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  • 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.

  • Benchmark Interest Rate Under Scrutiny - 20 July 2012
  • While the recent Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) scandal, resulting in a record £290-million fine being imposed on Barclays Plc and the ousting of CEO Robert Diamond, was initially viewed as a revelation, analysts have pointed out that concerns about possible interest rate manipulation were being voiced by a number of parties back in the first quarter of 2008. In March of that year the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) signaled that the benchmark for worldwide short term interest rates was being misstated. In April Citigroup analysts raised similar concerns, and the following month a strategist in Barclay’s employ made it known that the numbers being reported by banks was inaccurate, and yet, it appears that no action was taken at the time.

  • Signs of Continued Economic Recovery Sparks Cautious Optimism - 13 December 2010
  • Movement in US markets last week revealed that investors are somewhat encouraged by increasing signs of economic recovery – albeit it very slow – creating an air of cautious optimism for the week ahead. Last week ended with the Dow Jones industrial average having remained virtually static, but with the Standard & Poor's 500 hitting its highest level since September 2008 and the Nasdaq composite closing at its highest point since December 2007. As things stand right now, analysts generally agree that there is a strong possibility for both the S&P 500 and the Dow to finish the year with gains of at least 10 percent, while the Nasdaq looks headed toward a 16 percent gain. The recently published interview with Warren Buffet in which he acknowledges that, while recovery is slow, the economy is definitely in recovery, will surely be a boost to optimism among investors. With some investors still shell-shocked by market volatility experienced since the events of 2008, it is no surprise that any optimism remains tempered by caution. Additionally, concerns over debt problems in Europe and the increase in China's inflation rate remain a cause for concern. Moreover, the Congressional debate regarding tax cut extension and fiscal stimulus feature strongly in investor decision making. Speculation abounds that if economic recovery continues at a steady pace, the quantitative easing (QE2) program unveiled in November encompassing the Federal Reserve's plan to buy $600 billion in US Treasuries may be curtailed.

  • Third Quarter Results and QE2 Under Spotlight on Wall Street - 18 October 2010
  • With seven Dow blue-chip stocks due to release 2010 third-quarter result during this week, investors may have their attention temporarily diverted from the implications of the 'quantitative easing' proposed by the Federal Reserve as a means to boost the economy. The seven blue-chip Dow components are Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Caterpillar, American Express, McDonalds and Verizon. Other major companies in the banking sector releasing third-quarter results in the upcoming week include Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo, while the tech sector releases include Apple and Yahoo. While analysts acknowledge that it's too early in the third-quarter earnings season to make any judgments, thus far of the results posed, 83 percent have beaten estimates by analysts – an observation that adds an element of optimism for the week ahead.

  • 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.

  • Analysts Fear That U.S. Market Has Not Yet Bottomed-Out - 19 August 2008
  • While the decrease in oil prices has to some extent soothed concerns about inflation, the U.S. market remains volatile and trading volumes continue to be disappointing. Investors and analysts who are searching for signs that the U.S. stock market has bottomed out are concerned that the significant changes in major indexes since the 2008 low on 15 July are an indication that the bottom has not yet been reached.

  • 2008 Second Quarter Results Indicate Tough Times Not Over - 1 July 2008
  • With the second half of 2008 looming ahead, the general feeling among stock market investors and financial analysts is anything but optimistic. Following a nerve-racking first quarter, the second quarter of 2008 started off with many investors believing that the worst was over and that earnings growth and stocks would pick up as the year progressed. These high hopes were dealt a death blow as the effects of the credit crisis lingered, oil prices soared, inflation worries persisted and consumers continued to curb their spending.

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