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  • Job Creation Boosts Dow - 7 March 2013
  • Tuesday on Wall Street saw the Dow Jones industrial average closing at 14,253.77 - a record high since the influential stock market index closed at 14,164.53 in October 2007. While the response to the increase was one of restrained optimism, Wednesday saw the Dow breaking its previous day's record by hitting an intraday level of 14,320.65 before closing at 14,296.24, providing investors with a reason to have a bit more confidence in a market that has been battered about since 2008. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed at 1,541.46 on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq Composite index closing at 3,222.36. Up to 53 percent of stocks traded on the NYSE and Nasdaq closed the day higher on Wednesday, with the average trading volume being 3.6 billion shares.

  • M&A Activity Benefits Investors - 21 February 2013
  • A series of mergers and acquisitions in the past few months have been rewarding for investors fortunate enough to have had shares in the companies involved. Just last week, Berkshire Hathaway and 3G capital joined forces to buy HJ Heinz, resulting in Heinz shares rising by 20 percent to $72.50 per share, while shares of Warren Buffet's company rose by one percent. The acquisition of Heinz represents the largest deal of its kind in the food industry ever to have taken place.

  • Is the 'January Effect' Still Valid? - 7 February 2013
  • First observed by investment banker Sidney B. Wachtel in the early 1940s, the term the 'January Effect' is used to described a market anomaly where financial security prices experience an increase in the month of January. There are a number of reasons for the January Effect, with the most common theory being that individual investors holding small stocks may sell their stocks at year end, thereby allowing them to claim a capital loss for tax purposes, and then reinvest in the new year. Another reason suggested is that many investors who receive year-end bonuses in January use these bonuses to purchase stocks, pushing up stock prices.

  • Tech Companies Lift Dow Jones to Five-Year High - 24 January 2013
  • Technology companies were the driving force behind the Dow Jones industrial average reaching a five-year high on Wednesday, closing at 13,799.33 after rising 67.12 points (0.5 percent). Solid fourth quarter earnings were posted by both Google and IBM late Tuesday, surprising many investors who expected tech companies to battle to meet targets at the end of the year. Buoyed up by sales of software services to Russia and Brazil, members of BRICS, IBM's results exceeded expectations and the tech giant was the Dow’s top mover, gaining $8.64 to close at $204.72. The company also increased its earnings outlook for 2013. Google rose $38.63 to close at $741.50 after reporting higher earnings than anticipated.

  • Fourth Quarter Earnings Season Kicks Off on Positive Note - 10 January 2013
  • In keeping with a long-held tradition Alcoa kicked off the US markets earnings season this week, giving markets a boost on Wednesday by meeting analyst forecasts and predicting an increased demand for aluminum in 2013. Investor response was evident in the three main stock market indexes with the Dow Jones industrial average gaining 61.66 points to 13,390.51, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 3.87 points to 1,461.02 and the Nasdaq composite climbed 14 points to 3,105.81. Agricultural giant, Monsanto, also boosted markets by reporting a revenue increase of 21 percent to $2.94 billion and earnings per share of $0.62, as well as raising its forecast for 2013.

  • Ethical Investing: A Matter of Conscience - 20 December 2012
  • As information becomes more freely available, people in general appear to be becoming more aware of their individual responsibility in caring for our planet and fellow human beings by, among other things, reducing the negative impact we have on our natural resources. There are many daily choices we make as individuals that can have a negative or positive impact on us now, and affect future generations. Many investors take this into consideration when making investment decisions and choose to pursue the concept of ethical investing, also known as sustainable investing, socially conscious investing, socially responsible investing, and green investing.

  • Fiscal Cliff Concerns Subdue Markets - 13 December 2012
  • Following a climb of up to 81 points, driven by the Fed's announcement that it would keep interest low and extend its $85 billion a month bond-buying plan, the Dow Jones industrial average closed Wednesday at 13,245.45, being down 2.99 points. While investors responded well to the Fed's announcement, this was soon dampened by the reality that high-level "fiscal cliff" budget talks were continuing to take place in Washington, the outcome of which could impact significantly on Wall Street and the economy in general, should Congress and President Barack Obama be unable to reach a deal to prevent a series of spending cuts and sharp tax increases taking place in January. The Standard & Poor's 500 finished 0.64 points higher to close at 1,428.48, while the Nasdaq composite lost 8.49 points to close at 3,013.81.

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