September 17, 2012 |
The Federal Reserve has two goals set by Congress: "Maximum employment, and price stability," as Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday. Until now, the Fed, under Bernanke and predecessor Alan Greenspan has mostly focused on keeping prices flat, setting interest rates and inflation targets to please investors so they will pump more money into the economy. But less than two months before national elections that could speed the end of his career, Bernanke announced a change: He promised to pay additional attention to "the employment situation" by spending an extra $40 billion a month to buy government-backed mortgage securities from investors and banks, pushing interest rates still lower - for as long as it takes to finally boost hiring.
September 12, 2012
In the Region Superior Group sells 2 businesses Superior Group Inc. , of West Conshohocken, sold two companies, Superior Tube Co. Inc. in Collegeville and Fine Tubes Ltd. in England, to the Watermill Group , a private investment company in Lexington, Mass., the buyer said. The price was not disclosed. The manufacturers' products are used in the energy, aerospace, and medical-device industries. Superior Tube employs 241, a spokeswoman for Watermill said. Fine Tubes employs about 380 people, according to its website.
September 7, 2012 |
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi gets his chance Thursday to spell out how the bank intends to rescue the 17 countries that use the euro from financial disaster. Draghi's bond-buying proposal, outlined to Bloomberg News by officials briefed on the plan, involves unlimited purchases of government debt that will be "sterilized" to assuage concerns about the central bank "printing money. " Expectations have been high since late July, when the ECB head vowed to do "whatever it takes" to hold the eurozone together.
September 6, 2012 |
NEW YORK - U.S. stock prices closed mixed on Wednesday, held in check by a warning from the huge package delivery company FedEx that its profits would be hurt because of a slowdown in the global economy. FedEx cited weakness in its express package delivery business. That's a sign that FedEx's customers around the world are choosing slower, cheaper delivery options to save money. FedEx's stock fell $1.74 to $85.80. "It's one more piece of news that suggests that the global economy is slowing and therefore makes central bank action more likely," said Brian Gendreau, market strategist at the investment advisory firm Cetera Financial.
August 27, 2012
Scott Powell is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle A year ago, Congressman Paul Ryan spoke out about Standard & Poor's having fired a shot across America's bow, downgrading its coveted AAA rating to a AA-plus. S&P's rationale for the rating cut was that Congress' Budget Control Act "fell short of the amount . . . necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade. " For several weeks, pundits and policymakers were jolted out of denial about the assumption that deficit spending could continue in the same trajectory.
August 15, 2012 |
THE EUROPEAN economy shrank over the past three months as slowing German growth and moribund conditions in France pushed the struggling region to the doorstep of recession. The 0.2 percent slide from April through June included the 17-nation euro area, a currency union beset by twin government debt and banking crises, and the larger 27-nation European Union, a region at the core of the industrialized world and a key market for U.S. products and services. The United States has skirted the worst of Europe's troubles.
August 6, 2012 |
BERLIN - Italy's prime minister has warned that the eurozone's sprawling debt crisis has created resentment amid the bloc's nations, which could ultimately trigger a breakup of the wider European Union. Mario Monti told German news magazine Der Spiegel in an interview published Sunday that eurozone tensions over the last few years "bear the traits of a psychological dissolution of Europe," adding that Europe "must work hard to contain it. " The debt crisis started in Greece more than two years ago, and soon engulfed Ireland and Portugal, with all three eventually needing to be bailed out. Spain recently applied for an aid package to rescue its troubled banks, and Italy, the eurozone's third-largest economy, has also been hit hard by rising borrowing costs on its government debt.
July 25, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Grim news, from weak corporate earnings to a pullback at U.S. factories to spreading fault lines in Europe's debt crisis, sent investors fleeing stocks for a third straight day on Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 104.14 points, or 0.8 percent, to 12,617.32. It was the third triple-digit point loss in a row for the blue-chip index. The last time that happened was in September, amid fears that the United States was on the brink of another recession. Lower earnings forecasts from corporate bellwethers such as United Parcel Service Inc., combined with the weak report on manufacturing, fed fears of more disappointing results from Corporate America in the coming days.
July 21, 2012 |
BRUSSELS — Concerns about Spain's crippling financial problems flared again Friday as even news that the country had been approved for a bank bailout loan of up to $122.9 billion failed to blunt bad economic news. Earlier Friday, finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro unanimously approved the terms for a bailout loan for Spain's banks. The banks have been burdened by toxic loans and assets from the collapse of Spain's property market. Investors have for months worried that Spain could not control its deficit during a recession while supporting its stricken financial sector.
May 24, 2012 |
NEW YORK — A big final-hour comeback pulled the Dow Jones industrial average nearly back to where it started Wednesday. The Dow was down as much as 191 points earlier as the threat of a financial crisis spreading from Europe shook markets. The euro dropped to a nearly two-year low against the dollar, and oil prices sank to their lowest this year. A late surge of buying erased nearly all of the Dow's deficit, leaving it down just 6.66 points at 12,496.15 by the end of the day. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.23 points to 1,318.86.