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Features - 18 September 2014

Fed Interest Rate Policy Boosts Markets

Major indexes on Wall Street responded positively Wednesday to indications from the Federal Reserve that it intends to keep its near-zero short-term interest rate for a while still. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day up 24.88 points (0.2 percent) at 17,156.85, being a record high for the year, while the S&P 500 climbed 2.59 points (0.1 percent) to 2,001.57, a figure just short of its September 5 high of 2,007.71. The Nasdaq composite gained 9.43 points (0.2 percent) to close at 4,562.19.

The US economy is experiencing a growth rate of 3 percent, with corporate profits, hiring, manufacturing and construction all on the uptick. While this is all good news, it raised concerns in the market that the Fed would increase interest rate to curb inflation. However, fears of a short term interest rate increase by the Central Bank can be laid to rest for now. Other news affecting markets on Wednesday included the fact that US consumer prices dropped slightly in August, and inflation remained tame.

Big movers on Wednesday included DuPont with a gain of $3.42 (5.2 percent) to $69.25 with investors likely being influenced by the news that Nelson Pelts of Trian Fund Management LP had sent a letter to DuPont’s board reportedly suggesting the company would improve its financial performance by splitting in two. With increasing numbers of consumers shopping online, Fedex beat quarterly profit forecasts by financial analysts and the global courier delivery services company's shares climbed by $5.05 to $159.71.

Factors affecting international markets include China's move to provide extra liquidity to major state banks and Scotland's referendum on independence from the United Kingdom which takes place today. Alibaba.com's IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, set for Friday, is also expected to have an impact on markets. Analysts note that since Alibaba.com filed its registration statement on May 6, 21 of the 51 Chinese tech stocks trading on major US exchanges have lost value, highlighting the risks of investing in the sector.

Features

Ponzi Schemes Remain a Threat to Investors - 4 September 2014

Hi-yield investment and Ponzi schemes remain among the top threats to investors and small business owners according to a list compiled by security regulators in the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). Despite the name-and-shame publicity given to various scammers, investors continue to be drawn in by promises of high rates of returns, giving scam artists the opportunity to fleece investors.

Features

US Markets Respond Positively to FOMC Minutes - 21 August 2014

The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting held in July were the driving force behind fluctuations on Wall Street in the final hours of trading on Wednesday as investors absorbed the implications of the central bank holding back on raising interest rates for now. Stocks initially trimmed the day's gains, but rebounded soon after, with both the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 returning to positive territory before the end of the regular session on Wall Street.

Markets


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