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  • Fed's Stimulus Strategy Unchanged - 19 September 2013
  • In recent months there has been widespread consensus on Wall Street that the Federal Reserve will start tapering off its economic stimulus strategies by about $10 billion per month for the balance of the year. So the announcement from the central bank that it would continue its bond-buying program indefinitely, as is, was met with a mixture of surprise and relief by Wall Street investors, pushing markets up considerably by close of trade Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 146.44 points (0.94 percent) to 15,676.17, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 20.67 points (1.21 percent) to 1,725.43, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 37.94 points (1.01 percent) to 3,783.64.

  • High Frequency Trading - 8 March 2012
  • With the anniversary of the May 2010 "flash crash" coming up, high frequency trading continues to be a somewhat controversial topic, with proponents pointing out that any major shift in investing tends to unsettle investors and traders, and critics voicing concern that nanosecond trading could bring the whole system to its knees. On May 6, 2010, at 14h42 EDT the Dow Jones industrial average plummeted by 600 points in just 6 minutes before rebounding by 15h07. It was the index's most volatile intraday activity in its 114-year history and high frequency trading is thought to have been the trigger.

  • Investing in IPOs - 5 November 2009
  • The price of any financial asset traded on the stock market is determined by the age-old forces of supply and demand. Regarding initial public offerings (IPO) that have no trading history the question may arise as to how an analyst may value an IPO share price. There are at least two schools of thought regarding investing in IPOs, one being that the lack of historical information on share price performance provides a buying opportunity, and the other being that because IPOs have not yet been tested on the market, they present a higher risk factor.

  • Third Quarter Kicks Off On Positive Note On Wall Street - 2 July 2009
  • Wall Street started the third quarter of 2009 on a positive note, with all three major stock indicators notching up small gains on Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 57 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 gained 4 points, and the Nasdaq composite climbed 11 points, being 0.7 percent, 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent respectively. The improved performance of stocks is being attributed primarily to better than expected housing and manufacturing reports. An especially encouraging aspect of the manufacturing reports is that customer inventories are too low, suggesting that production figures should pick up soon as inventories are raised to more realistic levels.

  • Scripophily: An Intriguing Hobby - 31 December 2008
  • Scripophily is a specialized field of numismatics (the study and collection of currency) which focuses on the study and collection of old bonds and stocks. What makes scripophily particularly interesting is the historic context of each document, as well as the artistic design and intricate detail on many of these valuable documents. Scripophily first gained recognition as a hobby in the early 1970s, with the word being coined from a combination of the English word “scrip” representing a certificate or substitute for currency in which the payer and payee recognize its value, and the Greek word “philos” meaning to love, and has grown to include thousands of collectors worldwide.

  • Big Three Bailout, Weak Economic News Sets Markets See-Sawing But Closing on a High - 4 December 2008
  • With a stream of bad news, tempered by tidbits of good news, flowing to stock markets and resulting in volatile intraday trading, U.S. stocks nevertheless closed slightly higher on Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 2 percent, Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 2.6 percent and the Nasdaq composite index closed 2.9 percent higher. While historically a stock rally despite bad news is one of the characteristics of the market bottoming out, analysts are divided as to whether this is the case, with some suggesting that it is, at the very least, an indication that the market is stabilizing.

  • U.S. Markets Enjoy Election Day Rally - 5 November 2008
  • Monday saw U.S. stocks end the day virtually flat, presumably in anticipation of the Tuesday presidential elections. However, on Tuesday, before the outcome of the elections were confirmed, Wall Street rallied quite impressively with the Dow Jones industrial average rising 305.45 points, or 3.28 percent, to close at 9,625.28. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 4.08 percent, or 39.45 points to close at 1,005.75, being the first time it has closed above 1,000 since 13 October. The Nasdaq composite index rose 53.79 points, or 3.12 percent, to close at 1,780.12, marking the sixth trading day in a row that the index has risen.

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