Articles filed under Markets

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  • U.S. stocks head lower, following drops overseas Sep 29, 2014 4:49 PM
    Concerns over high stock prices and global politics continued to plague markets Monday as major stock indexes ended with slight losses in another day of choppy trading. Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, a major world financial center, added to the host of political concerns on investors’ minds.

  • Stocks end rocky week with a surge Sep 26, 2014 4:39 PM
    Nike jumped 12 percent after reporting that solid sales and lower taxes helped drive its quarterly profit up 23 percent. Both its earnings and revenue beat Wall Street’s estimates. Nike’s stock gained $9.75 to $89.50, the largest gain among the 30 big companies in the Dow.

  • Apple bites stock market Sep 25, 2014 4:06 PM
    The S&P 500 index lost 32.31 points, or 1.6 percent, to close at 1,965.99. The Dow slumped 264.26 points, or 1.5 percent, to close at 16,945.80. The Nasdaq composite, which is dominated by technology companies, dropped 88.47 points, or 1.9 percent, to 4,466.75.It was the worst day for all three indexes since July 31.

  • Prices at the pump head below $3 a gallon Sep 25, 2014 2:53 PM
    At the current national average of $3.35 a gallon, gas is a dime cheaper than a year ago at this time. The gap is 20 cents or more in seven states, including California, Kansas, South Dakota and Connecticut, according to AAA.

  • Stocks advance after 3 days of declines Sep 24, 2014 4:15 PM
    U.S. stocks rebounded Wednesday and had their best performance in more than a month, led by gains in health care and consumer staples companies. Once again, investors were willing to step in to buy any noticeable dip in the market, even as more bad news emerged about Europe’s economy and worries over violence in Iraq and Syria continued.

  • Europe, Syria drag on global stock markets Sep 23, 2014 5:35 PM
    Disappointing news about Europe’s economy weighed down Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average opened lower and finished the day with its second triple-digit loss in a row.

  • U.S. stocks drop as China, oil weigh on markets Sep 22, 2014 4:24 PM
    Worries about the outlook for growth in China and a slide in the price of oil pushed the stock market to its biggest loss in almost seven weeks Monday. Investors are nervous about China following a run of soft economic data that suggests growth in the world’s second-largest economy is slowing. The worries about China helped push down the price of oil. That in turn weighed on energy stocks. The stock market has struggled to gain traction this month as investors have weighed signs of an improving economy in the U.S. against evidence of slowing growth in both Europe and Asia. “We’ve got China weighing down on stocks,” said Kristina Hooper, U.S. investment strategist at Allianz Global Investors. “The lack of transparency there always creates greater uncertainty.” The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 16.11 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,994.29. The loss was the biggest one-day decline for the index since Aug. 5. The index is down 0.5 percent this month. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 107.06 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,172.68. The Nasdaq composite dropped 52.10 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,527.69. The losses were broad, and all 10 industry sectors that make up the S&P 500 declined. Energy stocks were the second-biggest decliners, slumping 1.4 percent as the price of oil fell. Companies that rely the most on consumer spending, such as entertainment and media conglomerates and retailers, fell the most. The price of oil dropped on concerns that Libya’s production is picking up at a time when global economic indicators point to weaker demand from countries including China. Benchmark U.S. oil fell 89 cents to $91.52 a barrel. Analysts say U.S. oil could test the $90 mark sometime this week. Smaller companies were also among the biggest decliners as investors shunned the riskier parts of the market. The Russell 2000, an index which tracks small-company stocks, fell 1.5 percent, more than other indexes. The Russell has dropped 3 percent so far this year, compared with gains of 7.9 percent for the S&P 500 and 3.6 percent for the Dow. Some analysts say investors should regard any pullback in stock prices as an opportunity to add to their holdings. Recent reports on the manufacturing and the service industries have been strong. Hiring is picking up and inflation remains tame. “The fundamentals in the U.S. have been coming in strong, beyond expectations,” said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management. “It’s a modest pullback. If anything I would take it as an opportunity to build positions.” On Monday, stocks were also hurt by a report showed that fewer Americans bought homes in August as investors retreated from real estate and first-time buyers remained scarce. If the trend continues it could dent consumers’ confidence, said Allianz’s Hooper. “It really speaks to much of middle-class America. The largest component of their net worth is their home,” she said. “It could really put a damper on consumer spending and consumer sentiment.” The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes fell 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million. That followed four months of gains. August sales fell from a July rate of 5.14 million, a figure that was revised slightly downward. The report weighed on homebuilding stocks. Hovnanian fell 14 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $3.80 and Beazer Homes fell 52 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $18.09. St. Louis-based chemical firm Sigma-Aldrich was among the day’s winners. The company’s stock surged $34.03, or 33.2 percent, to $136.40 after agreeing to be acquired by Merck, a German drug company. Merck is paying $140 a share from Sigma-Aldrich, a premium of 37 percent over Friday’s closing price. Apple also bucked the slump, logging a small gain of 10 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $101.06. The technology company said that it has sold more than 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, a record for a new model, in the three days after the phones went on sale. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline fell 2.7 cents to $2.585 a gallon, heating oil dropped 3 cents to $2.687 a gallon and natural gas rose 1.3 cents to $3.85 per 1,000 cubic feet. Metals remained weak. Silver continued its recent descent, falling to its lowest level since the summer of 2010. The price of an ounce of silver fell 7 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $17.77 an ounce. Precious metals, including gold, have been pressured by the recent strength of the dollar, low global inflation and rising stock markets. Gold is trading close to its lowest price since the start of the year. Gold edged up $1.30, or 0.1 percent, to $1,217.90 an ounce. Copper fell five cents, or 1.7 percent, to $3.04 a pound. U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year government bond, which falls when prices rise, dropped to 2.55 percent from 2.58 percent. In currency trading, the dollar weakened against both the Japanese yen and the euro. The Japanese yen has been trading at six-year lows against the dollar in anticipation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next year while the Bank of Japan will maintain an easy monetary policy. On Monday, the dollar edged down to 108.77 yen. The euro rose a fraction to $1.2849.

