PDA

View Full Version : News/Views on Dow Jones [United States]


Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 [16] 17 18 19

Jan
02-Nov-2013, 10:06 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 02, 2013
US investment push holds promise but payoff unclear
[WASHINGTON] President Barack Obama's push to attract foreign direct investment to the United States holds promise, but political gridlock in Washington could throw a wrench in the effort, analysts say.
And, with some specifics still unclear, it remains to be seen whether his bid to lure international firms and create more American jobs will work out.
In what officials billed as an "unprecedented effort", Mr Obama on Thursday announced a federal inter-agency body to coordinate and streamline efforts to attract foreign investors.
"There are a lot of wonderful countries out there. But this is a place where you can do business, create great products, deliver great services, make money, and do good at the same time," he told business leaders.

Jan
02-Nov-2013, 10:58 AM
US stocks on Friday closed higher following solid US and Chinese manufacturing data and good US car sales.

PHOTOS
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 30, 2013. (AFP/Spencer Platt)
ENLARGECAPTION
NEW YORK CITY: US stocks on Friday closed higher following solid US and Chinese manufacturing data and good US car sales.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 69.80 (0.45 per cent) to 15,615.55.

The broad-based S&P 500 tacked on 5.10 (0.29 per cent) at 1,761.64, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index nudged 2.34 (0.06 per cent) higher to 3,922.04.

The gains came after China's official October purchasing managers' index (PMI) of manufacturing activity climbed to 51.4 last month from 51.1 in September, the highest reading since April 2012.

Stocks were also helped by a rise in the US manufacturing PMI for October from the Institute of Supply Management to 56.4 per cent from 56.2 per cent in September. Analysts expected the index to decline to 55.0.

October auto sales from the three largest US auto-manufacturers, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, posted double-digit percentage gains.

"We're seeing some economic growth. It's slow, but it is going in the right direction," said Anthony Conroy, head of global trading trader at BNY Convergex Group.

Some of the largest gains in the Dow were posted by Boeing (+1.9 per cent), Pfizer (+1.6 per cent) and JPMorgan Chase, which rose 1.9 per cent despite disclosing that regulators have expanded a probe into whether the bank's hiring practices in China and Hong Kong violated anti-bribery laws.

Chevron, another Dow component, fell 1.6 per cent after earnings-per-share underperformed expectations of $2.71 by 14 cents. The company also announced that its 2013 capital spending would be 10 per cent higher than originally forecast. Citigroup said the results were "certainly a bit of a disappointment."

Insurer AIG tumbled 6.5 per cent after revenues of $8.66 billion lagged analyst expectations of $8.91 billion and the company said the prospects for selling its ILFC aircraft leasing business to a consortium of Chinese investors remained uncertain.

GM advanced 1.2 per cent, while Ford declined 1.3 per cent following the latest auto sales data. Both companies reported strong October sales gains, but Edmunds described the Ford figures as "a tad lower than expected."

First Solar jumped 17.6 per cent higher after profits more than doubled to $195 million on higher orders. The company forecast full-year earnings of $4.25-$4.50 per share, well above the $3.77 projected by analysts.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.62 per cent from 2.55 per cent Thursday, while the 30-year increased to 3.70 per cent from 3.64 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

- AFP/fl

Jan
02-Nov-2013, 01:05 PM
US manufacturing grows for fifth straight month

POSTED: 01 Nov 2013 23:23

US manufacturing output grew for the fifth straight month in October, an industry survey released on Friday showed.

PHOTOS
A worker positions a hot spindle being shaped at a factory in Canton, Ohio, USA. (AP/Mark Duncan)
ENLARGECAPTION
WASHINGTON: US manufacturing output grew for the fifth straight month in October, suggesting stronger economic growth in the fourth quarter, an industry survey released on Friday showed.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its purchasing managers index (PMI) for manufacturing activity rose to 56.4 per cent last month from 56.2 per cent in September.

The growth in output was unexpected; analysts had forecast the PMI would fall to 55.0.

The October reading topped the third-quarter average of 55.8, pointing towards stronger gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter, Moody's Analytics said.

All three of the index's main components remained in growth territory. New orders increased slightly while production fell 1.8 points and employment fell 2.2 points.

The strongest gainers were exports, up 5.0 points, and inventories, up 2.5 points.

"The panel's comments are generally positive about the current business climate; however, there are mixed responses on whether the government shutdown and potential default have had any effect on October's results," Bradley Holcomb, chair of the survey committee, said in a statement.

An executive in the computer and electronic products industry said: "Telecom market -- wireless and VOIP -- appears to be spiking. We are very busy; busier than we have ever been."

"Business continues to improve every month for the past nine months," said a furniture industry supply executive.

But the October 1-16 partial government shutdown over the government battle on the budget and the debt ceiling cast a cloud over some industries.

"The government shutting down and threatening to go into a default position is causing all kinds of concerns in our markets," said an executive in the fabricated metal products industry.

Robert Kavcic, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, said the October report was encouraging.

"The US manufacturing sector has staged a strong comeback from the spring soft patch, and appears to have held that momentum despite October's political drama," Kavcic said.

- AFP/al

xfactor
03-Nov-2013, 05:44 AM
US manufacturing grows for fifth straight month

POSTED: 01 Nov 2013 23:23

US manufacturing output grew for the fifth straight month in October, an industry survey released on Friday showed.

PHOTOS
A worker positions a hot spindle being shaped at a factory in Canton, Ohio, USA. (AP/Mark Duncan)
ENLARGECAPTION
WASHINGTON: US manufacturing output grew for the fifth straight month in October, suggesting stronger economic growth in the fourth quarter, an industry survey released on Friday showed.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its purchasing managers index (PMI) for manufacturing activity rose to 56.4 per cent last month from 56.2 per cent in September.

The growth in output was unexpected; analysts had forecast the PMI would fall to 55.0.

The October reading topped the third-quarter average of 55.8, pointing towards stronger gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter, Moody's Analytics said.

All three of the index's main components remained in growth territory. New orders increased slightly while production fell 1.8 points and employment fell 2.2 points.

The strongest gainers were exports, up 5.0 points, and inventories, up 2.5 points.

"The panel's comments are generally positive about the current business climate; however, there are mixed responses on whether the government shutdown and potential default have had any effect on October's results," Bradley Holcomb, chair of the survey committee, said in a statement.

An executive in the computer and electronic products industry said: "Telecom market -- wireless and VOIP -- appears to be spiking. We are very busy; busier than we have ever been."

"Business continues to improve every month for the past nine months," said a furniture industry supply executive.

But the October 1-16 partial government shutdown over the government battle on the budget and the debt ceiling cast a cloud over some industries.

"The government shutting down and threatening to go into a default position is causing all kinds of concerns in our markets," said an executive in the fabricated metal products industry.

Robert Kavcic, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, said the October report was encouraging.

"The US manufacturing sector has staged a strong comeback from the spring soft patch, and appears to have held that momentum despite October's political drama," Kavcic said.

- AFP/al

It wasn't that long ago that Gordon Gekko's "greed is good" anthem was the unofficial creed of Wall Street. And yet today, with stocks up 30% in the last year and setting record highs almost daily, at least one investing professional insists those money-lusting ways of yore are gone.

"We are a long way away from greed," says Hank Smith, the chief investment officer at Haverford, in the attached video. "We think we are only half way into this secular bull market," he adds, calling the March 2009 market trough "a generational low."

That's not to say Smith isn't expecting, or even wanting, to see a healthy pullback in what seems like an otherwise unstoppable rally. Even so, this Philadelphia based money manager says people need to be prepared and patient for what he says is an ''inevitable pullback or maybe even a correction." That's Wall Street parlance for a 5-10% retreat or even something more sinister that would shave 10% or more off of the market.

Related: Two Key Indicators That Just Guaranteed a Year End Rally

"Confidence is only slowly starting to creep back into the market," he says. "There was fear back in 2009, but we are not even close to exhibiting greed here." It is worth noting that stocks have now risen more than 150% in the four and a half years since the depths of the financial crisis.

As far as advising would-be investors on what they should do now that stocks are at record highs, Smith sticks to his firm's bread and butter philosophy and suggests any sidelined money that's looking to get invested ought to be moved towards blue chip stocks that pay above average dividends.

"There's still plenty of opportunities with high quality, financially strong, blue chip companies," he says, noting numerous opportunities, in every single sector, to own stocks that carry dividend yields that are not only greater than prevailing bond yields, but are growing over time. "That's a win - win in our opinion."

xfactor
03-Nov-2013, 10:28 AM
[WASHINGTON] President Barack Obama's push to attract foreign direct investment to the United States holds promise, but political gridlock in Washington could throw a wrench in the effort, analysts say.

And, with some specifics still unclear, it remains to be seen whether his bid to lure international firms and create more American jobs will work out.

In what officials billed as an "unprecedented effort", Mr Obama on Thursday announced a federal inter-agency body to coordinate and streamline efforts to attract foreign investors.

"There are a lot of wonderful countries out there. But this is a place where you can do business, create great products, deliver great services, make money, and do good at the same time," he told business leaders.

"So you should find out why there's no substitute for those proud words: 'Made in America.' And here's three more words: 'Select the USA.'" Getting foreign companies to invest more in the United States was aimed at "creating good-paying American jobs," Mr Obama said, in a nod to the 11.3 million Americans who are officially out of work and the millions more who have given up looking for jobs.

The announcement followed the first government shutdown in 17 years amid bitter partisanship in Congress, which, according to a Moody's survey, sparked a temporary plunge in business confidence.

It also came against the backdrop of a steadily sinking US share of the global pie of foreign direct investment in contrast to the significant rise of developing economies.

In 2012, the US share fell to 17 per cent from 37 per cent in 2000, according to the Organization for International Investment.

In comparison, developing economies rose from 24 per cent to 34 per cent during that period, while the European Union stayed largely unchanged, inching up from 31 per cent to 34 per cent.

Thilo Hanemann, research director at Rhodium Group (RHG), called the "SelectUSA" initiative a "good start." "In the long-term, however, the single most important factor for competing for foreign investment is that the US remains an attractive, innovative and vibrant economy with a stable outlook," he said.

Key to doing so, he added, is fixing structural problems such as the country's fiscal situation, as well as its healthcare, immigration and education systems - points Mr Obama touched on in his address.

"Unfortunately the political gridlock in Washington sends the wrong signal with regard to solving those structural issues and threatens the long-term attractiveness of the US as a destination for foreign investment," he said.

"Recent efforts to improve the US investment promotion framework are laudable, but they are overshadowed by the political stalemate." A series of political confrontations over the budget, which he dubbed "manufactured crises," have hurt business and consumer confidence, said IHS Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh.

"I think the administration is sort of trying to show that it is not being bogged down by the nonsense in Washington and it's got this grander scheme, sees lots of opportunities, it's very upbeat about the US," he said.

"It's trying to put out a very positive message at a time when domestic politics are rather cantankerous." While sending a welcome sign overseas, Mr Obama's push also serves to tell a struggling domestic audience that "'Here I am, President Obama, doing as much as I can on the economy," Mr Behravesh said.

So will it work? Mr Behravesh, for one, was optimistic although he noted that, in the end, real jobs growth would come from US companies.

"Foreign companies are important, they're good, but they're not that big in the US." According to the Organization for International Investment, foreign companies supported just 5.6 million American jobs in 2011, albeit "well-paying" ones.

Still, "it's a good thing to do," Behravesh said, adding that the so-called pay-off period for such a scheme was typically three to five years.

For others, questions remain about how exactly it will be implemented.

Alan Parter, president of Parter International, Inc, a New York-based business consulting firm, queried the federal government's exact role.

For one, are "they actually going to get involved with specific investment plans and companies?" asked the former deputy commissioner of commerce for New York State who has worked extensively with foreign firms and countries.

Saying it was "extraordinarily difficult" to measure the impact of political issues such as dysfunction in Washington, Mr Parter emphasised that economic issues were prime decision drivers for potential investors.

"How strong is this going to be?" he said of the programme.

"It's difficult to see. But a lot like chicken soup, it couldn't hurt." - AFP

xfactor
03-Nov-2013, 11:54 AM
Berkshire Profit Advances 29% on Railroad, Investments
By Noah Buhayar - Nov 2,


Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said third-quarter profit climbed 29 percent on investments and gains at non-insurance businesses including railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

Net income rose to $5.05 billion, or $3,074 a share, from $3.92 billion, or $2,373, a year earlier, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company said yesterday in a statement. Operating earnings, which exclude some investment results, were $2,228 a share, missing the $2,403 average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Enlarge image
Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett Scott Eells/Bloomberg
Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg
5:57 Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Jeffrey Matthews, founder of Ram Partners, and Robert Miles, author of "The Warren Buffett CEO: Secrets from the Berkshire Hathaway Managers," talk about Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and billionaire chairman Warren Buffett's investments and strategy. Berkshire Hathaway today said third-quarter profit climbed 29 percent on investments and gains at railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Matthews and Miles speak with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)
.Berkshire has benefited from an expanding U.S. economy and stands to make further gains as consumer demand picks up and the housing market recovers. The company’s subsidiaries haul freight, insure cars, generate electricity, make building supplies and sell products from running shoes to diamond rings.

Acquisitions (BRK/A) and investments have positioned Berkshire to be “an all-in bet on the U.S.,” said Bill Smead, chief executive officer of Smead Capital Management, which oversees about $680 million including shares of Buffett’s company. “There’s a lot of earnings leverage.”

Class B shares slipped 0.2 percent to $114.99 at 7:56 p.m. in New York after the results were released. They had rallied 29 percent this year through yesterday’s close, compared with the 24 percent advance in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Gains on investments, including bets on Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), General Electric Co. and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., added $1.86 billion to earnings before tax, compared with $917 million a year earlier. Berkshire posted a $427 million gain on derivatives in the quarter, compared with a $118 million loss a year earlier. Buffett, 83, uses the contracts to wager on stock markets and the creditworthiness of borrowers.

Buffett’s Warrants
Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman and CEO, exchanged warrants in Goldman Sachs and GE after the quarter for common stock. Both deals stem from investments made during the 2008 financial crisis. Berkshire booked a profit of $680 million as Mars Inc. agreed to pay a premium to repurchase bonds that Buffett bought to help the candy company acquire Wrigley.

BNSF contributed $989 million to earnings, compared with $937 million a year earlier. Utility unit MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. added $472 million, up from $438 million.

Earnings from manufacturing, service and retailing units increased to $1.16 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30 from $991 million in the same period in 2012.

The U.S. economy probably expanded at a 1.9 percent annualized rate in the third quarter, according to the average estimate in a Bloomberg survey. That’s slower than the 2.5 percent pace in the three months ended June 30.

Housing Market
The housing market rebound cooled in July and August. Buffett said last week that the U.S. economy is making progress and that residential real estate still has to a way to go in recovering.

“It’s coming back,” he said at an Oct. 23 event at the New York Public Library. “Pricing is better in almost all markets by a reasonable percentage from a few years ago.”

Berkshire’s book value, a measure of assets minus liabilities that Buffett uses to gauge his performance, rose in the quarter to $126,766 per Class A share from $122,900 at the end of June. Class A shares closed yesterday at $173,123 in New York. Each one can be converted into 1,500 Class B shares.

The cash pile climbed to $42.1 billion at the end of September from $35.7 billion three months earlier. Buffett spent more than $12 billion in the second quarter in a deal that took ketchup maker HJ Heinz Co. private.

Insurance Results
Underwriting profit at insurance units declined 57 percent to $170 million as the frequency and severity of claims increased at Geico. The loss widened at the reinsurance unit run by Ajit Jain and hailstorms in Europe pressured results at the General Re business.

Investment income from insurance operations added $861 million to the company’s profit, compared with $733 million in last year’s third quarter.

Berkshire’s stock portfolio was valued at $106.8 billion on Sept. 30, up from $103.3 billion at the end of June. Buffett and his deputies spent $1.16 billion on fixed-maturity securities and $1.77 billion on equities in the quarter.

Jan
04-Nov-2013, 07:39 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 04, 2013
WALL STREET INSIGHT
Waiting for a big event to scale new heights
BY ROB CURRAN
Retail blues: Stores that report monthly sales will likely reveal the damage from the shutdown in October. - PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
US STOCKS eked out a small gain last week for the fourth straight week of increases after the Federal Reserve kept its policy unchanged.
The major indexes sit on the verge of new record highs, and could break through if data sets the stage for a big holiday shopping season or a big tech company makes a splash on its market debut.
Retail sales, consumer sentiment and - most significantly - October labour market performance will reveal the position of the average shopper's wallet ahead of the critical holiday season. Usually, economists would anticipate the steady growth of 2013 to pick up momentum in the fourth quarter. But hundreds of thousands of temporarily laid-off government workers will hurt October sales data and jobs figures alike.
The few remaining stores that report monthly sales, including clothier Gap, will likely reveal the damage wrought on their bottom lines from the shutdown in October. The nine retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters are anticipated to show a meagre 0.4 per cent growth in sales from a month earlier - the slimmest margin of growth since the end of the recession.

start
04-Nov-2013, 08:31 AM
Dow Gains 4th Week in a Row

Stocks gained as investors weighed a handful of better-than-expected reports on manufacturing activity around the globe.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 69.80 points, or 0.4%, to 15615.55 in the first trading session of the month. The S&P 500-stock index gained 5.10 points, or 0.3%, to 1761.64. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 2.34 points, or 0.1%, to 3922.04.

The Dow industrials and S&P 500 rebounded after a midweek retreat from record highs, to close out a fourth consecutive week of gains. Friday's gains build on a 4.5% rally for the S&P 500 in October to leave the index up 24% for the year.

A measure of U.S. manufacturing activity beat forecasts in October despite a partial government shutdown and rose to its highest level since April 2011. That followed a report from China that showed renewed strength in its manufacturing sector, though growth remained unbalanced.

Investors and traders have been keeping a close eye on economic data in recent months, as they try to determine when the Federal Reserve could start to pare back its easy-money policies, which many say have helped power this year's stock-market rally to records.

"Just being worked up can make the market jump around," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo's funds unit, which manages about $200 billion in assets. "Anything that looks like economic growth will raise a little bit of concern."

Mr. Manley thinks that concern is mostly unwarranted. He is bullish on stocks, with a higher exposure to sectors that would benefit from stronger economic growth, and doesn't think a Fed pullback from its easy-money policies will be a long-term setback for stocks.

"I don't think it should amount to anything," he said. "We're all worried that we have nothing to worry about."

After the year's strong gains, investors and strategists say that the stock market could be more sensitive to perceived changes in the outlook for the economy and Fed policy.

"Investors are trying to figure out where they are," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at brokerage JonesTrading Institutional Services. "You have to be cautious in case the Fed does come out and" pare purchases.

But stocks reacted less strongly Friday than other asset classes to the potential of a Fed pullback, and stock-market bulls say that underlying economic strength and losses in the bond market could help support stocks in the long term.

"The situation is a little harder for equity investors," said Mr. O'Rourke. "People are afraid to make a big decision here."

Treasury notes sold off on the economic data, pushing the yield on the 10-year note higher to settle at 2.618%.

Corporate earnings-reporting season pushed forward as well. With 73% of the S&P 500 reporting, the index is on track for 3% of third-quarter earnings growth from the previous year, in line with analysts' expectations, according to FactSet.

In earnings news, American International Group slid after reporting lower-than-expected revenue at its property-casualty unit.

Container Store more than doubled in its trading debut, in the latest well-received initial public offering of a consumer company.

NextEra Energy climbed after the utility and largest U.S. renewable-energy generator posted better-than-expected quarterly results.

First Solar jumped after the solar-panel maker's third-profit topped Wall Street's projections.

Crude-oil futures slipped 1.8% to $94.61 a barrel. Gold futures dropped 0.8% to $1,313.10 a troy ounce. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen.

Most European stock benchmarks declined but remained higher for the week. The Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.2% Friday but was up 0.4% for the week. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 held in positive territory Friday after news that manufacturing activity in the country continued to expand in October.

China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4% as its purchasing managers' index, an official reading on manufacturing activity, rose to 51.4 in October, an 18-month high. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected the PMI to remain unchanged. Chinese new-home prices continued to climb in October as well. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index dropped 0.9%, as a disappointing earnings report from tech giant Sony sparked a decline in the stock.

Jan
04-Nov-2013, 10:03 PM
US banks get new set of stress tests scenarios
[WASHINGTON] Lenders including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc will have to show they can survive the demise of a trading partner or a plunge in value of high-risk business loans in the 2014 version of US stress tests.

Jan
04-Nov-2013, 10:09 PM
Rare Goldman view on US economy
THE US Federal Reserve is likely to begin tapering only in the second half of 2014 as the US economy remains sluggish, said Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs president and chief operating officer.

Jan
04-Nov-2013, 10:09 PM
Paying in philanthropic dollars
GOLDMAN Sachs partners donate part of their pay cheques to charity, and to date, they have given away US$680 million, said Gary D Cohn, Goldman Sachs president and chief operating officer.

Jan
05-Nov-2013, 06:58 AM
US: Wall St flat, BlackBerry slumps; Twitter raises IPO range
[NEW YORK] US stock indexes were little changed on Monday in below-average trading volume, while shares of BlackBerry plummeted to a 10-year low after the company replaced its CEO.

Jan
05-Nov-2013, 06:59 AM
Fed in no rush to cut bond buys, top policymakers say

Jan
05-Nov-2013, 07:05 AM
US factory orders fall 1.3% in Sept
[WASHINGTON] Orders for a wide range of US-made capital goods sank more than previously estimated in September, a sign companies cut their investment plans sharply as Washington hurtled to the brink of default.

Jan
05-Nov-2013, 07:12 AM
No taper on bond buying till March
[SYDNEY] Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas president Richard Fisher, who has criticised the central bank's bond buying programme, said that he would not rule out backing a tapering of purchases by March depending on economic conditions.

xfactor
05-Nov-2013, 08:32 PM
It's widely assumed that Warren Buffett doesn't invest in technology stocks, but in recent years, this belief has contrasted with reality. After accounting for 0% of his equity portfolio at the end of 2010, the tech sector now makes up one sixth of Buffett's stock holdings. At Insider Monkey, we believe that hedge funds and other prominent investors' best stock picks exhibit market-beating potential, so it's worth paying attention to these developments.

In the case of Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, they're not your typical technology investors. They follow a very strict set of rules when selecting investments in this space, which, through our observations, boil down to finding tech companies that: 1) trade at very cheap multiples, 2) pay a dividend, and 3) have sustainable product offerings that will safeguard their survival over the next 15 to 20 years.

With this in mind, the next logical question in many Buffettologists' minds is this: Will the Oracle buy shares of Twitter /quotes/zigman/23556538/delayed/quotes/nls/twtr TWTR 0.00% once it becomes a publicly traded entity?

This was the same question many Facebook /quotes/zigman/9962609/delayed/quotes/nls/fb FB -0.87% enthusiasts asked after its IPO last year and to no surprise, many mega-investors bought in. Buffett didn't, however, and it is evident that Facebook broke all three of the rules described above. The stock traded at more than 70 times earnings upon going public and there simply wasn't any assurance that it wouldn't go the route of MySpace, Digg, Xanga and the rest of social media's fallen giants. It also didn't offer a dividend, and still doesn't to this day.

Twitter faces all three of the same problems.

According to most estimates, Twitter will be valued near $11 billion when it goes public, giving it a per-share value between $19 and $20. At this price, the company will theoretically trade at about 18.3 times this year's estimated revenue, which most conservative analysts expect to be around $600 million.

Facebook, meanwhile, is valued at a price-to-sales multiple near this mark, while LinkedIn /quotes/zigman/5131883/delayed/quotes/nls/lnkd LNKD +0.13% is also in the same vicinity. It's unreasonable to expect that Buffett would be attracted to a valuation in this range if he hasn't been before.

Equally as important, we also expect that the billionaire will take issue with Twitter's outlook over the next 15 to 20 years. While some may argue that the microblogging service can generate more advertising revenue than a Facebook or a LinkedIn, for example, there's still no guarantee that Twitter will be around in two decades. Obviously, there's no such thing as 100% certainty in any industry, but there are fewer risks facing Buffett's favorite investments, like Wells Fargo /quotes/zigman/239557/delayed/quotes/nls/wfc WFC +0.05% and Coca Cola /quotes/zigman/222647/delayed/quotes/nls/ko KO -0.20% , than there are to any social media company.

Putting the final nail in the proverbial coffin, we also know that from Twitter's S-1 filing, it has no plans to declare dividends "in the foreseeable future."

So, if Warren Buffett won't buy Twitter, what stock is responsible for the majority of his investment in the tech sector?

As reported in his latest 13F filing, the answer is IBM /quotes/zigman/230066/delayed/quotes/nls/ibm IBM +0.02% . Buffett and Berkshire hold almost 15% of their $89 billion equity portfolio in the information-technology giant, and it meets all three of our aforementioned criteria. IBM trades at a mere 9.9 times forward earnings, has five diversified business segments from IT infrastructure to software, and it pays a dividend yield above 2%.

xfactor
05-Nov-2013, 09:06 PM
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures dipped on Tuesday ahead of data on the services sector, putting the S&P 500 on track to halt a two-day winning streak.

The Institute for Supply Management will release its October non-manufacturing index at 10:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a reading of 54.0 versus 54.4 in September.

Data will be closely watched this week, including the delayed readings on gross domestic product and payrolls caused by the partial government shutdown in October, to gauge the health of the economy.

The Federal Reserve has indicated it will not begin to pare its bond-buying program of $85 billion in long-term assets per month until the economy shows signs of improvement, a mantra supported by three central bankers on Monday.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) is up 24 percent for the year and the Dow (^DJI) is up 19.3 percent, putting both indexes on track for their best yearly performances since 2003, largely driven by the stimulus measures of the Fed.

S&P 500 futures fell 4.8 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 45 points and Nasdaq 100 futures shed 9.75 points.

GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) jumped 21.1 percent to $10.15 in premarket trading after the company said Apple Inc (AAPL) will open a manufacturing facility in Arizona in partnership with the mineral crystal specialist to make sapphire materials for Apple's electronic devices.

S&P 500 companies expected to post earnings on Tuesday include IntercontinentalExchange Inc (ICE), Fossil Inc (FOSL) and C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc (CHRW).

With 75 percent of S&P 500 companies having reported results so far, 69 percent have topped Wall Street's expectations, above the long-term average of 63 percent. Just 53 percent have topped revenue forecasts, below the 61 percent average since 2002, Thomson Reuters data showed.

European shares were steady, hovering around five-year highs as mixed results from blue chips and uncertainty in the run-up to an ECB policy meeting kept investor enthusiasm for equities in check. (.EU)

Asian shares sagged after hawkish comments from China's premier ahead of a key Communist Party meeting, though expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will maintain its stimulus for a while limited losses.

xfactor
06-Nov-2013, 04:53 AM
DJIA 15,631.30 -7.83 -0.05%

S&P 500 1,765.13 -2.80 -0.16%

Nasdaq 3,943.74 7.15 0.18%


U.S. stocks were little changed, following two days of gains that sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to within five points of a record high, as investors awaited this week’s data on economic growth and employment.

Homebuilders slumped 2 percent as a group as JPMorgan Chase & Co. said D.R. Horton Inc.’s order growth may trail analysts’ expectations. Delphi Automotive Plc dropped 5.2 percent after narrowing its profit projection. Tenet (THC) Healthcare Corp. tumbled 9.4 percent as the hospital chain’s earnings forecast missed estimates. GT Advanced Technologies Inc. surged 20 percent after agreeing to supply equipment to Apple Inc.

4:27 Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Chris Harvey, director of disciplined portfolio strategies at Wells Fargo Securities, talks about the equity market, investment strategy and shareholder activism. He speaks with Betty Liu, Julie Hyman and Olivia Sterns on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)
.The S&P 500 (SPX) fell 0.2 percent to 1,764.51 at 3:27 p.m. in New York, trimming an earlier drop of as much as 0.7 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 9.64 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,629.48. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was 5.4 percent below the 30-day average during this time of the day.

“The market is in a quandary right now,” Colleen Supran, a principal at San Francisco-based Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough, which manages about $3 billion, said in a phone interview. “For jobs, you’re just hoping you still see some steady traction, but it’s hard to predict, because a healthy jobs market might also mean that the Fed feels more comfortable with an earlier tapering date. It’ll be a little choppy.”

The S&P 500 climbed 0.4 percent yesterday, building on four straight weeks of gains that sent the index to a record 1,771.95 on Oct. 29, as Exxon Mobil Corp. and U.S. Steel Corp. led a rally among commodity shares. The benchmark gauge has surged 23.7 percent this year, poised for the best annual performance since 2003, as company earnings beat forecasts and the Federal Reserve maintained stimulus measures.

Economic Data
Investors are watching data to gauge the health of the U.S. economy after the central bank last week said it needs to see more evidence of sustained improvement before slowing the pace of its $85 billion monthly bond purchases. Economists in a Bloomberg survey project that tapering will begin in March, based on the median estimate.

Fed Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker said today that he doesn’t see any source for a pickup in growth and the economy will expand at a rate close to 2 percent in 2014.

The European Union cut its forecast for euro-area growth next year and raised its unemployment estimate as the economy struggled to regain momentum after a record-long recession. In the U.S., service industries unexpectedly accelerated in October, as the Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. non-manufacturing index rose to 55.4 from 54.4 the prior month.

Reports later this week may show the U.S. economy slowed in the third quarter and employers hired fewer workers in October.

GDP Growth
Gross domestic product grew at a 2 percent annualized rate after a 2.5 percent pace from April through June, according to the median forecast of 69 economists surveyed by Bloomberg before Commerce Department figures due Thursday. Payrolls rose by 125,000 workers last month after a 148,000 gain in September, Labor Department figures may show Friday.

“A lot of people are nervous by how strong the market has been this year,” Patrick Kaser, a managing director and portfolio manager at Brandywine Global Investment Management in Philadelphia, said by phone. His firm oversees about $45 billion. “There is still skepticism about how the economy is really doing and whether these gains are from artificial factors, like the Fed, or from real strength in company results.”

Of the 404 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 75 percent have beaten analysts’ forecasts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Income for the broad index probably increased 4.1 percent in the third quarter, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Jan
06-Nov-2013, 07:18 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 06, 2013
US: Dow, S&P 500 down after 2-day winning streak; Tesla plunges on outlook

After the closing bell, Tesla Motors Inc reported a stronger-than-expected third-quarter profit, but offered a fourth-quarter outlook that fell short of Wall Street estimates - PHOTO: REUTERS
[NEW YORK] The Dow and the S&P 500 ended lower on Tuesday following two sessions of gains as investors weighed the implications of strong economic data for the path of monetary policy over the next several months.
After the closing bell, Tesla Motors Inc reported a stronger-than-expected third-quarter profit, but offered a fourth-quarter outlook that fell short of Wall Street estimates. The company's stock fell about 11 per cent.
Among top declining sectors were energy and telecoms which had been market leaders in the previous day. The S&P energy sector index fell 0.8 per cent and the telecom service sector index lost 1.9 per cent.
"Despite the bounce at the beginning of this week, equity markets likely need further consolidation, pullback before a more meaningful upside rally can develop given short-term indicators remain overbought," said Robert Sluymer, analyst at RBC Capital Markets in New York.

Jan
06-Nov-2013, 07:20 AM
Fed could keep US rates rock-bottom into 2016: Rosengren
The Federal Reserve could well keep US short-term interest rates near zero into 2016 if the economy fails to pick up steam, a top US central banker said on Tuesday, adding he is eyeing gross domestic product growth of 3 per cent as a goal.

Jan
06-Nov-2013, 07:21 AM
US service sector growth quickens in Oct: ISM
[NEW YORK] US service-sector business activity picked up in October and firms took on workers despite a partial government shutdown, but new order growth slowed for a second straight month, an industry report on Tuesday showed.

Jan
07-Nov-2013, 01:46 AM
US: Wall St opens higher on stimulus hopes
[NEW YORK] US stocks opened higher on Wednesday after comments from a Federal Reserve official suggested the central bank may hold back on slowing its stimulus for longer than currently anticipated.

Jan
07-Nov-2013, 01:47 AM
US economic activity gauge rises solidly in September
[WASHINGTON] A gauge of future US economic activity increased in September, suggesting some momentum in the economy before last month's partial shutdown of the federal government.

xfactor
07-Nov-2013, 06:58 AM
S&P 500
1,770.49
+7.52
+0.43%

Dow
15,746.88
+128.66
+0.82%

Nasdaq
3,931.95
-7.92
-0.20%

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Dow industrials closed at a record high on Wednesday, led by gains in Microsoft Corp and encouraging European economic data, while the S&P 500 also rose but closed shy of its own record.
Meanwhile the Nasdaq fell, hurt by losses in Tesla Motors and as investors readied for Twitter's much-anticipated IPO.

The benchmark S&P 500 rose as high as 1,773.79 intraday, above its closing high of 1,771.95 set on Oct 29. Its all-time intraday peak came the day after at 1,775.22.

Microsoft was the biggest gainer on the blue chip Dow index after Reuters reported the company had narrowed its CEO search to a handful of names. Its shares rose 4.2 percent to $38.18 after rising as high as $38.22, the highest since July 2000.

However, other big technology shares slipped. Apple Inc was down 0.3 percent at $520.92, Facebook Inc was down almost 2 percent at $49.12. Google which fell as low as $1,015.37 earlier, closed up 0.1 percent at $1,022.75.
"The market is pretty much all green but those three big powerful tech names are slightly down," said Daniel Morgan, vice president and senior portfolio manager at Synovus Investment Advisors.

"It's interesting that these three companies have had such great momentum and fundamentals - I don't know if some of that money is shifting out in anticipation of Twitter."

Twitter Inc is expected to begin trading on Thursday in the hottest IPO of the year. The microblogging network, which has yet to turn a profit, has amassed 230 million users in seven years, including heads of state, celebrities and activists.
One day before the social media giant's IPO, several other companies sold shares that debuted on Wednesday. Barracuda Networks Inc shares jumped nearly 20 percent to $21.55, but several other IPOs barely moved in their first day of action.
"One of the barometers for the health of market conditions we look at is the ability for the market to absorb a large amount of IPOs," said Art Hogan, managing director at Lazard Capital Markets in New York.

If all 13 scheduled IPOs price this week, it will be the busiest week of the year in terms of the number of primary issues since September 2007 According to Thomson Reuters data.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.dji> was up 128.66 points, or 0.82 percent, at 15,746.88. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.spx> was up 7.52 points, or 0.43 percent, at 1,770.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.ixic> was down 7.92 points, or 0.20 percent, at 3,931.95.
Another sign of encouragement came from German industrial orders rising more than expected, which is significant as the country is the economic engine of the euro zone.

Weighing on the Nasdaq was Tesla Motors Inc , which saw shares slump more than 14 percent to $151.16 after the electric car maker forecast a weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and its third-quarter Model S deliveries disappointed some analysts. Shares are up 350 percent for the year, and the stock has been a target of short-sellers who see it as overvalued.
Ralph Lauren Corp shares advanced 5.5 percent to $180.52 after the designer clothing company raised the lower end of its full-year sales forecast on the expectation of strong gains during the holiday quarter and increased its dividend.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co shares fell 13.5 percent to $33.13 on Wednesday after the company reported a seventh quarterly fall in same-store sales in a row and warned of a tough holiday season.
About 6.2 billion shares of NYSE-listed securities, AMEX and regional exchange-listed securities and Nasdaq-listed securities traded on Wednesday, according to data by Bats Global Markets.

