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  • Looming ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Batters Consumer Confidence - 15 November 2012
  • The new buzz-words on Wall Street – 'fiscal cliff' – are being used to describe the automatic tax increases and spending cuts which are set to come into effect on January 1, 2013. As the date draws ever closer, economists are sounding the alarm that the combination of spending cuts and tax increases could very well result in the United States going into a recession, which would have a detrimental effect on global economies. An estimate by the Congressional Budget Office notes that the US economy will contract by 0.5 percent in 2013, with employment levels increasing to 9.1 percent – certainly not what average Americans want to hear as many continue to struggle to keep head above water.

  • Wall Street Indexes, Auto Industry, Housing Market at Year End - 29 December 2011
  • As 2011 draws to a close, Europe's debt problems remain in the spotlight for anxious Wall Street investors, resulting in stocks being down by more than one percent at close of business Wednesday. Trading volumes have been light in this last week of the year, and with few economic and corporate reports due it is doubtful that this light trading trend will change until the New Year. Analysts have noted that recent market movement is likely to have been influenced by investors taking stock of their investment portfolios and taking action to balance these in preparation for 2012.

  • US Job Market, Europe Crisis, Earnings of Interest in Week Ahead - 31 October 2011
  • With analysts warning that the current climate of market uncertainty is far from over, it appears that Wall Street is set to end the month of October on a high, with the Dow recording the greatest October gain ever. Despite the fact that French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been reported as saying that Greece should never have been permitted entrance to the Eurozone in 2001, European authorities have reached an agreement and mapped out a plan to rescue ailing European countries, including Greece, Italy and Spain. This has done much to boost confidence among Wall Street investors who will continue to keep an alert eye on Europe as leaders of nations forming the G-20 gather in Cannes, with the debt crisis a highlight on the agenda for discussion.

  • 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.

  • What Recession? Forbes Names Wealthiest Americans - 23 September 2010
  • With high-profile talk show hosts focusing on the plight of ordinary American citizens in the economic downturn, trying in their own way to help people cope, one may be led to conclude that hard times have hit everyone to a lesser or greater degree. However, with the release of Forbes magazine’s annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, it’s become clear that this is not the case. Despite the ailing economy, which is battling a rocky road to recovery, the Forbes list reveals that the rich got even richer in the past year. Meanwhile, as is highlighted by home foreclosures, unemployment benefit claims and drop in consumer spending, it appears that some of the middle-class has joined the ranks of the poor, and the poor got poorer.

  • Is US Economy Heading for a ‘Double Dip’? - 3 December 2009
  • With the majority of economic analysts in agreement that the US economy is moving out of the recession and is in a recovery phase, many are still dubious, biding their time to see if the recovery will be sustained, or go into decline again in what is being termed as a 'double dip'. The view that the US economy is in recovery is being based primarily on the 3.5 percent growth experienced in the third quarter, but the surge of optimism has not touched everyone, and some economists are calling for authorities to be prepared with economic stimulus plans to be put into action early next year, particularly with the aim of creating jobs in a struggling labor market where the ranks of the unemployed keep growing.

  • Dow Jones Under the Spotlight - 17 August 2009
  • With second quarter corporate earnings coming to an end, it is generally expected that the series of rallies experienced on Wall Street are also likely to come to an end. It has become increasingly clear that the better than expected results from corporate companies have been as a result of aggressive cost-cutting measures, rather than an increase in demand for goods and services. Consumers continue to feel the pressure of job losses and stretched to the limit household budgets. The effect of the recession on consumers was further confirmed by the disappointing July retail sales published last week along with subdued consumer sentiment for August, revealing that aggressive cost-cutting measures are taking place on the home-front as well.

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