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Markets

  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development - 27 September 2010
  • With its headquarters in Paris, France, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has a membership consisting of thirty-three nations, working together to find solutions to common problems. As outlined in their mission statement, the "OECD brings together the governments of countries committed to democracy and the market economy from around the world to: support sustainable economic growth; boost employment; raise living standards; maintain financial stability; assist economic development in other countries; and contribute to growth in world trade." To this end the OECD provides a platform for representatives of member governments to co-operate and learn from one another in a world that is becoming more of a global village with each passing day. In addition to sharing information between member nations, the OECD also communicates with more than 100 other countries on matters of mutual concern and interest.

  • HP, Dell Lock Horns Over 3PAR - 30 August 2010
  • As the business world becomes ever more reliant on technology in order to function efficiently and remain competitive, there is plenty of behind the scenes wheeling and dealing going on between major players in this fast-moving sector that investors may want to keep track of. A merger bid by Dell, and the subsequent raising of the stakes by Hewlett Packard, for a company that reportedly has not managed to turn an annual profit since it became a public company three years ago, has been drawing a great deal of interest. The company at the center of attention is Fremon, California, based 3PAR, which received and accepted a merger bid from Dell, only to announce on the weekend that the board of the data storage company would be terminating its merger agreement with Dell in favor of the offer by HP, which it considers to be a "superior proposal".

  • Market Makers - 26 August 2010
  • With stock exchange transactions taking place in the blink of an eye, market makers play a vital role in trading by being ready at any given moment of a trading day to buy or sell at publicly quoted prices, thereby linking sellers and buyers. These broker-dealer firms accept the risk of holding a predetermined number of shares in a chosen security, thereby facilitating instant trades in that security. Market makers trade in an environment of vigorous competition for customer order flow. As the term suggests, market makers create a market by displaying buy and sell quotations for a guaranteed number of shares. As a buy order enters the system, the market maker will sell from its own inventory, or in the event of not having inventory, will seek a corresponding sell order or inventory from other market makers. With modern technology at the forefront of stock market trading, these complex transactions take place in a matter of seconds.

  • Influential Institutional Investors - 11 March 2010
  • Banks, retirement funds, pension funds, mutual funds, hedge funds and insurance companies are some of the financial institutions which pool large sums of money to invest on behalf of others. Referred to as Institutional Investors, these funds are generally subject to more lenient investment regulation because they are deemed by authorities to be experts in their field. This limited regulation comes into play, for example, when Institutional Investors participate in private placements of securities which are not subject to the full might of securities laws. In the United States, private placements may be made to an accredited investor – a term which incorporates Institutional Investors – without registering the offering of securities with the SEC.

  • January Ends on Low Note Dragged Down by Techs - 1 February 2010
  • Ending a six-month winning streak, the Dow Jones industrial average closed nearly 4 percent down at the end of January, being its largest monthly point loss since February 2009. Despite data revealing that the economy had experienced encouraging growth in late 2009, jittery investors were concerned about the slow pace of recovery and indicated a loss of confidence in the technology sector with a sell-off of primarily Apple and Microsoft shares. Certainly January was a disappointment to many stock market players who were hopeful that 2010 would be somewhat rosier than the past 18 months or so.

  • Passive vs. Active Investing Management - 31 December 2009
  • With many situations in life where there are two directly opposing opinions, each side believes their way to be the best, and this is certainly true of passive and active management in stock market investing. Proponents of passive management, also referred to as index investing, generally believe that the market can’t be beaten and therefore portfolio managers don’t make the decision as to which securities to buy or sell. Instead they copy an index by buying the same securities that are included in a particular bond or stock market index. Active managers, on the other hand, attempt to beat the market as measured by a chosen index or benchmark, such as the Standard & Poor’s 500 or the Russell 1000, that gauge the performance of blue chip stocks. The ultimate goal of active management is to outperform the index for a particular fund by taking into account prevailing market trends, political and other current events, the economy and factors such as earnings growth relating to individual companies.

  • Dollar Remains Near Two Month High - 17 December 2009
  • The US dollar fell back a bit Wednesday (December 16) morning as analysts believe the Fed is likely to leave its key interest rate at zero. New data on consumer prices show little change after 10 months of increases, suggesting inflation is not a big enough concern at this point to warrant an immediate rise in rates.

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