Jan
07-Nov-2013, 08:02 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 07, 2013
US: Wall St climbs on European data, Fed expectations
US stocks rose on Wednesday buoyed by strong economic data from Europe, while investors bought a flurry of new public offerings one day ahead of Twitter's much-anticipated IPO - PHOTO: AP
[NEW YORK] US stocks rose on Wednesday buoyed by strong economic data from Europe, while investors bought a flurry of new public offerings one day ahead of Twitter's much-anticipated IPO.
German industrial orders rose by more than expected, which is significant as the country is the economic engine of the euro zone.
"All told, it's been a pretty good morning - you have had strong overseas data," said Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at BTIG in New York. Dutch banking and insurance group ING helped European equities set a five-year high after the company's earnings beat expectations.
Greenhaus also noted recent statements from US central bankers that point to an extended period of accommodative central bank policy. New research from Federal Reserve economists makes the case for more aggressive action by the US central bank to drive down unemployment.

bwong
07-Nov-2013, 08:53 AM
Published November 07, 2013
Twitter prices above range at US$26 in highly anticipated IPO

Twitter Inc priced its initial public offering above its expected range to raise more than US$1.8 billion, in a sign of strong investor demand for the most highly anticipated US public float since Facebook Inc.

The microblogging network priced 70 million shares at US$26, above the expected range of US$23 to US$25, which had already been raised once before.

The IPO values Twitter at US$14.1 billion, with the potential to reach US$14.4 billion if underwriters exercise an over-allotment option, as they are widely expected to.

Some analysts said they expect shares of Twitter to experience a small pop during the first day of trading. Twelve-month price targets on the stock range from US$29 to US$54.

Jan
08-Nov-2013, 07:14 AM
US retailers' October sales rise, but holiday concerns remain

Jan
08-Nov-2013, 07:14 AM
US weekly jobless claims fall to modest 336,000
[WASHINGTON] US weekly claims for unemployment insurance fell slightly to 336,000, as the data distortions of the previous several weeks tailed off, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Jan
08-Nov-2013, 07:16 AM
Update: US economy grows 2.8% in Q3 but consumer spending slows
[WASHINGTON] The US economy grew at an annual rate of 2.8 per cent in the third quarter, the government said Thursday, but lackluster consumer spending pointed to a weak finish to 2013.

Jan
08-Nov-2013, 07:16 AM
US shutdown cost US$2b in lost govt output
[WASHINGTON] The 16-day US government shutdown cost 6.6 million in lost workdays for furloughed federal workers, amounting to US$2 billion in lost productivity, the White House said Thursday in a report.

Jan
08-Nov-2013, 07:17 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 08, 2013
US: Stocks tumble despite Twitter IPO, strong US GDP
[NEW YORK CITY] US stocks Thursday tumbled despite a successful launch of trading in Twitter stock and report on US economic growth that bested expectations by a wide margin.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 147.77 (0.94 per cent) to 15,599.11.
The broad-based S&P 500 gave up 23.06 (1.30 per cent) at 1,747.43, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index sank 74.61 (1.90 per cent) to 3,857.33.
The retreat came as Twitter shares vaulted more than 72 per cent above the US$26 IPO price.

bwong
08-Nov-2013, 09:06 AM
v huge bearish engulfing yesterday.

2egg4kosong
08-Nov-2013, 09:24 AM
v huge bearish engulfing yesterday.

Nowadays, good news in US = bad news becoz of QE tapering ... smlj man

bwong
08-Nov-2013, 11:06 AM
Disney Profit Up 12% on Across-the-Board Revenue Growth
Posted on 8 November 2013 5:48 | By Michael Calia |

Disney Co.'s (DIS) fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose 12% thanks in large part to revenue growth across its segments.

At the media networks division, Disney's biggest segment, revenue was up 1.3%, while operating earnings fell 8.2%, reflecting a reduction in the recognition of previously deferred ESPN affiliate fee revenue.

The studio division's results for the period were boosted by improved theatrical results--as the Pixar hit "Monsters University" helped offset the disappointing "The Lone Ranger"--and television and subscription video on demand distribution. Revenue for the division was up 8.5% and operating profit was up 35%.

Disney's newly acquired Lucasfilms unit also announced the next "Star Wars" film will open Dec. 18, 2015.

Meanwhile, Disney's parks division, whose domestic theme parks have received billions of dollars in investments recently, posted 8.5% revenue growth and a 15% increase in operating profit.

Overall, Disney posted earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 28 of $1.39 billion, or 77 cents a share, up from $1.24 billion, or 68 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 7.3% to $11.6 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of 76 cents a share on $11.4 billion in revenue.

Also Thursday, Disney said its Marvel Entertainment business would produce four 13-episode, live-action television series for Netflix Inc. (NFLX) focusing on four different characters, including Daredevil. The programs will roll out over several years, culminating in a miniseries, said the companies, who struck a pay TV agreement last year. It's Marvel's latest television project, following "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," which is currently airing on ABC.

Disney has been in talks over its programming agreement with Dish Network Corp. (DISH). More than a month ago, the two companies reached a short-term deal to avoid a blackout of Disney channels such as ESPN and ABC, but a longer-term pact has remained elusive. Pay-TV providers and content providers have been at odds lately over fees and digital content rights, resulting in contentious standoffs such as the recent battle between CBS Corp. (CBS) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC).

Shares of Disney were down 1.4% to $66.21 in after-hours trading. Through Thursday's close, the stock was up 35% so far this year.

xfactor
09-Nov-2013, 05:38 AM
DJIA 15,761.80 +167.80 1.08%

S&P 500 1,770.61 +23.46 1.34%

Nasdaq 3,919.23 +61.90 1.60%

After ending the previous session sharply lower, stocks showed a substantial rebound during trading on Friday. The markets benefited from a positive reaction to much better than expected monthly jobs data.

The major averages saw further upside going into the close, with the Dow reaching a new record closing high. The Dow jumped 167.80 points or 1.1 percent to 15,761.78, the Nasdaq soared 61.90 points or 1.6 percent to 3,919.23 and the S&P 500 surged up 23.46 points or 1.3 percent to 1,770.61.

For the week, the major averages turned in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq edged down by 0.1 percent, the Dow advanced by 0.9 percent and the S&P 500 rose by 0.5 percent.

The rally on Wall Street came following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing much stronger than expected October job growth despite the government shutdown.

The report said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 204,000 jobs in October compared to economist estimates for an increase of just 120,000 jobs.

Job growth in the two previous months was also much stronger than previously estimated. Employment in August and September rose by 238,000 jobs and 163,000 jobs, respectively.

While the report initially raised concerns about the outlook for the Federal Reserve's stimulus program, traders seemed to be expressing optimism that the economy is strong enough to withstand tapering.

A separate report released by the Commerce Department showed that personal income increased by more than expected in the month of September. The report also showed a modest increase in personal spending that matched economist estimates

On the other hand, Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan released a report that unexpectedly showed a continued deterioration in consumer sentiment in the month of November

Among individual stocks, shares of Disney (DIS) moved to the upside after the entertainment giant reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings of 77 cents per share, up from 68 cents per share last year. Revenues rose 7.3 percent to $11.6 billion. The results exceeded estimates.

wen
09-Nov-2013, 06:09 AM
Upbeat Jobs Data Leads To Rally On Wall Street - U.S. Commentary


11/8/2013 4:20 PM ET
After ending the previous session sharply lower, stocks showed a substantial rebound during trading on Friday. The markets benefited from a positive reaction to much better than expected monthly jobs data.

The major averages saw further upside going into the close, with the Dow reaching a new record closing high. The Dow jumped 167.80 points or 1.1 percent to 15,761.78, the Nasdaq soared 61.90 points or 1.6 percent to 3,919.23 and the S&P 500 surged up 23.46 points or 1.3 percent to 1,770.61.

For the week, the major averages turned in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq edged down by 0.1 percent, the Dow advanced by 0.9 percent and the S&P 500 rose by 0.5 percent.

The rally on Wall Street came following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing much stronger than expected October job growth despite the government shutdown.

The report said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 204,000 jobs in October compared to economist estimates for an increase of just 120,000 jobs.

Job growth in the two previous months was also much stronger than previously estimated. Employment in August and September rose by 238,000 jobs and 163,000 jobs, respectively.

While the report initially raised concerns about the outlook for the Federal Reserve's stimulus program, traders seemed to be expressing optimism that the economy is strong enough to withstand tapering.

A separate report released by the Commerce Department showed that personal income increased by more than expected in the month of September. The report also showed a modest increase in personal spending that matched economist estimates

On the other hand, Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan released a report that unexpectedly showed a continued deterioration in consumer sentiment in the month of November

Among individual stocks, shares of Disney (DIS) moved to the upside after the entertainment giant reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings of 77 cents per share, up from 68 cents per share last year. Revenues rose 7.3 percent to $11.6 billion. The results exceeded estimates.

Sector News

In a marked reversal from yesterday's performance, most of the major sectors showed strong moves to the upside amid broad based buying interest.

Biotechnology stocks posted particularly strong gains on the day, regaining some ground after falling sharply over the past few sessions. The NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index surged up by 3.8 percent, bouncing off its worst closing level in a month.

Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) helped lead the biotech sector higher, with biopharmaceutical company jumping 21 percent after reporting better than expected third quarter results.


Substantial strength was also visible among banking stocks, as reflected by the 3.4 percent gain posted by the Dow Jones Banks Index. Regions Financial (RF) and Zions Bancorp (ZION) turned in two of the sector's best performances.

Networking stocks also showed a considerable upward move on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Networking Index up by 2.7 percent.

Brokerage, oil service, airline, and chemical stocks also saw notable strength, more than offsetting weakness in the commercial real estate and housing sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index dropped by 1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended the day down by 0.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned mixed over the course of the trading session. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index closed just below the unchanged line and the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries moved sharply lower on the heels of the better than expected jobs data. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, jumped 13.3 basis points to 2.746 percent.

Looking Ahead

Next week, trading could be impacted by reaction to the Senate Banking Committee's hearing on Janet Yellen's nomination to be the next Federal Reserve Chairman.

Reports on the U.S. trade balance, labor productivity, industrial production, and weekly jobless claims may also attract some attention.

On the earnings front, Cisco (CSCO), Wal-Mart (WMT), Applied Materials (AMAT) and Tyco (TYC) are among the companies due to report their quarterly results next week.

wen
09-Nov-2013, 06:16 AM
Stocks Remain Firmly Positive Following Early Upward Move - U.S. Commentary

With traders reacting positively to better than expected jobs data, stocks have moved notably higher during trading on Friday. The gains on the day are partly offsetting the substantial weakness that was seen in the previous session.

The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, hovering near their best levels of the day. The Dow is up 83.30 points or 0.5 percent at 15,677.28, the Nasdaq is up 50.31 points or 1.3 percent at 3,908.64 and the S&P 500 is up 14.03 points or 0.8 percent at 1,761.18.

The strength on Wall Street comes following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing much stronger than expected October job growth despite the government shutdown.

The report said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 204,000 jobs in October following an upwardly revised increase of 163,000 jobs in September.

Economists had been expecting employment to increase by just 120,000 jobs compared to the addition of 148,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

While the report initially raised concerns about the outlook for the Federal Reserve's stimulus program, traders seem to be expressing optimism that the economy is strong enough to withstand tapering.

A separate report released by the Commerce Department showed that personal income increased by more than expected in the month of September. The report also showed a modest increase in personal spending that matched economist estimates

On the other hand, Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan released a report that unexpectedly showed a continued deterioration in consumer sentiment in the month of November

The report said the consumer sentiment index fell to 72.0 in November from 73.2 in October, while economists had expected the index to climb to 74.5.

With the unexpected decrease, the index fell for the fourth consecutive month, hitting its lowest level since December of 2011.

Among individual stocks, shares of Disney (DIS) have moved to the upside after the entertainment giant reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings of 77 cents per share, up from 68 cents per share last year. Revenues rose 7.3 percent to $11.6 billion. The results exceeded estimates.

wen
09-Nov-2013, 06:20 AM
U.S. Job Growth Far Exceeds Estimates Despite Government Shutdown

Employment in the U.S. increased by much more than expected in the month of October, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday, with the strong job growth coming despite the government shutdown.

The report said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 204,000 jobs in October compared to economist estimates for an increase of just 120,000 jobs.

Job growth in the two previous months was also much stronger than previously estimated. Employment in August and September rose by 238,000 jobs and 163,000 jobs, respectively.

The upward revisions to the August and September data reflect a combined increase of 60,000 jobs compared to the previously reported numbers.

James Knightley, an economist at ING Bank, said, "The numbers are much stronger than anyone expected - the highest forecast in the market was 175,000 for payrolls - and suggest the government shutdown had a negligible impact on the labor market."

"However, this goes against anecdotal evidence suggesting that with government contracts not being paid, and the general level of economic uncertainty it created, this led to firms pulling back on hiring," he added.

Despite the stronger than expected job growth, the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.3 percent in October from 7.2 percent in September.

The modest increase by the unemployment rate, which matched economist estimates, largely reflected the way furloughed federal workers were counted in the household survey.

The report showed that the stronger than expected job growth was partly due to a notable increase in employment in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 53,000 jobs. The retail sector also saw a significant increase of 44,400 jobs.


Employment in the goods-producing sector also rose by 35,000 jobs, as the manufacturing and construction industries added 19,000 jobs and 11,000 jobs, respectively.

On the other hand, the report said government employment edged down by 8,000 jobs in October amid the loss of 12,000 federal government jobs.

The Labor Department noted that the drop was relatively modest, as furloughed federal employees were still considered employed in the payroll survey because they worked or received back pay.

The report also showed that average hourly employee earnings edged up by 2 cents to $24.10 in October. Compared to the same month a year ago, average hourly earnings were up by 2.2 percent.

Paul Ashworth, Chief U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said, "Together with the news yesterday of a stronger 2.8% gain in third-quarter GDP growth, the Fed now has the data to justify making its first reduction at December's FOMC meeting, but whether it will or not is still unclear."

"Frankly, given all the flip-flopping, it's hard to know exactly what evidence would satisfy the majority of Fed officials," he added. "Yellen's confirmation hearing next week and Bernanke's speech on the 19th November should provide more insight."

wen
09-Nov-2013, 06:27 AM
USDA Corn Production, Stockpiles, Acreage Estimates Lower Than Expected

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's estimates for domestic corn production, stockpiles and harvested acres in a report on Friday were below analyst forecasts. Corn output will still be a record 13.989 billion bushels, according to the USDA. The government's projection was less than the 14.022 billion bushels forecast by analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

Soybean Stockpiles Forecast Lower Than Expected on Rising Export Demand

Soybean stockpiles before next year's harvest were forecast at 170 million bushels, below analysts' forecasts for 183 million, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report on Friday. The government raised its forecast for soybean exports in the crop year ending Aug. 31 to 1.45 billion bushels from 1.37 billion in its last report in September. Production will still total 3.258 billion bushels, the third-biggest harvest on record, according to the government.

Jan
09-Nov-2013, 08:48 AM
US consumer spending tepid as households boost savings
[WASHINGTON] US consumer spending increased modestly in September as households boosted their savings and inflation remained benign, pointing to sluggish domestic demand.

Jan
09-Nov-2013, 08:49 AM
Fed's easy policy is boosting US jobs, economy: Williams
[LOS ANGELES] The Federal Reserve's bond-buying program and its promise to keep borrowing rates near zero until the unemployment rate drops further are working exactly as planned, a top Fed official said on Friday, as he cited gains in jobs and economic growth.

Jan
09-Nov-2013, 08:49 AM
Update: US jobs market dodges blow from govt shutdown
[WASHINGTON] US job growth unexpectedly accelerated in October as employers shrugged off a partial government shutdown, suggesting the economy was on firm footing and raising the prospect the Federal Reserve may soon decide to temper its bond-buying stimulus.

Jan
09-Nov-2013, 08:50 AM
Fed's Bernanke says still awful lot of slack in US labour market
[WASHINGTON] Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Friday that there was still an "awful lot of slack" in the US labor market, but cautioned that economic data did not do a good job of providing an accurate measure.

Jan
09-Nov-2013, 08:53 AM
Boeing to break ground next week on S Carolina facility
[CHARLESTON] Boeing Co said it would break ground on Tuesday for a propulsion facility in North Charleston, South Carolina, expanding its facilities in the nonunion state.

Jan
09-Nov-2013, 08:53 AM
US panel hears trade complaints, hope for China reform meeting
[WASHINGTON] US trade officials and industry groups on Friday aired concerns about Chinese trade protectionism while voicing hope that an economic agenda-setting meeting of China's top leaders this weekend would launch deeper reforms.

Jan
09-Nov-2013, 09:13 AM
Hooray! Stocks pop on solid jobs report
By CNNMoney Staff @CNNMoneyInvest November 8, 2013: 4:09 PM ET


Email Print
Dow week
Click for more market data.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Good news is good news! Stocks bounced back Friday thanks to a much better-than-expected jobs report.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 167 points, or 1%, to end at another record closing high. The S&P 500 gained 1.3% and the Nasdaq added 1.6%. This comes one day after stocks tumbled following a surprise interest rate cut by the European Central Bank and stronger than expected U.S. economic reports.

The S&P 500 and the Dow both ended higher for a fifth straight week. The Nasdaq, despite Friday's big gains, was still down for the week.
The economy added 204,000 jobs in October, according to the Labor Department. That is higher than the 120,000 estimate of economists surveyed by CNNMoney. The gains came despite a partial government shutdown in October, which many economists had feared would hurt the economy.
Separately, the Commerce Department said personal income rose 0.5% in September, while spending edged up 0.2%. But consumer sentiment was down in October, according to an index from Reuters and the University of Michigan.
Still, Friday's jobs report and other good economic news has revived speculation on when the Federal Reserve will begin scaling back, or tapering, its $85 billion per month bond buying program. Many market experts believe the Fed's stimulus is a key reason why stocks have surged this year.
But bond prices fell, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rising to 2.75%, from 2.61% Thursday. Bond prices and rates move in opposite directions. The spike in yields Friday could be another sign that the market believes the Fed will taper sooner rather than later.
Alan Levenson, an economist at T. Rowe Price Associates, said the jobs report increases the chance that the Fed could announce it will start to taper at its December meeting.
Yields surged earlier this summer on expectations the Fed would cut back its bond buying sometime this year. But not everyone believes the Fed will make a move next month. Hank Smith, chief investment officer at Haverford Trust, said many investors are still looking for tapering to begin early next year once a new Fed chairman is in place.
Current Fed chair Ben Bernanke's term is set to expire at the end of January. President Obama has nominated Fed vice chair Janet Yellen to replace him. She must still be confirmed by the Senate.
But even when the tapering process begins, monetary policy is likely to remain "extraordinarily accommodative," said Smith.
Related: Fear & Greed Index still shows greed
Stocks on the move: Twitter (TWTR) shares fell 7% on Friday, their second day of trading. Twitter shares closed at $44.90 on Thursday, a whopping 73% gain from its initial public offering price of $26 a share.
Some StockTwits users were quick to say I told you so.
"$TWTR Several of us warned bulls yesterday that the sell-off hadn't even started. Hope you listened," said BlackBerril.
Others were relieved that they stayed away from the highly-anticipated IPO.
"$TWTR Back to IPO price pretty soon. Whoever held back on buying is probably feeling good about now," said Sanjit69.
Still, some traders see Twitter, which is not yet profitable, as an attractive investment at the right price.
"$TWTR This stock has nothing but hopes and dreams. I do believe some of their dreams will come true, for now I stay out. Will buy in 20's," said Brwood6980.
Shares of the Gap (GPS, Fortune 500) jumped nearly 10% after the apparel retailer reported strong sales for October. That's a sharp contrast with Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), which warned of weak sales earlier this week and shut down its lingerie business.
Khakis are back! Gap up on strong sales
Khakis are back! Gap up on strong sales
"Khakis are cool again in Oct after being uncool in Sep. $GPS," said bigelam.
Groupon (GRPN) shares rose despite disappointing earnings and a weak outlook. The daily deal site announced it was buying Korean site Ticket Monster from its top rival LivingSocial.
Walt Disney (DIS, Fortune 500) reported slightly better-than-expected earnings and sales. The stock rose on the news.
Tesla (TSLA) shares continued to fall Friday after a Model S caught fire after a crash Thursday in Tennessee. It's the third widely-reported fire involving one of the all-electric plug-in luxury cars in just two months. The stock has plunged more than 20% since it reported its latest quarterly results on Tuesday.
European markets ended mixed. The Paris stock market tumbled after Standard & Poor's downgraded France's credit rating. Asian markets chalked up big losses despite strong China trade data. To top of page


First Published: November 8, 2013: 9:52 AM ET

Jan
09-Nov-2013, 09:15 AM
Dow closes at all-time high after strong jobs data
Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY 4:51 p.m. EST November 8, 2013
AP Wall Street
(Photo: Richard Drew AP)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Economy added 204,000 jobs in October
S&P cuts France credit rating
Twitter shares in focus
SHARE
159
CONNECT
93
TWEET
30
COMMENT
EMAIL
MORE
Stocks rallied Friday after the release of a surprisingly strong monthly jobs report.

The U.S. economy added a better-than-expected 204,000 jobs in October despite a federal government shutdown that was expected to limit payroll growth. Despite the gains, the unemployment rate edged up to 7.3% from 7.2%.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 167.80 points, or 1.1%, to hit a record close of 15,761.78, according to preliminary calculations. That topped the previous record close of 15,746.88 on Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 23.46, or 1.3%, to 1,770.61, just shy of its record close of 1,771.95. The Nasdaq composite index surged 61.90 points, or 1.6%, to 3,919.23.

In the prior session, the Dow fell 0.1% to 15,727 while the broader S&P 500 shed 0.4% to 1,764. The Nasdaq composite plummeted 1.9% to 3,857.33.

Twitter pulled back in its second day of trading and shares fell $3.25, or 7.2%, to $41.65. On Thursday, Twitter shares (TWTR) debuted and ended the day 73% above the offering price at $44.90.

THURSDAY: Stocks tumble even as Twitter IPO soars

TWITTER: First-day flight may not last

Stock gains were led by banks, such as Bank of America and JPMorgan, which stand to benefit from a pickup in lending as the economy strengthens. Shares of JPMorgan Chase rose 4.5% to $53.96 and Bank of America gained 3.8% to $14.32. Goldman Sachs rose 2.2% to $163.17.

The jobs survey left investors grappling with how to interpret this week's surprisingly strong economic data and what it means for the Federal Reserve's economic stimulus program. On Thursday the government reported that U.S. economic growth accelerated in the third quarter. The Fed's stimulus has helped power this year's stock rally.

"We're walking a tight wire with the Fed," said Rob Lutts, Chief Investment Officer at Cabot Money Management. Lutts said the job survey was positive because it showed the economy was improving, but perhaps not strongly enough to assure that Fed policymakers will pull back on its bond-buying program before the end of year.

The reaction to the jobs report was more notable in the bond market than in the stock market. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped to its highest level in six weeks as investors sold bonds.

The yield on the 10-year note jumped to 2.75% from 2.60% on Thursday, its highest level since Sept. 20.

The Fed has been buying $85 billion worth of bonds each month since December in an effort to keep interest rates low and boost the economy. Due to the design of the program, the Fed's actions have had a secondary effect of driving up stock prices by making bonds look expensive by comparison.

Asian stocks on Friday followed Wall Street's Thursday drop after the release of quarterly U.S. economic data showed the economy grew 2.8% in the third quarter, nearly a percentage point faster than economists had predicted.

Investors in Asia were also hanging back on Friday ahead of a weekend meeting in Beijing where China's communist leaders are expected to lay out their long-term plan for the world's No. 2 economy. A report that showed strong growth in Chinese exports last month was not enough to counter investor caution.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed down 1% at 14,086.80. The Shanghai composite index fell 1.1% to 2,106.13.

European shares were digesting a cut to France's credit rating by the Standard & Poor's ratings firm by one notch to AA. In a statement Friday, the rating agency said it feared the French government will struggle to reduce its deficit and debt and make the necessary reforms to make its economy more competitive. France's CAC 40 index fell 0.5% to 4,260.44.

Britain's FTSE 100 index rose 0.2% to 6,708.42 and Germany's DAX index fell 0.03% to 9,078.28.

On Thursday, the European Central Bank cut interest rates across the euro-area region by 25 basis points to 0.25%, a record low move that took markets by surprise.

Contributing: Associated Press

Jan
09-Nov-2013, 03:20 PM
Fed's Williams: want to be sure of momentum before cutting QE3
THE Federal Reserve will be looking at data in coming months and into next year to gauge whether the recovery is strong enough to begin withdrawing its massive bond-buying stimulus, a top Fed official said on Friday.

Jan
09-Nov-2013, 03:20 PM
More US primary dealers see Fed tapering before March 2014
[NEW YORK] More US primary dealers now expect the Federal Reserve to scale back its economic stimulus program before March in the wake of October jobs numbers and other data pointing to a firmer economy, according to a Reuters poll on Friday.

wen
09-Nov-2013, 09:17 PM
California engineering firm claims first metal gun made on 3-D printer

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A California engineering company has produced the first metal gun made on a 3-D printer, releasing a video showing the firearm scoring repeated bullseyes in successful tests.

But Solid Concepts, which describes itself as a world leader of 3-D printing services, said making the classic 1911 pistol did not come cheap, requiring a lot more than a souped-up desktop printer.

"It functions beautifully," it said of the gun, in a blog accompanying the video clips. "Our resident gun expert has fired 50 successful rounds and hit a few bull's eyes at over 30 yards (meters)." The gun comprises more than 30 3-D-printed components, including stainless steel and other metal parts.

The 3-D printer they use does not come cheap. "This isn't about desktop printers... The industrial printer we used costs more than my college tuition - and I went to a private university," said Solid Concepts' vice-president Kent Firestone. "And the engineers who run our machines are top of the line; they are experts who know what they're doing and understand 3-D printing better than anyone in this business."

start
10-Nov-2013, 12:45 AM
Morgan Stanley (MS) Chairman and CEO James Gorman said Friday in comments to Bloomberg TV that he does not see "bubble-like" conditions in the equity markets right now though there is "robustness" as they rebound from very low levels.

"I'm not sure I share that view," he said, when asked about comments recently by Blackrock Inc.'s (BLK) CEO Laurence D. Fink that the markets are again "bubble-like."

"It is frankly not bubble-like relative to the year 2000, 2005, 1995. On the equity markets, no. There's a lot of robustness. The industries have rebounded tremendously, but from very low levels."

On the flood of money that the Federal Reserve has provided through its quantitative easing program, he said it has been necessary to get the country "back in balance."

"We should all celebrate the day they start tapering. It means the Fed, with all the resources they have, have a fundamental view that employment is back to where it should be, which is 6.5% or better," he said.

Asked whether Morgan Stanley would pursue more aggressive stock buybacks in the future, Mr. Gorman said the firm had taken a very conservative approach over the last two years and had been criticized but "we are going to take a very balanced approach here."

"Job number one is to get your capital base into prime shape," he said. "Job number two is to position yourself for incremental capital buyback."

Newcastle
11-Nov-2013, 12:35 AM
[NEW YORK CITY] Twitter shares retreated Friday a day after a sizzling debut on Wall Street, as some of the frenzy about the popular messaging service faded.

The stock slipped 7.24 per cent to close at US$41.64 - a day after a stunning gain of 72.69 per cent on its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange after a US$1.8 billion initial public offering.

Jon Ogg at 24/7 Wall Street said Friday's sentiment was "a bit like an IPO hangover." "Keep in mind that Twitter is valued at more than 50 times sales now, something almost unheard of over the past decade," Mr Ogg said.

Some analysts said the debut was helped in part by a shortage of Twitter stock, and that most of the 70 million shares were reserved by the underwriters.

xfactor
12-Nov-2013, 06:58 AM
DJIA 15,783.10 21.32 0.14%

S&P 500 1,771.89 1.28 0.07%

Nasdaq 3,919.79 0.56 0.01%

NEW YORK, Nov 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged up on Monday, lifting the Dow to another record closing high in light volume on Veterans Day while investors turned their focus to how soon the Federal Reserve may begin reducing stimulus.

Although stocks closed higher on Friday, a robust October jobs report rekindled expectations that the Fed may reduce its stimulus efforts sooner than expected. A Reuters survey showed that more U.S. primary dealers now expect the Fed to trim its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases before March.

The day's slight gains came on light volume, with the U.S. government and the bond market closed for Veterans Day. The S&P 500 also came close to ending the session at a record high.

"The focus is right again back to the Fed. The thinking is perhaps the taper has been moved forward. Maybe it's not going to be March, maybe December," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president of BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

Among the S&P 500's biggest percentage gainers, Transocean Ltd shares gained 3.6 percent to $55.37 after the company said it reached an agreement with investor Carl Icahn in which the offshore driller will pay a dividend of $3 per share and reduce the number of board seats. The S&P 500 energy index rose 0.2 percent and ranked among the day's better performers.

Twitter Inc, which went public amid much fanfare last week, climbed 3 percent to $42.90.

The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 21.32 points, or 0.14 percent, to 15,783.10, a record closing high. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added just 1.28 points, or 0.07 percent, to finish at 1,771.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index inched up only 0.56 of a point, or 0.01 percent, to close at 3,919.79.

The Nasdaq index, which has the strongest year-to-date gains of all three major indexes, has been underperforming the broader market recently. While the Dow and the S&P 500 each posted a fifth week of gains on Friday, the Nasdaq registered a slight loss for the week.

After the bell, shares of News Corp declined 3.3 percent to $16.85. Rupert Murdoch's company reported a steeper-than-expected decline in revenue in its first quarter that it was split off from its more profitable sister entertainment business Fox.

During Monday's regular session, large technology companies had the biggest negative impact on the Nasdaq, with Apple Inc slipping 0.3 percent to $519.05.

Shares of ViroPharma jumped 25.5 percent to $49.42 following news that London-listed Shire is buying the company for $4.2 billion, attracted by a pipeline of potentially lucrative drugs to treat rare diseases.

The Fed's bond-buying stimulus program has been one of the primary reasons for this year's stocks rally as it has supported the economy and lured investors into riskier assets like equities. The S&P 500 is up 24 percent for the year so far.

Many analysts fear that the market may be ripe for a pullback before the end of the year, especially if the Fed decides to begin reducing its stimulus as early as December. Until then, the trend may remain upward.

"You can't argue with the momentum the market has had thus far, so it looks like we're still in that upward trend," Hellwig said.

Morgan Stanley analysts said in a research note that a sooner-than-expected Fed tapering could hurt defensive shares, which outperformed in October.

Investors also will pay close attention this week to results from retailers, including Macy's and Wal-Mart, both of which are expected to report increases in earnings from a year ago, based on Thomson Reuters data.

Shares of Macy's shot up 1.9 percent to $47.07 on Monday, while shares of Wal-Mart gained 1.4 percent to $79.01.

About 4.78 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, below the five-day average closing volume of about 6.62 billion, according to BATS exchange data.

Advancers outpaced decliners on the NYSE by a ratio of 15 to 14, while on the Nasdaq, decliners outnumbered advancers by about 13 to 12

xfactor
13-Nov-2013, 06:14 AM
DJIA 15,750.70 -32.43 -0.21%

S&P 500 1,767.69 -4.20 -0.24%

Nasdaq 3,919.92 0.13 0.00%


NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 declined on Tuesday after rising bond yields increased debate over how soon the Federal Reserve would start trimming its stimulus program.

Fed officials offered diverging views and added to the uncertainty about the outlook for the Fed's easy-money policies. Among them, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher told CNBC that the Fed's program of buying $85 billion in bonds every month to stimulate the economy cannot continue forever.

The day's decline, which followed two days of gains and record high closes on the Dow, were led by financials, energy and utilities sectors. A 2.2 percent drop in U.S. oil futures hurt energy names like Chevron , which slid 0.9 percent to $120.

Driving the market "has been worries over the timing of the taper," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist with Prudential Financial, which is based in Newark, New Jersey.

She said investors are watching 10-year U.S. Treasury note yields, which have moved higher as speculation increases that the Fed could move sooner rather than later.

"You have various Federal Reserve officials speaking, and the message seems to be the discussion of the taper has begun."

During the session, bond yields hit their highest level since mid-September, though that level is still lower than a month ago.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slipped 32.43 points, or 0.21 percent, to end at 15,750.67. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 4.20 points, or 0.24 percent, to finish at 1,767.69. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> eked out a tiny gain of just 0.13 of a point to close at 3,919.92.

Volume was lighter than usual for a second day, totaling about 5.8 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, below the five-day average closing volume of about 6.62 billion, according to BATS exchange data.

..View gallery."
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, November 8, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidSome market watchers have begun to doubt that the Fed will wait until March to cut back on stimulus after the Labor Department said on Friday the U.S. economy created 204,000 jobs in October.

On Tuesday, Minneapolis Fed Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said monetary policy should remain accommodative. Neither is currently a voting member of the Fed's policy-setting committee.

But the key Fed comments this week may come during a Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing for Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen, who has been nominated to succeed Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman. Yellen has been a big supporter of the Fed's current policies.

Among the day's more volatile stocks, US Airways Group Inc. gained 1.1. percent to close at $23.52, reversing earlier losses. The company and American Airlines agreed to give up landing spots and gates to low-cost carriers at several U.S. airports to win U.S. antitrust approval for their proposed merger.

Stocks of several low-cost carriers rose. JetBlue Airways Corp jumped 6.1 percent to $8.16 and Southwest Airlines Co rose 1.2 percent to $18.03.

Sarepta Therapeutics was one of the day's biggest losers, plunging 64 percent to $13.16 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the company's drug to treat a rare muscle disorder needed further testing. It was one of the Nasdaq's most active stocks.

In the utility sector, shares of NRG Energy fell 3.5 percent to $27.06 after the power company reported results and adjusted its earnings outlook.

Dish Network Corp posted quarterly results that beat Wall Street's estimates after it added 35,000 pay-TV subscribers, far exceeding expectations. The stock rose 6 percent to $50.35.

Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a ratio of 19 to 11, while on the Nasdaq, 14 stocks fell for every 11 that rose

Jan
13-Nov-2013, 06:55 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 13, 2013
US: Stocks closed mostly lower amid Fed taper talk
[NEW YORK CITY] US stocks closed mostly lower Tuesday amid renewed speculation about the Federal Reserve's intentions to reduce its massive monetary stimulus.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 31.66 points (0.20 per cent) at 15,751.44, pulling back from Monday's record high.
The broad-based S&P 500 Index fell 4.16 (0.23 per cent) to 1,767.73, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite was flat, adding a scant 0.13 to 3,919.92. - AFP

Jan
13-Nov-2013, 06:56 AM
Second round of US spending cuts to hurt more

Jan
13-Nov-2013, 06:56 AM
Yellen set for confirmation as Fed chairman

Jan
13-Nov-2013, 06:57 AM
US seen nearing energy self-sufficiency by 2035

bwong
13-Nov-2013, 08:05 AM
Two Fed officials say aggressive policy action still needed
11/12/2013 | 05:35pm US/Eastern

The Federal Reserve should keep monetary policy ultra-easy given the economy's tepid growth and an uncertain outlook for jobs growth, two senior officials said on Tuesday, reinforcing views that the U.S. central bank will not taper bond buying before next year.
At the same time, last month's government shutdown may undermine the reliability of economic data through December, said Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. That could provide another reason not to expect policy action when the Fed holds its next policy meeting, on December 17-18, though Lockhart would not rule it out.