  • Bull run has Indian stock funds topping the charts Sep 21, 2014 7:41 AM
    To find the year’s best-performing mutual funds, head east. In India, excitement surrounding a new prime minister has catapulted stocks higher, and mutual funds that focus on the country have reaped the gains. The Matthews India fund (MINDX) has returned 52 percent in 2014 through Wednesday, for example.

  • Stocks drift as Wall Street watches Alibaba Sep 19, 2014 4:42 PM
    Britain’s main index rose slightly after voters in Scotland rejected a referendum to break from the U.K. Some warned that if Scotland left, uncertainty over the future value of the British pound and government debt would have shaken the U.K economy.

  • Pabst Brewing to be sold to Russian company Sep 19, 2014 1:47 PM
    Pabst Brewing traces its roots back to 1844 in Milwaukee. Pabst Blue Ribbon in particular has also grown in popularity among people in their 20s and 30s in part for its blue-collar and retro appeal, as well as for its cheap price.

  • Good economic news lifts stocks to new highs Sep 18, 2014 7:55 PM
    More encouraging economic news and friendly signals from the Federal Reserve cheered investors on Thursday, as the stock market climbed to another record high. The gains came a day after the Fed made clear that it’s in no hurry to raise a key bank lending rate, easing a major concern for the stock market.

  • Dow closes at record after Fed keeps rates intact Sep 17, 2014 5:03 PM
    The stock market got the reassurance it wanted from the Federal Reserve Wednesday. The U.S. central bank signaled that it would keep its short-term interest rate near zero for a while yet, and investors pushed the Dow Jones industrial average to a record high. Low rates have been a boon to the market by helping stimulate the economy and making stocks a more attractive investment than bonds.

  • Stocks end higher as investors watch Fed Sep 16, 2014 4:47 PM
    Until the closing minutes, the Dow Jones industrial average looked like it would rise to a record, but prices faltered at the end. Still the blue-chip index ended up gaining 100.83, its first triple-digit close since August 18. The Dow closed at 17,131.97, a gain of 0.6 percent.

  • Stocks mixed ahead of Fed; small companies slump Sep 15, 2014 4:40 PM
    nvestors played it safe on Monday ahead of a potentially pivotal Federal Reserve meeting. While large company stocks ended the day little changed, smaller, riskier stocks slumped. Fed policy makers start a two-day meeting on Tuesday and many investors expect the central bank to indicate that it is moving closer to raising its key interest rate as the economy strengthens.

  • Stocks decline amid interest rate worries Sep 12, 2014 4:28 PM
    The yield on the 10-year Treasury note has now climbed for seven straight days.“As the economic data continues to move along this positive trajectory, interest rates are going to rise,” said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist at Prudential Financial. “The market is going to have to accept that.”

  • Stocks end mixed; Health care stocks slump Sep 11, 2014 4:48 PM
    A sluggish September continued for U.S. stocks as investors assessed the outlook for interest rates, the latest sanctions against Russia and volatile energy prices. Stocks ended the day mixed after gains for dividend-rich utilities stocks largely offset a slump in health care companies. Lululemon, the high-end yoga apparel maker, surged after reporting earnings that surpassed analyst’s forecasts.

  • Stocks end higher as Apple shares jump Sep 10, 2014 4:02 PM
    U.S. stocks broke two days of losses on Wednesday as a jump in Apple shares helped push indexes higher. Apple rose 3.1 percent, its biggest gain since April, a day after announcing updated versions of the iPhone, a new smartwatch and a mobile payment system.

