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Markets

  • Fed Interest Rate Policy Boosts Markets - 18 September 2014
  • 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.

  • Facebook, Apple Exceed First Quarter Expectations - 24 April 2014
  • Six days of gains on Wall Street came to an end Wednesday with the S&P 500 index slipping 0.2 percent to 1,875, the Dow Jones industrial average losing 0.1 percent to close at 16,502, and the NASDAQ Composite closing at 4,127 – a decline of 0.8 percent. Facebook shares closed down more than 2 percent at $61.36, but after the closing bell were up $1.50, boosted by the release of the company's quarterly results. Facebook's success in the first quarter of 2014 is being attributed primarily to strong growth in the social media company's mobile advertising business, with revenue climbing by 72 percent to $2.5 billion, exceeding analyst expectations of $2.36 billion.

  • Markets Boosted by Fed's Interest Rate Stance - 10 April 2014
  • Markets responded positively Wednesday to minutes of the Federal Reserve's recent policy meeting which revealed that the central bank aims to keep interest rates low. This came as somewhat of a surprise to many investors and served to boost fragile investor sentiment. All three of Wall Street's major stock indexes closed the day up more than 1 percent, with eight of the ten Standard & Poor's 500 stock index sectors closing higher. The S&P 500 rose 20.22 points (1.1 percent) to close at 1,872.18, while the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 181.04 points (1.1 percent) to close at 16,437.18. The Nasdaq composite index increased by 70.91 points (1.7 percent) to close at 4,183.90. The day's biggest increases were among biotechnology and internet stocks.

  • Cautious Optimism on Wall Street for 2014 - 2 January 2014
  • With the CBOE Volatility Index down and major Wall Street indexes all up on the final trading day of 2013, investors are looking forward to 2014 with an air of cautious optimism. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 26.5 percent in 2013, being its best annual performance since 1995, while the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 29.6 percent over the past 12 months, its best performance since 1997. The Nasdaq composite index registered its best performance since 2009 with an increase of 38.3 percent. Moreover, the so-called "fear index" the VIX, fell 23.9 percent over the year, being its largest annual drop since 2009 and seen as a strong indication of improved investor sentiment.

  • Talk of US Debt Default Unsettles Markets - 7 October 2013
  • Global markets continue to be affected by the grim possibility that the US government's partial shutdown could result in the world’s largest economy defaulting on its debt. Japan's Nikkei index dropped by more than 1 percent to 13,853.32 on Monday, with the Hang Seng index of Hong Kong falling 0.7 percent to 22,973.95 and India’s BSE 30 losing 0.5 percent to close at 19,808.71. Markets were closed for a public holiday on mainland China. Following Friday's modest gains, markets slumped ahead of the opening bell on Wall Street on Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average index futures dropped 0.8 percent, with the Nasdaq index futures falling 0.9 percent and Standard & Poor's 500 index futures slumping 1 percent. As the impasse between Republicans and the White House continues, investor anxiety has risen. The news that there would not be a vote on a straightforward bill to grant the government borrowing authority before the October 17 deadline has shaken markets as is evident in major indexes.

  • August Auto Sales Boost US Markets - 5 September 2013
  • Wednesday saw US stocks rise for the second consecutive day, with strong auto sales lifting investor confidence. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 97 points (0.65%), the S&P 500 gained 13 points (0.81%) and the Nasdaq Composite rose 36 points (1.01%). Shares for both Ford and General Motors rose to their highest level this year, with Ford jumping 3.5 percent to $16.91 and General Motors climbing 5 percent to $35.85. Statistics for August reveal that the Chrysler Group had an increase of 12% compared with August 2012; General Motors was up 15%; Ford rose 12%; Nissan climbed 22%; and Toyota experienced an increase of 23% year-over-year. Economists are of the opinion that auto sales are an important gauge of consumer spending. It has also been noted that Americans who have held on to their cars for eleven years or more are taking advantage of the lower interest rates to buy new vehicles.

  • Wall Street Slips; BoA Faces Lawsuits - 8 August 2013
  • Wall Street slumped for the third session in a row in response to disappointing earnings reports and the news that the US government has filed lawsuits against Bank of America for alleged mortgage-backed securities fraud. Not surprisingly the financial sector reflected some of the biggest losses on Wall Street with Bank of America stocks falling 11 cents to $14.53. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 48.07 points to 15,470.67, the Nasdaq composite fell 11.76 points to 3,654.01 and the S&P 500 lost 6.46 points to close at 1,690.91 on Wednesday. Taking into account the gains of last week, the general consensus is that the losses of the past three days is not a cause for concern.


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