"Monetary policy overall should remain very accommodative for quite some time," he told an economic forum in Montgomery, Alabama. "Even though the economy is growing, and we're making progress on unemployment, there are real concerns about whether the recent modest pace of GDP is enough to maintain employment momentum."

The economy picked up speed in the third quarter, but largely because businesses restocked their shelves. With growth in consumer spending the slowest in two years, the gain in business inventories may prove to have not been necessary, and the outlook for activity in the final three months of the year is dim.

Consumer and business confidence was also dented by a bitter budget battle in Washington that partially closed the government for 16 days last month.

Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Minneapolis Fed, spoke even more strongly about the need for aggressive action to foster growth.

"Reducing the flow of (bond) purchases in the near term would be a drag on the already slow rate of progress of the economy toward the committee's goals," Kocherlakota told the Chamber of Commerce in St. Paul, Minnesota.

"Inflation remains weak, or very low by historical standards, by the (Fed's) goal of 2 percent per year, so there is no reason to be afraid of monetary stimulus," he said.

KOCHERLAKOTA AGAIN CALLS FOR FULL EMPLOYMENT

Kocherlakota argued that the central bank should be ramping up, not dialing back, its efforts to stimulate the economy, perhaps by lowering the interest rate the Fed pays to banks for the excess reserves they park at the central bank.

The Fed should do "whatever it takes" to bring the economy back to full employment quickly, he said, repeating a theme he has hammered home in at least three speeches since September.

Lockhart is a policy centrist who is usually viewed as a good indicator of the consensus among senior officials. Kocherlakota is a noted policy dove.

Neither official is a voting member of the Fed's policy-setting committee this year, but they participate in the panel's discussions. Kocherlakota will regain a voting seat on the policy committee next year.

A hearing on Thursday of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on the nomination of Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen to replace Ben Bernanke at the helm of the central bank will be followed closely in financial markets for clues about future Fed action.

To spur faster growth and hiring, the Fed is buying bonds at a pace of $85 billion per month while promising to hold interest rates near zero at least until unemployment hits a threshold of 6.5 percent, providing the outlook for inflation stays under 2.5 percent. The jobless rate was 7.3 percent in October.

Few economists expect the Fed to scale back its stimulus at its December meeting, although the U.S. Labor Department's report on Friday showing solid job growth in October was seen as raising that risk.

When the central bank does begin to taper its asset purchases, some economists think the Fed may try to offset any negative reaction in financial markets by also lowering the unemployment threshold to 6 percent.

Lockhart said the mix of policy tools to provide stimulus might change, but he did not signal that he has made up his mind to support a lower unemployment threshold.

"I'm comfortable with 6.5 percent, it certainly gives us great flexibility. But I think there may very well be a discussion of the idea of lowering it to 6.0 percent," he told reporters.

Like Kocherlakota, Lockhart noted that inflation remained well below the Fed's 2 percent target, pointing out that the Fed's preferred gauge of price pressures, the PCE price index, averaged an annualized 1.2 percent over the last three months.

"Inflation is too low. A persistent low rate of inflation raises concerns about a stalling out of economic expansion," he said, although he said it was premature to be alarmed about the danger of a damaging bout of deflation.

Jan
13-Nov-2013, 09:18 PM
First World Trade Center tower makes debut 12 years after 9/11
[NEW YORK] The first office tower at Ground Zero since the Sept 11, 2001 attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center will open on Wednesday, marking a comeback for the Lower Manhattan site.

Jan
13-Nov-2013, 09:25 PM
GIC said to be investing in Time Warner Centre in New York

Jan
13-Nov-2013, 11:24 PM
US: Wall St opens lower on Fed stimulus uncertainty
[NEW YORK] Wall Street opened lower on Wednesday as uncertainty over how soon the Federal Reserve will begin to scale back its stimulus efforts curbed investors'appetite for risky assets.

xfactor
14-Nov-2013, 07:46 AM
DJIA 15,821.60 70.96 0.45%

S&P 500 1,782.00 14.31 0.81%

Nasdaq 3,965.57 45.66 1.16%

S&P 500 Climbs to Record as Macy’s Jumps Amid Fed Bets
By Aubrey Pringle - Nov 14, 2013

U.S. stocks rose, sending benchmark indexes to records, as Macy’s Inc. led a rally among retailers and investors speculated the Federal Reserve’sJanet Yellen will continue the central bank’s stimulus policy as chairman.

Macy’s jumped 9.4 percent as better-than-estimated earnings fueled optimism about the holiday shopping season. Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) advanced 0.7 percent as co-founder Elon Musk said the company won’t recall its Model S after fires involving the electric sedan. Cisco Systems Inc. dropped 7 percent after the market close as revenue fell short of forecasts



The S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to 1,782 at 4 p.m. in New York, surpassing a previous high set on Oct. 29. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 70.96 points, or 0.5 percent, to a record 15,821.63. About 6 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges today, in line with the three-month average.

“Macy’s and retail in general has pulled up the overall market,” Tim Ghriskey, who helps manage more than $1.5 billion as chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management LLC, said by phone. “Expectations were very low for the holiday season, and perhaps now they’ve been raised a bit. The backdrop around stocks remains favorable, and the market is anticipating economic improvement, which will drive revenue and earnings.”

Investors have been weighing better-than-projected earnings and data to gauge whether the economy may be strong enough to withstand less stimulus from the central bank. This week will bring reports on U.S. jobless-benefit claims and manufacturing in the New York area.

‘Far Short’
Yellen, nominated to be the next chairman of the Fed, said the economy and labor market are performing “far short of their potential” and must improve before the central bank can begin reducing monetary stimulus.

“A strong recovery will ultimately enable the Fed to reduce its monetary accommodation and reliance on unconventional policy tools such as asset purchases,” Yellen, the Fed’s current vice chairman, said in testimony prepared for her nomination hearing tomorrow before the Senate Banking Committee. “I believe that supporting the recovery today is the surest path to returning to a more normal approach to monetary policy.”

The remarks show Yellen is committed to the central bank’s strategy of attempting to boost the economy and lower 7.3 percent unemployment, more than four years after the economy began to recover from the longest and deepest recession since the Great Depression.

Scaling Back
Central bank policy makers will probably scale back the monthly pace of bond buying at their March 18-19 meeting, according to the median of 32 estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists on Nov. 8. Reducing bond purchases “ought to be on the table at upcoming meetings” by the Federal Open Market Committee, including Dec. 17-18, Fed Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said yesterday.

In the U.K., Bank of England Governor Mark Carney signaled that officials may consider raising interest rates sooner than they previously forecast as the U.K. economy recovers “robustly” and inflation slows. The jobless rate as measured by International Labour Organisation standards declined to 7.6 percent in the third quarter, the lowest since 2009, the Office for National Statistics said today.

Record Highs
The S&P 500 has climbed to record levels this year as the Fed maintained its $85 billion in monthly asset purchases. Central bank support has helped propel the index higher by more than 160 percent from its March 2009 low. The gauge has rallied 25 percent so far in 2013, poised for its best year in a decade, and is trading at 16 times projected earnings, more than the five-year average of 14 times profit, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Pessimism about U.S. stocks among newsletter writers is at the lowest level in at least 24 years. The percentage of newsletter writers classified as bears by Investors Intelligence dropped to 15.5 percent from 15.6 percent last week, the least since Bloomberg began tracking the data in February 1989. Optimistic, or bullish, newsletter writers dropped to 52.6 percent from a seven-month high of 55.2 percent last week.

Macy’s, NetApp Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. reported results today. Of the 455 S&P 500 companies that have announced so far, 75 percent have beaten analysts’ income forecasts, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. Profits for the gauge will rise 4.7 percent in the third quarter and 6.2 percent in the final three months of the year, estimates compiled by Bloomberg show

xfactor
14-Nov-2013, 08:23 AM
DUBAI/PARIS (Reuters) - Boeing (BA) looks set to dominate next week's Dubai Airshow with more than $100 billion of deals as it aims to launch its latest long-haul jet with up to 250 potential orders from as many as five airlines, industry sources said.

The U.S. planemaker is pressing ahead with the launch of its 777X mini-jumbo despite uncertainty over where it will be made, with workers at the existing 777 plant outside Seattle holding a ballot over a new employment contract on Wednesday.

Bulging civil and military bank balances in the Gulf remain a magnet for Western aerospace executives as they seek to tap thriving demand for jetliners and combat aircraft that offer some respite from defence cuts at home.defense

A widely expected potential order for as many as 150 of the new 777X passenger jets from Dubai flag carrier Emirates (EMIRA.UL) could come close to matching the $62 billion of deals amassed at the last Dubai show two years ago.

"Dubai's success is related to its airlines. It's a global hub now and Dubai did this by buying planes and constantly renewing its fleet," said John Sfakianakis, chief investment strategist at Riyadh-based asset management firm Masic.

"Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are also investing billions in aviation to be able to connect to the world. These states have to continue to invest if they want to expand."

After playing cat and mouse with rival Airbus (EAD.PA) in the market for big twin-engined jets, industry sources say that Boeing is expected to launch the 777X on Sunday with the record Emirates deal and 25 jets for Abu Dhabi's Etihad.

Depending on final negotiations, which historically provide some last-minute drama at such shows, Boeing could also announce orders for dozens of 777X jets from Qatar Airways and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific <0293.HK> during the Middle East's largest business event, which runs from November 17 to 21.

The 777X launch is expected to include confirmation of a tentative 34-plane order from Germany's Lufthansa (LHA.DE).

Whether Boeing can reach around 250 launch orders depends partly on uncertainty over whether it can close a potential deal for around 20 777X with Cathay, but the new plane is heading for a haul of above 200 orders, industry experts said.

SPUR FOR GROWTH

Leading Gulf airlines have made Boeing's long-distance 777 warhorse and other big jets a spur for growth as they redraw the world's aviation and logistics map around the Gulf.

The revamped 777X is the largest twinjet yet designed and will come in two versions, seating 350 to 406 people. It is Boeing's response to the Airbus A350-1000, which will seat 350 in three classes or about 380 people in two classes.

Boeing has had to overcome disagreement among potential buyers over the design of the 777X, with Gulf airlines pushing for high capacity with the stamina of four-engined jets. But a person familiar with the design said it may suffer restrictions on payload for the longest trips from the Gulf.

The U.S. company hopes the airshow will also mark a turning point for the 787 Dreamliner after its temporary grounding this year because of melting batteries. Industry sources expect orders to top 1,000 in Dubai as Etihad buys a further 30, while Airbus is in negotiations to sell competing models of its A350.

The latest medium-haul aircraft will also be in focus as flydubai places a $7.8 billion order for 75 of the revamped Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus negotiates to sell A320neos to airlines that may include Etihad, industry sources said.

A380 SEEKS LIFT

Qatar Airways, which has complained about the reliability of its 787s, has said it may buy more Airbus A330s.

But Airbus, which outsold Boeing in the first nine months of the year, will be looking to end a dearth of orders this year for its A380, the world's largest airliner.

Doric Lease Corp aims to firm up an order for 20 of the superjumbos "soon", its top executive told Reuters last month.

The European company co-operates closely with the largest A380 customer Emirates, which has consistently said it could buy up to 30 more of the aircraft once it unlocks extra capacity in its network to handle the double-decker jets.

Next week's show will fill an area the size of the U.S. Pentagon at the new Dubai World Central airport, where airline bosses will rub shoulders with arms merchants and royalty.

Western defense companies have long viewed the Middle East as among the world's most lucrative markets but are facing unfamiliar challenges as divisions grow between Washington and Gulf allies over Iran nuclear talks set to resume on Nov 20.

"The political situation with Iran is so fluid that today's friends and allies may be tomorrow's distant partners," said Theodore Karasik, research director at Dubai think-tank INEGMA.

The United Arab Emirates is moving closer to a long-awaited decision on whether to buy up to 60 UK-backed Eurofighter Typhoons or French Rafale fighters. It is also expected to buy 25 Lockheed Martin (LMT) F-16 fighters, sources familiar with the deal told Reuters.

"These countries may be in disagreement with the U.S. over Iran, Syria and other issues, but their military relationship remains strong," Karasik said.

(Additional reporting by Peter Apps, Andrea Shalal-Esa and Alwyn Scott; Editing by David Goodman and David Evans)

bwong
14-Nov-2013, 08:31 AM
Yellen says Fed has 'more work to do' to aid recovery
11/13/2013 | 06:48pm US/Eastern

Janet Yellen, President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Federal Reserve, thinks the U.S. central bank has "more work to do" to help an economy and a labor market that are still underperforming.
"I believe that supporting the recovery today is the surest path to returning to a more normal approach to monetary policy," Yellen, the Fed's vice chair, said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

Her testimony appeared aimed in part at pre-empting Republicans on the panel who are critical of the Fed's unorthodox and aggressive monetary policy.

At the same time, her prepared remarks bolstered expectations in financial markets that the central bank would continue its easy money campaign to nurse the U.S. economy back to health.

If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first woman to lead the U.S. central bank. Although she can expect pointed questioning from Republicans when the hearing opens at 10 a.m., she is widely expected to win the Senate's backing.

Yellen said the economy and the labor market were performing "far short" of their potential, while price pressures remained muted.

"Inflation has been running below the Federal Reserve's goal of 2 percent and is expected to continue to do so for some time," she said, according to a copy of the testimony made available on Wednesday in advance of the hearing.

A VOICE FOR CONTINUITY

U.S. stock and bond futures both rose and the dollar slipped against the euro after news of the testimony hit traders' screens, continuing a trend that began earlier on Wednesday on speculation that her remarks would emphasize a need to support the economy.

Financial markets have long viewed Yellen as a policy dove more concerned about the high level of unemployment than about the risk that the Fed's efforts to spur stronger growth might lead to an unwanted rise in inflation.

She is widely expected to provide continuity with the ultra-easy monetary policies of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term expires on January 31.

"Given the perception of Yellen as a dove, there were some expectations that she would need to take pains to ensure that she will be tough on inflation," JPMorgan economist Michael Feroli wrote in a note to clients.

"That is not particularly evident in the prepared remarks, nor do we think she will get baited into talking more hawkishly tomorrow morning," he said.

The committee needs to vet Yellen's nomination before sending it to the full Senate for final consideration; the timing for action is uncertain, but the outcome appears assured.

Obama's Democrats control 55 of the Senate's 100 seats, which means the 67-year-old former economics professor need only win backing from five Republicans to reach the 60-vote threshold necessary to overcome Senate procedural hurdles.

The Fed has held interest rates near zero since late 2008 and has quadrupled its balance sheet to around $3.8 trillion through three massive bond-buying campaigns aimed at holding down long-term borrowing costs to boost growth and jobs.

It is buying $85 billion in bonds per month.

Critics worry that this monetary largesse could stoke future inflation and fuel asset bubbles as investors are driven into riskier assets in the hunt for higher returns.

Yellen's testimony, which represents her first public remarks on Fed policy since June 2, will be scrutinized for signs of how she feels about the costs and benefits of continued bond buying.

But analysts expect her to be very careful not to give any clues away ahead of the Fed's December 17-18 meeting, although her stress on the need for stimulus reinforced expectations the central bank would not scale back its purchases until next year.

"This sentiment seems to reduce prospects for a December taper, but it doesn't necessarily rule out a small taper beginning as soon as January, if the data cooperate," wrote economist Dana Saporta at Credit Suisse in New York.

Jan
14-Nov-2013, 09:55 PM
US oil output passes imports for first time since 1995
[WASHINGTON] Oil production in the United States surpassed its oil imports for the first time in nearly two decades in October, the government said Wednesday.

wen
14-Nov-2013, 10:13 PM
Oil down to near $93 ahead of data, Yellen speech
Oil price slips to near $93 a barrel ahead of US crude stock data, Yellen speech


By Pablo Gorondi, Associated Press | Associated Press – 14 minutes ago


The price of oil slipped closer to $93 a barrel on Thursday, pressured by another expected rise in U.S. crude stocks.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was down 51 cents to $93.37 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 84 cents to close at $93.88 on Wednesday.
Investors are awaiting testimony by incoming Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen for clues about when the U.S. will cut back, or taper, its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases that have kept interest rates low to support economic recovery.
Yellen, who is set to replace Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman at the end of January, will testify before the Senate banking committee later Thursday.
In published introductory remarks, she indicated that the Fed's stimulus should continue until the world's No.1 economy show continued signs of improvement.
The U.S. Nymex benchmark is down by about 8 percent in the past month. Traders say further declines are likely, as U.S. crude output keeps rising.
Data from the Energy Department showed that in October, for the first time since 1995, the U.S. produced more crude oil than it imported — 7.7 million barrels a day against 7.6 million barrels a day.
"This is a trend that is likely to continue next year — crude oil production looks set to grow to 8.9 million barrels per day by the end of 2014, while crude oil imports are expected to drop to 5.8 million barrels per day," said analysts at Commerzbank in Frankfurt in a note to clients.
U.S. crude stockpiles data for the week ended Nov. 8, due later Thursday, are expected to show an increase of 1.8 million barrels, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos. It would the eighth week in a row that stockpiles have risen.
After protests and disruptions at refineries in Libya, a vital supplier to Europe, Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 72 cents to $107.84 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.
The International Energy Agency's latest monthly report on the oil market said the production problems in Libya and other countries like Iraq "continue to relentlessly fester" and could provide support to oil prices in the coming months.
At the same time, however, the Paris-based IEA noted the recent fall in oil prices was partially due to a seasonal drop in demand.
"The recent easing of prices may be relatively short lived," the IEA's November report said, envisaging rising demand from both consumers and refineries. "Given proverbial uncertainties about the weather and geopolitics, the market might not be at the end of its roller coaster ride."
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline added 1.45 cents to $2.6276 a gallon.
— Heating oil shed 0.39 cent to $2.8938 a gallon.
— Natural gas fell 4.7 cents to $3.519 per 1,000 cubic feet.

xfactor
15-Nov-2013, 06:32 AM
DJIA 15,876.20 54.59 0.35%

S&P 500 1,790.62 8.62 0.48%

Nasdaq 3,972.74 7.17 0.18%

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 index ended at new highs on Thursday after comments from Janet Yellen, the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair nominee, suggested the Fed's accommodative policies would continue as long as the economy remains fragile.

Gains in the technology-heavy Nasdaq and the Dow were held back by Cisco Systems (CSCO), however, after the networking giant reported disappointing results on Wednesday. Cisco shares fell as much as 13 percent on Thursday.

Yellen's Q&A followed late gains in the market Wednesday ahead of the release of her prepared remarks. In her testimony, Yellen said the Fed's current $85 billion in monthly bond purchases "cannot continue forever," but dismissed the notion current prices suggest bubble-like conditions.

"Her hearing confirmed the suspicion that she will be slightly more dovish Bernanke," said Joseph Tanious, Global Market Strategist at JPMorgan Funds.

"It reassured investors that they are unlikely to see any tapering announced this year."

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) was up 54.59 points, or 0.35 percent, at 15,876.22. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (^GSPC) was up 8.62 points, or 0.48 percent, at 1,790.62. The Nasdaq Composite Index (^IXIC) was up 7.17 points, or 0.18 percent, at 3,972.74.

Since the beginning of the year, the S&P has gained about 25 percent and the Dow 21 percent, thanks in part to the Fed's massive bond-buying stimulus. The benchmark S&P 500 index is trading at about 16 times projected earnings.

Cisco shares posted their worst day since February 10, 2011, ending down nearly 11 percent at $21.37 after it warned its revenue would dive as much as 10 percent this quarter and keep contracting until after the middle of 2014.

"It caught people off guard," said Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Company. "I think they're thinking that with Microsoft and other old-line technology companies doing well, that Cisco would come in and at least produce an average quarter."

Cisco's retreat weighed down the S&P 500 technology sector (.SPLRCT), which fell 0.4 percent, but the other nine sectors were higher, boosted by confidence that Yellen will continue the Fed's current policies.

Shares of Kohl's Corp (KSS) fell 8.1 percent to $53.55 after the department store chain cut its full-year earnings forecast after reporting lower-than-expected quarterly results.

Houghton Mifflin (HMHC.O) shares rose 32 percent to $15.86 on the textbook publisher's first day of trading after emerging from bankruptcy last year.

Wal-Mart (WMT) shares rebounded after earlier losses, rising 0.2 percent to $79.08 after the bellwether reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales.

About 6.020 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, slightly below the five-day average closing volume of about 6.314 billion, according to BATS exchange data.

Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,970 to 998 while decliners slightly beat advancers on the Nasdaq by 1,305 to 1,219.

Jan
15-Nov-2013, 08:19 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 15, 2013
US: Dow, S&P 500 end at new highs after Yellen hearing
[NEW YORK] The Dow and the S&P 500 index recorded new highs on Thursday after Janet Yellen, the US Federal Reserve Chair nominee, told a Senate committee the Fed's accommodative policies would continue as long as the economy remains fragile.
Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 54.72 points, or 0.35 per cent, at 15,876.35. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 8.61 points, or 0.48 per cent, at 1,790.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 7.17 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 3,972.74. - Reuters

Jan
15-Nov-2013, 11:41 PM
US export prices fall in sign global economy doing poorly
[WASHINGTON] Prices for US exports unexpectedly fell in October, a worrisome sign of global economic weakness, while the cost of imports into America declined due to a sharp drop in the price of oil.

Jan
15-Nov-2013, 11:42 PM
US industrial output falls on utilities, mining
[WASHINGTON] US industrial production unexpectedly fell in October as output at power plants and mines declined, but a third straight month of gains in manufacturing suggested the economy remained on a moderate growth path.

Jan
15-Nov-2013, 11:43 PM
US wholesale inventories rise in line with forecasts
[WASHINGTON] US wholesale inventories rose in line with expectations in September, reinforcing the view that much of the strength in economic growth during the third quarter came from businesses restocking their shelves.

Jan
15-Nov-2013, 11:44 PM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 15, 2013
US: Wall St climbs at open in wake of Yellen comments
[NEW YORK] US stocks rose at the open on Friday, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting fresh intraday record highs, buoyed by reassuring remarks by Federal Reserve chair nominee Janet Yellen that the central bank's accommodative policies would continue.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 23.06 points or 0.15 per cent, to 15,899.28, the S&P 500 gained 2.1 points or 0.12 per cent, to 1,792.72 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3.199 points or 0.08 per cent, to 3,975.939. - Reuters

Jan
15-Nov-2013, 11:54 PM
US factory production rises 0.3 per cent in October
WASHINGTON (AP) - United States factories increased production for a third-straight month in October, as stronger output of primary metals and furniture offset declines in auto production.

xfactor
16-Nov-2013, 07:23 AM
DJIA 15,961.70 85.48 0.54%

S&P 500 1,798.18 7.56 0.42%

Nasdaq 3,985.97 13.23 0.33%

U.S. stocks rose to records, with benchmark gauges capping a sixth week of gains, as investors assessed data on factory output amid growing speculation the Federal Reserve will maintain the pace of its monthly stimulus.

Exxon Mobil Corp. rallied 2.2 percent to a record after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. disclosed a stake. FedEx Corp. climbed 1.6 percent as billionaire investorsGeorge Soros andJohn Paulson took positions. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased at least 6.2 percent as Bill Ackman’s hedge fund bought shares in the government-backed mortgage insurers. Western Union Co. dropped 4.3 percent after the company said its chief financial officer is leaving.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.4 percent to 1,798.18 at 4 p.m. in New York. The gauge gained 1.6 percent in the past five days, capping its longest streak of weekly gains since February. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 85.48 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,961.70, a third straight record. About 6.1 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges today, in line with the three-month average.

Janet Yellen’s remarks yesterday told investors that “interest rates are going to remain low for a while, which is a positive environment for equities,” John Fox, director of research at Fenimore Asset Management in Cobleskill, New York, said by phone. Fenimore oversees about $1.8 billion. “The combination of earnings growth and expanded PE due to investors feeling better about things just continues to move the market higher.”

Data Watch
The S&P 500 (SPX) and the Dow rallied as Yellen, nominated to succeed Ben S. Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve, said yesterday the central bank should take care not to withdraw stimulus too early from an economy that is operating well below potential.

Data today showed manufacturing in the New York region unexpectedly contracted in November. A separate report showed total industrial production in the U.S. fell 0.1 percent in October as output at mines and utilities declined. Factory output rose more than forecast. Wholesale inventories widened by 0.4 percent in September, the Census Bureau said.

Central bank policy makers will probably pare the $85 billion monthly pace of bond buying to $70 billion at their March 18-19 meeting, according to the median of 32 estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists on Nov. 8. The group next meets Dec. 17-18. The Fed support has helped propel the S&P 500 higher by 166 percent from its March 2009 low.

China Policy
Global equities rose today on expectations of continued Fed stimulus and as China’s ruling party announced changes to economic policy. The government vowed to allow more private investment in the state sector, loosen its one-child policy and better protect farmers’ rights to land, according to the Communist Party policy decision published today by the official Xinhua News Agency today.

The document, covering 60 measures, follows a communique issued Nov. 12 after a four-day party conclave in Beijing that omitted detailed policies for the world’s second-largest economy.

The S&P 500 has rallied 26 percent so far in 2013, poised for its best annual gain in a decade. The gauge is trading at 16.2 times projected earnings, topping the five-year average of 14 times earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg

Jan
16-Nov-2013, 08:17 AM
Dow, S&P close at new highs; Exxon Mobil leads Dow

Published on Nov 16, 2013

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The Dow and the S&P 500 hit new highs on Friday for a sixth straight week of gains, as investors continued to take cues from Federal Reserve Chair nominee Janet Yellen, who told a Senate Committee it was too early to end the central bank's stimulus.

Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp led the blue chip Dow index higher. They rose 2.2 per cent to $95.27 a day after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc disclosed a new US$3.45 billion (S$4.3 billion) stake in the second-largest United States (US) company by market value, behind only Apple Inc Both the S&P and Dow capped a fourth straight day of gains and the S&P 500 finished within two points of 1,800, as investor confidence in the market remained high.

"I think there is a general expectation that the market is going to continue to rally for the rest of the year," said Mr Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial, based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

"Retail investors are starting to move back in and I think that's providing a fair amount of support." Toward the end of the year, fund managers who are trailing their benchmarks may help boost stocks as they chase performance.

Jan
16-Nov-2013, 08:18 AM
US economic growth gauge slips in latest week: ECRI
[NEW YORK] A measure of future US economic growth edged lower last week, although the annualized growth rate rose, a research group said on Friday.

Jan
16-Nov-2013, 08:58 AM
October factory output grows more than forecast
FACTORY production in the United States rose more than forecast in October, indicating the partial government shutdown did little to halt the pickup in manufacturing at the start of the fourth quarter.

Jan
16-Nov-2013, 08:59 AM
Lockheed Martin to cut 4,000 jobs
LOCKHEED Martin Corp said it will cut 4,000 jobs and close some operations in response to decreased federal spending, even after third-quarter profit rose 16 per cent.

Jan
16-Nov-2013, 09:56 AM
Dow and S&P end at record highs
By Ben Rooney @CNNMoneyInvest November 15, 2013: 4:32 PM ET

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/assets/131115150455-dow-week-620xa.png
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Wall Street traders will have to wait until next week to don their commemorative "Dow 16,000" baseball hats, but both the Dow and the S&P did end the day at record highs.
The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all posted gains of more than 1% for the week.

The Dow is closing in on 16,000, while the S&P 500 ended a few points shy of 1,800, which would be the first time for both. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is nearing 4,000, a level not seen since September 2000, just after the collapse of the dot-com bubble.
Some believe stocks can continue moving higher in the short run as investors who have sat out the rally so far rush to get in before the party's over. Plus, stocks are still trading at compelling valuations, compared with many other assets. Bulls also say that the market surge is justified by improving economic conditions and record corporate profits.
Thomas Lee, lead equity strategist at JPMorgan, believes the United States remains in the middle of a bull market, according to a note sent Friday to clients. So it makes sense to still be buying stocks.
Lee raised his year-end target for the S&P 500 to 1,825, which is 1.5% higher than current levels.
But others warn that stocks are being inflated by the Federal Reserve's easy monetary policies.
The bears say stocks are due for a correction, which could come once the Fed begins to cut back, or taper, its $85-billion-per-month bond-buying program. That could happen as soon as next month but is more likely to take place sometime next year.
Related: China becomes world's top gold buyer
Dow 16,000? Who cares!
Dow 16,000? Who cares!
For the moment though, worries about Fed policy have been put on the back burner.
Janet Yellen, who has been nominated to replace Ben Bernanke as Fed chair, told a Senate panel Thursday that she is determined to support the U.S. economic recovery, and believes the Fed's bond-buying program still has the power to help.
"She is clearly emphasizing the need for policy to remain highly accomodative for some time," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.
Related: Fear & Greed Index approaching Extreme Greed
What's moving: Shares of J.C. Penney (JCP, Fortune 500) rose on news that several hedge funds, including Appaloosa Management, have invested in the ailing retailer.
The stock is the worst performer in the S&P 500 this year, but it has rallied lately and will report its latest quarterly results next week.
Some traders on StockTwits are betting J.C. Penney will surprise the market with strong sales.
"$JCP turning point going higher here. All the way back up. With holiday coming and a possible new CEO will propel this one higher as ever," said JustRingDRegister.
Not everyone is so confident.
"You know this is pure speculative mkt when $JCP rallies 45% since 6.2 on 10/22," said Lach14.
Shares of two companies in the 3-D printing business were on the move.
U.S.-listed shares of voxeljet (VJET), a German manufacturer of 3D printers, jumped 6%. The company raised its outlook for the year after revenue surged 77% in the third quarter. Earnings more than tripled in the quarter.
"$VJET Why is this one rising too fast? Because it seems the company has sold 3 machine and profited 1.5 million for the quarter," said Khiemmai.
Organovo (ONVO), a company that produces human tissues using 3-D bioprinting technology, ended flat after surging 10% in early trading. The stock is up nearly 400% so far this year.
"$ONVO This is a stock but also a revolutionary idea that could change the way people live, much like electricity & the cell phone. Amazing," said KrayChi.
Shares in Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500) were higher after it was revealed that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, Fortune 500) made a big bet on the company, buying roughly 40 million Exxon shares -- worth $3.74 billion at Thursday's closing price.
Government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae (FNMA, Fortune 500) and Freddie Mac (FMCC, Fortune 500) both surged after activist shareholder Bill Ackman disclosed in a regulatory filing that his firm, Pershing Square, bought just under a 10% stake in each firm.
And there was another hot IPO Friday. Zulily (ZU), a daily deals site that focuses on apparel for babies, kids and moms, surged nearly 70% in its debut. To top of page

Jan
16-Nov-2013, 10:02 AM
Record run for Dow, S&P 500 continues
Beth Belton, USA TODAY 4:20 p.m. EST November 15, 2013
S&P 500 ends just shy of 1,800 and Nasdaq composite is marching toward 4,000 as rally rages.

quotes-stocks
(Photo: Thinkstock)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Asian markets were boosted Friday by optimism over Yellen-led Federal Reserve
Global markets see third straight day of gains, on back of U.S. market's record highs
Dow, S&P 500 closed at record highs Thursday, adding on to prior day's gains
SHARE
134
CONNECT
76
TWEET
25
COMMENT
EMAIL
MORE
Stocks ended higher Friday as the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 index continued their push into record-high territory.

The Dow finished up 0.5% -- 85 points -- to 15,961.7, the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.4% to 1,798.18 and the tech-laden Nasdaq composite gained 0.3% to 3,985.97.

It was the 38th time this year the Dow has finished at a record level and the 36th time for the S&P 500. The Nasdaq is at a 13-year high.

On Thursday, the Dow gained 54.59 points, or 0.4%, to finish at an all-time high of 15,876.22, while the S&P 500 index added 8.62 points, or 0.5%, to close at a record 1,790.62. The Nasdaq composite edged up 7.16 points, or 0.2%, to 3,972.74. Thursday's gains were mostly in risk-averse sectors, such as power companies, banks and drug makers.

Investors' optimism have been fed this week by remarks incoming Federal Reserve chief nominee Janet Yellen made at a Senate confirmation hearing. She expressed her ongoing support for the Fed's massive monthly bond buying of government and mortgage-backed securities to spur economic growth.

Thursday: Dow, S&P 500 set records for second straight day

In Asia Friday, markets followed in lock step with benchmark stock indexes in the U.S. in the prior session.

Yellen, who is on tap to succeed Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman in January, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill Thursday that she's prepared to stand by the central bank's efforts to pump up the world's No. 1 economy when she's chairman, if that's what it needs.

Yellen: Fed nominee remarks suggests more of the same

During a two-hour confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Yellen embraced her so-called "dovish" reputation and reiterated support for the Fed's low interest-rate policies. She warned critics that the potential harm the policies pose are outweighed by the risk of a sluggish economy.

Her statements convinced markets that the central bank won't reduce its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases until at least March. Previously, there were expectations that the bond buying, which has kept interest rates low and sent a wave of investment into higher-yielding stocks, would be scaled back in December.

First Take: What to expect when you're expecting Yellen as chief

"Yellen indicated that it was key not to take out stimulus measures during a fragile recovery," said a Mizuho Bank research commentary Friday. However, she also stressed that the extraordinary level of stimulus "cannot go on forever," the note said.

Hearing: Senators grill Fed nominee on stimulus risks

Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 1.9% to 15,165.92 as the yen weakened, trading over 100 to the dollar. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 1.7% to 23,032.15 and Seoul's Kospi gained 1.9% to 2,005.64. Other key indexes in Southeast Asia and mainland China also gained.

European markets ended the week higher. Britain's FTSE 100 index gained 0.4% to 6,693.44 and Germany's DAX 30 index gained 0.2% to 9,168.69. France's CAC 40 index added 0.2% to close at 4.292.23.

In energy markets Friday globally, benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was down 20 cents to $94.80 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract slipped 12 cents to $93.76 a barrel on Thursday.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Jan
18-Nov-2013, 11:37 PM
New highs: Dow tops 16,000; 1800 on S&P 500

xfactor
19-Nov-2013, 05:14 AM
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks hit session lows in late afternoon trade on Monday with the Dow turning negative and the Nasdaq falling more than 1 percent.

The decline came a few minutes after activist investor Carl Icahn told Reuters that he is "very cautious" on equities, and that the market could easily have a "big drop."

The Dow retreated from a record high, back below the 16,000 level that it had hit for the first time in history, and the S&P 500 was now 10 points below the 1,800 level.

The Nasdaq fell nearly 1 percent, further pressured by social media and cloud-related stocks including Facebook (FB.O), down more than 6 percent at $45.95.

Shares of another social media giant, Twitter Inc (TWTR.N), dipped nearly 7 percent to $41.04.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) shares dropped more than 1 percent to $518.94.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) was down 5.30 points, or 0.03 percent, at 15,956.40. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (^GSPC) was down 8.35 points, or 0.46 percent, at 1,789.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index (^IXIC) was down 38.67 points, or 0.97 percent, at 3,947.30.

The S&P 500 had earlier hit 1,802.33 and the Dow touched 16,030.28, their highest levels ever. On Friday, both closed at record highs in their sixth straight week of gains.