  • Stocks fall for second day; Apple slips Sep 9, 2014 6:14 PM
    Stocks fell for a second straight day Tuesday as investors were left unimpressed by Apple’s latest batch of product announcements. Negative news out of Home Depot and McDonald’s also weighed on the market. The Dow lost 97.55 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,013.87, its biggest one-day drop in a month. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 13.10 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,988.44 and the Nasdaq composite lost 40 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,552.29. Investors had little in the way of economic data to digest, so trading was largely dominated by the news out of Apple. The California-based tech titan announced an updated version of its iPhone, a smartwatch as well as payment system to compete with traditional debit and credit cards. The iPhone 6 and its various iterations were well received by investors, as was the payment system, which would allow a shopper to purchase a product simply by holding his or her iPhone close to a sensor. Apple had been up as much as 4 percent after the products were unveiled. The smartwatch left some investors scratching their heads, however, and the Apple rally quickly faded. The watch doesn’t come out until next year, costs $350, and would require an iPhone near it to work. It was hardly the new product category that investors had hoped it might be. “I don’t know if they’re swimming up the right river with this watch,” said Dan Morgan, a senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Company, who has been a long-time investor in Apple shares. “It looks like an add-on product, not something that has the potential to be a phenomenon.” At the end of the day, Apple fell 37 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $97.99. Apple is often volatile on days it announces products. Yet while the decline in Apple’s own stock was modest, its product news had ripple effects in various parts of the market. GPS device maker Garmin and watch company Fossil fell 3.5 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Both companies are looking to claim a stake in smartwatch industry, with Garmin heavily invested in watches used by athletes to track their performance. Fossil recently announced a partnership with Intel to develop smartwatches. Investors saw Apple’s payment system as a direct competitor to eBay’s PayPal division, causing eBay to fall sharply in afternoon trading. EBay closed down $1.50, or 3 percent, to $52.73. Other payment system companies, such as Alliance Data Systems, also took a beating. Google, who is been trying to get into the mobile payment market as well as competes directly with Apple in phones, fell $8.71, or 2 percent, to $581.01. Unrelated to the Apple announcement, the news out of Home Depot didn’t help the market either. Home Depot fell $1.89, or 2 percent, to $88.93 after the home improvement chain said hackers had broken into its in-store payment systems. Home Depot’s problem follows a massive data breach at Target nearly a year ago, raising concerns it is likely other major retailers could be targeted as well. McDonald’s, another Dow member, fell $1.41, or 1.5 percent, to $91.09 after the company announced that global sales fell nearly 4 percent in August. In the U.S., typically a steady market for the fast food giant, sales fell nearly 3 percent. Investors also had their eyes on the currency market. The dollar extended its rally, hitting 106.20 yen, the highest since September 2008. Compared with other major currencies hurt by bad economic news in their home countries, the dollar appears attractive. The Federal Reserve is expected to end part of its stimulus program by October and is considering rate hikes, signs of greater confidence in the U.S. economic recovery. If the dollar were to continue to rally, it may start to hurt U.S. corporate profits. A higher dollar makes U.S.-made products more expensive abroad, which makes them harder to sell compared with foreign-made goods. Investors don’t expect the dollar rally to continue over the long term, however. “This could temporarily weigh on U.S. corporate profits, but U.S. companies generate so much business domestically that any impact would be modest,” said David Lebovitz, a global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds. In other markets, bond prices fell slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.50 percent. The price of U.S. oil steadied after three days of steep drops. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 9 cents to close at $92.75 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell sharply on further predictions of lower global demand. Brent fell $1.04 to close at $99.16 on the ICE Futures exchange in London, the lowest close since May 2013. In metals trading, the price of gold fell $5.80 to $1,248.50 an ounce, silver fell four cents to $18.92 an ounce and copper fell seven cents to $3.10 a pound.

  • Stocks fall as oil price slump hits energy sector Sep 8, 2014 4:27 PM
    A retreat in oil and energy stocks pulled the rest of the U.S. stock market mostly lower Monday. Campbell Soup declined after the company said its 2015 profits would miss analysts’ expectations. Yahoo, which owns a stake in Alibaba, jumped in anticipation of the giant Chinese technology company going public.

  • Airlines among strongest stocks in 2014 Sep 7, 2014 7:32 AM
    You just spent a small fortune on airline tickets — and the extra charges for the bags — for your family’s summer vacation. All your flights were packed with other passengers who also paid richly for the ride. No wonder airline profits are sky-high. Back home now, you might ask if you can share in the airlines’ good fortune by buying their stock. The answer: maybe you can, but you missed the big payoff.

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