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  • U.S. stocks jump following strong corporate earnings Oct 23, 2014 3:44 PM
    A combination of strong company earnings and encouraging economic reports, both in the U.S. and Europe, gave the stock market another day of solid gains on Thursday.

     
  • Slide in energy sector drags U.S. stock market lower Oct 22, 2014 5:03 PM
    Stocks fell broadly on Wednesday, snapping a four-day winning streak for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, as investors shaken by recent swings in the market sold some of their holdings. A slide in the price of oil dragged down energy stocks.

     
  • Stocks rally; S&P 500 has best day of 2014 Oct 21, 2014 4:50 PM
    The U.S. stock market marched higher Tuesday, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 index its best day of the year. News: Investors rallied behind an encouraging report on the Chinese economy as well as strong quarterly results from Apple and other big companies.

     
  • U.S. stocks quietly move higher; IBM disappoints Oct 20, 2014 4:44 PM
    The U.S. stock market moved quietly higher Monday as investors decided to step back into a market that was rattled by white-knuckle turbulence last week. It was a rare move upward for a market that, for the most part, has been moving lower for the past month.

     
  • 401(k) conundrum: lots of cash, no best way to make it last Oct 19, 2014 6:23 AM
    Strategies for drawing down lump-sum accounts in retirement — more important than ever in the 401(k) era — have received little attention from policymakers. For retirees, choices about how to spend a life’s worth of savings are fraught with tricky calculations about financial risk, taxes and death.

     
  • What’s next after wild week for stocks? Oct 18, 2014 10:46 PM
    The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted 460 points at one point Wednesday, but pared most of those losses by the end of the trading day. On Friday, it surged 263 points. The difference between the Dow’s high and the low for the week was the largest in nearly three years. Investors seemed buffeted from every corner: Plunging oil prices, signs of a slowdown in Europe and fear of Ebola on the downside; strong corporate earnings and reassuring jobs market figures on the upside. “We’ve entered a high-volatility market, and it’s here to stay,” said Bill Strazzullo, chief market strategist of Bell Curve Trading.

     
  • Stocks end dramatic week with rally Oct 17, 2014 4:53 PM
    “Most of the swings this week were related to fears about global growth and not about the fundamentals of this market,” said James Liu, global market strategist at JPMorgan Funds. The VIX, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, has risen from 12 in mid-September to as high as 26 this week, above its historical average of around 20.

     
  • After an early slide, U.S. stocks end mostly higher Oct 16, 2014 5:06 PM
    After several days surfing Wall Street’s gut-wrenching swells and troughs, investors got a smoother ride on Thursday. Well, mostly.

     
  • Economist tells Palatine group economic tide to turn Oct 17, 2014 8:21 AM
    Robert Genetski, one of the nation’s premier interest-rate forecasters, expressed slight optimism about the economy when he addressed more than 300 business leaders Thursday morning. “I think the tide is going to turn, we just have to wait and see,” said Genetski, known for his conservative outlook and research of classic economic principles. The forecaster said several recent moves account for a decline in living standards and a lack of steady growth in the economy.

     
  • A nauseating day for Wall Street as stocks plunge Oct 15, 2014 4:55 PM
    Fear drove Wall Street to one of its most dramatic, nauseating days in years on Wednesday. Investors fled stocks and poured into bonds as worries about a global economic slowdown intensified. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 460 points in afternoon trading, all three U.S. stock indexes were in negative territory for the year, and the so-called fear index spiked.

     
  • Drop in energy stocks stymies market rebound Oct 14, 2014 4:42 PM
    A slump in energy stocks stymied a rebound in U.S. indexes Tuesday as the price of oil plunged the most in two years. The decline in oil prices followed forecasts for weaker global demand this year and next, a sign of slowing economic growth.