Boeing Co (BA) shares, which rose as high as $142.00 earlier, lifting the blue chip Dow index for most of the day, were up 1.4 percent at $138.02 in late afternoon trade. The U.S. planemaker, at the Dubai Airshow on Sunday, announced commitments for a total of 259 of its new 777 jets. Worth about $100 billion at list prices, it is the largest combined order in Boeing's history.

Tesla (TSLA.O) also extended losses, down more than 11 percent at $119.83, giving up more than 20 percent for the month so far.

A number of U.S. Federal Reserve speakers offered more insights into the central bank's stimulus. The latest was Charles Plosser, president of the Philadelphia Fed, who said improved economic and labor market conditions suggest the Fed should set a fixed dollar amount on its current bond-buying program and end the program when that amount is reached.

William Dudley, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said on Monday that he was becoming "more hopeful" about the U.S. economy.

But with intervention from the Fed likely to keep interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future, equities are expected to continue to attract yield-seeking investors, even after the Fed begins to scale back its asset purchases.

start
19-Nov-2013, 08:42 AM
The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 16000 mark but failed to hold above it as investors paused to weigh the stock market's recent sharp gains.

The blue-chip index closed up 14 points, or 0.1%, at 15976, after climbing as high as 16030 in intraday trading. The Dow still finished at a record and has risen in six of the last seven sessions.

The S&P 500 500 index was off 7 points, or 0.4%, to 1792, reversing an intraday gain that sent the index above 1802. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 37 points, or 0.9%, to 3949.

Stocks spent the bulk of the session in positive territory before shedding much of their gains in the final hour of trading. Traders attributed the move to comments by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who told a conference sponsored by Reuters that he was "very cautious" on the stock market and could see a "big drop" because earnings at many companies have been goosed by low borrowing costs rather than strong management, according to the news agency.

Traders said the remarks were enough to shake investor sentiment on a day when trading volumes were thin and few other headlines were driving the market.

"The reality is you've had really steady rallies for such a long period of time, so you do get these quick little selloffs," said Bill Nichols, senior managing director in equity trading at Cantor Fitzgerald LP.

The speed of the market's recent rally has some investors taken aback, but many money managers are coming around to the idea that stocks can stay aloft even if the Federal Reserve starts to rein in its easy-money policies.

While corporate earnings have been tepid of late and stocks are getting pricier, many investors believe that stock valuations haven't become too stretched--at least not yet.

"The market has continued to push forward, in part because we're looking ahead and believing economic growth is looking pretty decent next year," said Cam Albright, director of asset allocation at Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors, which oversees about $79 billion. "Earnings growth, while probably not spectacular, is looking to be pretty reasonable."

The S&P 500 is on pace to show earnings growth of 3.6% in the third quarter versus last year, according to FactSet. That compares with growth of 2.6% in the second quarter and a 0.4% decline in corporate profits in the third quarter of 2012.

Mr. Albright said his firm still has an "overweight" position on the U.S. stock market, saying returns in stocks are likely to remain better than those in other asset classes, like fixed income.

On Friday, the Dow climbed 85 points, or 0.5%, to post its fifth record close in six sessions, and its 38th record of the year. The index has risen 22% since the start of the year and 144% from its post-financial crisis lows.

Many investors have credited the Fed's $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program with helping keep the stock market climbing. The Fed surprised investors when it decided against scaling back bond purchases in September, boosting stocks. And last week, Janet Yellen, President Barack Obama's nominee for Fed chairman, defended the stimulus in remarks to Congress. Some money managers took this as a sign that the Fed could continue the program for several more months if Ms. Yellen is confirmed.

"Fundamentals are driving this market with help from our friends at the Fed," said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at ING Investment Management, which oversees $190 billion. "The notion that this market doesn't have room to run is actually false."

Frank Fantozzi, CEO of Planned Financial Services, a wealth management firm that manages $300 million in Cleveland, said stocks are getting more expensive, though not enough to warrant walking away from the market. "We definitely have room to grow," he said. "My advice to people going into 2014 has been to still plan on an ongoing bull market, though we do anticipate more volatility in the marketplace."

On Monday, U.S. stock investors were encouraged by overseas markets. In Asia, Chinese stocks rallied after the Chinese government announced a broad outlook for economic reform, including opening the financial sector and relaxing restrictions on investment. The government also said it was looking to improve the country's initial public offering system.

Optimism about growth in China filtered through to European markets as well. Germany's central bank said in a monthly report that there is a good chance the momentum of Germany's economy, the engine for growth in Europe, will accelerate in the coming months.

But many investors acknowledged that stocks are rising in an atmosphere of trepidation. Monday's intraday moves weren't particularly big, and volume was light, traders said.

"Personally, I'm getting a little concerned about where we're at," said Dean Junkans, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank, which oversees $170 billion. "It feels a little bit like 2007 in some respects where market participants became quite complacent about risk."

Mr. Junkans said his firm isn't making any changes in terms of how it allocates money, but he noted that stocks are starting to look pricier. "I wouldn't say it's egregiously overpriced or anything like that, but it's certainly not cheap," he said. "We continue to be fully invested at this point, but I am getting a little concerned here."

Few economic data reports were due Monday. Investors will likely pore over the minutes from the October meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's policy-making body, on Wednesday. The minutes could offer clues behind the central bank's thinking on its stimulus efforts. Data on jobless claims are due Thursday.

Among noteworthy stock movers, Dow component Boeing gained 1.7% after the company said it received 259 orders and commitments for its new 777X jetliner, with a list value of $95 billion. Boeing claimed it was the largest product launch in commercial-jetliner history.

Fellow Dow member J.P. Morgan Chase rose 1.6% after saying late Friday that it reached an agreement to pay $4.5 billion to investors seeking to recover losses from mortgage-backed securities sold before the financial crisis.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note inched lower to 2.678% from 2.710% late Friday.

Jan
20-Nov-2013, 05:36 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 19, 2013
US labour costs point to still-benign inflation
US labour costs rose marginally in the third quarter, pointing to tame wage inflation that should allow the Federal Reserve to maintain its bond-buying program to stimulate the economy - PHOTO: REUTERS
[WASHINGTON] US labour costs rose marginally in the third quarter, pointing to tame wage inflation that should allow the Federal Reserve to maintain its bond-buying program to stimulate the economy.
The Employment Cost Index, the broadest measure of labor costs, increased 0.4 per cent after advancing 0.5 per cent in the second quarter, the Labor Department said on Tuesday.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected labor costs to increase 0.5 per cent. In the 12 months through September, compensation costs rose 1.9 per cent for a fifth straight quarter.
During periods of strong economic growth, the US central bank closely monitors the index for signs of wage inflation.

Jan
20-Nov-2013, 05:50 AM
Stocks end lower on muddled retail earnings
Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY 4:12 p.m. EST November 19, 2013
wall st photo
(Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY, AFP/Getty Images)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Retail earnings are in focus: Best Buy plunges, Home Depot rises
Major Asia benchmarks fall
European markets lower
SHARE
18
CONNECT
30
TWEET
2
COMMENT
EMAIL
MORE
Stocks ended lower as investors digested a mixed batch of retail earnings reports and benchmark indexes struggled to surpass major milestones.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell a tad -- down 0.06%, or 9 points to 15,967 -- after earlier rising as high as 16,026. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.2%, or 4 points to 1,788 and the Nasdaq composite index dropped 0.4%, or 17 points to 3,932.

In the prior session, the Dow crossed the 16,000-point threshold for the first time before closing up 14.32 points to a record 15,976.02. The S&P 500 fell 6.65 points to 1,791.53 after briefly topping the 1,800 milestone earlier in the session. The Nasdaq composite index lost 36.9 points to 3, 949.07.

MARKETS MONDAY: Dow tops 16,000 for first time, but investors get acrophobic

Investors were closely watching retail earnings for signs of consumer spending during the crucial holiday season. Best Buy shares plunged more than 8% to $39.85 in afternoon trading after the retailer said it expects a tough competitive holiday environment as promotions could hurt margins.

Shares of Home Depot were up 1.4% to $80.76 after the company reported third-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations and raised its full-year forecast.

TJX Cos., which operates discount stores including T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, ended up 1% to $63.13. Its income rose 35% as sales improved at both U.S. and international stores.

Benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was up 26 cents at $93.94 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 81 cents to $93.03 on Monday.

In U.S. government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 2.71% from 2.67%.

Stocks around the world have been buoyant over the past few trading sessions, largely in the slipstream of developments on Wall Street.

The recent catalyst was Janet Yellen, who is slated to become the next Federal Reserve chairman. She expressed strong support for the Fed's low interest-rate and bond buying policies, which have been credited with propping up the U.S. economy and have contributed to the gains in stock markets since the aftermath of the 2009 global recession.

The S&P 500 is up 26% so far in 2013 and has risen for six weeks straight, the longest winning streak since February. The extended run-up has prompted a number of market watchers to call for caution.

"We've had a phenomenal run, particularly in the last few weeks. I wouldn't be surprised if we would pull back from here," said Alec Young, global equity strategist with S&P Capital IQ.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index was down 0.3% at 15,126.56 and China's Shanghai composite index shed 0.2% to 2,193.12.

Shares in Europe declined. Britain's FTSE 100 index was down 0.4% to 6,698.01 and Germany's DAX index fell 0.4% to 9,193.29.

Contributing: Associated Press

xfactor
20-Nov-2013, 07:18 AM
DJIA 15,967.00 -8.99 -0.06%

S&P 500 1,787.87 -3.66 -0.20%

Nasdaq 3,931.55 -17.51 -0.44%

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 retreating further from milestone levels, led by a slide in Best Buy after a disappointing outlook.

Trading remained in a tight range with U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke scheduled to speak in Washington at 7 p.m. EST. Charles Evans, the president of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, said earlier on Tuesday that the central bank may need to wait until next year, possibly until March, before beginning to wind down its massive bond-purchase program.

Cautious forecasts from Best Buy and Campbell Soup Co gave investors a reason to sell some stocks. Best Buy shares slid 11 percent to close at $38.78, while Campbell Soup fell 6.2 percent to $39.21.

The Dow briefly rose above 16,000 but failed to close above that level for the second day. The S&P 500 retreated further from the 1,800 level it hit on Monday. Despite the two-day decline, the S&P 500 is still up about 25 percent for the year. The benchmark index is on track for its biggest yearly gain since 2003.

"The last couple of days have been a bit choppy, signaling a top here, but the market is extremely resilient to any bad news and funds continue to flow into stocks and risky assets from bonds and fixed income," said Tim Ghriskey, who helps manage more than $1.5 billion as chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management LLC.

..View gallery."Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, November 14, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermi …The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slipped 8.99 points, or 0.06 percent, to end at 15,967.03. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> declined 3.66 points, or 0.20 percent, to finish at 1,787.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 17.51 points, or 0.44 percent, to close at 3,931.55.

Best Buy is cutting prices for the holiday season to thwart fierce competition from Wal-Mart and other discount and online rivals, a move that it warns will hurt margins for the current quarter.

Campbell Soup, the world's largest soup maker, also cut its full-year profit forecast after a drop in demand for its soups and drinks resulted in first-quarter earnings that fell far short of analysts' estimates.

But a recovery in the U.S. housing market helped Home Depot exceed profit and sales estimates for the third quarter, prompting the No. 1 home improvement chain to raise its fiscal-year outlook for the third time this year.

The stock gained 0.9 percent to end at $80.38 after hitting a lifetime high of $82.25.

..View gallery."Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, November 14, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermi …The S&P 500 has more stocks up so far this year than in almost any other year since 1980, according to Frost Investment Advisors.

"221 stocks in the index are up more than 30 percent. In fact, it has been over 530 trading days now since the stock market has seen the 10 percent correction that many predicted over the last 529 or so days," Frost Investment said in a note to clients.

On Wednesday, minutes from the Fed's October meeting are scheduled to be released. At that meeting, the Fed decided to stick with its bond-buying program. Investors have been bracing for a pullback from the stimulus program since the summer.

"I'd say there's a very low probability the Fed does anything between now and the end of the year," said Dan Veru, chief investment officer of Palisade Capital Management, which has $4.5 billion in assets and is based in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Tesla Motors shares rose 3.7 percent to $126.09 in a volatile session. U.S. traffic safety regulators launched an investigation into the luxury electric sports car maker's Model S sedan after three car fires in six weeks.

About 5.8 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, slightly below the five-day average closing volume of about 6.1 billion, according to BATS exchange data.

On the New York Stock Exchange, decliners beat advancers by a ratio of slightly more than 2 to 1. On the Nasdaq, nearly two stocks fell for every one that rose.

sgx2013
20-Nov-2013, 07:56 AM
Oberweis Defies Muddy Waters by Doubling Down on NQ

Jim Oberweis, whose China-focused fund is the best performer this year, said he’s doubled his stake in NQ Mobile Inc. (NQ), betting that claims by Muddy Waters LLC about the company’s finances are unfounded.

Oberweis Asset Management Inc. increased its holding to 1.8 million shares of NQ Mobile, from 990,894 on Sept. 30, he said in a telephone interview on Nov. 18 from Lisle, Illinois. This would make the firm the second-largest shareholder with a 5.8 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. His China Opportunities Fund has returned 53 percent this year.

The share purchases, which follow those by fund managers including Altimeter Capital Management LLC and Toro Investment Partners LP, show how some investors are seeing consumer companies benefiting from China’s growing middle class. Shares of the mobile-service provider have tumbled 42 percent since Muddy Waters, the research firm founded by short seller Carson Block, said NQ Mobile inflated sales and misrepresented cash balances. The company, which has headquarters in Beijing and Dallas, has denied the claims.

“When you look at the business prospects, their position in the marketplace, their ability to start to monetize and most importantly, the valuation, the valuation, the valuation, the business begins to look pretty compelling,” said Oberweis, who flew to Beijing after the Muddy Waters report was published.

Carson Block said by e-mail yesterday that he stands by his sell call on NQ Mobile.

’Massive Fraud’

The first sentence of the 81-page report by Muddy Waters on NQ Mobile on Oct. 24 said: “NQ is a massive fraud.” The report went on to say that at least 72 percent of NQ’s purported 2012 China security revenue is fictitious.

NQ Mobile denied the allegations, holding a two-hour conference call on Oct. 25 with analysts and investors in which it detailed its financial statement and answered questions about Block’s accusations.

NQ Mobile’s market capitalization has dropped to $695.4 million as of Nov. 19 from $1.2 billion on Oct. 23, the day before Block published his sell recommendation. The decline sent valuations to 10 times estimated earnings, down from a multiple of 18 last month.

The report also alleged that Tianjin Yidatong Technology Development Co., NQ’s largest trade debtor, is controlled by NQ and not an independent company.

Yidatong’s owner Xu Rong said in an interview that the Muddy Waters report isn’t accurate, and that her company has no relationship with NQ Mobile besides a contract to process online payments from mobile subscribers.

Beating Competitors

“I met personally with Xu Rong,” Oberweis said. “She knows what is going on, she understands the business, she is very clear. My guess is she was friends with the NQ people and was able to leverage that relationship to make some money.” This relationship doesn’t constitute a fraud, he said.

Oberweis’s China Opportunities Fund (OBCHX) has beaten all competitors in 2013 and over the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. He invests in small-capitalization companies. The “magic formula” has been buying into entrepreneurial companies in industries serving China’s growing consumer market, he said.

Altimeter Capital increased its holdings to 6.1 percent of shares outstanding from 1.5 percent, becoming the largest shareholder in NQ Mobile, according to a regulatory filing on Nov. 13. Toro Investment owns 4.9 percent and Chinarock Capital Management disclosed a 5.5 percent stake.

Stake Doubled

Oberweis’s China Opportunities Fund more than doubled its stake in NQ Mobile to 540,000 shares as of Nov. 18 from 260,000 on Sept. 30, the fund manager said.

In the past two weeks, Oberweis has added to holdings in 21Vianet Group Inc. (VNET), which operates data centers in China, and Hong Kong-listed China Modern Dairy Holdings Ltd. (1117), which he visited on his recent trip there. His father owns, and his brother runs, Oberweis Dairy Inc., which has a chain of stores in Chicago and St. Louis.

While the technology and dairy industries are very different, they both benefit from growing consumer demand, according to Oberweis.

“People don’t understand the growth potential,” he said. “They’re focused around the rising spending power of the middle class in China, and there’s a mismatch between supply and demand.”

NQ Mobile is now the largest position in five of six Oberweis funds, he said.

Beating Profit

The company posted profit that beat analyst estimates on Nov. 12, boosted by sales of game software. Net income more than doubled to $17.4 million in the third quarter, from $8.13 million a year earlier, NQ Mobile said in a statement.*

The average of five analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was $16.2 million.

“It says something that they released their earnings on time,” Oberweis said. “I don’t think Pricewaterhouse would let them if they had significant concerns.”*

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is the auditor for NQ Mobile’s financial statements.

Block said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Oct. 25 that NQ Mobile will go the same way as Sino-Forest Corp., the Chinese plantation company listed in Canada that filed for bankruptcy protection last year after Muddy Waters said it exaggerated revenue.

“We welcome any third party the opportunity to check the company cash,” Matt Mathison, the vice president of capital markets at NQ Mobile, said in the Oct. 25 conference call. “The truth and the facts are on our side.”

Oberweis and his staff verified the bank accounts by going to Standard Chartered Bank with employees of NQ Mobile. Bank employees printed out a letter confirming the deposits and showed it to them.

“I found that, step by step, most allegations made by Muddy Waters are really easy to disprove, the most important one being the cash,” he said.*

“The money is there and this illusion that there is no cash is completely false.”

bwong
20-Nov-2013, 08:51 AM
Bernanke: Fed committed to easy policy for as long as needed
11/19/2013 | 07:12pm US/EasternRecommend

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday the Fed will maintain ultra-easy U.S. monetary policy for as long as needed and will only begin to taper bond buying once it is assured that labour market improvements would continue.

In a speech to the National Economists Club that echoed dovish comments by his nominated successor, Janet Yellen, Bernanke also said that while the economy had made significant progress, it was still far from where officials wanted it to be.

"The FOMC remains committed to maintaining highly accommodative policies for as long as they are needed," he said in prepared remarks, referring to the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee.

"I agree with the sentiment, expressed by my colleague Janet Yellen at her testimony last week, that the surest path to a more normal approach to monetary policy is to do all we can today to promote a more robust recovery," he said.

President Barack Obama nominated Yellen, the Fed's current vice chair, to replace Bernanke when his terms ends on January 31.

The Senate Banking Committee, which held a hearing for Yellen last week, will vote on her nomination on Thursday to pass it to the full Senate for consideration. She is expected to win confirmation with relative ease.

The Fed has held interest rates near zero since late 2008 and quadrupled its balance sheet to $3.9 trillion (£2.42 trillion) through three massive rounds of bond buying.

It decided in October to maintain asset purchases at an $85 billion monthly pace. Bernanke, in remarks likely to reinforce expectations the Fed will not taper until next year, said officials want evidence of durable job growth before scaling back buying.

"The FOMC still expects that labour market conditions will continue to improve and that inflation will move toward the 2 percent objective over the medium term. If these views are supported by incoming information, the FOMC will likely begin to moderate the pace of purchases," he said.

Fed officials meet next on December 17-18, although most economists don't think they will begin to scale back the bond buying until their meeting in either January or March.

The Fed stunned markets in September when it decided to keep buying bonds, after Bernanke said back in June it expected to start scaling the program back later this year. Those expectations were allowed to harden over the summer.

The chairman noted this decision caused market volatility -- which many economists blame on poor communication by Bernanke himself -- but he said market expectations for future rate hikes were now better aligned with the Fed's own forward guidance on future rate hikes.

Fed fund interest rate futures currently indicate a higher than 50 percent chance of a first rate hike in September 2015, and the move is not fully priced in until November, 2015.

Before September's Fed announcement, markets had pulled expectations for the first rate hike forward into 2014.

"Although the FOMC's decision came as a surprise to some market participants, it appears to have strengthened the credibility of the Committee's forward rate guidance," he said.

"Following the decision, longer-term rates fell and expectations of short-term rates derived from financial market prices showed, and continue to show, a pattern more consistent with the guidance."

Jan
20-Nov-2013, 11:09 PM
JPMorgan hit for record US$13b over mortgage bonds
[NEW YORK CITY] JPMorgan Chase will pay a record US$13 billion to settle a litany of lawsuits over high-risk mortgage securities it sold as safe bets ahead of the housing bust, officials announced Tuesday.

Jan
20-Nov-2013, 11:10 PM
Bernanke: looking forward to writing, speaking in post-Fed life
[WASHINGTON] Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in his first public comments on personal plans after he steps down from the Fed in January, said on Tuesday he will be "writing and speaking" on topics that have consumed his tenure at the US central bank.

Jan
20-Nov-2013, 11:10 PM
US consumer inflation muted in October
[WASHINGTON] US consumer prices unexpectedly fell in October and the annual inflation rate was the lowest in four years, which should give the Federal Reserve room to maintain bond purchases for a while.

Jan
20-Nov-2013, 11:11 PM
US retail sales beat forecasts, point to firming growth
[WASHINGTON] A gauge of US consumer spending rose more than expected in October as households bought a range of goods, suggesting upside momentum in the economy early in the fourth quarter.

Jan
20-Nov-2013, 11:13 PM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 20, 2013
US: Wall St edges up at open after data
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
NYSE345
- PHOTO: AFP
[NEW YORK] US stocks edged modestly higher at the open on Wednesday after data on spending and inflation gave the Federal Reserve room to continue its market-friendly economic stimulus.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 5.9 points or 0.04 per cent, to 15,972.93, the S&P 500 gained 1.84 points or 0.1 per cent, to 1,789.71 and the Nasdaq Composite added 9.572 points or 0.24 per cent, to 3,941.125. - Reuters

Jan
20-Nov-2013, 11:17 PM
Investors wait on Fed. What else is new?
By CNNMoney Staff @CNNMoneyInvest November 20, 2013: 9:53 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Economic data and the Federal Reserve are taking center stage Wednesday as investors look for a reason to keep the stock market party going.
The Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were all flat in early morning trading.

The market is waiting for the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent policy meeting later in the day.
Investors are looking for further evidence that the central bank will continue its stimulus program into 2014, extending the huge bond-buying spree that has supported the U.S. economic recovery and helped boost stock markets to record levels.
On Tuesday evening, chairman Ben Bernanke made a speech that indicated Fed support was likely to continue into 2014. Although that decision won't be Bernanke's to make. His terms end early next year. President Obama has nominated Fed vice chair Janet Yellen to replace Bernanke. She just needs to be confirmed by the Senate, which seems almost certain.
Related: Bernanke says the recent jobs reports were "disappointing"
On the economic front, retail sales for the month of October rose more than expected. Consumer prices were relatively flat for the month, a sign that inflation remains tame.
At 10 a.m., the National Association of Realtors will release its monthly report on existing home sales.
Related: Fear & Greed Index still in Greed mode
What's moving: Struggling retailer J.C. Penney (JCP, Fortune 500) reported a decline in quarterly revenue and same-store sales and a steepening loss compared to the year-ago quarter. But shares surged due to brightening hope for the retailer, which said that same-store sales pulled out of the gutter in October.
Deere & Co. (DJDEFDD) reported that quarterly net income easily topped forecasts, but worldwide sales in heavy equipment took a dive during the period. Shares rose in early trading.
Lowe's (LOW, Fortune 500) reported a double-digit gain in quarterly profit, which CEO Robert Niblock attributed to the strengthening market for home improvement. But shares dipped as results missed forecasts. Rival Home Depot (HD, Fortune 500) reported stronger results and guidance on Tuesday.
Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) shares continue to rise in trading following the news on Tuesday that the company is boosting its stock buyback by another $5 billion.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) is scheduled to report quarterly results in the afternoon. To top of page


First Published: November 20, 2013: 9:53 AM ET

xfactor
21-Nov-2013, 05:16 AM
DJIA 15,900.80 -66.21 -0.41%

S&P 500 1,780.39 -7.48 -0.42%

Nasdaq 3,921.27 -10.28 -0.26%

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday after minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting said the central bank could decide to scale back its stimulus program at one of its next few meetings if economic growth improved enough.

The minutes confirmed the Fed is getting closer to reducing its current program, and that it could begin scaling back its stimulus in March, analysts said.

"It seems that they're moving closer to tapering and it's becoming more of a possibility in the coming months," said Eric Viloria, senior currency strategist at Forex.com in New York.

S&P 500 declines were broad-based, led by utilities and materials sectors, with shares of Boeing and Goldman Sachs dragging on the Dow.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 82.94 points, or 0.52 percent, at 15,884.09. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 8.32 points, or 0.47 percent, at 1,779.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 15.50 points, or 0.39 percent, at 3,916.06.

In a snapshot of the economy on Wednesday, October retail sales, excluding automobiles, gasoline and building materials, or so-called core retail sales, rose 0.5 percent, exceeding expectations

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 06:42 AM
US business inventories post largest gain in 8 months
[WASHINGTON] US business inventories rose more than expected in September as sales advanced modestly, suggesting the government's third-quarter growth estimate could be revised higher.

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 06:43 AM
US existing home sales edge down, inventory flat
[WASHINGTON] US home resales fell in October due to an inventory shortage and high property prices that have dampened buying power and are expected to drag on the housing market recovery.

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 06:44 AM
JC Penney turnaround showing signs of taking hold
JC Penney Co Inc on Wednesday said November sales were encouraging and popular house brands were lifting gross profit margin, suggesting the struggling department store operator is turning a corner.

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 06:44 AM
Fed's Bullard: December taper 'definitely on the table'
[WASHINGTON] Recent US economic data is looking better and a solid jobs report for November would increase the likelihood that the Federal Reserve would start to scale back bond buying at its meeting next month, a senior Fed official said on Wednesday. "It is definitely on the table, but it is going to depend on the data," James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, told Bloomberg television. "A strong jobs report, I think, would increase the probability some for a December taper." Bullard is a voting member of the Fed's policy-setting committee this year.

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 06:45 AM
Fed officials felt taper may happen at next few meetings: minutes
[WASHINGTON] Federal Reserve officials felt they could decide to start scaling back the US central bank's massive asset purchase program at one of its next few meetings, provided this was warranted by economic growth.

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 06:46 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 21, 2013
US: Stocks fall as Fed notes suggest stimulus cuts soon
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
NYSE345
- PHOTO: AFP
[NEW YORK CITY] US stocks fell Wednesday after minutes from the last Federal Reserve policy meeting said the central bank could scale back its stimulus program "in coming months." The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 66.21 (0.41 per cent) at 15,900.82.
The broad-based S&P 500 fell 6.50 (0.36 per cent) to 1,781.37, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 10.28 (0.26 per cent) to 3,921.27.
All three indices traded in positive territory for most of the day before turning negative following the release of the minutes of the Fed's October 29-30 policy meeting, which suggested its US$85 billion a month in asset purchases could soon be reduced.
Participants expected "ongoing improvement in labor market conditions" that would "thus warrant trimming the pace of purchases in coming months," the minutes said.

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 06:50 AM
Stocks: Fed news whacks Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq
William Cummings, USA TODAY 4:08 p.m. EST November 20, 2013
Wall Street Premarket
(Photo: Richard Drew, AP)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Fed indicates 'easy money' cutback is on the horizon
Most European benchmarks were lower
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.3%
SHARE
15
CONNECT
16
TWEET
2
COMMENT
EMAIL
MORE
Stocks stumbled into the red by Wednesday's closing bell after the Fed's news that "tapering" may be on the foreseeable horizon.

Earlier, better-than-expected retail sales in October and a tame inflation report due to falling gas prices buoyed investors. All three major indexes ticked upward 0.1% or more. But then the 2 p.m. ET release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's meeting last month brought word that tapering -- a scaleback of the central bank's aggressive bond-buying policy -- may happen in "coming months."

The news knocked the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 index immediately into negative territory, a slide that continued through the afternoon. Both ended down about 0.4%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite followed suit shortly afterward and slipped 0.3%.

FED: Tapering 'in coming months'

The Fed is buying $85 billion a month in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities in an effort to hold down long-term interest rates and stimulate economic and job growth.

All three major indexes are short of a trifecta of even-number milestones -- 16,000 for the Dow, 1800 for the S&P 500 and 4000 for the Nasdaq. The Dow has crossed its threshold in intraday trading recently -- and did so again earlier Wednesday -- but has yet to close above it. On Wednesday the Dow closed at 15,901.

On Monday the S&P 500 reached its milestone only to to falter as the closing bell approached. Its Wednesday close was 1781. The Nasdaq stands at 3921.

On Tuesday, the Dow fell slightly -— down 0.06%, or 8.99 points to 15,967.03 — after earlier rising as high as 16,026. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.2%, or 3.66 points to 1,787.87 and the Nasdaq composite index dropped 0.4%, or 17.52 points to 3,931.55.

TUESDAY: Stocks end lower on muddled retail earnings

MORE: Wall Street eyes more stock gains in 2014

Retail sales had the biggest upward shift in four months, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

Sales rose 0.4% in October, but that number is even better if the steep drop in gas prices is excluded. Removing sales at gas stations, retail spending increased 0.5%.

Cheap gas also helped to keep inflation in check. The Labor Department reported that overall consumer prices fell slightly in last month. But even removing volatile gas prices, inflation is still very mild.

Retail earnings were also in focus. J.C. Penney led the S&P 500 index higher with a 6% gain. Despite reporting a loss in the third quarter, there were hopeful signs for the long-struggling store chain heading into the holiday shopping season. The company said its sales rose in October for the first time since December 2011. The stock was up 56 cents to $9.26. It's still down 52% this year.

Lowe's, the home improvement store chain, fell $2.35, or 4.6%, to $48.08. Lowe's earned 47 cents per share in the latest quarter, a penny short of what analysts were looking for. Lowe's was outshone by competitor Home Depot, which reported a 26 percent surge in net income the day before.

The holiday shopping season is a make-or-break time for U.S. retailers, and more broadly the U.S. economy. Sales during November and December can account for up to 40% of the annual revenue for store operators.

The Federal Reserve will release minutes from its October policy meeting at 2 p.m. ET. Investors will be looking for any clues on when the Fed might start to pull back on its economic stimulus program.

The central bank has been buying $85 billion in bonds a month in an effort to keep interest rates low and stimulate the economy by encouraging borrowing and hiring. At its October meeting the Fed voted to keep the bond-buying program intact, saying that the economy had not improved enough.

The Fed's next policy meeting is scheduled for Dec. 17-18. Investors are split on whether the bank will vote to pull back its bond purchases, or "taper" them, as it is sometimes called on Wall Street, so soon after voting to keep things as they are.

In a half-yearly report, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development cut its forecast for world growth this year to 2.7% and 3.6% for next. In May, it had predicted 3.1% and 4% growth, respectively. There were particularly sharp downgrades for Brazil and India, though China's forecast was raised.

European benchmarks were mostly lower, as Britain's FTSE 100 index fell 0.3% to 6,681.08. France's CAC-40 was down 0.1% to 4,268.37 and Germany's DAX edged up 0.1% to 9,202.07.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3% to 15,076.08. China's Shanghai composite index, on the other hand, rose 0.6% to 2,206.61 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 0.2% to 23,700.86.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 07:12 AM
Apple could raise price of next iPhone
Concerns about profit margins may be high enough for Apple to consider raising prices on the next version of the iconic smartphone in 2014.

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 07:13 AM
Sales of single-serve coffee tripled since 2011
Sales of single-serve coffee have tripled since 2011 Keurig
How Green Mountain and its competitors roasted the coffee market.

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 07:14 AM
THE FED MINUTES
Jobless-rate decline may be a good indicator
Lost in the Fed minutes: Why the decline in jobless rate may well be an accurate assessment of the labor market.

Leoieee
21-Nov-2013, 10:07 AM
DJIA 15,900.80 -66.21 -0.41%

S&P 500 1,780.39 -7.48 -0.42%

Nasdaq 3,921.27 -10.28 -0.26%

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday after minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting said the central bank could decide to scale back its stimulus program at one of its next few meetings if economic growth improved enough.

The minutes confirmed the Fed is getting closer to reducing its current program, and that it could begin scaling back its stimulus in March, analysts said.

"It seems that they're moving closer to tapering and it's becoming more of a possibility in the coming months," said Eric Viloria, senior currency strategist at Forex.com in New York.

S&P 500 declines were broad-based, led by utilities and materials sectors, with shares of Boeing and Goldman Sachs dragging on the Dow.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 82.94 points, or 0.52 percent, at 15,884.09. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 8.32 points, or 0.47 percent, at 1,779.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 15.50 points, or 0.39 percent, at 3,916.06.

In a snapshot of the economy on Wednesday, October retail sales, excluding automobiles, gasoline and building materials, or so-called core retail sales, rose 0.5 percent, exceeding expectations

Correction should be coming big time, before continuing the uptrend. Might be seeing DJIA back into the 14,800 area

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 11:01 PM
US jobless claims fall, hint at firming labor market
[WASHINGTON] The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, suggesting some strengthening of labour market conditions.

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 11:02 PM
US producer prices fall for second month
[WASHINGTON] US producer prices fell for a second straight month in October, indicating inflation pressures remain benign.

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 11:03 PM
US manufacturing rebounds in Nov to 8-mth high: Markit
[NEW YORK] US manufacturing rebounded this month after hitting a one-year low in October and output grew at its fastest pace in nine months, an industry report showed on Thursday.

Jan
21-Nov-2013, 11:04 PM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 21, 2013
US: Stocks rise, shrugging off mediocre retail earnings
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
[NEW YORK CITY] US stocks opened higher on Thursday shrugging off some disappointing earnings from retail equities and recovering ground after Wednesday's losses.
Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 64.73 points (0.41 per cent) to 15,965.55.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 6.63 (0.37 per cent) to 1,788.00, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tacked on 21.62 (0.55 per cent) at 3,942.89.
Several leading retailers reported disappointing or mediocre quarterly earnings, including Target, Dollar Tree and Abercrombie & Fitch. Analysts have expressed concern that vendors are aggressively discounting items during the crucial holiday shopping season.

xfactor
22-Nov-2013, 07:33 AM
DJIA 16,010.00 +.17 0.69%

S&P 500 1,795.85 +14.48 0.81%

Nasdaq 3,969.16 +47.88 1.22%

After several intraday crosses during the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) finished above 16,000 for the first time. Today's milestone move for the Dow came after a late-day slide on Wednesday. Stocks started off strong due to encouraging jobless claims reports, then took off on news that the Senate Banking Committee had cleared President Obama's nominee to lead the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, for a full Senate confirmation after the Thanksgiving break. Many on Wall Street believe Janet Yellen will continue the market-friendly policies of the current Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke.

The blue chips ending up climbing 109 points on Thursday, or 0.69%, finishing at 16,009.99. The Dow components were strong across the board, with names like Disney (DIS), JPMorgan (JPM), and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) among the gainers. The technology-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) was the big winner today, jumping 1.22% to finish at 3,969.15. The index, poised to top 4,000 for the first time in over 10 years, was powered by big names like Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), and Intel (INTC). The broader S&P 500 (^GSPC) ended a mini-losing streak, gaining 0.81% to finish at 1,795.85. On the commodities side, gold slid to a fresh 4-month low, as investors left the safety of the precious metal and sought higher returns elsewhere.

