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  • Learning Life Skills with the Stock Market Game™ - 18 August 2011
  • As the only stock market simulation program endorsed by the New York Stock Exchange, the Stock Market Game ™ is an education tool aimed at teaching essential life skills such as decision making, critical thinking, independent research, cooperation, communication, saving and investing, with the latter being especially appropriate in the current economic climate. Launched in 1977 the program has been used in thousands of classrooms across the United States, not only to encourage the life-skills already mentioned, but also to add an exciting dimension to other critical academic subjects such as social studies, mathematics and language arts. It is estimated that more than ten million students have played the Stock Market Game ™ since its inception.

  • Wall Street Likely to Remain Volatile This Week - 15 August 2011
  • With all eyes on the seesawing Dow Jones industrial average and other top indices throughout last week, investors are becoming increasingly anxious about stock market volatility, and word is that the coming week is not likely to be much better as Wall Street continues to do battle with waves of uncertainty caused by S&P's downgrade of the US economy from AAA to AA+, despite the fact that AA+ is still considered to be a good rating. Problems in Europe, including the possible downgrading of France's credit rating and the question of whether the Eurozone and the Euro, recently considered to be overshadowing the US Dollar as a trading currency, will survive the turmoil, along with concerns over the stagnant US job market, has investors being extremely cautious as they search for a glimmer of positivity and an indication as to which way to go. Investor uncertainty was reflected in the Wall Street fear index, the VIX, which climbed to a level last seen in early 2009.

  • Double Dip Fears Grow Stronger - 11 August 2011
  • With rumors of a possible credit rating downgrade for France, one of the few remaining AAA countries, analysts have noted that there appears to be a heightened level of anxiety among investors. This was reflected in the loss of 520 points for the Dow Jones industrial average on Wednesday, with losses also recorded for the S&P 500 index and the NASDAQ Composite which declined by 52 and 101 points respectively. Stocks were primarily dragged down by the financial sector of the market, and despite reassurances by Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan that the current situation is not as dire as in 2008, the financial giant's shares dropped 11 percent on Wednesday, resulting in a year-to-date decline of close to 50 percent. Bank of America was not the only player in the financial sector to experience a fall on Wednesday, as Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs fell by around 10 percent, with UBS, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo falling by around 7 percent.

  • CRA Opinions, Budget Cuts, Corporate Earnings of Interest to Investors - 8 August 2011
  • The US government's apparent inability to reach consensus on the debt ceiling is being cited as one the primary reasons for S&P's credit rating pessimism as the US was downgraded from AAA to AA+. Although the news initially sent shockwaves through markets, with Asian markets reacting negatively, Europe absorbed the news with little effect. Analysts have been quick to remind investors and other interested parties that an AA+ rating is still considered to be good, also pointing out that, although the same information is available to all credit rating agencies, the S&P rating is the only CRA that changed it rating, highlighting the fact that credit ratings are based on opinions, informed opinions, but opinions nonetheless. Certainly, the S&P downgrade of the United States economy has once again put credit rating agencies, and their considerable influence, in the spotlight.

  • Institute for Supply Management: Facilitating Supply for Demand - 4 August 2011
  • In a world driven by supply and demand, and where the consumer is king, the system of supply management makes use of the most sophisticated technology at its disposal to ensure that the flow of goods continues uninterrupted. Founded in 1915, the Institute for Supply Management addresses the issue of efficient supply management, which is essential in today's highly competitive markets. Its mission is to encourage the industry to adhere to standards of excellence, making available research resources, promotional activities and ongoing education. As a non-profit association and a member of the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM), the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) has a network of affiliated associations, both in the United States and internationally, serving more than 40,000 members in over 80 countries.

  • Wall Street Spotlight on US Credit Rating, Corp Earnings - 1 August 2011
  • Following the announcement by US President Obama that an agreement had been reached on dealing with the country's debt ceiling, markets in Asia responded positively. Although the proposal to raise the US debt ceiling and make significant cuts in spending still needs to be approved by congress, analysts are anticipating that the response in Asian markets will carry through to Wall Street in the first day or two of the upcoming week, before the reality of the struggling jobs and housing market, along with the battle between upbeat corporate earnings and the fragile economic outlook, may curb investor enthusiasm.

  • IPO Activity on Wall Street - 28 July 2011
  • Historically IPO activity on Wall Street tends to be a feast or famine scenario, and it seems that investors interested in IPOs are in for a feast right now as a number of companies in different sectors go public. Having made its debut as a stock market listed company on Wednesday, Dunkin' Brands traded up from the original list price. Shares were priced at $19, but opened at $25 and closed the day at $27,85 – up 46.6 percent. As the holding company of Dunkin' Donuts and the Baskin Robbins chain of stores, Dunkin' Brands trades on NASDAQ under the symbol of DNKN.

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