May 1, 2013 |
NEW YORK - News that IBM will buy back more stock and raise its dividend helped pull major stock indexes out of a morning slump Tuesday. IBM and other tech stocks led the Standard & Poor's 500 index to a record. The broad-market measure ended April with a 1.8 percent gain, the sixth month in a row the index has climbed higher. Worries about slower economic growth have rattled the stock market this month, but it has consistently bounced back. Brad Sorensen, director of market research at the brokerage Charles Schwab, said that's a result of investors having few alternatives.
May 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Despite what you may have heard, China isn't the country's biggest creditor. America is. The bulk of the national debt - soon to exceed a staggering $17 trillion - is held by the Federal Reserve, the Social Security system, various pension plans for civil service workers and military personnel, U.S. banks, mutual funds, private pension plans, insurance companies, and individual domestic investors. China is responsible for just a shade over 7 percent of the total debt.
April 22, 2013
By Scott S. Powell U.S. stock prices have just reached record highs, erasing the losses since the previous 2007 peak. But the U.S. economy as measured by the labor-force participation rate, which captures the percentage of working-age people in the labor force, has just dropped to a new 34-year low of 63.3 percent. Since the Great Depression, recessions have always been followed by strong recoveries within two years of market bottoms. Not this time. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth from the market bottom in March 2009 has averaged 1.94 percent annually, the worst post-recession rebound in the last 70 years.
March 27, 2013 |
Will sequestration hurt the stock and bond markets? Not this month, when the budget cuts are scheduled to take effect. What about the economy? Probably not that much either, according to prognosticators. The sequestration cuts themselves are actually quite tiny. Total federal spending in 2012 was $3.53 trillion. President Obama's budget request for 2013 was $3.59 trillion. Under sequestration, total federal spending in 2013 would be $3.55 trillion, an increase of only $25 billion, a little less than 1 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
February 27, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Stocks had their worst drop in more than three months as the prospect of political paralysis in Italy raised the specter of Europe's debt crisis flaring up again. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 216.40 points, or 1.6 percent, to 13,784.17, its biggest drop since Nov. 7. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 27.75 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,487.85, dropping below 1,500 for the first time in three weeks. The Nasdaq composite dropped 45.57 points, or 1.4 percent, to 3,116.25.
February 22, 2013 |
FRANKFURT, Germany - The European Central Bank says Italian government bonds account for nearly half of its total holdings under a now discontinued bond-buying program launched in 2010 to ease the eurozone's debt crisis. The bank on Thursday detailed for the first time what countries' bonds it acquired under the so-called Securities Markets Program, which it started when the euro area's debt crisis flared in May 2010. The central bank for the 17 European Union countries that use the euro said it held bonds with a face value of 218 billion euros ($287 billion)
February 12, 2013
By Peter Morici The Justice Department is accusing Standard & Poor's of defrauding investors with optimistic ratings of mortgage-backed securities and derivatives prior to the financial crisis. While investors are entitled to answers about those conflicts, compensation, and reforms, Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama, by singling out S&P, appear to be engaging in political vengeance. In 2011, S&P, Moody's, and Fitch were accused by a Senate committee of giving overly rosy ratings on mortgage-backed securities in the years prior to the financial meltdown of 2008, and then contributing to the severity of the crisis by hastily downgrading hundreds of securities after the housing bubble burst.
January 28, 2013 |
DAVOS, Switzerland - The crisis mood is gone, but that doesn't mean you can slip back into your old ways - that's the message from top international finance officials wrapping up the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. They warned governments Saturday against letting their relief over an improved economic climate turn into complacency over reforms that many want to see in order to sustain a still-uncertain recovery. "Do not relax," International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde urged at a closing panel on the economic outlook.
January 11, 2013 |
NEW YORK - The Standard and Poor's 500 closed at another five-year high Thursday after the stock market got a boost from reports suggesting that the outlook for economic growth may be improving. The S&P 500 rose 11.10 points to 1,472.12, its highest close since December 2007, when the U.S. economy was entering the Great Recession. It also closed at a five-year high on Friday and is now 93 points off its record close of 1,565.15, logged in October 2007. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 80.71 points at 13,471.22.
January 5, 2013 |
From John Paulson's call for a collapse in Europe to Morgan Stanley's warning that U.S. stocks would decline, Wall Street got little right in its prognosis for the year just ended. Paulson, who manages $19 billion in hedge funds, said the euro would fall apart and bet against the region's debt. Morgan Stanley predicted the Standard & Poor's 500 Index would lose 7 percent, and Credit Suisse Group AG foresaw wider swings in equity prices. All of them proved wrong last year, and investors would have done better listening to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chief executive officer Lloyd C. Blankfein, who said the real risk was being too pessimistic.