On the economic front, the Labor Department said on Thursday that just 323,000 new jobless claims came in last week, below the predicted number of 335,000 new claims. In addition, the producer price index, a gauge that measures the change in prices businesses receive for their goods, matched expectations thus adding to market optimism.

Jan
22-Nov-2013, 08:35 AM
Dow closes above 16,000 for first time ever
By Hibah Yousuf @CNNMoneyInvest November 21, 2013: 4:29 PM ET

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/assets/131121162238-dow-final-nov-21-620xa.png
Click the chart for more stock market data.
331
TOTAL SHARES
70
126
9
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Stocks were higher Thursday, following three straight days in the red for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.
The Dow rose more than 100 points and closed above 16,000 for the first time ever. The blue chip index first crossed that psychological milestone earlier this week. The S&P 500 also gained ground up, while the Nasdaq rose more than 1%.

The market moved higher even as investors parsed through lackluster earnings from retailers and tried to make sense of the latest signals from the Federal Reserve about its bond-buying program.
Target (TGT, Fortune 500) shares slumped after the discount retailer reported lower-than-expected comparable same-store sales for the third quarter. Target blamed "an environment where consumer spending remains constrained" for the weakness, a troubling sign ahead of the key holiday shopping period. Target also trimmed its profit forecast for the year.
Still, one StockTwits trader remained bullish on Target, and said that the slide in the stock was a buying opportunity.
"Just started a position in $TGT," said kknezovich. "Fantastic business. Undervalued, despite the mixed quarter. Bullish."
Dollar Tree (DLTR, Fortune 500) shares also took a tumble after the discount retailer's earnings missed expectations. The company also lowered its guidance for the year.
But StockTwits trader retail_guru pointed out that although Dollar Tree's earnings came up short, its same-store sales were much stronger than those of Target and Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500).
"Dollar Tree 3.1% comp miles ahead of -0.3% comp at Walmart & 0.9% comp at Target," he said. "Big boxes have no easy answers to $ stores $DLTR $TGT $WMT."
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) posted a quarterly loss and CEO Mike Jeffries said he expects weakness in revenue to continue into the fourth quarter. And Sears Holdings (SHLD, Fortune 500) reported a deepening loss on poor sales.
Related: Fear & Greed Index still shows greed
Still, there was some good corporate news. Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) soared following quarterly earnings that beat market expectations. The company also boosted its stock buyback and announced that it will begin to pay a dividend.
"$GMCR to borrow Carl Icahn's word: "it's no-brainer to buy this one," said StockTwits trader JustRingDRegister. "GMCR is a Brewer not only a no-brainer. It will percolate up and up!"
But other traders worried that Green Mountain may have run too far too fast.
"$GMCR: sold my long position and went short," said contrarianspeculator. "Shares have gone up too far in too short of a time frame and need to correct Bearish."
Green Mountain's caffeine rush
Green Mountain's caffeine rush
The Fed also remained in focus Thursday. Stocks finished lower Wednesday after minutes from the latest Fed meeting revealed that officials may start winding down their stimulus program for reasons other than an improving job market.
As investors bet that the Fed may move to cut back on, or taper, its bond buying program sooner rather than later, they moved away from Treasuries, pushing the 10-year yield to 2.83%. When investors started to worry in the late spring that the Fed could taper at its September meeting, the 10-year yield rose from 1.6% in May to almost 3% in just a few months.
Meanwhile, the Senate Banking Committee approved Janet Yellen's nomination to become the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve Thursday morning. Yellen is the current vice chair of the Fed, has been nominated to chair the Fed after Ben Bernanke's term ends in early 2014. Her nomination now moves to the full Senate for a vote.
Related: America's 'manly' jobs aren't coming back
European markets closed mixed. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped after new data showed a contraction in French private sector output in November.
Asian markets were also mixed. Hong Kong and Shanghai's indexes fell after Chinese manufacturing stumbled for the first time in four months. But Japan's Nikkei surged almost 2% as the Bank of Japan expressed optimism about the country's recovery and said it would make no changes to its stimulus program. To top of page


First Published: November 21, 2013: 9:51 AM ET

Jan
22-Nov-2013, 08:40 AM
US labour market firming, but inflation still benign
[WASHINGTON] The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell sharply last week and a gauge of factory activity hit an eight-month high in early November, hinting at some strength in the economy.

Jan
22-Nov-2013, 08:40 AM
Yellen takes big step toward becoming next Fed chair
[WASHINGTON] Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen moved closer on Thursday to becoming the first woman to lead the US central bank after a Senate committee backed her nomination and the chamber changed its rules to make it easier for nominees to be confirmed.

sgx2013
22-Nov-2013, 12:25 PM
'Tapering' of QE by US would benefit world: Economists
By Gao Changxin in Shanghai (November 22, 2013 10:04 AM)

If the United States stopped printing money, it would benefit China and the rest of the world, economists said, although they doubt the world's biggest economy will do so.

The US Federal Reserve said in the minutes of its last meeting on Wednesday that it could begin to scale back its so-called stimulus program at one of its next few meetings.

It added that the "tapering" would happen only if economic conditions allow it, but it is widely believed the minutes send a signal the central bank may be getting closer to cutting back its unprecedented bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing, which has been sending floods of funds into emerging markets including China.

If the US were to stop meddling in the market, that would be good news for China, said Zhou Hao, a Shanghai-based economist with Australia and New Zealand Banking Corp. Capital inflow will ease and Chinese banks won't have to print as much money to buy inbound dollars, thus alleviating inflation and money supply growth. And that fits perfectly into the government's plan to deleverage the economy.

Money supply caused by fund inflows was 441.6 billion yuan ($72 billion) in October, second only this year to the 700 billion yuan in January, according to data published by the Chinese central bank. And the data have generally stayed buoyant ever since the US started asset purchasing shortly after the financial crisis.

"The US recovery is far from strong at the moment. I don't think they will sacrifice themselves for the general well-being of the rest of the world," said Zhou.

"That is just not consistent with the way the US does things."

The Benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.04 percent on Thursday to 2,205.77 points. Most other Asian stocks also fell on concern of fund outflows caused by Federal Reserve tapering.

Chinese companies, especially cash-hungry developers, have already been busy issuing bonds this year, in case the Fed's market exit pushes rates up.

Last week, Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd, China's largest commercial property company and the world's largest cinema chain operator, was said to be planning a US dollar bond offering of $300 million to $500 million. Chinese developers had already issued $17.88 billion in debt as of Oct 20, while the figure for the full year of 2012 was only $8 billion, according to a recent report by Moody's Investors Service, a credit rating agency.

Recovery in the US is still at best mild. Dariusz Kowalczyk, an economist with Credit Agricole CIB Asia Research, wrote in a research note on Thursday that the US top-line Producer Price Index likely fell 0.3 percent in October, dragged down by lower natural gas prices. Price pressures in the core PPI should also be limited in line with recent trends, likely rising 0.1 percent.

The November Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, an index that tracks manufacturing conditions in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve district, likely declined to 21.0 from 22.3, pointing to weakening industrial activity.

"What the Fed is going to do is not stop stimulating. It's finding a different way to stimulate that is more effective," said ANZ's Zhou.

The Fed's quantitative easing programs already have amounted to $3 trillion, but they're not having the desired effect on the economy
Since the fourth quarter of 2010, the Fed's balance has expanded by $1.44 trillion. A total of $1.422 trillion - 99 percent - of that expansion has simply stayed at the Fed, locked up in the basement vault, in the form of excess reserves.

One way to make quantitative easing more effective is to extend the forward guidance on short-term rates, such as telling the world that Fed funds will remain near zero for a long time, said DBS Bank Ltd, a Singaporean lender, in a report on Thursday.

Newcastle
23-Nov-2013, 06:22 AM
DOW
16,064.77
+54.78(0.34%)


Nasdaq
3,991.65
+22.49(0.57%)



S&P 500
1,804.76
+8.91(0.50%)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks rose on Friday, with the S&P 500 closing above 1,800 for the first time and healthcare names leading the way higher.

The Dow industrials ended at another record high above 16,000.

Both the Dow and the S&P 500 recorded their seventh straight week of gains in what has been a very strong year for stocks. The seven-week advance comes just ahead of December, which since 1950 has been the best month for both the Dow and the S&P.

"We're advising our clients to take this ride until the end of the year," said Drew Nordlicht, managing director and partner at Hightower San Diego.

The Nasdaq Biotech Index <.NBI> jumped 3 percent, driven by a surge in Biogen Idec

Shares of Biogen shot up 13.2 percent on heavy volume to $285.62 after the company won 10 years of exclusivity protection for its multiple sclerosis drug, Tecfidera, from regulators in Europe.

"Healthcare is the place to be. It's a hot area. People want stocks in healthcare, industrials and consumer discretionary. That's where tactical investors have been focused, and that's where the money has been flowing," said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors Inc, in San Antonio, Texas.

European regulators also recommended approval of a new drug for hepatitis C from Gilead Sciences , which pushed its shares up 3.7 percent to $74.27.

The S&P 500 healthcare sector index <.SPXHC> has gained 37.5 percent so far in 2013, making it the S&P 500's best-performing sector this year.

Such moves give investors who have enjoyed some of the 26.5 percent surge in the S&P 500 this year an opportunity to reduce their positions ahead of an eventual market correction.

The CBOE Volatility Index <.VIX> fell 3.2 percent to close at 12.86.

With volatility low and the price of options cheap, "you lighten your stock position, but replace it with a derivative. This way, if the market were to tank, you would lose a lot less on the derivative than you would lose on the stock," Matousek said.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 54.78 points, or 0.34 percent, to end at a record 16,064.77. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 8.91 points, or 0.50 percent, to finish at 1,804.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 22.50 points, or 0.57 percent, to close at 3,991.65.

Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said on CNBC that reducing the pace of the central bank's bond-buying program will be on the table at its December policy meeting. He added that monetary policy is likely to be very accommodative for some time.

"In the meantime, $85 billion a month keeps swirling into investor hands, and some of that finds its way out into the financial markets, including the stock market," said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co., in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Intel fell 5.4 percent to $23.87 and was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 after analysts questioned whether the chipmaker can get higher-margin chips into tablets and smartphones, which are eroding sales of traditional PCs.

wen
23-Nov-2013, 08:32 AM
By Avik Das and Aman Shah

(Reuters) - Shares of 500.com Ltd and Sungy Mobile Ltd , surged in their U.S. debuts on Friday, as investors bet on Chinese technology companies backed by marquee underwriters.

Investor appetite for Chinese companies seems to have recovered after a series of accounting scandals in the past couple of years dried up U.S. listings of China-based companies in 2011 from a high of 40 in 2010.

"If they (Chinese IPOs) are brought by top-tier underwriters, then investors are a lot more interested," said Francis Gaskins, a partner at IPO research company IPODesktop.com.

Deutsche Bank led the offering of online sports-lottery operator 500.com, while Credit Suisse and JP Morgan were the lead underwriters for the IPO of mobile applications maker Sungy Mobile.

Seven Chinese companies have listed in the United States this year so far compared with just two in 2012.

In the past couple of years, companies such as timber producer Sino-Forest Corp and outdoor advertiser China Media Express were forced to delist due to accounting and corporate governance scandals.

Recently, Muddy Waters Research labeled Chinese mobile software company NQ Mobile Inc a "massive fraud".

500.com shares rose as much as 70 percent to $22 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, valuing the company at more than $700 million.

Shares of Sungy Mobile gained as much as 44 percent to $16.14, giving the company a market value of over $520 million.

BOOMING IPO MARKET

The rousing debuts of 500.com and Sungy Mobile underscore the resurgence in the U.S. IPO market this year - the strongest since 2007.

The total IPO issuance so far this year has already exceeded the 2012 total as equity markets soar, helped by continued economic growth and the Federal Reserve's efforts to keep interest rates low.

IPO issuance this year through October totaled $62.1 billion versus $91.1 billion in 2007, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a trade group that represents the largest U.S. retail brokerages.

But some fund managers are sounding a cautious note.

"We're back to a glass half-full environment as opposed to a glass half-empty environment," Jim Chanos, president and founder of Kynikos Associates, said at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit on Tuesday. "If you're the typical investor, it's probably time to be a little bit more cautious."

Analysts have said that some of the biggest names coming to market this year, such as the social media star Twitter , look overvalued.

But investors are in no mood to relent. About eight companies have doubled in value on their first day of trading this year, with many more enjoying sizeable "first-day pops".

TECH IPOS

Most Chinese IPOs this year have been those of technology-focused companies, an indication that they are benefiting from U.S. investors' interest in the technology sector.

Friday's debuts come on the heels of successful listings of online travel agent Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd and 58.com Inc , a listing site billed as China's Craigslist, among others.

Shenzhen-based 500.com, a top lottery operator in China, raised about $75 million through its IPO, priced at the top end of its $11-$13 range that was raised from $9-$11 earlier.

The company is one of the two firms authorized by China's government to provide online sports-lottery sales services in the country.

China's lottery market has grown rapidly over the years due to economic growth and improving perception of the business.

500.com posted net profit of $3.36 million for the nine months ended September 30, up nearly two-fold from a year earlier.

The company's user accounts more than doubled to 18.4 million as of September 30 from the end of 2010, according to the IPO filing.

Total lottery sales are expected to rise about 18 percent to 308.0 billion yuan ($50.54 billion) in 2013, the company said in its prospectus, citing data from market research firm iResearch.

Founder and Chief Executive Man San Law holds a 20 percent stake in the company and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China has a 14 percent stake.

Sungy Mobile priced its 7 million American depositary shares at $11.22 each, within its $9.50-$11.50 range.

The company reported a profit of nearly $10 million on revenue of $37.58 million for the nine months ended September 30.

($1 = 6.09 Chinese yuan)

(Additional reporting by Maria Ajit Thomas; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

Jan
23-Nov-2013, 09:47 AM
S&P 500 above 1,800. Dow hits record again.
By CNNMoney Staff @CNNMoneyInvest November 22, 2013: 4:13 PM ET

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/assets/131122160817-sp-week-620xa.png
SP week

http://markets.money.cnn.com/markets/overview/modules/chart.asp?primaryIndex=593933
140
TOTAL SHARES
97
43
0
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Stocks rose further into record territory Friday, as expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep buying bonds for the foreseeable future offset concerns the market is overheating.
The S&P 500 closed above 1,800 for the first time ever. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to a new all-time high above 16,000, a key level crossed for the first time this week. The Nasdaq rose nearly 0.5%, and is less than 10 points from 4,000, a level not seen since 2000.

The Dow and S&P 500 both ended higher for a seventh week. The Nasdaq posted its third consecutive weekly gain.
Since January, the Dow has climbed by 22%, the S&P 500 is up by 26% and the Nasdaq has soared by 31%.
The surge is thanks in large part to the massive stimulus program administered by the Fed, which has supported the economic recovery with monthly bond purchases.
Related: Fear & Greed Index remains in Greed territory
With stock prices at such lofty levels, some investors say the market is becoming too expensive and the risk of a sell-off is increasing.
"When valuations start to get stretched, that's when we get nervous," said Wasif Latif, vice president of equity investments at USAA Investments. "This thing can go on for a while, but we're becoming more cautious."
The S&P 500 is now trading at 15 times earnings estimates for the next 12 months. That's up from a level of about 12 at the beginning of the year and is just above the market's long-term average.
Latif said he's focusing on dividend-paying stocks, which tend to outperform in a down market. Some of the top holdings in his firm's USAA Income Stock fund are General Electric (GE, Fortune 500), Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ, Fortune 500) and Chevron (CVX, Fortune 500) .
Bernard Kavanagh, vice president of portfolio management at Stifel Nicolaus, said stocks are no longer cheap but he still thinks they are fairly valued. He still expects stocks to move higher in the short-run as investors move money off the sidelines.
"A lot of the people who had been anticipating a pullback are realizing that they've missed some significant gains, and they want to get into the market," he said.
Kavanagh said a drop of between 10% to 15% cannot be ruled out, but he dismissed claims the Fed is inflating a bubble in the stock market. Stock valuations would be much higher if the market were in a bubble, he added.
"I don't think the market tops until people get more greedy," he said.
Along those lines, CNNMoney's Fear and Greed Index, which it looks at seven indicators of market sentiment, is currently in Greed mode. But the index was showing signs of Extreme Greed just a week ago.
Related: Banks warned on high-interest loans
What's moving? Charter Communications (CHTR, Fortune 500) is said to be nearing an agreement with lenders on financing for a bid to buy Time Warner Cable (TWC, Fortune 500), sources told the Wall Street Journal. Shares of Time Warner Cable jumped on the report, as did Charter's.
Cablevision (CVC, Fortune 500) and Comcast (CCV) also rose as the report led to speculation that Comcast may also bid for Time Warner Cable, a move that could usher in a new wave of mergers in the industry.
However, one trader on StockTwits was skeptical any deal would be done.
"$CMCSA $TWC $CHTR never going to happen," said tivoboy.
Another suggested that consolidation in the cable business makes sense as more consumers watch TV and movies online.
"Media companies making play for media distribution companies to defend against industry disruption re: $AAPL $GOOG $AMZN...$TWC," said harmonicreasoning.
Shares of Biogen Idec (BIIB, Fortune 500) soared to an all-time high on reports the company's multiple sclerosis drug cleared a regulatory hurdle in Europe. One trader noted that other biotechs, such as Celgene (CELG, Fortune 500) and Gilead Sciences (GILD, Fortune 500), were also surging.
"Market is talking here and it's saying BUY BIG BIOTECH! $BIIB $GILD $CELG or just buy the $IBB etf's Bullish," noted AskLou.
Hunger Games stock is 'catching fire'
Hunger Games stock is 'catching fire'
Shares of movie studio Lion's Gate Entertainment (LGF) were higher. Investors are betting on a huge opening at the box office for "Catching Fire" -- the second movie in "The Hunger Games" franchise -- this weekend.
"$LGF Analysts believe Fire has potential to eclipse 2012's The Hunger Games, which took in nearly $700M worldwide," said abubnic.
Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) shares were up as the company's new Xbox One goes on sale. This is Microsoft's first new gaming console in eight years.
Foot Locker (FL, Fortune 500)shares rose to an all-time high after the retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly results.
European markets ended mixed. Most Asian markets closed the week on a positive note. To top of page


First Published: November 22, 2013: 9:44 AM ET

Jan
23-Nov-2013, 10:34 AM
Samsung shares rise despite Apple's US$290 mn court victory
[SEOUL] South Korean markets took in stride a US federal jury's order for Samsung to pay US$290 million in damages to Apple, with Samsung shares going up 0.69 per cent on Friday.

Jan
23-Nov-2013, 10:35 AM
Intel shares drop as Wall Street questions mobile growth
[SAN FRANCISCO] Shares of Intel Corp fell nearly 5 per cent on Friday after Wall Street came away from its investor meeting craving more evidence that the chipmaker can forge a strong mobile presence to drive up revenue and margins.

Jan
23-Nov-2013, 10:35 AM
Chinese tech companies shine in US debut
SHARES of two Chinese companies, 500.com Ltd and Sungy Mobile Ltd, surged in their US debuts on Friday, as investors bet on China-based technology companies backed by marquee underwriters.

Jan
23-Nov-2013, 10:36 AM
Twitter toughens encryption to thwart online snooping
[SAN FRANCISCO] Twitter on Friday announced it has toughened the encryption of traffic at the globally popular one-to-many messaging service to thwart online snooping.

Jan
23-Nov-2013, 10:37 AM
Microsoft sells over a million Xbox Ones in under 24 hrs
[SAN FRANCISCO] Microsoft Corp sold over 1 million of its new Xbox One game consoles within 24 hours of their hitting store shelves on Friday, on par with Sony Corp's PlayStation 4 despite launching in far more countries.

Jan
23-Nov-2013, 10:39 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 23, 2013
US lawmakers urge transport chief to shield airlines from EU plan
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
[WASHINGTON] Lawmakers urged US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Friday to use his authority to protect domestic air carriers from paying for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit as their aircraft fly over European airpsace.
Leaders of the House transportation committee sent a letter to Foxx, asking him to enter into negotiations to ensure US airlines are "held harmless" from a proposed EU amendment requiring foreign air carriers to buy carbon permits in the European emissions trading scheme to cover portions of flights over EU airspace.
They said if approved, the EU proposal would contradict what European negotiators backed last month when the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreed to develop a global market mechanism to curb emissions by 2016 that could enter force in 2020. "We believe that the EU's proposed amendment to the ETS violates the sprit and letter of the ICAO agreement, as it would be unilaterally applied to portions of U.S. flights to and from the EU." Last November, President Barack Obama signed a bill that would direct the transportation secretary to shield airlines from the EU ETS if he or she determined it was necessary for the public interest.
It required the transportation secretary, head of the Federal Aviation Authority and other US officials to conduct international negotiations to ensure US airlines are protected.

xfactor
23-Nov-2013, 10:46 AM
Shares of Intel Corp fell nearly 5 per cent on Friday after Wall Street came away from its investor meeting craving more evidence that the chipmaker can forge a strong mobile presence to drive up revenue and margins - PHOTO: REUTERS

[SAN FRANCISCO] Shares of Intel Corp fell nearly 5 per cent on Friday after Wall Street came away from its investor meeting craving more evidence that the chipmaker can forge a strong mobile presence to drive up revenue and margins.

Investors wanted the company at the vanguard of personal-computer technology to lay out a plan to get higher-margin chips into tablets and smartphones, which are rapidly eroding sales of traditional PCs.

Executives on Thursday acknowledged that they had understimated the impact of the mobile revolution, and Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich outlined plans to begin manufacturing semiconductors for other companies and develop microchips for cheaper tablets.

But some analysts warn the latter was a margin-eroding move, arguing Intel still had no technology to dominate next-generation smartphones that run on 4G LTE standards. "There was a lack of real, confidence-inspiring color on mobility," said JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna. "It is about bringing something different to the table in mobility that can sustain their gross margin structure. "That's what we didn't get from the analysts' day, to really convince us that they're going to get back to growth." On Thursday, Intel projected flat revenue and gross margins for 2014 - slightly below market projections for about 2 per cent growth in sales. While analysts said the new CEO may be setting a low bar, others saw that as highlighting an uncertain 2014 and the difficulty of expanding margins as the PC market continues to shrink.

The "2014 guidance gave investors their first hints of the potholes in store on the journey," Bernstein's Stacy Rasgon wrote on Friday. "Intel is trying to buy their way into the tablet market at great near-term cost, and outlook for flat revenue, gross margins ... was disappointing." Intel stock was down 4.8 per cent at US$24.02 at midday. - Reuters

xfactor
23-Nov-2013, 10:47 AM
WASHINGTON] Taiwan's Foxconn, the maker of iPhones, iPads and other electronics in China, said Thursday it would invest US$40 million in the United States to ramp up manufacturing of high-end products.

The world's largest contract electronics maker will create around 500 jobs in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as it puts US$30 million into a plant to build precision tools, cables for electric cars and other advanced technologies, officials from the company and the state government said.

Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision, will commit another US$10 million at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, also in Pennsylvania, for research and development in robotics.

Terry Guo, the company's chairman and founder, said he welcomed President Barack Obama's talk of a US manufacturing "renaissance" and picked Pennsylvania in part because the company already has small operations in Harrisburg, the state capital.

Mr Guo decided to discuss individual contracts but indicated that Foxconn did not intend to shift to the United States production of iPhones or iPads, designed by iconic US company Apple but assembled overseas.

"We don't want to move the hand-to-hand worker jobs, we want to move the intelligent jobs - the skilled labor jobs," Mr Guo told reporters after a ceremony with Pennsylvania officials in Washington.

Mr Obama has vowed to put a top priority on reviving US manufacturing, which has steadily declined and cost millions of jobs in recent years as factories move to nations with cheaper labor.

The president frequently hails the creation of some 500,000 manufacturing jobs since the sector's low point in 2010, but he faces an uphill task in fulfilling a goal declared in his re-election campaign to create another one million manufacturing jobs by the time he leaves office in 2017.

Foxconn has come under a spotlight over labor unrest in its Chinese plants. At least 13 workers in China died in 2010 in apparent suicides, which activists blamed on tough working conditions.

The company has denied the accusations but raised wages by nearly 70 per cent at its China plants in 2010. - AFP

Jan
25-Nov-2013, 11:11 PM
US private sector rebounds in November: Markit

Jan
25-Nov-2013, 11:11 PM
Nasdaq tops 4,000 for 1st time in 13 years

Jan
26-Nov-2013, 06:44 AM
US pending home sales hit 10-month low, services sector rebounds

Jan
26-Nov-2013, 06:45 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 26, 2013
US: Stocks little changed after weak housing data
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
NYSE345
- PHOTO: AFP
[NEW YORK] US stocks closed little changed Monday as investors weighed a weak US housing market report and a breakthrough deal between Iran and major powers over its controversial nuclear program.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 12.84 points (0.08 per cent) at 16,077.61.
The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 1.99 (0.11 per cent) to 1,802.77, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite inched up 2.92 (0.07 per cent) to 3,994.57.
Markets pared robust opening gains after the National Association of Realtors reported that US pending home sales slowed for the fifth straight month in October. Trade was subdued at the start of the Thanksgiving holiday-shortened week.

bwong
27-Nov-2013, 09:48 AM
Published November 27, 2013


HP quarterly revenue beats, shares jump



[SAN FRANCISCO] Hewlett-Packard Co's revenue beat forecasts as sales growth in its enterprise group inspired cautious optimism about the company's turnaround plan, and its shares rallied more than 7 per cent.

Revenue from the sprawling enterprise group, which chief executive Meg Whitman is focused on expanding as personal computer sales crumble globally, climbed 2 per cent, aided by a 10 per cent rise in server sales and 3 per cent growth of the networking business. "We have more to do on the margins but we are happy," Ms Whitman said in an interview. "We had a good quarter in networking, particularly in China and in Europe." HP faced an aggressive pricing environment and a tough global economy but there were "some bright spots in Asia and in some of our emerging markets," she added.

Overall, the company posted revenue of US$29.1 billion, beating the US$27.9 billion expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Non-GAAP net earnings fell 14 per cent to US$2 billion in the quarter or US$1.01 per share, versus the US$1.00 analysts had expected on average.

xfactor
27-Nov-2013, 11:27 PM
Confidence among U.S. consumers rose last week to the highest level since early October as tensions in Washington calmed and hiring improved.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index increased to minus 33.7 in the period ended Nov. 24, the strongest in seven weeks, from minus 34.6. Households became less pessimistic about the state of their finances and the economy as the government’s partial shutdown last month receded from memories. The reading was the best for any pre-Thanksgiving week since 2007.

Households became less pessimistic about the state of their finances and the economy as the government’s partial shutdown last month receded from memories.

Rising equity and home prices are bolstering household wealth and contributing to a pickup in attitudes just before the holiday-shopping season. The pace of wage and job growth will also influence whether consumers boost their spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the U.S. economy.

“Confidence among upper-income households has definitely been bolstered by the appreciation in equity markets,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist for Bloomberg LP in New York. “The risk to sentiment going forward” may be the recent rebound in gasoline prices that would shake the wherewithal of poorer Americans especially, said Brusuelas.

Other figures today showed fewer Americans than expected filed jobless claims last week and orders for big-ticket items declined in October.

Applications for unemployment benefits decreased by 10,000 to 316,000 in the week ended Nov. 23, the fewest in two months, the Labor Department said in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for an increase to 330,000 claims.

Durable Orders
Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years fell 2 percent last month after a 4.1 percent gain in September, Commerce Department data showed. Excluding transportation equipment, where demand is often volatile month to month, orders dropped 0.1 percent after a 0.2 percent gain.

Stocks rose, with equities heading for a third straight monthly gain, as investors weighed the drop in jobless claims to assess the strength of the economy. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 0.1 percent to 1,804.78 at 9:32 a.m. in New York.

Two of the Bloomberg weekly gauge’s three components improved last week. The gauge of personal finances advanced to 0.1, the first positive reading in almost two months, from minus 2.1 the week prior. A measure of Americans’ views of current economic conditions increased to minus 62.5 from minus 63.7 the previous period.

The buying-climate index slipped to minus 38.7 from minus 38.2 as fewer Americans responded that now is a good time to make purchases. The decline may have stemmed from a resurgence in fuel costs, weighing on household budgets. A gallon of regular gasoline climbed to $3.29 on Nov. 25, the highest in a month, according to AAA, the largest U.S. motoring group.

Labor Market
At the same time, improvements in the labor market are helping underpin confidence. The number of job openings in September rose to a more than five-year high, according to Labor Department figures released last week. Payroll gains have averaged 186,300 a month so far this year, up from 182,750 in 2012.

Rising home prices are also propping up balance sheets for some Americans, leaving them with greater means to spend. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 U.S. cities gained 13.3 percent in September from a year earlier, the most since 2006, a report showed this week. Prices nationwide jumped 11.2 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period in 2012, the report said.

Today’s comfort figures showed attitudes diverged further between homeowners and renters. The confidence reading for home-owners rose to minus 23.6 from minus 26.6, compared with minus 48.8 among renters.

Jan
28-Nov-2013, 05:23 AM
US jobless claims unexpectedly fall last week
[WASHINGTON] The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, offering signs of a steady improvement in the labour market.

Jan
28-Nov-2013, 05:23 AM
Gauge of US business spending plans, durable goods orders fall in Oct
[WASHINGTON] A gauge of planned US business spending on capital goods unexpectedly fell in October and new orders for long-lasting manufactured goods were down, pointing to a loss of momentum in factory activity.

Jan
28-Nov-2013, 05:24 AM
US consumer sentiment rises in November on improved economic outlook
US consumer sentiment rose in November as wealthier Americans' outlook on the economy improved, a survey released on Wednesday showed.

Jan
28-Nov-2013, 05:24 AM
US economic growth gauge rises: ECRI
[NEW YORK] A measure of future US economic growth rose to a nine-week high while the annualized growth rate also gained, a research group said on Wednesday.

xfactor
28-Nov-2013, 06:48 AM
DJIA 16,097.30 24.53 0.15%

S&P 500 1,807.23 4.48 0.25%

Nasdaq 4,044.75 27.00 0.67%


NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 closed at record highs on Wednesday, led by Hewlett-Packard's jump a day after the personal computer maker's earnings, while the Nasdaq finished at a 13-year high.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq got its biggest boost from Apple Inc (AAPL), which rose 2.4 percent to $545.96, the stock's highest level since January. Technology stocks have lagged the broader market this year, with the S&P information technology sector index (.SPLRCT) rising almost 21 percent, compared with the S&P 500's 27 percent surge.

"We're seeing some rotation into the tech sector, which was left out of broader market gains," said Frank Davis, director of sales and trading at LEK Securities, in New York.

Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ) shares shot up 9 percent to $27.36, the highest since August, after the company reported stronger-than-expected results late Tuesday.

Expectations were low for HP's fourth quarter following a disappointing third quarter and after tech bellwethers IBM (IBM.N) and Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO) reported poor results.

Overall trading volume was light at 4.37 billion shares, according to BATS. Many traders were out for the Thanksgiving holiday, as the U.S. stock market will be closed on Thursday. On Friday, the market will close at 1 p.m..

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 24.53 points or 0.15 percent, to end at 16,097.33, a record closing high. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) gained 4.48 points or 0.25 percent, to finish at 1,807.23, a record closing high. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) added 27.001 points or 0.67 percent, to close at 4,044.75.

Energy was the day's worst-performing sector. The S&P index of energy shares (.SPNY) fell 0.7 percent after a higher-than-expected increase in U.S. crude oil inventories.

U.S. light crude oil futures fell 1.5 percent to settle at $92.30 a barrel, which may translate into lower gasoline prices for consumers.

Weekly jobless claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell in the latest week, a sign of steady improvement in the labor market. Analysts were expecting an increase in claims.

The November Chicago Purchasing Managers Index and the final November reading for the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index exceeded expectations.

xfactor
30-Nov-2013, 07:08 AM
DJIA 16,086.40 -10.92 -0.07%

S&P 500 1,805.81 -1.42 -0.08%

Nasdaq 4,059.89 +15.14 0.37%

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 dipped in thin holiday trading on Friday, but technology stocks helped lift the Nasdaq to a 13-year high.

The Nasdaq got a boost from the technology sector, with Apple (AAPL) up 1.9 percent at $556.07, Microsoft Corp (MSFT) up 1.4 percent at $38.13 and Amazon Inc (AMZN) up 1.8 percent at $393.62.

"It's almost as if people are rotating into the bigger blue-chip names, especially the technology big caps. We wouldn't be shocked at all to see the small and mid-cap names lag a little bit," said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist with Schaeffer's Investment Research, in Cincinnati.

But with the both the S&P and Dow on an eight-week winning streak, investors may be cautious in adding new positions.

"We expect, and we recommend to our clients, that if they have exceeded their strategic allocation to equities, to take profit at these levels," said Paul Mangus, head of equity research and strategy for Wells Fargo Private Bank, in Charlotte, N.C.

Volume was light, with slightly over 2 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms, according to BATS exchange data, as many U.S. investors remained out following the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. The U.S. stock market ended its regular session three hours early at 1 p.m..

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 10.92 points or 0.07 percent, to end at 16,086.41. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) slipped 1.42 points or 0.08 percent, to finish at 1,805.81. But the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) added 15.136 points or 0.37 percent, to close at 4,059.886.

Retail stocks were in focus as the holiday shopping season gets under way. Many stores opened on Thanksgiving for the first time ever this year, but stores had to resort to steep discounts and shoppers appeared to be making careful purchases.

The S&P retail index (.SPXRT) rose 0.3 percent. Among some of the most active retail names, Target Corp (TGT) declined 0.8 percent to $63.93, Best Buy Co Inc (BBY) jumped 2.4 percent to $40.55, and J.C. Penney Co (JCP) gained 1.1 percent to $10.19.

In the health-care sector, CVS Caremark Corp (CVS) shares gained 0.3 percent to $66.96 after Wednesday's news that CVS will buy drug infusion services provider Coram LLC for $2.1 billion. The transaction will let CVS Caremark bolster its pharmacy benefits management business by offering cost-effective delivery of specialty drugs.

Jan
30-Nov-2013, 07:17 AM
Stocks end flat on Black Friday
By CNNMoney Staff @CNNMoneyInvest November 29, 2013: 1:10 PM ET

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/assets/131129101820-sp-ytd-620xa.png

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Stocks ended a shortened trading day flat Friday, but November was a strong month for the market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 ended little changed. The Nasdaq posted a modest gain. Trading volume was well below average Friday as many investors took the day off. The market closed three hours early Friday and was dark Thursday for Thanksgiving.

