regarding hotel rooms, it said: “There may be shortages of hotel rooms during the Olympics.  Some hotels are still under construction, and there are reports that some rooms booked in advance have not been available upon arrival.  Advertised rates for standard rooms are currently $300-1,000 per night.”

MORE: Be Careful in Sochi, U.S. Warns Olympics Tourists


I say so much for the new change now WHAT WAS THE PROMISE anyway ?  "" The top 1% has done well, he said, but many other Americans have been left floundering. “Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better,” the president said. “But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled.”""""In short the rich are getting richer and we know this and poor poorer we know that too Hence we have 2 classes POOR AND THE RICH hence the all economic forums have the problems    U.S. stocks finished the week with modest gains after a two-day rally helped indexes break a streak of weekly losses. The main indexes trimmed year-to-date declines, and some analysts are predicting an end to the pullback, which began near the middle of January. There is still the emerging markets scare and the S&P 500 may continue to remain below 1,800.00 for a bit longer. The fact is that the probability of a correction has diminished dramatically. It was the second straight day of gains in what's been a choppy week for the market. Stocks did wind up finishing the week in positive territory.

The unemployment rate slipped to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent in December. The labor force actually rebounded a sharp 523,000 in January after dropping 347,000 the month before. Household employment spiked 638,000, following a 143,000 rise in December.

Turning back to the payroll portion of the report, goods-producing jobs rebounded 76,000 after dipping 13,000 in December. Construction jobs gained 48,000 in January after decreasing 22,000 the month before. Manufacturing advanced 21,000, following a rise of 8,000 in December.

Private service-providing jobs increased a slower 66,000 in January, following a 102,000 increase in December. Sporting goods, hobby, book & music stored pared 22,000, following an 8,000 rise in December. Retail trade jobs fell 13,000 after a 63,000 boost in December. On the positive side, professional & business services gained 36,000 after a 4,000 rise in December. Also, leisure & hospitality gained 24,000, following an increase of 20,000 the month before.

Consumer credit surged $18.8 billion in December and includes a very large $5.0 billion rise for revolving credit. The revolving credit component has been mostly flat this recovery but the December gain is the largest since May and the 3rd largest rise of the whole recovery.

The gain for revolving credit points to less reluctance among consumers to use their credit cards and hints at strength for holiday retail sales.

On Friday investors shrugged off disappointing January jobs gains and instead focused on the more positive details in the government’s report. The unemployment rate ticked down while the labor force participation rate edged up.

The S&P 500 closed up 23.59 points, or 1.3%, at 1,797.02 and recorded a 0.8% weekly gain after three straight weeks of losses.

The U.S. economy added 113,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate fell to another post-recession low, of 6.6%. The top line in the jobs report was weak but the details had many positive aspects. The household survey side of the report, which probably leads the businesses survey, was far stronger at 638,000 -- there is a big discrepancy, so chances are the labor market is stronger than what the headline number suggests. The fact that the unemployment rate fell and labor force participation rose is a good sign. Details in the report, including an increase in aggregate hours worked and average weekly earnings, signaled a “reduction in labor-market slack.

The poor job growth will put pressure on the Fed to pause on pulling back, or tapering, its monthly bond purchases at its next meeting in March And that is why markets were higher Friday. The thought process now is that bad can be good in the near-term. Investors will be looking for more clues about the Fed's next moves when new Fed chair Janet Yellen appears twice before Congress to discuss the state of the economy. Turmoil in emerging markets and concerns about the strength of the U.S. economy could mean more volatility in the months ahead. Big investors are rotating out of stocks and into bonds. Institutional investors pulled a record amount of money out of U.S. stock funds and shifted it into bonds funds. We're not running into a higher probability of a recession. As a result the markets can stay in relatively broad trading range with the S&P 500 trading between 1,75o to 1,850.00. S&P 500 companies are on track to "print an earnings per share number 9 to 10 percent higher; revenue is only going to be up about 2 to 3 percent, so the top line is a longer-term worry, but on the bottom line, companies have delivered for another quarter. The S&P 500 gained 23.59 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,797.02, with health care and industrials leading sector gains that included all 10 of the index's major industry groups.

At this point the most likely scenario on Monday will be to see the stock market in and out of the red. It's close will be a matter of how much money will stay in stocks and how much money strays to bonds. The market can go either way on Monday but it has a 55% probability of closing in the red on Monday.


"U.S. travelers should be aware of cyber security threats and understand that they have no expectation of privacy when sharing sensitive or personal information utilizing Russian electronic communication networks,”

Could also have said


"U.S. CITIZENS should be aware of cyber security threats and understand that they have no expectation of privacy when sharing sensitive or personal information utilizing AMERICAN electronic communication networks,”

The Cold war propaganda machine is up and running again.