     
  • U.S. indexes slide; airlines, energy stocks drop Oct 13, 2014 5:58 PM
    The stock market slumped on Monday, unable to shake off worries of a global economic slowdown and plunging oil prices. Airlines, energy and materials stocks were among the biggest decliners. Stocks are coming off their worst week in more than two years. The downturn leaves the Standard & Poor’s index 500 down 6.8 percent from its recent peak last month and up just 1.4 percent for the year. Many investors remain concerned that growth in Europe and Asia could be slowing. A meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg didn’t appear to allay those fears. A measure of volatility soared, indicating investors are getting increasingly nervous. “If global growth continues to weaken, the U.S. is not going to be able to sustain the kind of momentum we’ve been gaining since the first quarter,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. “That’s the worry.” A late slide in the last half-hour of trading came after an otherwise calm day in the markets. The market opened lower and wavered for much of the day between small gains and losses. The late wave of selling was likely triggered by automated trading programs that started selling stocks when it became clear that the S&P 500 would close below an important technical level, said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Schwab Center for Financial Research. Many traders follow these levels to give them an indication about the near-term direction of the market. In this case, the S&P 500 closed below 1,905, the 200-day moving average price for the index. The index had traded above the average since November, 2012, gaining 36 percent. “We’ve broken down to a point where we haven’t been for a long, long time,” Frederick said. Frederick still thinks the stock market will avoid a “correction.” That’s a drop of 10 percent or more, something that hasn’t happened since October 2011. Frederick is expecting the recent volatility to continue for a few more weeks yet. All told, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 223.03, or 1.4 percent, to 16,321.07. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index shed 31.39, or 1.7 percent, to 1,874.74. The Nasdaq slid 62.58 points, or 1.5 percent, to 4,213.66. The VIX, a measure of volatility that is commonly called Wall Street’s “fear index,” climbed 12.7 percent to 23.95, its highest level since June 2012. All of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 fell, led by energy with a decline of 2.9 percent. Utilities, a safe-play sector, fell the least, just 0.1 percent. The Dow went negative for the year on Friday and is now down 1.5 percent for 2014 and 5.5 percent below its September peak. Small-company stocks have fared much worse than the rest of the market as investors shun investments seen as more speculative. The Russell 2000 index has fallen 13.2 percent since July. Airline stocks had some of the biggest declines on Monday. That sector has received a drubbing from investors recently as worries mount that the outbreak of the Ebola virus will curb travel spending. Concerns about a slowing global economy have also hurt the stocks. American Airlines Group fell $2.20, or 7.1 percent, to $28.58 and Delta Air Lines fell $2.01, or 6.1 percent, to $30.90. American has fallen 24 percent in the last month, Delta 22.2 percent. Investors found reasons to cheer some stocks. CSX led the gainers in the S&P 500 as investors reacted to a published report that another railroad operator has approached the company about a possible merger. The stock climbed $1.76, or 5.9 percent, to $31.70. Atlas Energy vaulted 14.9 percent on news of its acquisition by Targa Resources Partner. Atlas Energy added $4.84 to $37.25. Investors were looking ahead to earnings news from a number of big companies later this week including General Electric, Intel and Bank of America. Despite the recent volatility in the markets, the overall earnings outlook is good. Third-quarter earnings growth for companies in the S&P 500 is expected to be about 6.8 percent compared with the same period a year ago, according to S&P Capital IQ. If earnings live up to or exceed analysts’ forecasts, that could help reassure investors, said Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market strategist at Voya Investment Management. “These companies haven’t changed from two months ago, when we were talking about all-time (market) highs, to today,” Cavanaugh said. “These are still good companies, with good value and good earnings potential.” The price of U.S. oil slipped slightly and the global oil price fell sharply on expectations that OPEC countries will not cut output in response to lower global demand. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 8 cents to close at $85.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $1.32 to close at $88.89 on the ICE Futures exchange in London. In other energy futures trading on the NYMEX, wholesale gasoline fell 0.3 cent to close at $2.255 a gallon, heating oil fell 0.3 cent to close at $2.557 a gallon and natural gas rose 5.7 cents to close at $3.916 per 1,000 cubic feet Gold rose $8.30 to $1,230 an ounce, silver rose four cents to $17.35 an ounce and copper was flat at $3.04 a pound. Bond trading was closed for Columbus Day.

     
  • What’s next for funds when Fed stops buying bonds? Oct 12, 2014 12:01 AM
    On Oct. 29, virtually all economists expect the Federal Reserve to announce the end of its program that bought bonds every month in order to boost the job market. The purchases are widely credited for fueling price increases of all kinds of investments.

     
  • Stocks close out worst week since May 2012 Oct 10, 2014 3:58 PM
    All three indexes ended lower for the week. For the S&P 500, this was the worst weekly decline since May 18, 2012, when it fell 4.3 percent.Negative economic news and a slide in oil prices contributed to the uneasiness on Wall Street this week, market watchers said.

     
  • As market sinks, investors brace for turbulence Oct 9, 2014 5:12 PM
    Just one day after the market had its best day of 2014, it had its worst day of 2014. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 334 points on Thursday as a decline in energy stocks and worries about the global economy sent investors fleeing out of the market. It was the biggest point drop since June 2013.

     
  • U.S. stocks slide on global growth concerns Oct 7, 2014 4:39 PM
    Worries about weakening global growth drove the stock market lower Tuesday. The U.S. economy may be strengthening, but the outlook elsewhere is far less encouraging. On Tuesday the International Monetary Fund trimmed its forecast for global growth. A surprisingly weak report on industrial production in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, added to the concerns.

     
  • U.S. stocks edge lower; H&R Block slides Oct 6, 2014 5:08 PM
    Some encouraging corporate news failed to give the broader stock market a boost on Monday, and stocks edged lower as investors waited for news on the outlook for the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy.

     
  • Why the bond market is more fragile than you think Oct 5, 2014 7:32 AM
    Main Street investors have poured a trillion dollars into bonds since the financial crisis, and helped send prices soaring. As fund managers and regulators fret about an inevitable sell-off, the bigger fear is that when people go to unload, there won’t be anyone to buy. Too many funds own the same bonds, making them difficult to sell in a sudden downturn.

     
  • Third quarter review: Mutual funds take a summer break Oct 5, 2014 7:32 AM
    After delivering solid and consistent returns through the first half of this year, most types of mutual funds faltered in the third quarter. It wasn’t a disaster — most of the declines were modest, and the largest categories of stock and bond funds were virtually flat — but it was a letdown for anyone who got accustomed to steady and widespread quarterly gains.

     
  • Dow jumps 208 on job gains; gold, bonds fall Oct 3, 2014 5:46 PM
    Even with the gains on Friday, all three indexes ended more than half a percent lower for the week, adding to losses last week.Many economists predict the Fed will wait until mid-2015 to start raising rates, then proceed with further hikes slowly. The central bank’s low-rate polices have helped keep borrowing rates low for some consumers and businesses.

     
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