Despite the mixed finish Friday, all three indexes ended higher for the week. It was the eighth consecutive weekly gain for the Dow and S&P 500.
Stocks ended November with gains of between 3% and 4%. Stocks have been on a tear this year, with the S&P 500 up nearly 27%. Solid corporate earnings and continuing bond purchases by the Federal Reserve have helped spur strong buying this month, pushing the Dow and S&P to record highs.
Retailers were in focus as consumers turned out in droves for Black Friday.
The annual shopping bonanza kicked off earlier than usual, with some of the biggest stores such as Sears (SHLD, Fortune 500)-owned Kmart, Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500), Macy's (M, Fortune 500) and Target (TGT, Fortune 500) opening their doors on Thursday evening.
While the early openings drew large crowds, shares of most major retailers were only modestly higher Friday.
Related: Early store openings appear to have worked for retailers
Wal-Mart appears to be the most popular destination, with foot traffic up 160% over the normal shopping day, according to data on users of the smartphone app Shopular.
Target reported "unprecedented numbers" of shoppers in stores and on the company's website.
Yet the large turnout of bargain hunters may not necessarily translate to big profits for retailers, said Brian Sozzi, chief strategist at Belus Capital Advisors. Despite the large crowds, Sozzi said the hauls consumers brought home were relatively modest at the shopping centers he visited.
"My sense is that retailers will have to raise their level of promotions to close more sales," he said. "I just didn't see the bag size and bag count one would expect given ramped up promotional messages."
Not all shoppers were willing to brave the crowds on Thursday and Black Friday. Thanksgiving online sales are up nearly 20% over the same period last year, according to data from IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark.
Apple pie and Bitcoin is golden: Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) shares were getting some Black Friday love. The stock rose back above $555 a share, a level it hasn't hit since early January. The iPad and iPhone maker has clawed back from deep year-to-date losses in the summer, when prices fell below $400 a share. Apple's stock is now up almost 5% in 2013.
Related: Fear & Greed Index inches closer to Extreme Greed
And the amazing run in virtual currency Bitcoin continues. The price of one bitcoin hit a new all-time high of $1,242 Friday. That puts Bitcoin prices within $10 of topping the price of an ounce of gold.
It was a fairly muted day of trading across the globe. Major European stocks and Asian markets ended mixed. To top of page


First Published: November 29, 2013: 9:51 AM ET

xfactor
30-Nov-2013, 03:59 PM
Traders will also sweep through sales data from retailers after the long Thanksgiving weekend, which kick-starts the holiday shopping season. Vice President Joe Biden's trip to Asia will increase the focus on a standoff pitting China against Japan, South Korea and the United States over air routes over the East China Sea.

Employment numbers will be the highlight as traders second-guess what the data will mean for the Fed and its announced intention to gradually reduce its $85 billion in monthly asset purchases, which have lit a fire under the stock market this year.

The Fed has repeatedly said its stimulus remains data-dependent, leading traders to treat soft data as a bullish market catalyst that guarantees Fed stimulus.

"The whole market is trying to channel the Fed," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

She said volatility is to be expected as the reaction to data is more a "let's interpret how the Fed interprets it" rather than what it means for the economy.

Nonfarm payrolls for November on Friday will cap three days of jobs data that includes ADP's November report on private-sector payrolls on Wednesday and weekly U.S. jobless claims on Thursday.

Economists expect the U.S. economy to have created 185,000 jobs in November, down from 204,000 in October, according to a Reuters survey of economists.

Other major economic indicators due next week include the Institute for Supply Management's data on the U.S. manufacturing and services sectors, with the ISM's factory index expected on Monday and its services index due on Wednesday. Domestic car and truck sales are scheduled for release on Tuesday, followed by U.S. factory orders on Thursday and the preliminary reading for December on consumer sentiment from Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan on Friday.

November marked the third consecutive month of gains for the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI), the Standard & Poor's 500 (^GSPC) and the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC). The S&P 500 ended slightly lower on Friday, but closed its eighth positive week in a row, its longest weekly stretch of gains since a nine-week run from November 2003 to January 2004.

The benchmark S&P 500 is up 26.62 percent so far this year, which would make its best yearly gain since it climbed 26.67 percent in 1998.

RETAILERS ON CENTER STAGE

Consumer views are a key data point as the most important shopping season of the year, when some retailers make nearly half of the year's profits, gets under way.

The National Retail Federation expects that up to 140 million shoppers hit U.S. stores over the Thanksgiving weekend, slightly more than the 139 million who turned out last year.

If reports start to show the numbers don't add up, retail stocks may feel some heat.

"The market seems to be focused on the consumer and on retail sales. They're going to dice up and analyze what sales figures have been for this weekend," said Bruce Zaro, chief technical strategist at Delta Global Asset Management in Boston.

He said there's special interest in this season because there are fewer shopping days and retailers are significantly reducing prices to attract shoppers.

This year's holiday shopping season in the United States is one of the shortest in years, with less than 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Zaro said that however important sales and traffic numbers are, soft data should be treated carefully.

"I'm not sure it's a proxy for the overall market. There are areas of the economy doing quite well and areas of the market that are doing well beyond retailers, which are relatively mixed."

Regardless of how strong the numbers are, consumer stocks could be due for a slowdown. Retail stocks have underperformed the S&P 500 in the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas for the past three years, according to data from Bespoke Investment Group, an investment research firm in Harrison, New York.

Bespoke's data show that since 2000, the S&P 500 has averaged a gain of 1.7 percent during that key period, with positive returns in all but three years. Retail stocks have averaged a gain of just 0.8 percent in the same time frame, with positive returns during six of the 13 years.

A CHILL FROM CHINA?

During Biden's visit to China, Japan and South Korea next week, he will seek to ease growing tensions in the region. Last week, China established a new airspace defense zone over the East China Sea, including the islands at the heart of its dispute with Japan.

China scrambled jets on Friday in response to two U.S. spy planes and 10 Japanese aircraft, including F-15 fighters, entering its new air defense zone, state news agency Xinhua said.

"This is a little bit of a brush fire, and I'm hopeful it will de-escalate in a hurry," said Jim Russell, senior equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management, in Cincinnati.

"It's not the season to have a geopolitical distraction on what is already a shortened and highly promotional shopping season," he said.

Jan
01-Dec-2013, 08:11 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 30, 2013
World stock index near 6-yr high, US crude oil rebounds
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
30059672
A major index of world equities rose to near a six-year high on Friday, helped by gains in US stocks, on faith in an improving global economy and support from central banks, while US crude oil rebounded from recent declines - PHOTO : AP
[LONDON] A major index of world equities rose to near a six-year high on Friday, helped by gains in US stocks, on faith in an improving global economy and support from central banks, while US crude oil rebounded from recent declines.
The US stock market rose in light trading in what will be an abbreviated session following Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday. The S&P 500 has gained 27 per cent so far in 2013, with the seasonally strong month of December to come.
Retail stocks were in focus on the traditionally busy shopping day for US stores known as Black Friday.
"There's nothing to trade on today, but the market is in a momentum story and the rally doesn't seem to be running out of steam," said Robert Russell, president of Russell & Co in Fairborn, Ohio.

Jan
01-Dec-2013, 08:11 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 30, 2013
US Thanksgiving shopping binge brings Black Friday hangover
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
BLACKFIR55656
An early start to this year's US holiday Shopping season may not necessarily ring-up bigger holiday sales for retailers - PHOTO: AFP
[NEW YORK] An early start to this year's US holiday Shopping season may not necessarily ring-up bigger holiday sales for retailers.
Eager to entice cautious consumers, especially with six fewer shopping days this year than in 2012, many retailers offered sales on Thanksgiving, traditionally a day for family, friends and football games. Even Macy's flagship store in New York opened at 8 pm, the first time ever on the American holiday.
As a result, some US shoppers may have hit malls and stores on Thanksgiving, rather than during the traditional"Black Friday" blitz.
By late morning, the number of shoppers in many stores more closely resembled a normal Saturday than the usual frenzied Black Friday kickoff to the holiday season.

Jan
01-Dec-2013, 08:20 AM
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 30, 2013
Income theme seen staying hot
JP Morgan Asset Management positive about preferreds, high yield bonds. By Genevieve Cua
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
BT 20131130 GCINCOME30 858143
BULLISH OUTLOOK
The equity asset class is the place to be over the next couple of years, according to Anthony Ho, managing director of JP Morgan Asset Management. - PHOTO: REUTERS
INCOME-yielding assets are expected to remain a hot theme in 2014, despite having posted strong returns over the past three to four years. The reason is that despite jitters over the prospect of a tapering of quantitative easing (QE) measures, interest rates are expected to remain low.
Says Anthony Ho, JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) managing director: "We believe the income theme will still play out over the next couple of years. We believe that interest rates will continue to be maintained at a historically low level for a little longer. . . We think the first rate hike is still more than two years away. Investors will continue to focus on asset classes that continue to generate yields."
Mr Ho is also client portfolio manager (asset management solutions), under the firm's global multi-asset group.
Over the past 12 months, JPMAM has seen inflows of as much as US$10 billion into income strategies under the multi-asset group. Assets in such strategies grew from US$7 billion to US$18 billion. The firm manages a total of US$1.5 trillion globally. The multi-asset group manages about US$126 billion.

xfactor
01-Dec-2013, 10:27 AM
(Reuters) - U.S. shoppers visited more stores and spent more money at brick-and-mortar sites across Thanksgiving Day and "Black Friday" than they did in 2012 while online sales set records, data showed on Saturday.

Retail sales increased by 2.3 percent as shoppers spent an estimated total of $12.3 billion across the two days, ShopperTrak said in a statement.

Shoppers were drawn by deep discounts, promotions and extended store hours, it said.

Adobe Systems Inc (ADBE), which provides digital marketing tools, said its data showed record online sales for "Black Friday" and Thanksgiving at $1.93 billion and $1.062 billion, respectively.

Friday sales were up 39 percent from the year before and rose 18 percent for Thursday, it said in a statement. The Adobe analysis is based on 400 million visits to more than 2,000 U.S. retail websites over both days.

ShopperTrak said that for "Black Friday," brick-and-mortar shopper traffic fell 11.4 percent and retail sales were down by 13.2 percent.

"The Black Friday shopping experience is changing with more shoppers choosing to go out on Thanksgiving Day," Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder, said in the statement.

Among the four regions in the United States, the West had the greatest increase in traffic and sales at 6.9 percent and 6 percent, respectively, according to ShopperTrak estimates.

The Northeast showed the only declines, with drops of 5 percent in traffic and 7 percent in sales.

start
01-Dec-2013, 05:15 PM
Americans' online shopping for Black Friday deals soared to $3 billion during a two-day period beginning on Thanksgiving, with tablets and cell phones used for nearly a quarter of sales, Agence France-Presse reported estimates as showing Saturday.

Online purchases reached $1.93 billion on Friday itself, the unofficial start of the retail sector's holiday season.

That marked a 39 percent increase over 2012, according to software maker Adobe, which analyzed 400 million visits on some 2,000 American shopping websites.

Early Black Friday sales, which began on Thanksgiving, reached $1.06 billion, up 18 percent from last year, according to Adobe.

Technology giant IBM also found similar numbers for overall online sales as it looked at 800 merchant websites.

It said online sales jumped 19.7 percent on Thanksgiving and 19 percent on Black Friday, with orders averaging $135.27, a 2.2 percent increase compared to last year.

Online shoppers may have been wise to avoid stores, with reports of fistfights, a stabbing and a shooting as people elbowed their way through crowded shopping floors to snatch heavily discounted items.

Sales from mobile devices accounted for 24.2 percent of the total, according to Adobe, with purchases from tablets representing 15.6 percent of those sales and purchases from smartphones representing 8.6 percent.

Similarly IBM found that mobile devices accounted for 21.8 percent of sales.

According to Adobe, of the $3 billion in total online sales over the two days, $417 million was done on iPads and $126 million was done on iPhones, while Android phones were used to buy $106 million in purchases and Android tablets accounted for $42 million.

IBM said tablets were used for 14.4 percent of online sales, against 7.2 percent on smartphones. On average, tablet users each spent $132.75 and smartphone users spent $115.63.

The company also found that iPad and iPhone users spent more, shelling out an average of $127.92, compared to $105.20 for users of Google's Android system.

Adobe agreed that Apple users spent more than people using Android devices.

Purchases made from Apple devices accounted for 18.1 percent of total online sales, against 3.5 percent for Android devices.

IBM and Adobe did not examine purchases made in stores.

An estimate of total Thanksgiving weekend sales -- including both online and in stores -- is expected Sunday.

start
02-Dec-2013, 08:27 AM
Markets get back to business after a brief holiday break, and much of the focus will be on customer traffic in stores and online with retailers offering a slew of new deals coming Cyber Monday.

The Labor Department, meanwhile, is scheduled to report nonfarm payrolls data for November, headlining the slate of economic data for the coming week.

On the earnings front, Jos. A Bank Clothiers Inc. (JOSB), Aeropostale Inc. (ARO), Guess (GES), and Kroger Co. (KR) are among the bigger names expected to report.

Finally, auto makers are expected to report light-vehicle sales for November.

Jobs Data and GDP

The Labor Department gets back on its normal schedule of reporting monthly nonfarm data on the first Friday of every month. The unemployment rate is expected to tick down to 7.2%, while the economy is expected to have added 180,000 jobs in November, lower than October's figure of 204,000, according to economists.

The second look at third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product is expected Thursday. Economists expect the annual rate of growth will be revised to an estimate of 3.2% from 2.8% a month ago.

Eyes on Jos. A. Bank Amid Takeover Drama

The tables have turned as former takeover target Men's Wearhouse Inc. (MW) has now proposed instead to buy Jos. A. Bank, which is expected to report earnings Thursday. The company earlier this month said it expected to post better-than-expected earnings in its fiscal third quarter on the strength of higher total sales.

Teen Retailers and Others

Struggling Aeropostale, which is being pressured by a shareholder to sell itself, leads the pack of teen retailers expected to report during the week. The company in August issued downbeat guidance for the fiscal third quarter, saying it expected to post a loss of 21 cents to 26 cents a share.

Fellow teen-apparel American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (AEO), Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ) and Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (PSUN) are expected to post earnings, as well.

Other notable companies expected to report quarterly results in the week ahead: Guess, Kroger, Dollar General Corp. (DG), Big Lots Inc. (BIG) and Diamond Foods Inc. (DMND).

Monthly Auto Sales

Data on vehicle sales for November are expected to be released Tuesday. Edmunds.com expects new U.S. auto sales to jump 4.7% in November compared with the year-earlier period, as shoppers take advantage of holiday promotions.

Jan
02-Dec-2013, 11:24 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 02, 2013
US: Stocks open flat ahead of data
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
NYSE345
- PHOTO: AFP
[NEW YORK] US stocks opened little-changed Monday ahead of a busy week of economic data following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 8.57 (0.05 per cent) to 16,077.84.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 1.53 (0.08 per cent) to 1,807.34, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 6.29 (0.15 per cent) at 4,066.17.
Stocks resumed a normal schedule on Monday after a holiday-shortened weak of light trade. The Dow and S&P 500 sit near historic highs, while the Nasdaq is trading above 4,000 for the first time in 13 years.

Jan
02-Dec-2013, 11:39 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 02, 2013
US manufacturing gains in November: ISM
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
[WASHINGTON] The US manufacturing sector expanded for the sixth straight month in November, the Institute of Supply Management said on Monday.
The ISM purchasing managers index for November rose to 57.3 from 56.4 the previous month, against expectations of a slight fall.
The index is up 7.1 points since the beginning of the year.
Production, new orders and employment were all higher.

Jan
03-Dec-2013, 08:41 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 03, 2013
US: Wall St ends lower as mining companies slump
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
NYSE345
- PHOTO: AFP
[NEW YORK] US stocks closed lower on Monday, with investors unable to find new reasons to keep pushing shares higher after eight straight weeks of gains, while the mining sector slid alongside sharp drops in precious metals prices.
The major US stock indexes hovered near break-even levels for much of the day after some encouraging economic data limited early losses, but turned lower in the last hour of the trading day.
Equities have rallied in recent weeks on expectations of continued stimulus from the Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 has risen for eight straight weeks, its longest run since a nine-week climb between November 2003 and January 2004, putting its yearly gain at nearly 27 per cent. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 have hit repeated all-time highs this year. "We're not expecting a severe pullback, but we're not jumping into the market with both feet, given how far we've come, and that there are no real catalysts," said John Norris, managing director of wealth management with Oakworth Capital Bank in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose in November to its best showing since April 2011, while the pace of hiring in the sector also accelerated. In addition, construction spending increased 0.8 per cent in October, the highest since May 2009.

Jan
03-Dec-2013, 10:00 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 03, 2013
US small business borrowing rises to six-year high, index shows
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
US small businesses boosted borrowing in October to its highest level in over six years, an index showed on Tuesday, fresh evidence that the budget battle that shut the federal government for 16 days did little to derail underlying economic growth.
The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the volume of financing to small companies, rose to 120.4 in October, PayNet said on Tuesday. That was the highest level since August 2007, just as the devastating US financial crisis was gaining steam.
In September, the index registered a reading of 109.9.
Historically, PayNet's lending index has correlated to overall economic growth one or two quarters in the future. Small companies typically take out loans to buy new tools, factories and equipment, so more borrowing can be an early harbinger of increased hiring ahead.

sgx2013
04-Dec-2013, 12:28 AM
Dow. -88

sgx2013
04-Dec-2013, 01:07 PM
Judge says Detroit eligible for bankruptcy
Agencies (December 4, 2013 8:42 AM)

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Detroit can use bankruptcy to cut employee pensions and relieve itself of other crushing debts, handing a defeat to the city's unions and retirees and shifting the case into a delicate new phase.

Judge Steven Rhodes, who wondered aloud why the bankruptcy had not happened years ago, said pensions can be altered just like any contract because the Michigan Constitution does not offer bulletproof protection for employee benefits. But he signaled a desire for a measured approach and warned city officials that they must be prepared to defend any deep reductions.

"This once proud and prosperous city can't pay its debts. It's insolvent," Rhodes said in formally granting Detroit the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history. "At the same time, it also has an opportunity for a fresh start."

The ruling came more than four months after Detroit filed for Chapter 9 protection.

Rhodes agreed with unions and pension funds that the city's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, had not negotiated in good faith in the weeks ahead of the July filing, a key condition under federal law. But he said the number of creditors — more than 100,000 — and a wide array of competing interests probably made that "impossible."

Detroit "could have and should have filed for bankruptcy long before it did.*

Perhaps years," the judge said.

The decision set the stage for officials to confront $18 billion in debt with a plan that might pay creditors just pennies on the dollar and is sure to include touchy negotiations over the pensions of about 23,000 retirees and 9,000 workers. Orr says pension funds are short by $3.5 billion.

Rhodes promised that he would not "lightly or casually" sign off on just any cuts.

The city has argued that bankruptcy protection will allow it to help beleaguered residents who for years have tolerated slow police responses, darkened streetlights and erratic garbage pickup — a concern mentioned by the judge during a nine-day trial that ended Nov. 8.

Before the July filing, nearly 40 cents of every dollar collected by Detroit was used to pay debt, a figure that could rise to 65 cents without relief through bankruptcy, according to the city.
Orr praised the judge's ruling and pledged to "press ahead." He also acknowledged that pensions would be a sensitive issue because they represent a "human dimension" to the crisis, with some retirees getting by on less than $20,000 a year.

City truck mechanic Mark Clark, 53, said he may look for another job after absorbing pay cuts and higher health care costs. Now a smaller pension looms.

"Most of us didn't have too much faith in the court. ... The working class is becoming the have-nots," Clark said outside the courthouse. "I'm broke up and beat up. I'm going to pray a whole lot."
Marcia Ingram, a retired clerical worker, said she may need to find work but added: "How many folks are going to hire a 60-year-old woman?"

The judge spoke for more than an hour in a packed courtroom, reciting Detroit's proud history as the diverse, hard-working Motor City devoted to auto manufacturing. But he then tallied a list of warts: double-digit unemployment, catastrophic debt deals, thousands of vacant homes and wave after wave of population loss.

Behind closed doors, mediators led by another judge have been meeting with Orr's team and creditors for weeks to explore possible settlements.

Rhodes has told the city to come up with a plan by March 1 to exit bankruptcy. Orr has said he would like to have one ready weeks earlier.

The city is so desperate for money that it may consider auctioning off masterpieces from the Detroit Institute of Arts and selling a water department that serves much of southeastern Michigan.

"We need to recognize that this decision is a call to action," Gov. Rick Snyder, who supported the bankruptcy filing, said Tuesday. "We are confronting fiscal realities that have been ignored for too long."

Minutes after the ruling, a union lawyer said she would appeal. City officials got "absolutely everything" in Rhodes' decision, she told reporters.

"It's a huge loss for the city of Detroit," said Sharon Levine, an attorney for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents half of city workers.

Orr, a bankruptcy expert, was appointed in March under a Michigan law that allows a governor to send a manager to distressed cities, townships or school districts. A manager has extraordinary powers to reshape local finances without interference from elected officials. By July, Orr and Snyder decided bankruptcy was Detroit's best option.

Detroit, a manufacturing hub that offered well-paying blue-collar jobs, peaked at 1.8 million residents in 1950 but has lost more than a million people since then. With more square mileage than Manhattan, Boston and San Francisco combined, the city does not have enough tax revenue to reliably cover pensions, retiree health insurance and buckets of debt sold to keep the budget afloat.

Donors have written checks for new police cars and ambulances. A new agency has been created to revive tens of thousands of streetlights that are dim or simply broken after years of vandalism and mismanagement.

Former hospital executive Mike Duggan takes over as mayor in January, the third mayor since Kwame Kilpatrick quit in a scandal in 2008 and the first white mayor in largely black Detroit since the 1970s.

Orr is in charge at least through next fall, although he's expected to give Duggan more of a role at city hall than the current mayor, Dave Bing, who has little influence in daily operations.

Jan
04-Dec-2013, 08:09 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 04, 2013
Fed unlikely to draw new markers for US rate hike
Bernanke, Yellen remarks suggest no change coming in jobless rate threshold
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
FED965210000
But earlier this year, when Fed chairman Ben Bernanke hinted the central bank could soon reduce its bond purchases - the other tool it has been using to hold down long-term rates - bond yields, which act as a benchmark for many borrowing rates, spiked, sparking a debate over whether the forward guidance on interest rates needed to be strengthened - PHOTO : AP
[SAN FRANCISCO] Federal Reserve policymakers have cooled to the idea of explicitly raising the bar on future interest rate hikes, a sign the US central bank is angling for a return to more subtle - and familiar - ways of explaining how it plans to steer the economy.
The Fed, still struggling to boost the US recovery from the Great Recession, remains intent on assuring investors that easy monetary policy is here for the long haul. Households and businesses, in the Fed's view, need low borrowing costs to get spending and investment back on a self-sustaining path.
That's the reason the central bank took the unprecedented step last December of pledging to keep overnight interest rates near zero until unemployment falls to at least 6.5 per cent, unless inflation threatens to rise above 2.5 per cent.
By providing economic guideposts, or thresholds, the Fed hoped to convince investors it was serious about keeping overnight rates low. To the degree investors were convinced, the long-term borrowing costs markets set would stay low as well, since they embody expectations for future overnight rates.

Jan
04-Dec-2013, 08:09 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 04, 2013
Budget cuts threaten US competitiveness, say companies, academics
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
BT 20131204 THREAT4 861770
High priority: Mr Bush (third from left) said on Monday that Northrop Grumman had already reduced its workforce by 19 per cent in recent years, and more cuts were likely unless US lawmakers ended the across-the-board cuts required under sequestration. - PHOTO: AFP
[WASHINGTON] Mandatory US budget cuts known as sequestration are resulting in job losses across the country and threaten to undermine US competitiveness in the global economy, industry executives and academics said, urging Congress to reverse the cuts.
Wes Bush, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Corp, one of the biggest US weapons makers, said on Monday that his company had already reduced its workforce by 19 per cent in recent years, and more cuts were likely unless US lawmakers ended the across-the-board cuts required under sequestration.
Mr Bush, who is also the chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association, said that arms makers realised that the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan meant US military spending would decline and that weapons needed to become more affordable.
But he said that the additional cuts now facing the Pentagon and other government agencies were reducing funding for critical research and development programmes, which could hurt the US economy and threaten national security in years to come.

Jan
04-Dec-2013, 08:10 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 04, 2013
Cyber Monday boom as online sales surge 19%
Meanwhile, physical retail stores suffer first Black Friday decline since 2009
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
BT 20131204 CYBER4 862003
A whole lotta shopping: Amazon.com employees walk the miles of aisles at an Amazon.com Fulfillment Centre on Cyber Monday, the busiest online shopping day of the holiday season, in Phoenix, Arizona. - PHOTO: AP
[SAN FRANCISCO] Cyber Monday sales surged, sending online shopping toward a single-day record as Amazon.com and EBay siphoned consumers from brick-and-mortar stores.
Online sales rose 19 per cent from 2012 as of 9pm in New York on Monday, International Business Machines Corp said in an e-mailed statement. Retailers catering to smartphone and tablet users benefited the most, with mobile traffic accounting for 30 per cent of the total site visits, an increase of more than 58 per cent from last year, IBM said.
The results deliver another blow to physical stores, which just suffered the first spending decline on a Black Friday weekend since 2009. Web sales this holiday season are projected to climb as much as 15 per cent to US$82 billion, more than three times faster than total retail growth of 3.9 per cent to US$602.1 billion, the National Retail Federation said. Mobile devices drove 16 per cent of online purchases, IBM said.
"The results thus far from an e-commerce perspective have been very strong - certainly strong relative to brick-and-mortar stores," Ron Josey, an analyst at JMP Securities in New York, said in an interview. "This is the first holiday season where mobile is absolutely having its mark on overall retail sales, whether that's from a smartphone or a tablet. It's not going away."
Retailers like Seattle-based Amazon are chasing e-commerce holiday revenue that Forrester Research projects to rise 15 per cent to US$78.7 billion. Online spending increased 15 per cent to a record US$1.2 billion on Black Friday, according to research by ComScore.
Still, because of the in-store slump, total purchases fell 2.9 per cent to US$57.4 billion during the four days beginning with the Nov 28 Thanksgiving holiday, according to a survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation.
Online retailers are catering to consumers such as Camille Schmidt, 25, who owns a marketing company and primarily shops on the web. Ms Schmidt scanned her e-mail for big discount headlines on Monday morning and allotted time to shop after work in the evening.
"I'm looking for the highest percentage discount," she said in an interview, noting that a coupon for 40 per cent off at Juicy Couture landed in her inbox. "I usually know what I want, and they're usually designer brands. I'm just waiting to see how far they'll go."
Amazon lured consumers with deals such as half off Mattel and Fisher-Price products, 46 per cent off a Canon digital camera and 65 per cent off men and women's cashmere. EBay had similar discount offers, like more than 80 per cent off diamond stud earrings. Physical stores with websites followed suit. J Crew Group Inc's Madewell offered 25 per cent off all merchandise and free shipping.
Amazon's same-store sales rose 47 per cent from last year as of 10.30am New York time on Monday, while EBay's increased 21 per cent, according to ChannelAdvisor Inc, which provides services to sellers on both of those sites. EBay said it expected Monday to be its biggest shopping day this season.
"Cyber Monday has been the single biggest shopping day of the year for US retailers for a number of years now," said Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester. "The big story is that stores continue to lose share and web retailers continue to gain share."
Shopping on tablets and smartphones increased twice as fast in the third quarter as desktop online spending, according to ComScore. Web users in August spent more time engaging with retailers on mobile devices than on desktops for the first time, the firm said. EBay's PayPal unit said in a statement that mobile payment volume more than doubled as of 2pm New York time Monday compared with a year earlier.
Buying patterns on mobile devices since Thanksgiving have shown that tablets are more popular for purchases, while mobile phones are preferred for browsing. Tablets accounted for 9.8 per cent of purchases, compared with 5.7 per cent from smartphones, IBM said. Consumers also dished out more cash when buying on tablets, spending an average of US$128.30 per order, compared with US$110.95 for smartphones, IBM said.
"Consumers continue to expect to shop and pay at their convenience during the holiday season," said Stacy General, a customer experience advocate for PayPal.
Many retailers are also subsidising shipping over the holidays to compete with Amazon's discounted two-day service and plans for Sunday delivery, which has couriers projecting higher shipping volumes.
The US Postal Service expects to ship 420 million packages during the 2013 holiday season, an increase of about 12 per cent from last year. United Parcel Service said it expected to pick up 32 million packages on Cyber Monday, an increase of 10 per cent.
"Online sales growth continues at a much faster clip than overall retail sales," said Alan Gershenhorn, UPS's chief sales and marketing officer. "We experienced some nice results this weekend." - Bloomberg

Jan
04-Dec-2013, 10:55 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 04, 2013
US private sector activity bounces back in November: Markit
[NEW YORK] US private sector economic activity bounced back in November, lifted by expansion in the services sector, an industry report showed on Wednesday.
Financial data firm Markit said its composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) - a weighted average of its manufacturing and services indexes - rose to 56.2 last month from 49.6 in October. The "flash" or preliminary reading came in slightly higher at 57.1 last week.
A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity.
Last month's services sector PMI, also reported by Markit on Wednesday, rose to 55.9 from 49.3 in October.

Jan
04-Dec-2013, 10:55 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 04, 2013
US trade gap shrinks to US$40.6b in October
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
SyTrade04122013
The US trade deficit narrowed to US$40.6 billion in October on a strong rise in exports, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday - PHOTO: REUTERS
[WASHINGTON] The US trade deficit narrowed to US$40.6 billion in October on a strong rise in exports, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday.
The trade gap fell 5.4 per cent from September's upwardly revised number of US$43.0 billion.
Exports rose 1.8 per cent from September to a record US$192.7 billion in October.
Imports were up a modest 0.4 per cent at US$233.3 billion, their highest level since March 2012.

Jan
04-Dec-2013, 10:58 PM
Firms add 215,000 jobs in Nov., beat estimates

Jan
04-Dec-2013, 11:05 PM
New U.S. home sales leap 25.4% in October

Jan
04-Dec-2013, 11:07 PM
Nov ISM services index falls to 53.9% vs 55.4%

xfactor
05-Dec-2013, 07:16 AM
DJIA 15,889.80 -24.85 -0.16%

S&P 500 1,792.81 -2.34 -0.13%

Nasdaq 4,038.00 +0.80 0.02%

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 finished lower for the fourth consecutive session on Wednesday after investors found few reasons to make big moves, with uncertainty remaining over when the Federal Reserve will start to slow its stimulus.

Stocks fell for much of the session, but edged closer to break-even levels in the last hour of trading. Still, the losses were broad, with eight of the 10 S&P 500 sector indexes ending lower for the day on concerns that the market's recent rally to record levels was not justified.

About 60 percent of the shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange closed lower for the day, while 56 percent of Nasdaq-listed stocks closed down.

Many market participants expect the Fed to announce a cut in its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases in March, but recent economic data increased expectations that the move may come sooner. The Fed has said it would slow its stimulus program when certain economic measures meet its targets, including a decline in the U.S. unemployment rate.

The ADP National Employment Report showed private-sector employers added 215,000 jobs in November, more than expected. This was the latest in a string of reports suggesting that the economy's outlook was brightening.

"Stronger economics means earlier tapering, which is a negative for the market. On top of that, we've surged to new highs with a lot of optimism, and that normally calls for a pullback, if only briefly," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank in Cleveland, Ohio.

"If the decline is mostly about sentiment, we should work through it quickly and be back to seeing better action," he added. "But the pullback could be more pronounced, the more people focus on the Fed."

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slipped 24.85 points, or 0.16 percent, to end at 15,889.77. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> declined 2.34 points, or 0.13 percent, to finish at 1,792.81. But the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> inched up just 0.80 of a point, or 0.02 percent, to close at 4,038.00.

In the Fed's Beige Book, a collection of anecdotes from the central bank's business contacts across the nation, the Fed said employers had stepped up hiring in some parts of the country in October and early November, and the economy had expanded at a "modest to moderate pace."

Other signs of strength in the economy were figures showing that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed in October and new home sales recorded their biggest increase in nearly 33-1/2 years in October. The home sales report suggested that the housing market's recovery remains intact despite higher mortgage rates. Shares of KB Home rose 1.1 percent to $17.26.

But the economic picture was muddied after the Institute for Supply Management said its services index fell to 53.9 last month from 55.4 in October. A forecast called for a November reading of 55.0. A figure above 50 signifies expansion.

U.S. crude oil futures prices advanced 1.2 percent, up for a fourth straight day as government data showed an unexpected drop in U.S. stockpiles. Crude is up 5.3 percent over the past four sessions.

Shares of Marathon Oil rose 1.4 percent to $36.74. The stock of Hess Corp added 1.3 percent to $82.21.

Among decliners, shares of clothing retailer Express Inc tumbled 23 percent to $19 after the company forecast quarterly earnings below analysts' estimates because of weaker-than-expected Thanksgiving sales.

OmniVision Technologies Inc slid 2.9 percent to $15.52 after the chipmaker forecast current-quarter revenue well below analysts' estimates.

After the market closed, Aeropostale Inc fell 3.6 percent to $9.01 following the release of its third-quarter results. The stock ended regular trading at $9.36, down 3.9 percent.

Oculus Innovative Sciences Inc shares surged 103.4 percent to $4.74 after the company got the go-ahead from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its anti-scar gel.

About 6.54 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms, according to BATS exchange data.

Jan
06-Dec-2013, 07:49 AM
Q3 growth revised up at 3.6%
[WASHINGTON] The US economy grew faster than initially estimated in the third quarter as businesses aggressively accumulated stock, but underlying domestic demand remained sluggish.

Jan
06-Dec-2013, 07:50 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 05, 2013
US jobless claims fall for third straight week
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
SyJobs05122013
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, a hopeful sign for the labour market recovery - PHOTO: AFP
[WASHINGTON] The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, a hopeful sign for the labour market recovery.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000, declining for a third straight week, the Labour Department said on Thursday.
Claims for the prior week were revised to show 5,000 more applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to rise to 325,000 last week.

Jan
06-Dec-2013, 07:51 AM
US factory orders fall on weak aircraft demand
[WASHINGTON] New orders for US factory goods fell in October as demand for aircraft and capital goods weakened, suggesting some cooling in manufacturing.

Jan
06-Dec-2013, 07:53 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 06, 2013
US: Stocks fall as strong GDP report boosts taper talk
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
NYSE345
- PHOTO: AFP
[NEW YORK] US stocks Thursday declined again after surprisingly good US economic growth in the third quarter raised expectations the Federal Reserve will hasten a plan to scale back aggressive monetary stimulus.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 68.26 (0.43 per cent) at 15,821.51.
The broad-based S&P 500 fell 7.78 (0.43 per cent) to 1,785.03, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 4.84 (0.12 per cent) to 4,033.16.
The Dow and S&P 500 have now declined the last five days.

Jan
06-Dec-2013, 07:53 AM
US small businesses add staff in November: NFIB
[WASHINGTON] US small businesses added jobs in November for the second straight month, bolstering the view that job gains across the economy were robust during the month.

Jan
06-Dec-2013, 07:54 AM
US 3rd-quarter GDP revised higher as inventories bulge
[WASHINGTON] The US economy grew faster than initially estimated in the third quarter but weak demand and a pile-up in business inventories buoyed the case for the Federal Reserve to keep up its bond-buying stimulus for now.

Jan
06-Dec-2013, 07:56 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 06, 2013
US talks to ease spending cuts, avert shutdown at critical stage: aides
[WASHINGTON] US budget negotiators were down to the final, most difficult items in a two-year deal to avoid another federal shutdown next month and ease some across-the-board spending cuts set to hit military and domestic programs, congressional aides said on Thursday.
The small-scale agreement being negotiated by Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat, and Republican Representative Paul Ryan would lead to less than US$100 billion in new savings, aides familiar with the talks said.
The savings would replace some of the cuts that went into effect automatically as part of the budget "sequestration"earlier this year, and would provide a small amount of additional deficit reduction, they said.
The deal being negotiated would set spending on discretionary programs ranging from the military to national parks for fiscal 2014 and 2015 at around US$1 trillion each year. Without action, such spending would be automatically cut to US$967 billion in 2014, the lowest level in a decade.

