Articles filed under Finance

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  • Breathing cleaner air has cost as utility bills to surge in U.S. Nov 3, 2014 8:11 AM
    U.S. electricity markets face years of higher prices as clean-air regulations shut more coal-fired power plants than earlier forecast, cutting supply and forcing producers to rely more on natural gas. “We are really in for a wild ride for five to six years because of the amount of coal shutting down in such a short amount of time and the transformation toward more gas being used to generate electricity,” Philip Moeller, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, said in an Oct. 23 interview.

  • Time's up: 5 tips to tackle student loan debt Nov 3, 2014 8:13 AM
    Tackling a hefty new monthly expense can be daunting, particularly for recent grads who haven't found steady work. But grads have many options for making student loan payments more manageable, even putting them off, if they qualify. Here are five ways recent grads can manage their student loan debt.

  • Why gasoline is suddenly $3 a gallon, and could go lower Nov 3, 2014 8:14 AM
    Two years ago Leonardo Maugeri, a former strategist for the big Italian oil company ENI, predicted that crude oil prices were heading for a fall in two to three years. It wasn't an obvious forecast; the average price of OPEC crude oil that year set an record. Today, with oil prices hovering around $80 a barrel, Maugeri is feeling good about his prediction. He said in a separate email that prices could fall to $75 a barrel — or even lower if the markets go into a panic.

  • Online stores fight Amazon for piece of retail pie Nov 1, 2014 7:43 AM’s low prices and seemingly endless array of goods have made it the biggest online retailer in the U.S., commanding about 20 percent of all e-commerce. The company is projected to have over $89 billion in revenue this year. Its massive success has driven other sites to offer similar perks and deals to woo customers and hold on to their piece of the retail pie. Some retailers now even offer to match Amazon’s prices to try to win your business. That’s good news for shoppers. So if you’re searching for anything from beauty products to books, here’s a look at some Amazon-like deals to take advantage of.

  • Big slump is no cause to ditch stock market Oct 26, 2014 7:31 AM
    Worries about a slowdown in global growth drove oil prices and global stock indices sharply lower. Headlines about the spread of Ebola and the deepening conflict with Islamic State fighters in the Middle East also turned investors cautious. Still, many investment strategists pointed out that the key factors supporting stocks during their current bull run market remain in place. The U.S. economy is still growing, and so are corporate earnings.

  • Navigating the wide world of mortgage overlays Oct 26, 2014 7:45 AM
    The word “overlay” in the context of home loans refers to the mortgage approval standards that lenders and their investors place above the guidelines set by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs. While many real estate professionals bemoan the tightened lending standards put in place since the housing crisis, restrictive lending practices are not solely the responsibility of the federal government.

  • Why poor kids don't stay in college Oct 27, 2014 8:29 AM
    Even after controlling for ability, the gap in college graduation rates persists. Low-income students who scored between 1200 and 1600 on their SATs were half as likely to finish college than their counterparts in the top 25 percent of the income distribution, according to one analysis of data from 2000. Economic distress can dim a student's chances by forcing her to take on part-time jobs or reduce her credit load to help out at home.

  • Despite uncertainty from state, Palatine will reduce levy for fourth straight year Oct 23, 2014 6:40 PM
    Palatine will reduce its tax levy for the fourth year in a row, under a proposed budget village officials will present to residents at a Saturday morning meeting. News: According to a budget overview from Village Manager Reid Ottesen, the 2014 property tax levy reflects a decrease of $100,412 over the 2013 levy, and there has been a cumulative reduction of $653,284 over a four-year period.

  • 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.

  • Wintrust acquires Delavan Bancshares Oct 14, 2014 9:41 AM
    Wintrust Financial Corp, said it will acquire Delavan Bancshares, Inc., a Wisconsin state chartered bank, which operates four banks in southeastern Wisconsin, for approximately $38 million.

  • 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.

  • U.S. pushes some nations to do more for economy Oct 11, 2014 2:06 PM
    “European leaders should focus on recalibrating policies to address persistent demand weakness,” Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said at the policy-setting committee of the International Monetary Fund, which was scheduled to conclude its discussions Saturday.

  • 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.

  • 5 Ways to prepare for possible long-term care costs Oct 6, 2014 9:29 AM
    On average, nearly 70 percent of 65 year-olds will eventually need some form of long-term care, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. And HHS estimates that 20 percent will need it for more than five years. Here are some things to consider when preparing for the possible financial burden of long-term care.

  • Cuba begins to unite private enterprise, tourism Sep 27, 2014 1:34 PM
    Tourism is one of Cuba’s top four generators of income, along with nickel mining, medical services and remittances from relatives living abroad.State-run restaurants for tourists and for Cubans have long suffered from complaints about poor quality.

  • San Diego philanthropist launches newspaper bid Sep 25, 2014 9:17 AM
    San Diego would join a small group of established, metropolitan newspapers owned by nonprofit companies, including the Tampa Bay Times in Florida and the Deseret News in Utah. Nonprofit news organizations tend to be startups.

  • 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.

  • Jeb Bush more focused on business than politics Sep 20, 2014 2:08 PM
    Those close to him say that after his two terms as governor, he has worked aggressively to improve his personal finances, a common practice for politicians after public service.Bush “is not currently a candidate for office. He’s a businessman,” said his spokeswoman, Kristy Campbell. “If he makes a decision to run for president, he would certainly review his work engagements at that time.”

  • Banks prepare for fallout if Scotland leaves United Kingdom Sep 12, 2014 6:17 PM
    Less than a week before a referendum that could see Scotland ending its 307-year political bond with the United Kingdom, officials at the Bank of England and the Treasury are gaming out how they would shore up the financial system if that happens. With the result being announced ahead of a normal trading day in the U.K., among the chief risks facing officials in the first 24 hours after any “yes” vote: a flight of deposits, a run on the pound and a drying up of bank liquidity.

  • 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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