Jan
06-Dec-2013, 07:57 AM
Fast-food workers across US push for higher min wages
[WASHINGTON] Fast-food workers across the United States launched Thursday day-long labor strikes in an effort to win higher wages, amid a renewed debate in Washington on raising the US minimum wage.

sgx2013
06-Dec-2013, 12:13 PM
Reasons behind Detroit bankruptcy
chinadaily.com.cn (December 5, 2013 7:27 PM)

On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that the US city of Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy protection.*

Such a ruling is not only an economic or legal consequence, but is also an outcome led by its own long-term political system, says an article in gmw.cn. Excerpts:
Detroit's bankruptcy is not surprising news and, in fact, the city went bankrupt a long time ago, as its public construction was bogged down and its public services had been largely shrunk for a while.

As a world-famous automobile manufacturing base, Detroit is the headquarters of three biggest auto manufacturers in US. Although the auto industry is not a sunrise industry, the annual output of those three automakers is still sizable both in the domestic and overseas markets. Normally, such large auto firms can easily support the local public finance to avoid bankruptcy.

However, the city filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. The root reason is the high welfare costs for the labor force compared to foreign competitors. Take Japanese automakers for example - American autos perform as strongly as Japanese brands in technology, productivity and even in market share, but industrial analysis in 2007 showed that US automakers to pay more than $1,000 on each car just for welfare costs negotiated by the powerful auto workers union.*

Therefore, the profits earned by American automakers are only around $10 per car, and such small earnings can hardly support its huge auto industry.

Moreover, because the auto issue involves laborers' welfare, saving the automobile industry became one of the toughest issues in both the Bush and Obama Administrations. When autoworkers' welfare is closely related to public welfare policy in a city, it can easily influence votes.*

The citizens need to accept the consequences of their own choices.

Therefore, such a bankruptcy is not only a result of a changing industry and moving economic belt, but it is more a consequence of failing public policy and management. Although it protected debtors from unlimited liability for damage, it only avoids the worst consequences.

bwong
06-Dec-2013, 12:51 PM
Published December 06, 2013


US talks to ease spending cuts, avert shutdown at critical stage: aides


[WASHINGTON] US budget negotiators were down to the final, most difficult items in a two-year deal to avoid another federal shutdown next month and ease some across-the-board spending cuts set to hit military and domestic programs, congressional aides said on Thursday.

The small-scale agreement being negotiated by Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat, and Republican Representative Paul Ryan would lead to less than US$100 billion in new savings, aides familiar with the talks said.

The savings would replace some of the cuts that went into effect automatically as part of the budget "sequestration"earlier this year, and would provide a small amount of additional deficit reduction, they said.

The deal being negotiated would set spending on discretionary programs ranging from the military to national parks for fiscal 2014 and 2015 at around US$1 trillion each year. Without action, such spending would be automatically cut to US$967 billion in 2014, the lowest level in a decade.

Jan
06-Dec-2013, 09:02 PM
US aiming to conclude TPP trade pact by end of the year
BY WONG WEI HAN
16 HOURS 31 MIN AGO00
WASHINGTON — The United States is hopeful that ongoing negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement could still be completed by the end of this year...

xfactor
06-Dec-2013, 11:19 PM
Dow...+ 130

Good news may finally be good news.

All three major U.S. stock indexes bounced back from four days of losses Friday as investors cheered a better-than expected November jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 100 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq moved markedly higher.

The Labor Department said the economy added 203,000 jobs in November, higher than the 183,000 estimated by economists surveyed by CNNMoney.com. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.0% from 7.3%. It was expected to fall to 7.2%.

For months, investors have been sweating the Federal Reserve, trying to calculate when it will scale back, or taper, its massive $85 billion per month stimulus program. The Fed has said that improvement in the job market was one of the main things it was looking for before it would start trimming its bond purchases.

The bond market seems to be betting that the Fed may taper sooner rather than later. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose Friday to 2.87%, and is closing in on its 2013 high of near 3%. Bond yields rise when prices fall. So investors may be selling bonds because they expect the Fed to start slowing down its monthly Treasury purchases.

Related: Fear & Greed Index continues to show greed

But there's no consensus for when the taper will come to fruition.

"US Jobs Stronger than Expected, but not Enough for Fed to Taper," was the title of a note from Brown Brothers Harriman.

"US payrolls strength boosts QE3 taper chances" was another from Capital Economics.

The Fed's next policy meeting wraps up on December 18. It is the second-to-last meeting that will be led by Fed chair Ben Bernanke. He will likely be replaced by current vice chair Janet Yellen, who has been nominated by President Obama to be the next Fed chair and is merely awaiting approval from the Senate.

Many economic experts and investment strategists believe that Bernanke would prefer to have Yellen be in charge of the Fed's tapering as opposed to him starting it just before his term expires.

U.S. stocks fell Thursday after good news on the health of the economy had investors worrying about when the Fed would taper.

European markets moved higher in afternoon trading on the heels of the U.S. jobs report while Asian markets, which closed before the jobs report was released, ended mixed

Jan
07-Dec-2013, 12:05 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 06, 2013
US unemployment rate hits 5-year low, eyes on the Fed
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
TKJobRates06122013
US employers hired more workers than expected in November and the jobless rate fell to a five-year low of 7.0 per cent, which could fan speculation the Federal Reserve could start reducing its bond purchases this month - PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
[WASHINGTON] US employers hired more workers than expected in November and the jobless rate fell to a five-year low of 7.0 per cent, which could fan speculation the Federal Reserve could start reducing its bond purchases this month.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 203,000 new jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate dropped three tenths of a percentage point to its lowest level since November 2008 as some federal workers who were counted as jobless in October returned to work after a 16-day partial shutdown of the government.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls rising 180,000 last month and the unemployment rate falling to 7.2 per cent from 7.3 per cent.
Job gains for September and October were revised to show 8,000 more jobs created than previously reported, lending strength to the report. Other details were also upbeat, with employment gains across the board, hourly earnings rising and the workweek lengthening.

Jan
07-Dec-2013, 12:06 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 06, 2013
US consumer spending rises, but inflation muted
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
TKSpendingRates06122013
US consumer spending rose in October, but still benign inflation pressures offered a cautionary note for the Federal Reserve as it weighs the future of its bond-buying program - PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
[WASHINGTON] US consumer spending rose in October, but still benign inflation pressures offered a cautionary note for the Federal Reserve as it weighs the future of its bond-buying program.
The Commerce Department said on Friday consumer spending increased 0.3 per cent after rising 0.2 per cent in September.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 per cent of US economic activity, to gain 0.2 per cent in October.
When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending increased 0.3 per cent in October, the largest advance since March, after gaining 0.1 per cent in September.

Jan
07-Dec-2013, 12:31 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 06, 2013
US economic growth gauge rises to highest since April 2010: ECRI
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
[NEW YORK] A measure of future US economic growth strengthened last week to its highest level in three and a half years, while the annualized growth rate ticked higher, a research group said on Friday.
The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said that in the week ended Nov 29 its Weekly Leading Index rose to 132.8, its highest since April 2010, from a revised 132.3 the previous week. That was originally reported as 132.5.
The index's annualized growth rate increased to 2.9 per cent, its highest since early October, from a revised 2.6 per cent a week earlier. The growth rate was originally reported at 2.7 per cent. - Reuters

wen
07-Dec-2013, 07:37 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 07, 2013
Fed's Evans says open-minded on Dec taper, but prefers waiting

A top Federal Reserve official said on Friday he was open to reducing the US central bank's bond buying stimulus program this month, although he would like to see a stronger labor market first - PHOTO: REUTERS
[CHICAGO] A top Federal Reserve official said on Friday he was open to reducing the US central bank's bond buying stimulus program this month, although he would like to see a stronger labor market first.
Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said hiring data released earlier in the day showed the economy was improving, but he wasn't fully convinced it was time to reduce the pace of bond buying. "I'll be open-minded," Mr Evans said in an interview with Reuters Insider when asked about the December meeting."Everything else (being) equal, I would like to see a couple of months of good numbers, but this was improvement." Fed policymakers meet on Dec. 17-18 and the future of their US$85-billion-a-month bond-buying program looms large on the agenda, after officials said at their last meeting they would look to scaling back the stimulus in the next few months.
The program aims to help the economy by making it cheaper for businesses to invest and workers to buy homes but several years of slow, steady job growth, as well as concerns that the bond-buying might be fueling bubbles in corners of the economy, suggest the purchases may be reaching their use-by date.
Labour Department data showed that the jobless rate fell in November to a five-year low at 7 per cent and employers added more new jobs to their payrolls than expected.

wen
07-Dec-2013, 07:39 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 07, 2013
Apple spent over US$60 million on US lawyers against Samsung

Apple Inc has paid its leading outside law firm approximately US$60 million to wage patent litigation against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in a California federal court, according to Apple legal documents filed late on Thursday - PHOTO: AP
[SAN FRANCISCO] Apple Inc has paid its leading outside law firm approximately US$60 million to wage patent litigation against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in a California federal court, according to Apple legal documents filed late on Thursday.
Apple and Samsung are engaged in global litigation over each other's intellectual property. The two mobile technology rivals have gone to trial twice in the last two years in a San Jose, California federal court, and juries have awarded Apple a total of roughly US$930 million.
In court filings, Apple asked US District Judge Lucy Koh to order Samsung to pay US$15.7 million of the total amount Apple has spent in legal fees. "Awarding fees to Apple 'flows quite naturally' from the jury's willfulness verdict as well as Samsung's extensive record of willful, deliberate, and calculated decisions to copy the iPhone, in blatant disregard for Apple's IP," Apple's attorneys said in its filing.
Apple could not immediately be reached for comment, and Samsung declined to comment.

wen
07-Dec-2013, 07:41 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 07, 2013
US: Stocks power higher after jobs report

[NEW YORK] US stocks ended sharply higher Friday after a strong jobs report fueled expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin to reduce its huge stimulus soon.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained a hefty 198.69 points (1.26 per cent) at 16,020.20.
The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 20.06 (1.12 per cent) to 1,805.09, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 29.36 (0.73 per cent) to 4,062.52.
The Dow and the S&P 500 solidly snapped a five-session losing streak. Wall Street rallied from the opening bell after a better-than-expected November jobs report from the Labor Department.

Jan
07-Dec-2013, 11:23 AM
US stocks power higher after jobs report
EmailPrintText Resize+-reset
POSTED: 07 Dec 2013 06:14
UPDATED: 07 Dec 2013 06:44

US stocks ended sharply higher on Friday after a strong jobs report fuelled expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin to reduce its huge stimulus soon.

PHOTOS
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP/Jason DeCrow)
ENLARGECAPTION
NEW YORK: US stocks ended sharply higher on Friday after a strong jobs report fuelled expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin to reduce its huge stimulus soon.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained a hefty 198.69 points (1.26 per cent) at 16,020.20.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 20.06 (1.12 per cent) to 1,805.09, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 29.36 (0.73 per cent) to 4,062.52.

The Dow and the S&P 500 solidly snapped a five-session losing streak. Wall Street rallied from the opening bell after a better-than-expected November jobs report from the Labor Department.

The US jobless rate dropped to 7.0 per cent, a five-year low, from 7.3 per cent in October, and the economy added 203,000 jobs.

Analysts said the strength of the Labor Department report could encourage the Fed to begin cutting back its $85 billion a month in bond purchases, aimed at boosting economic growth

"Markets like this report because it indicates the risk of disinflation or deflation is diminishing," said David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors.

The Commerce Department reported consumers picked up their pace of spending in October, a key driver of economic growth. Meanwhile inflation fell for the third consecutive month, to a yearly rate of 0.7 per cent, well below the Fed's preferred 2.0 per cent target.

Adding to the overall bullishness, the University of Michigan's consumer confidence index jumped much more than expected in December.

All 30 stocks on the blue-chip Dow ended solidly in positive territory, led by Intel, up 2.3 per cent, DuPont (+2.2 per cent), and Boeing and General Electric, each up 1.9 per cent.

In corporate news, retailer Sears shed 3.8 per cent after announcing plans to spin off its Lands' End clothing business, subject to shareholder approval.

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance plunged 20.5 per cent after a disappointing fiscal third-quarter earnings report showed a decline in same-store sales.

Tech giant Google rose 1.2 per cent to a record-high close at $1,069.87 on the Nasdaq.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.88 per cent from 2.86 per cent from Thursday, while the 30-year rose to 3.92 per cent from 3.91 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

- AFP/fl

Jan
07-Dec-2013, 11:36 AM
Cloud firm Box raises US$100m
EmailPrintText Resize+-reset
POSTED: 07 Dec 2013 03:23

NEW YORK: Cloud storage startup Box, launched from a college dorm in 2005, has raised US$100 million in new capital to help fund a global expansion.

PHOTOS
Aaron Levie of Box in San Francisco, California, September 11, 2013. (AFP/Steve Jennings)
ENLARGECAPTION
NEW YORK: Cloud storage startup Box, launched from a college dorm in 2005, has raised US$100 million in new capital to help fund a global expansion.

The latest funding gives Box, which competes with firms like Dropbox as well as Google and Microsoft, a value of some US$2 billion, according to the news blog TechCrunch.

Box said in a statement late Thursday that the new capital comes from Japanese partners Itochu Technology Ventures, Inc., Macnica, and Mitsui USA and MKI; European firm Telefonica; Australia's Telstra, and other investors.

"The combination of cloud and mobile technologies creates an entirely new way of working that will fundamentally reshape the IT industry," said Aaron Levie, co-founder and chief executive of Box.

Levie said in a blog post that the company is "working to support and reach enterprises everywhere in the world."

It currently is offered in 13 languages in addition to English and some 40 per cent of its activity is outside the US market.

"In 2012, we opened our first international office in London," he said.

"Today, we have a team of 90 people throughout Europe... Next up is Japan."

He said Box partners will also help expand into Latin America and Australia.

"The coming year will be an exciting one for Box," he added.

"In addition to expanding our global presence, we'll be doubling down on creating amazing new experiences for end users, solving the most complex IT challenges simply and elegantly, and building a more powerful platform and ecosystem."

Levie founded the company in his dorm at the University of Southern California in 2005 with his friend Dylan Smith, who is chief financial officer.

Box claims more than 20 million users worldwide including 180,000 businesses.

- AFP/fl

Jan
07-Dec-2013, 11:40 AM
US consumer spending picks up speed in October
EmailPrintText Resize+-reset
POSTED: 06 Dec 2013 23:14

US consumer spending picked up pace in October, despite a dip in income, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in October, matching the average estimate and accelerating slightly from a 0.2 percent in increase in September.

PHOTOS
Women walk down Broadway with shopping bags in New York City. (AFP/Spencer Platt)
ENLARGECAPTION
WASHINGTON: US consumer spending picked up pace in October, despite a dip in income, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

Consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in October, matching the average estimate and accelerating slightly from a 0.2 percent in increase in September.

Personal income fell 0.1 percent instead of the 0.3 percent rise expected by most analysts. Incomes had climbed 0.5 percent in September and August. The October reading was the first decrease since January.

The October 1-16 partial government shutdown had no impact on government wages and salaries because Congress authorised back pay for federal workers furloughed during the shutdown, the department said.

But it said it could not separately identify in the data gathered any impacts of the shutdown on private wages or on consumer spending.

The uptick in consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of US economic activity, came as Americans cut back on saving at the start of the fourth quarter. The rate of savings to disposable personal income dropped to 4.8 percent from 5.2 percent in September.

Inflation eased in October. The price index for personal consumption expenditures was essentially flat, falling less than 0.1 percent after a slight 0.1 percent increase in September.

The core PCE price, excluding food and energy, rose 0.1 percent, the same increase as in the prior month.

The key annual rate of the PCE price index, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge, slowed for the third consecutive month as energy prices continued to fall.

The yearly rate in October was 0.7 percent, down from 0.9 percent the prior month and well below the Fed's 2.0 percent inflation target.

The data came ahead of the Fed's December 17-18 monetary policy meeting as the central bank weighs whether to cut back $85 billion a month in asset purchases aimed at holding down long-term interest rates and bolster growth.

The report coincided with an upbeat jobs report from the Labor Department, showing the jobless rate fell sharply to 7 percent in November, a five-year low, and the economy added a solid 203,000 jobs.

The sharp drop in the unemployment rate, from 7.3 percent in October, was unexpected and raised the odds that the Fed could soon begin moving away from its huge stimulus plan.

"Inflation remains tame -- probably tame enough to encourage the Fed to temporarily hold off on tapering for one more meeting despite the very encouraging employment data recently," said Jim Sullivan of High Frequency Economics.

- AFP/xq

Jan
07-Dec-2013, 11:50 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 07, 2013
Judge rejects consumers' bid to block American-US Airways merger
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
Americanairlinesap12
A federal judge on Friday rejected a last-ditch effort by consumers and travel agents to stop American Airlines and US Airways from merging next week, a move they fear would drive prices up and service down and make planes more crowded - PHOTO: AP
[NEW YORK] A federal judge on Friday rejected a last-ditch effort by consumers and travel agents to stop American Airlines and US Airways from merging next week, a move they fear would drive prices up and service down and make planes more crowded.
The combination of American's parent AMR Corp and US Airways Group Inc would create the world's largest carrier and would follow last month's resolution of antitrust objections by the US Department of Justice.
That settlement requires the airlines to shed some landing slots and gates at several airports, including in New York and Washington, DC, and had won approval on Nov 27 from US Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane, who oversees AMR's Chapter 11 case.
AMR has said it hoped to complete the merger on Dec 9. "We look forward to closing our merger with US Airways on Monday," American Airlines spokesman Mike Trevino said in a statement.

Jan
09-Dec-2013, 11:06 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 09, 2013
US: Wall St opens slightly higher; Fed speakers due
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
NYSE345
- PHOTO: AFP
[NEW YORK] Wall Street rose modestly at the open on Monday, supported by inflation data from China, but gains were likely to be capped with a number of top Federal Reserve officials speaking throughout the day.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 2.12 points or 0.01 per cent, to 16,022.32, the S&P 500 gained 2.4 points or 0.13 per cent, to 1,807.49 and the Nasdaq Composite added 9.715 points or 0.24 per cent, to 4,072.236. - Reuters

Jan
09-Dec-2013, 11:12 PM
Wall Street frets as Volcker Rule nears vote
Tim Mullaney, USA TODAY 7:35 p.m. EST December 8, 2013
Regulators near approval of reform as banks worry about limits on their own trading.


Five years after the financial crisis, regulators will vote Tuesday on the "Volcker Rule,'' one of the most contested elements of the sweeping, post-crisis Wall Street reform act known as Dodd-Frank.

The rule is expected to bar most trading by banks for their own accounts and profit — so-called "proprietary trading'' — in a bid to protect the financial system and federal deposit insurance from future 2008-like meltdowns. Banks would still be able to do such trading for clients.

The Federal Reserve, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies are scheduled to consider the new rule. It is named for former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, a longtime advocate of forcing banks to curtail trading in order to limit the volatility of financial markets.

The Volcker rule has been fought by business interests, who now believe they are likely to lose on many key details. Among them: a bar on buying and selling investments for the bank's own account even when they're used to hedge positions the institutions are allowed to hold, said Anthony Cimino, vice president for government affairs at the Financial Services Roundtable.

The rule is also expected to give banks the burden of proving that any securities they do own are in their portfolios for the few remaining permitted purposes, rather than making regulators prove that the banks intend to break the rules, he said.

Regulators' tough stance heralds a new era and new approach for financial markets, CLSA banking analyst Mike Mayo said.

"The big picture is that this ushers in an era of Big Brother banking,'' with regulators closely monitoring details of top banks' risk-taking, Mayo said. "Big Brother was asleep on the couch before the financial crisis.''

Paul Volcker
The Volcker Rule that federal regulators will vote on Tuesday, Dec. 10 is named for Paul Volcker. He is the former chairman of the US. Federal Reserve and former chairman of President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.(Photo: Chris McGrath Getty Images)
The new policy reflects Congress' decision that the banking system needed to be "de-risked, de-leveraged and to deliver more consistent financial results,'' he said. As part of the same overall effort, bank regulators are boosting capital requirements for banks internationally.

Banks have already curtailed most of their proprietary trading, Mayo said, understanding that new rules are coming. That may limit the financial impact from the rules, though so much remains unknown, the effect is still uncertain, he said.

"I've done this (60 to 80) hours a week for 25 years, and even I have trouble getting my head around where proprietary trading begins and ends,'' said Mayo.

The biggest arguments recently have been about how much trading should be allowed to hedge positions, especially since banks typically have more deposits on hand than they have loans outstanding, with the rest of their assets usually invested in the markets. They also typically own securities as part of legal activities such as executing client trades and making markets, he said.

Liberal-leaning groups such as Better Markets have lobbied for the toughest version of the rule possible, arguing in a Nov. 21 letter to the agencies that allowing too much trading to let banks hedge risks will allow proprietary trading via loopholes. They pointed to JPMorgan Chase's $6 billion-plus loss in the "London Whale" derivatives trade as evidence that trading that banks say is simply a hedge can pose risks to the system. New rules would hurt access to credit far less than another crisis, they said.

"Wall Street and its lawyers are in the loophole creation-and-exploitation business,'' Better Markets' Dennis Kelleher said. "For 100 years, banks have made the same complaints about every regulation. They said it during the Depression, and we grew the biggest middle class in the history of the world.''

Conservative-learning groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have argued that the rule will force banks to cut back on raising capital for Main Street businesses, reducing investment and job growth. In a 2012 study commissioned by the Chamber. Washington University finance professor Anjan Thakor argued that higher capital requirements can manage systemic risk without major limits on businesses banks can be in.

Top banks will spend millions of dollars complying with the rules, Cimino said.

"We expect to see outlays for both information technology and staff,'' he said. "But it's going to be difficult (to say how much) until we see the final rule.''

Jan
09-Dec-2013, 11:15 PM
Markets starting week on positive note
Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY 9:52 a.m. EST December 9, 2013

Wall Street was seeing a modest lift on Monday morning.

The Dow Jones industrial average index rose 0.1%, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.2% and the Nasdaq composite advanced 0.4%.

Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 2.3% to 15,650.21 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.2% at 23,795.21.

Data out of China showed that exports rose by 12.7% on a year-ago basis.

India's benchmark Sensex stock index climbed 1.5% after a pro-business party scored big gains in local state elections.

Benchmark crude for January delivery was up 13 cents at $97.78 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 27 cents to close at $97.65 on Friday.

The U.S. economy on Friday reported a fourth straight month of job gains, with 203,000 new jobs created in November. The unemployment rate fell to 7.0% from 7.3%.

On Wall Street Friday, the Dow added 1.3% to 16,020.20. The S&P 500 rose 1.1% to 1,805.09. The Nasdaq added 0.7% to 4,062.52.

FRIDAY: Dow jumps 200 points on November jobs report

Contributing: Associated Press

Jan
10-Dec-2013, 05:42 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 10, 2013
US: Stocks tick up as Fed official suggests slight taper
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
NYSE345
- PHOTO: AFP
[NEW YORK] US stocks edged higher Monday as a Federal Reserve official suggested that the central bank could take a small step next week to reel in its stimulus program.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 5.52 points (0.03 per cent) at 16,025.72.
The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 3.29 (0.18 per cent) to 1,808.38, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite added 6.23 (0.15 per cent) at 4,068.75.
James Bullard, the president of the Fed's St. Louis branch, said in a speech that "a small taper" of the US$85 billion a month asset-purchase programme might be a possibility as Fed policy makers wrestle with how to respond to signs of improvement in the economy and jobs market. - AFP

Jan
10-Dec-2013, 05:44 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 10, 2013
Lawsuits likely next hurdle for Volcker rule
Banks may challenge the measure on procedural grounds and argue it partly contradicts Dodd-Frank law
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
Jpmrrs110
Banks had hoped the rule would be watered down from when it was proposed more than two years ago, but JPMorgan Chase & Co's US$6 billion loss in 2012 - PHOTO: REUTERS
[WASHINGTON] When US regulators adopt the Volcker rule today, they will make good on a promise by politicians to rein in banks' ability to gamble with their own money.
The coordinated action by five separate regulatory agencies is seen sparking a court challenge as Wall Street tries once again to avoid one of the harshest elements of the post-financial crisis crackdown.
The rule, championed by former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, was a last-minute addition to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law and takes aim at a business that had been a big money spinner for banks before the crisis.
The measure bans banks from making bets for their own profits, an activity known as proprietary trading that regulators deemed too risky for banks that enjoy government backstops.

Jan
10-Dec-2013, 05:44 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 10, 2013
US budget deal will minimise risk of govt shutdowns
But it will not address increase in federal debt limit
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
[WASHINGTON] A minimalist US budget deal that congressional negotiators hope to reach in coming days will do almost nothing to tame rising federal debt, but it could usher in a nearly two-year fiscal truce, minimising the risk of future funding crises and government shutdowns.
If the accord comes together, it would blunt some of the automatic "sequester" spending cuts and set funding levels at around US$1 trillion for fiscal 2014 and 2015 for government agencies and programmes from the military to national parks.
Such a deal would not address an increase in the federal borrowing limit, which is expected to come up again by the spring, leaving conservatives a pressure point to try to exploit.
However, it might restore some order to the federal budget process, which broke down years ago and has been replaced by stopgap funding measures, accompanied by brinkmanship and shut-down risks.

Jan
10-Dec-2013, 05:45 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 10, 2013
Fed stimulus will end next year, says economists' survey
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
[NEW YORK] The vast majority of business economists believe that the Federal Reserve will begin to pull back on its massive economic stimulus programme in the first three months of next year, according to a November survey by the National Association of Business Economists (NABE).
The survey also showed that a majority of economists believe that the US economic recovery will accelerate next year.
NABE surveyed 51 economists between Nov 8 and Nov 19 and found that 62 per cent of respondents believe that the Fed will pull back on its bond-buying programme in the first quarter of next year. Another 30 per cent believe that the Fed will begin to reduce its bond buying in the second quarter.
Combined, nine out of 10 economists believe that the Fed's stimulus programme will wind down next year, after being placed in its current form since December last year.

Jan
10-Dec-2013, 08:33 PM
Fed not likely to taper stimulus efforts until next year

16 HOURS 5 MIN AGO
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve officials are in no hurry to retreat from their bond-buying campaign to stimulate the economy and are likely to postpone any cuts to the programme until next year, according to public statements by Fed officials and interviews with some of them.

Job growth has strengthened in recent months and Fed officials expect continued improvement in the coming year. Central bank Chairman Ben Bernanke predicted in June that it would taper its purchases by the end of this year and officials say they still could announce such a cut next week, when the Fed policymaking committee is scheduled to hold its final meeting of the year.

But influential Fed officials see little harm in postponing the decision, particularly compared with the risks of pulling back too soon.

Significant details of the eventual retreat also remain the subject of unresolved debates, the public statements and interviews showed. Some officials have also argued that the slow pace of inflation, which discourages both borrowing and spending, is itself a reason to maintain the stimulus campaign.

“Everything else (being) equal, I would like to see a couple of months of good numbers,” said Mr Charles Evans, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, to Reuters on Friday, referring to the relatively strong job numbers last month. He added that he was “certainly nervous” about the sluggish pace of inflation.

The Fed forecasts that inflation will rebound and investors appear to share that expectation. But some officials, including Mr James Bullard, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, are reluctant to taper before seeing those expectations edge closer to reality.

Since January, the Fed has been buying US$85 billion (S$106 billion) in bonds each month in an effort to reduce borrowing costs for businesses and consumers and encourage risk-taking by investors.

Almost from the outset, however, internal and external critics have questioned whether the bond purchases are helping the broader economy or merely enriching investors. And they have warned that the bank’s outsized role in financial markets is disrupting normal activity and may be encouraging excessive speculation.

In the face of those doubts, the Fed has appeared to play for time, repeatedly indicating that it is getting ready to pull back even as a strong majority of its policymaking committee has voted to extend the campaign at each meeting this year.

A shift among officials who pushed for tapering earlier in the year has made it easier for it to postpone decisions. But some of those officials now say it should commit to a date to end the programme rather than beginning to taper as soon as possible, because they see this as the best way to reduce confusion among investors.

“The sooner we say we’re going to end this programme once we’ve purchased X ... the better,” said Mr Charles Plosser, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

“It’s that constant uncertainty about what we’ll do at each and every meeting that I think we can eliminate this way. We’ll be better off for it and we’ll not sacrifice much of the benefits of the programme.”

Jan
10-Dec-2013, 08:35 PM
Twitter shares soar, near all-time high
Twitter shares soar, near all-time high
A Twitter and stock tracker tracker app are seen side by side on an iPhone in this Sept 13, 2013 file picture. Photo: AP
Shares rose by 9.2 per cent, its highest level since the company’s IPO

5 HOURS 42 MIN AGO
SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter shares soared more than 9 per cent yesterday (Dec 9) to their highest level since the company’s initial public offering after a spate of product announcements that could boost its revenue prospects.

Shares rose to US$49 (S$61) in mid-day trading, up 9.2 per cent. Twitter has mostly traded in the low-US$40 range in recent weeks since Nov 7, when shares briefly topped US$50 in the hours following its highly anticipated IPO.

Twitter on Thursday officially began allowing marketers to show individually-tailored ads on Twitter, based on websites the user has previously visited. The cookie-based targeted ads, as they are known, are expected to fetch higher ad prices.

The company also said it would launch a text-only version of the service that would be available to people with entry-level mobile phones that cannot access the Internet.

Apple announced last week it would acquire Topsy, an analytics company that mines Twitter data, for US$200 million, according to media reports.

Although the iPhone maker withheld any information about how it planned to integrate Topsy, analysts said the deal was served as the latest affirmation that the flood of data produced daily on Twitter holds value for businesses.

“There’s been a lot of little stories, from targeted audiences performing well to Topsy acquisition showing support for analytics for this space, that have people scrambling,” said Mr Robert Peck, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Shares slipped last week, when Twitter’s post-IPO “quiet period” lifted and five investment banks involved in the offering published mixed reviews from their research analysts on the stock.

But the end of the quiet period also let Twitter executives speak to large institutional investors for the first time since the IPO, Mr Peck noted.

Since its IPO, Twitter, which has never turned a profit, has polarized analysts and investors. Twitter has traded at even higher multiples of its estimated forward revenue than competitors such as Facebook and LinkedIn — which are already some of the most richly valued companies in the technology sector.

Twitter, with a market cap approaching US$25 billion, is expected to make US$1.1 billion next year.

Facebook, Google and LinkedIn were also trading slightly higher yesterday while the S&P 500 Index remained flat. REUTERS

Jan
10-Dec-2013, 08:36 PM
Stocks in holding pattern after gains
By CNNMoney Staff @CNNMoneyInvest December 10, 2013: 5:10 AM ET

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/assets/131210095549-sp-premarkets-tues-620xa.png
TOTAL SHARES
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Stocks could spend another day in a holding pattern Tuesday with little corporate or economic news to swing sentiment either way.
U.S. stock futures were tiptoeing higher, with the S&P index up barely 0.1%.

After this year's strong gains, the next big catalyst for investors is likely to be the Federal Reserve meeting later this month, when it will decide whether to continue pumping money into the economy at its current rate of $85 billion a month.
The Census Bureau will release its monthly report on wholesale inventories at 10:00 a.m. ET Tuesday. Gun maker Smith & Wesson (SWHC) is scheduled to release quarterly results after the closing bell.
Related: Fear & Greed Index
U.S. stocks finished slightly higher Monday.
General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) shares rose in after-hours trading. The U.S. government revealed Monday afternoon that it had sold the last of its stake in the automaker.
European markets were little changed in morning trading, with Germany's DAX edging higher. Asian markets ended the day narrowly weaker. To top of page


First Published: December 10, 2013: 5:10 AM ET

Jan
10-Dec-2013, 11:11 PM
US small business confidence rises, jobs picture upbeat
[WASHINGTON] US small business sentiment bounced back from a seven-month low in November, with owners setting their sights on creating more jobs and expanding operations.

Jan
10-Dec-2013, 11:11 PM
US states expect tiny revenue increase this fiscal year
[WASHINGTON] US state revenues have continued to rise this fiscal year but at a much slower clip than in the prior year, a decrease that could strain state budgets in coming months, the National Association of State Budget Officers reported on Tuesday.

Jan
10-Dec-2013, 11:12 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 10, 2013
US: Wall St pauses after S&P's record close
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
[NEW YORK] US stocks edged lower at open on Tuesday as investors booked profits a day after the S&P 500 closed at yet another record high.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.49 points or 0.16 per cent, to 16,000.04, the S&P 500 lost 3.44 points or 0.19 per cent, to 1,804.93 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 9.331 points or 0.23 per cent, to 4,059.42. - Reuters

Jan
10-Dec-2013, 11:56 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 10, 2013
US factory, services revenue to grow in 2014: ISM
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
[NEW YORK] The US manufacturing sector is forecast to grow again next year, with both revenue and investment increasing, an industry report showed on Tuesday.
Manufacturing revenue is expected to rise by 4.4 per cent in 2014 from the year before, the semi-annual forecast from The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said.
Revenue in the non-manufacturing sector, which is made up mostly of service sector businesses, is expected to rise by 3.6 per cent.
Capital investment among manufacturing firms is seen rising 8 per cent in 2014 and increasing by 4.6 per cent in the service sector.

Jan
10-Dec-2013, 11:57 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 10, 2013
US wholesale inventories exceed expectations in Oct
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
[WASHINGTON] US wholesale inventories rose more than expected in October, showing little sign of businesses pulling back after they aggressively accumulated stock in the third quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday wholesale inventories increased 1.4 per cent after a revised 0.5 per cent rise in September.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected stocks at wholes

Jan
11-Dec-2013, 07:39 AM
US stocks fall as market awaits retail sales data
EmailPrintText Resize+-reset
POSTED: 11 Dec 2013 06:27

US stocks on Tuesday ended lower as investors looked ahead to a retail sales report that covers the beginning of the critical holiday shopping season.

PHOTOS
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AFP/Spencer Platt)
ENLARGECAPTION
NEW YORK: US stocks on Tuesday ended lower as investors looked ahead to a retail sales report that covers the beginning of the critical holiday shopping season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 52.40 points (0.33 per cent) to 15,973.13.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 5.75 points (0.32 per cent) at 1,802.62, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 8.26 points (0.20 per cent) to 4,060.49.

The modest losses came on a fairly quiet day for economic news, said Michael James, managing director at Wedbush Securities.

James said the major economic report of the week would be Thursday's data on November retail sales. Expectations are low based on largely anecdotal evidence about mall traffic, he said.

"Is the data going to perpetuate the negative trend?" he said. "Or are we going to get a glimmer of hope that maybe things aren't as bad as they seem anecdotally?"

Banking stocks reacted in a mixed fashion to a long-awaited decision by US regulators to place tight controls on banks' trading their own accounts. The regulations, known as the Volcker Rule, take effect in 2015.

Goldman Sachs (+1.2 per cent), Morgan Stanley (+1.3 per cent) and JPMorgan Chase (+0.3 per cent) all rose. Decliners included Citigroup (-0.7 per cent), Bank of America (-0.1 per cent) and Wells Fargo (-0.5 per cent).

General Motors lost 1.2 per cent after appointing Mary Barra to serve as the auto giant's first female chief executive. The news follows Monday's announcement that the US Treasury Department had sold its last remaining shares in GM.

Pharmaceutical wholesaler McKesson shed 1.9 per cent after hedge fund Elliot International, a large Celesio shareholder, withheld support for McKesson's proposed $8.3 billion takeover of Germany's Celesio unless the bid were raised.

US drug retailer CVS Caremark advanced 1.9 per cent after announcing a joint venture with Cardinal Health to source generic drugs in the US. Cardinal jumped 3.0 per cent.

Semiconductor firm Broadcom gained 2.3 per cent after raising its guidance for the fourth quarter. The company now projects revenues of $2.00-$2.05 billion, up from the prior forecast of $1.975 billion.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.80 per cent from 2.86 per cent late Monday, while the 30-year dropped to 3.83 per cent from 3.89 per cent.

- AFP/fa

houseproud
11-Dec-2013, 07:54 AM
US budget deal reached

POSTED: 11 Dec 2013 07:42
URL: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/us-budget-deal-reached/918490.html

WASHINGTON: Congressional negotiators reached a deal on Tuesday on US federal spending, budget officials said, which if passed by lawmakers would avoid a disastrous repeat of a government shutdown that paralysed Washington.

Sources say the 2014-2015 budget agreement, brokered by Senate Democrat Patty Murray and House Republican Paul Ryan in weeks of closed-door negotiations, sets the new annual budget caps at about $1 trillion, and at least partially repeals the automatic budget cuts known as "sequestration."

Details were to be unveiled at a 6:00 pm (2300 GMT) press conference. Under a deal reached in October that ended a crippling 16-day shutdown, federal spending authority expires on January 15, when a new agreement will need to be in force.

By most accounts, Tuesday's deal is an underwhelming one, far from the grand bargain envisioned by some optimists in Washington earlier this year.

But it sets the warring Democratic and Republican Parties on track for further cooperation on fiscal policy, ending the cycle of budget feuding that has marred Washington since 2011.

The challenge now, however, is selling the agreement to sceptical conservatives and liberals in the House of Representatives and US Senate. Each chamber must pass a budget bill by January 15 or risk another government shutdown.

Conservative groups such as Americans For Prosperity have already come out opposed to the agreement, saying it blows past the budget caps established in the Budget Control Act of 2011.

- AFP/fa

Jan
11-Dec-2013, 08:37 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 11, 2013
Volcker rule's final 900-page version ready
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
[WASHINGTON] Wall Street banks will need to prove to regulators that their trades are done on behalf of clients or to protect against market risks and are not speculative bets for their own profit, under the final version of the Volcker rule released by US officials yesterday.
The rule - which five regulatory agencies are expected to adopt later in the day - appears to crack down more sharply on so-called proprietary trading than when it was proposed two years ago, likely disappointing banks hoping for more leeway.
Named after former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, who championed the reform, the rule prohibits banks from betting on financial markets with their own money and is a crucial part of the efforts to reform Wall Street.
Regulators have struggled for years to agree on a text that, while prohibiting such risky activity, would still allow banks to take on risk on behalf of clients as market-makers, to hedge risk, or when underwriting securities.

Jan
11-Dec-2013, 08:39 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 11, 2013
US finalises Volcker rule, curbing Wall Street's risky trades
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
Vvoljhs112
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker had promoted the restriction on proprietary trading as a simple measure to reduce risk, and US officials acknowledged the final version was not as streamlined as they had hoped - PHOTO: REUTERS
[WASHINGTON] US banks will no longer be able to make big trading bets with their own money after regulators finalised on Tuesday a rule shutting down what was a hugely profitable business for Wall Street before the credit crisis.
The measure known as the Volcker rule was a late addition to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law and seeks to ensure that banks can't make speculative trades that are so large and risky that they threaten individual firms or the wider financial system.
Banks had hoped to substantially soften the rule, but JPMorgan's US$6 billion trading loss in 2012, dubbed the "London Whale" because of the huge positions the bank took in credit markets, motivated regulators to devise a tough version.
After more than two years crafting the complex reform, five regulatory agencies signed off on the roughly 900-page rule with new narrower exemptions for legitimate trades.

Jan
11-Dec-2013, 08:41 PM
GM names Mary Barra as CEO
[DETRIOT] General Motors named Mary Barra to succeed Dan Akerson as chief executive officer, making her the first female CEO in the global automotive industry. Mr Akerson is retiring on Jan 15, and Tim Solso was named chairman.

Jan
11-Dec-2013, 08:41 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 11, 2013
US luxury market falters as the rich hold back
Affluent shoppers not spending more on gifts even amid wealth effect
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
BT 20131211 SHOP11 871430
Just looking: Even the US$250,000-plus-a-year crowd are 'very restrained and feeling very uncertain about their personal prospects and the economy at large', said Pam Danziger, Unity Marketing president. - PHOTO: AFP
[WASHINGTON] This holiday season, it's not just low-income shoppers who are pulling back on spending for loved ones and themselves. Wealthy folks are watching their dollars, too.
While the most well-heeled shoppers still think nothing of dropping US$4,600 on an Hermes tote, cracks have appeared in the US$94 billion US luxury market, especially for companies that cater to "Henrys" - High Earners Not Rich Yet. Coach has said customers plan to spend less on gifts and that mall traffic fell sharply last month. Analysts predict Nordstrom's fourth-quarter sales may grow less than half the year-ago pace of 6.1 per cent. Tiffany & Co's third-quarter comparable sales in the Americas were barely higher. Even before Black Friday, Saks, Neiman Marcus Group and Nordstrom offered 40 per cent off on many brands.
With memories of the 2008 financial crash still fresh, some wealthy shoppers are questioning whether stock market gains to record highs are sustainable and cite conflicting reports about the economy, said Robin Lewis, a New York retail consultant.
While the Federal Reserve reported on Monday that home and equity market gains spurred household wealth from July through September, the so-called wealth effect hasn't resulted in a commensurate gain in spending. Some of the wealthiest will be less flush this year as Wall Street banks shrink bonuses. Goldman Sachs, along with the investment-banking divisions of six of its biggest US and European rivals, allocated a collective 39 per cent of revenue for compensation in the first nine months, down from 42 per cent a year earlier.

Jan
11-Dec-2013, 08:43 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 11, 2013
Americans' wealth reaches record levels
Surge in share and home values push up total by 2.6% to US$77.3t in Q3
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
BT 20131211 HIGH11BN51 871183
New wave: Total mortgage debt rose 0.9 per cent from the previous quarter, the first such increase since early 2009. The rise reflects rising home sales and fewer mortgage defaults, an encouraging sign. - PHOTO: AFP
[WASHINGTON] A surging stock market and a steady recovery in home prices drove Americans' wealth to a record last summer.
The nation's wealth rose 2.6 per cent from July to September to US$77.3 trillion, the Federal Reserve said on Monday. Household wealth has been rising gradually since bottoming at US$57.2 trillion in 2008. Early this year, America finally regained all the wealth it had lost to the Great Recession.
Rising personal wealth has been a pillar of the slow but steady US economic recovery. When Americans feel richer, they typically spend more and fuel economic growth.
Household wealth, or net worth, reflects the value of homes, stocks, bank accounts and other assets minus mortgages, credit cards and other debts.

Jan
11-Dec-2013, 09:13 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 11, 2013
US mortgage applications rise in latest week: MBA
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
Nsimortgage111213
Applications for US home mortgages rose slightly last week after five consecutive weeks of declines, an industry group said on Wednesday - PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Applications for US home mortgages rose slightly last week after five consecutive weeks of declines, an industry group said on Wednesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose one per cent in the week ended Dec 6.
The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications rose 2.1 per cent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, ticked up 0.9 per cent.
The refinance share of total mortgage activity rose to 65 per cent of applications from 63 per cent the week before.

Jan
11-Dec-2013, 09:15 PM
Stocks eye budget deal for taper risk
By CNNMoney Staff @CNNMoneyInvest December 11, 2013: 6:40 AM ET

sp500 615am
Click on chart for more premarkets data.
http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/assets/131211061058-sp500-615am-620xa.png
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Stocks could take another knock Wednesday as a new U.S. budget deal raises the chances that the Federal Reserve might begin scaling back its support for the economy.
U.S. stock futures were weaker before the open, with the S&P 500 contract down 0.3%.

Congressional negotiators reached a bipartisan budget compromise on Tuesday that would prevent another government shutdown, if approved by the House and Senate. The deal would set spending levels, reduce the deficit and relieve some of the arbitrary, forced spending cuts.
The reduced risk of a damaging shutdown would give support to those arguing for the Fed to begin trimming its $85-billion a month bond purchases as early as next week.
"They could well be helped in this decision by last night's announcement... that a new budget deal could well be unveiled in the coming days," noted Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
"It certainly does appear that a window of opportunity could be opening up for the Fed to act next week without a sharp market reaction, the only question remaining as to whether they will avail themselves of it."
Related: Fear & Greed Index
U.S. stocks fell Tuesday.
Shares of Mastercard (MA, Fortune 500) rose 4% in premarket trading after the company reported it would increase its quarterly cash dividend to investors by 83%, pushing it to $1.10 per share.
Smith & Wesson (SWHC) shares rose in after-hours trading after the gun maker reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations.
European markets were mixed, with only France's CAC 40 managing to push higher.
Asian markets ended weaker, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropping 1.7% and China's Shanghai Composite falling 1.5%, as heavy pollution blanketed the region. Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 0.6% lower and Australia's ASX All Ordinaries finished the day down 0.7%.
General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) said Wednesday it was ending production of its iconic Holden model in Australia, casting doubt on the future of the country's struggling auto industry. To top of page


First Published: December 11, 2013: 5:27 AM ET

Jan
11-Dec-2013, 11:41 PM
How Volcker Rule would limit banks' risky bets
print
Email this article
| MORE
Posted on December 11, 2013 at 9:02 AM
Updated today at 9:02 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators have approved a rule that seeks to defuse the kind of risk-taking on Wall Street that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis.
The Volcker Rule is expected to change the way the largest U.S. banks do business. It strives to limit banks' riskiest trading bets that could implode at taxpayers' expense. Some think the rule goes too far, others not far enough.
Here are questions and answers about the Volcker Rule:
Q: What is it?
A: The Volcker Rule is a key plank of a financial regulation law enacted in 2010 to try to reduce the likelihood of another crisis and a resulting government bailout. The rule is intended to bar banks from trading for their own profit. This activity is known as proprietary trading. It's become a huge money-making machine for mega Wall Street banks, like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. Under the rule, the banks will be required to trade mainly on their clients' behalf.
Still, if it were that simple, the final draft would be a lot shorter than its roughly 920 pages — about as long as Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov." The rule left to regulators the burden of finalizing the fine print.
Besides curbing proprietary trading, the Volcker Rule limits banks' investments in hedge funds and private equity funds, which are high-risk, lightly regulated investment pools.
The rule is named for Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman who was an adviser to President Barack Obama during the financial crisis. Volcker urged a ban on high-risk trading by big banks to diminish the likelihood that taxpayers might have to rescue them, as they did after the financial crisis.
Q: Where are the complications?
A: The ban on proprietary trading isn't absolute. There are exemptions. One involves an important activity called market making. When big banks engage in market making, they use their own money to take the opposite side of a customer's trade: They buy or sell an investment to help execute the trade.
Q: Why does the Volcker Rule matter?
Because of the widely agreed-upon need to reduce the dangers that remain in the banking system. Proprietary trading has allowed big banks to tap depositors' money in federally insured bank accounts — essentially borrowing against that money and using it for investments, such as in mortgage-backed securities. When those bets soured during the crisis — especially after a wave of mortgage defaults — the banks were at risk of failing. Most survived only because of taxpayer-funded bailouts.
Q: So would banks be barred from investing the money I deposit?
A: The short answer is no. When people deposit money in a bank, they may expect the bank to use it for conventional safe investments, such as bonds. Those would still be allowed. But banks could no longer borrow against depositors' money to seek outsize returns on complex investments, like derivatives. Derivatives are investments based on the value of an underlying commodity or security, such as oil, mortgages, interest rates or currencies.
Q: How did the rule become so complicated?
A: Regulators found it hard to isolate what precisely distinguishes proprietary trading from, say, market-making. The line can be blurry.
Another challenge: No fewer than five agencies, including the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission, had to grapple with the rule and reach common ground.
If that weren't enough, industry lobbyists used their muscle to try to preserve the banks' trading operations. They won a round in 2011, when regulators approved a draft that exempted "portfolio hedging" from the trading ban. This meant banks could make trades for their own profit to offset the risks of either individual investments or a broader investment portfolio.
Q: What was the banks' argument?
A: They contended that a ban on proprietary trading could bar them from legitimate market-making on behalf of customers and from appropriately limiting their risks by hedging broader portfolios.
Q: But the final rule doesn't include such an exemption for "portfolio hedging." Why not?
A: An event in 2012 may have led regulators to rethink such an exemption. JPMorgan traders in London made huge trades on derivatives with the bank's money — an ill-conceived bet that cost the bank $6 billion. When the losses came to light, they damaged the bank's reputation. Experts believe the "London Whale" trades, as they became known, helped speed momentum toward a stricter rule. In its latest form, the rule does not exempt portfolio hedging.
Q: So did the banks end up losing on the rule?
A: Their lobbyists are "hugely influential" in crafting regulations, says Cornelius Hurley, a former counsel to the Federal Reserve who heads Boston University's Center for Finance, Law and Policy. "But they don't win every battle."
Q: Will the rule succeed?
A: Hard to know for sure. The final rule requires CEOs of major banks to personally certify once a year that their firms have strong compliance programs. Some big banks have already closed their proprietary trading operations in anticipation of the rule. Still, the rule won't take effect for the biggest banks until mid-2015 and not until 2016 for big banks below the top tier. Its complexity could make enforcement difficult.
"It's all in the details," says James Cox, a Duke University expert on financial regulation. "The longer it gets, the more holes it's got."

Jan
12-Dec-2013, 08:21 AM
US stocks fall as investors lock in 2013 profits
EmailPrintText Resize+-reset
POSTED: 12 Dec 2013 06:18

US stocks tumbled Wednesday in a decline that analysts attributed to profit-taking after the equity market surge of 2013.

PHOTOS
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP/Richard Drew)
ENLARGECAPTION
NEW YORK: US stocks tumbled Wednesday in a decline that analysts attributed to profit-taking after the equity market surge of 2013.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 129.60 (0.81 per cent) to 15,843,53.

The broad-based S&P 500 declined 20.40 (1.13 per cent) to 1,782.22, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 56.68 (1.40 per cent) at 4,003.81.

"The market has been in a little bit of a sell-off mood since the beginning of the month, and rightly so after being up 25 per cent," said Mace Blicksilver, director of Marblehead Asset Management, referring to the S&P 500's gain so far in 2013.

"It's getting close to the end of the year," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities. "There's more profit to protect this year."

The losses came after US lawmakers unveiled a federal budget deal for the next two years that would avert another government shutdown in January. The deal still needs to win approval from the full House of Representatives and Senate.

Retailer Costco Wholesale dipped 1.2 per cent after posting earnings of 96 cents per share, six cents shy of expectations. Revenues also lagged expectations.

Banking stocks fell one day after federal regulators approved the Volcker Rule, tight controls on proprietary trading that has been an important source of profits for many banks.

Goldman Sachs lost 1.3 per cent, Morgan Stanley dropped 2.1 per cent and Citigroup fell 2.0 per cent.

Dow component Home Depot advanced 0.5 per cent after saying it expects to achieve its long-term profit targets one year ahead of schedule thanks to strong sales. The company projects sales growth of 5.0 per cent in 2014.

Credit-card company MasterCard jumped 3.5 per cent after announcing a stock split, an 83 per cent dividend increase and up to US$3.5 billion in new share repurchases. Rival Visa increased 3.1 per cent.

The newly merged American Airlines Group continued its upward climb two days after debuting on the Nasdaq, rising 4.5 per cent. Deutsche Bank this week rated the stock a "buy" on the basis of expected merger cost savings and the improving outlook for US airlines.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.84 per cent from 2.80 per cent, while the 30-year increased to 3.88 per cent from 3.83 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

- AFP/ac

sgx2013
12-Dec-2013, 05:18 PM
NSA: No better way to protect US than surveillance
Agencies (December 12, 2013 9:30 AM)

WASHINGTON — The NSA chief says he knows of no better way his agency can help protect the US from foreign threats than with spy programs that collect billions of phone and Internet records from around the world.

Pleading with the Senate Judiciary Committee to not abolish the NSA bulk-collection programs, Gen.

Keith Alexander said Wednesday that global threats are growing — specifically in Iraq and Syria — that pose what he called "an unacceptable risk" to America.

He said the NSA knows of no other way to connect the dots between a foreign terror threat and a potential attack on the U.S.

Alexander said the NSA is open to talking to technology companies for a better solution without compromising security.

The programs were revealed last summer by leaker Edward Snowden.

Jan
12-Dec-2013, 05:53 PM
Stocks slide on speculatated US Fed stimulus slowdown
Stocks slide on speculatated US Fed stimulus slowdown
A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Oct 28, 2013. Photo: Reuters
US shares close mostly down as government budget deal raises possibility that Federal Reserve will start winding down stimulus programme

PUBLISHED: 12 DECEMBER, 8:23 AMUPDATED: 12 DECEMBER, 8:30 AM(PAGE 1 OF 1) - PAGINATE
NEW YORK — Stocks posted their largest drop in a month yesterday (Dec 11) as traders locked in recent gains after a provisional budget deal out of Washington removed one of the near-term reasons for the Fed to keep up its current pace of economic stimulus.

Last September, the Fed cited the possibility of a hit to the economy if lawmakers did not agree on a budget as one reason to maintain its US$85-billion-a-month (S$106.4 billion) bond-buying programme.

The bipartisan budget agreement reached late on Tuesday would end three years of political confrontations and fiscal instability in Washington that climaxed in October with a partial government shutdown. A vote in the United States House of Representatives could come as soon as today.

“You’ve got stability on the fiscal side, at least in the immediate future,” said Ms Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

She said a case could be made for the US central bank to wind down stimulus beginning in January or March, but “the market is increasingly fixated on the idea the Fed will pull the trigger this meeting”.

The final Fed policy statement of the year is expected on Dec 18, at the end of a two-day meeting.

The Fed’s stimulus has been instrumental in a rally that has put the S&P 500 on track to close its strongest year in more than a decade.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 129.60 points or 0.81 per cent, to end at 15,843.53. The S&P 500 slid 20.40 points or 1.13 per cent, to close at 1,782.22. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 56.677 points or 1.4 per cent, to finish at 4,003.813.

It was the largest daily decline for each of the three major US stock indexes since Nov 7.

The 25 per cent rally in the S&P 500 so far this year served as a reason for traders to sell some equities and lock in gains. The benchmark index slid throughout the day.

“People are more concerned about locking in profits in positions that have had big gains this year,” said Mr Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

“The fact we couldn’t hold 1,800 (in the S&P 500) put people in ‘hit-the-sell-button mode’ as well,” he said.

In one of the few items of market-moving news yesterday, Costco’s profit missed Wall Street’s estimates because of higher stock-based compensation expenses and spending on technology. Its shares fell 1.2 per cent to close at US$118.57.

Laboratory shares tumbled 11 per cent to US$88.25 after the medical testing company cut the lower end of its full-year adjusted earnings forecast. The stock of rival Quest Diagnostics dropped 5.8 per cent to US$55.20.

MasterCard announced a 10-for-1 stock split and a new US$3.5 billion stock-buyback programme, and raised its quarterly dividend by 83 per cent. The news drove the stock up 3.5 per cent to close at a record US$790.57. Earlier, MasterCard hit a lifetime intraday high at US$801.14.

Shares of its competitor Visa rose 3.1 per cent to close at a record US$205.66, helping to limit the Dow’s decline. Visa also reached a record intraday high at US$207.90.

Mining equipment maker Joy forecast next year’s earnings below analysts’ estimates after reporting a quarterly profit that fell short of expectations as miners cut spending. The stock fell 5.5 per cent to US$53.15.

Decliners beat advancers on the NYSE by a ratio of 4 to 1. On the Nasdaq, more than three issues fell for every one that rose.

About 6.5 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, above the 6.04 billion average so far this month, according to data from BATS Global Markets. REUTERS

(PAGE 1 OF 1) - PAGINATE

Jan
12-Dec-2013, 05:54 PM
Facebook to join S&P 500 index
9 HOURS 2 MIN AGO
CALIFORNIA — Standard & Poor’s yesterday (Dec 11) said Facebook will join its S&P 500 stock index after the close of trading on Dec 20, cementing the social media network’s rise...

Jan
12-Dec-2013, 08:16 PM
Hilton raises over S$2.9 billion in biggest-ever hotel IPO
9 MIN 30 SEC AGO
NEW YORK - Hotel operator Hilton Worldwide raised US$2.34 billion (S$2.9 billion) in its initial public offering on Wednesday, returning to the public markets some six years...

Jan
12-Dec-2013, 11:08 PM
US retail sales rise in November, boost economic outlook
[WASHINGTON] US retail sales rose solidly in November as Americans bought automobiles and a range of other goods, adding to signs of a strengthening economy that could draw the Federal Reserve closer to reducing the pace of monetary stimulus.

Jan
12-Dec-2013, 11:09 PM
US import prices fall for second straight month
[WASHINGTON] US import prices fell for a second straight month in November as the cost of petroleum and food dropped, suggesting imported inflation pressures remained subdued.

Jan
12-Dec-2013, 11:09 PM
US jobless claims surge, erase prior weeks' declines
[WASHINGTON] The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose sharply last week, reversing the prior three weeks declines, but a recent strengthening of the labour market likely remains intact.

Jan
12-Dec-2013, 11:13 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 12, 2013
US: Wall St opens flat in wake of mixed data
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
NYSE345
- PHOTO: AFP
[NEW YORK] US stocks were little changed at the open on Thursday as the market digested mixed data that showed a rise in weekly jobless claims and stronger-than-expected retail sales for November.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 20.56 points or 0.13 per cent, to 15,822.97, the S&P 500 lost 1.99 points or 0.11 per cent, to 1,780.23 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3.471 points or 0.09 per cent, to 4,007.284. - Reuters

Jan
13-Dec-2013, 07:11 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 13, 2013
US: Wall St ends down as more signs point to Fed taper
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
NYSE345
- PHOTO: AFP
[NEW YORK] US stocks fell on Thursday as retail sales rose solidly in November, adding to signs the economy is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to begin reducing the pace of monetary stimulus.
Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 104.10 points or 0.66 per cent, to end unofficially at 15,739.43. The S&P 500 lost 6.72 points or 0.38 per cent, to finish unofficially at 1,775.50. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.41 points or 0.14 per cent, to close unofficially at 3,998.403. - Reuters

Jan
13-Dec-2013, 07:15 AM
US stocks Thursday closed lower after a surprisingly good retail sales report boosted speculation that the US Federal Reserve could soon scale back its stimulus program.

PHOTOS
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP/Richard Drew)
ENLARGECAPTION
NEW YORK: US stocks Thursday closed lower after a surprisingly good retail sales report boosted speculation that the US Federal Reserve could soon scale back its stimulus program.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 104.10 points (0.66 per cent) to 15,739.43.

The broad-based S&P 500 declined 6.72 (0.38 per cent) to 1,775.50, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 5.41 (0.14 per cent) at 3,998.40

Thursday marked the third straight day of losses after strong gains throughout the year.

Peter Cardillo, director of investment research at Rockwell Global Capital, attributed the decline to a November retail sales report, which showed growth of 0.7 per cent, above the 0.6 per cent expected by analysts.

"The market is positioning itself for a very possible tapering announcement at next week's" Federal Reserve meeting, Cardillo said.

"They have all the evidence needed to act."

The retail sales data follows better economic reports on growth and unemployment, Cardillo said. These reports have fostered speculation the Fed might taper its $85 billion a month bond-buying program at its policy meeting that wraps up Wednesday.

Hotel chain Hilton Worldwide made a successful return to the stock market, gaining 7.5 per cent to $21.50 on its first day of trading following its IPO price of $20.

Social networking company Twitter advanced 5.7 per cent after it unveiled a new form of online advertising through its MoPub platform.

Twitter's rival, Facebook, also scored, rising 5.0 per cent after the S&P 500 announced the company would be added to the prestigious index after the close of trade Friday.

Technology company Oracle fell 2.8 per cent after RBC Capital slashed its rating to "sector perform" from "outperform," citing tough competition from other cloud computing vendors and spending concerns in China. Morgan Stanley also downgraded Oracle due to uncertain growth prospects.

Women's sports attire chain Lululemon Athletica dived 11.7 per cent after issuing a disappointing profit forecast for the fourth quarter. Lululemon projected profits of 78-80 cents per share, below the 84 cents seen by analysts.

General Motors fell 0.3 per cent after announcing it was selling its remaining stakes in Ally Financial and French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.88 per cent from 2.84 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year increased to 3.90 per cent from 3.88 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

- AFP/ac

Jan
13-Dec-2013, 07:21 AM
First-time claims for US unemployment benefits jumped in the first week of December from November's low numbers, official data released Thursday showed.

PHOTOS
A jobs sign is seen on the US Chamber of Commerce Building in Washington, DC. (AFP/Saul Loeb)
ENLARGECAPTION
WASHINGTON: First-time claims for US unemployment benefits jumped in the first week of December from November's low numbers, official data released Thursday showed.

New jobless claims rose to 368,000 in the week ending December 7 from the prior week's upwardly revised figure of 300,000, the Labor Department said.

Claims were much higher than analysts expected. The average estimate was a rise to 315,000 claims.

The increase pushed the four-week moving average higher by 6,000 to 328,750.

Analysts cautioned that the report was not a clear indicator of the jobs market because of the difficulty of adjusting the numbers in the year-end holiday season.

"This was the largest jump in claims since the post-Hurricane Sandy jump last fall and reverses all of the improvement over the past two months. Adjusting the data for the Thanksgiving holiday is always problematic, however, and this jump will likely be reversed in subsequent weeks," said Marisa Di Natale of Moody's Analytics.

"It is likely that in subsequent weeks, claims will settle back down to around 300,000, which is roughly where they were prior the Great Recession's start," she said.

The claims numbers, a sign of the pace of layoffs, came after the Labor Department on Friday reported the jobless rate fell to a five-year low of 7.0 per cent in November and the economy added 203,000 jobs, picking up from the two previous months.

Analysts said the strength of the November jobs report could give the Federal Reserve more reason to begin cutting back its US$85 billion a month bond-buying programme, aimed at boosting economic growth.

Markets are focused ahead on next week's Fed policy meeting, with some analysts expecting the central bank will announce it is tapering the asset purchases after wrapping up the two-day meeting Wednesday.


- AFP/ec

xfactor
13-Dec-2013, 07:41 AM
S&P 500
1,775.50
-6.72(0.38%)

Dow
15,739.43
-104.10(0.66%)

NASDAQ
3,998.40
-5.41(0.14%)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks fell on Thursday as retail sales rose solidly in November, adding to signs the economy is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to begin reducing the pace of monetary stimulus.

Profit-taking also played a part in the market's decline, with investors selling some stocks to lock in gains from this year's rally. The S&P 500 is set to close its strongest yearly performance in more than a decade.

"Year-end activity is clouding reactions to some economic news," said Drew Wilson, an analyst at Fenimore Asset Management in Cobleskill, New York.

He said the market is "taper-schizophrenic" as it tries to second-guess the Fed's reaction to recent economic data.

"I'm not sure the market knows how to react to good and bad news."

Facebook (FB.O), however, closed at its highest since October 25 a day after it was selected to join the S&P 500 index. The change becomes effective after the close on December 20. In Thursday's session, the social network's stock jumped 5 percent to end at $51.83 and helped cap the Nasdaq's loss.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 104.10 points or 0.66 percent, to end at 15,739.43. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) lost 6.72 points or 0.38 percent, to finish at 1,775.50. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) dropped 5.41 points or 0.14 percent, to close at 3,998.403.

Many market participants have expected the Fed to announce a cut in its $85 billion a month in bond purchases in March, but that timeline may have shortened after Friday's better-than-expected November payrolls report and Tuesday's initial agreement in Washington on a bipartisan budget.

Other markets also reacted to the perception of a shorter timeline for the Fed's tapering of its bond-buying stimulus. The U.S. dollar rose 0.4 percent against a basket of major currencies (.DXY) and spot gold slid 2 percent.

The Fed's policy-setting committee is scheduled to meet for the last time this year on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The market is expected to be more volatile ahead of the Fed meeting. The CBOE Volatility Index (^VIX) closed on Thursday at 15.54, its highest since October 15, and the options market showed a trader purchased 40,000 call options at the 22 strike. The VIX has not traded above 22 this year, though it brushed against that level in June in the wake of a Fed announcement.

Data showing the biggest jump in a year in initial claims for unemployment benefits was mostly ignored as figures were skewed by adjustments for the season and other factors.

Lululemon Athletica Inc (LULU) shares tumbled 11.7 percent to $60.39 after the yoga apparel company said fewer customers are visiting its stores and supply-chain issues are hitting sales in the crucial fourth quarter.

Investors also dealt with a flurry of initial public offerings, including Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (HLT.N). The stock rose 7.5 percent to close at $21.50 in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The IPO was priced at $20 a share.

Food services provider Aramark Holdings Corp (ARMK.N) staged a more impressive debut, up 13.5 percent at $22.70 after going public at $20 per share.

Shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) rose 0.8 percent to $8.55. Chief Executive Officer Mike Ullman told Reuters that the department store chain is eliminating or trimming some high-profile brands introduced by former CEO Ron Johnson. Penney intends to use the floor space for its more profitable private-label brands.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) was the S&P 500's largest percentage advancer, gaining 4.6 percent to $18.79 after Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its rating on the airline operator's stock to "buy."

Decliners beat advancers on the NYSE by a ratio of about 7 to 5. On the Nasdaq, winners and losers were almost evenly distributed.

About 6.2 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, slightly above the 6.1 billion average so far this month, according to data from BATS Global Markets.

xfactor
13-Dec-2013, 07:42 AM
Calvin Cheng was a former Nominated Member of Parliament and a member of the Media Literacy Council. He writes in his own capacity and blogs at www.beyondtheemotive.com


Any hope the Government still harboured of the electorate accepting the "6.9 million" Population White Paper may have just gone up in flames.

One must not underestimate the shock to the Singaporean psyche in seeing images of burning police vehicles, crowds attacking ambulances and rioting masses; for Singaporeans born post-independence, these things just do not happen in Singapore. They see them on the TV, or the internet, or the papers -- but not in their own backyard.

When news of a riotous crowd attacking police vehicles started filtering out, the reaction from Singaporeans, online and on the streets, was one of utter disbelief.

People do not attack police vehicles in Singapore, much less set them on fire. The most difficult situation ambulance drivers have to normally handle is unruly patients; never in their wildest dreams have they imagined themselves running for their lives from an angry mob.

The Government may try its best to deny that the riot has anything to do with immigration policy, but it will fail. It may exhort Singaporeans not to politicise the issue but it will fail too. The Government may rail against xenophobia but it will also fail, because I fear reason cannot overcome the images from Sunday's riot already burnt into the mind's eye.

yeoken77
13-Dec-2013, 09:45 AM
50% chance of FED tapering next week?

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/50-chance-of-fed-tapering-next-week-ruffy-gR0TXlfNSuGIIaOYJ7nz_A.html

Leoieee
13-Dec-2013, 06:03 PM
Correction should be coming big time, before continuing the uptrend. Might be seeing DJIA back into the 14,800 area

correction in progress , should continue tonight

Jan
13-Dec-2013, 11:28 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 13, 2013
Volume of US stock market listings highest since 2000
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
Nsibankam131213
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the top-ranked bookrunner on US listings in 2013, with a 12.5 per cent market share - PHOTO: AFP
The amount raised by US stock market listings so far this year has risen 38 per cent on the same period in 2012, Thomson Reuters data showed on Friday, making it the strongest year since 2000.
This week's US$2.4 billion initial public offering (IPO) by hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Holdings, the third-largest US listing this year, pushed the volume of completed IPOs to US$57.8 billion.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the top-ranked bookrunner on US listings in 2013, with a 12.5 per cent market share. - Reuters

Jan
13-Dec-2013, 11:29 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 13, 2013
Producer prices fall for third straight month in November
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
Nsiproduce131213
US producer prices fell for a third straight month in November, pointing to a lack of inflation that could give the Federal Reserve pause as it weighs the future of its monthly bond purchases - PHOTO: AFP
[WASHINGTON] US producer prices fell for a third straight month in November, pointing to a lack of inflation that could give the Federal Reserve pause as it weighs the future of its monthly bond purchases.
The Labour Department said on Friday its seasonally adjusted producer price index slipped 0.1 per cent as gasoline prices maintained their downward trend.
Prices received by the nation's farms, factories and refineries had dipped 0.2 per cent in October.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected wholesale prices would be flat in November.

Jan
13-Dec-2013, 11:30 PM
US producer prices fell in November
EmailPrintText Resize+-reset
POSTED: 13 Dec 2013 22:07

US producer prices slipped 0.1 percent in November, dragged down by falling prices for gasoline and other energy items, the Labor Department said on Friday.

PHOTOS
File photo of a worker at a floral import company preparing boxes of flowers for distribution to retailers in Miami, USA. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
ENLARGECAPTION
WASHINGTON - US producer prices slipped 0.1 percent in November, dragged down by falling prices for gasoline and other energy items, the Labor Department said Friday.

Core producer inflation, excluding volatile energy and food prices, ticked up 0.1 percent.

Year on year, the overall producer price index gained 0.7 percent, evidence that inflation pressures in the economy remain weak despite stimulus efforts by the Federal Reserve.

The Fed, which meets next Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss whether to begin tailing back the stimulus programme, has said it wants to see a further fall in unemployment and a pickup of inflation to around 2.0 percent before it tightens monetary policy.

- AFP/ir

Jan
13-Dec-2013, 11:31 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 13, 2013
China and US to hold trade talks next week
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
Nsiwang131213
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang (above) will host US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Trade Representative Michael Froman for the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) on Dec 19-20, ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a press briefing - PHOTO: REUTERS
[BEIJING] Senior US and Chinese officials will hold annual trade talks in Beijing next week, China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday, as the world's two largest economies try to iron out an array of long-held tensions.
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang will host US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Trade Representative Michael Froman for the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) on Dec 19-20, ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a press briefing.
US politicians are eager to attract Chinese investment as a source of new jobs and economic growth, though high-profile Chinese projects have been scrapped after running into national security concerns.
Officials cited food safety worries in a review of the acquisition of the world's largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods Inc, by China's Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd, though the deal received US approval in September.

Jan
13-Dec-2013, 11:34 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 13, 2013
US: Wall St rises modestly after 3-day drop
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
NYSE345
- PHOTO: AFP
[NEW YORK] Wall Street rose modestly at the open on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track to snap a three-day decline, though market participants remained cautious ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting next week.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 25.4 points or 0.16 per cent, to 15,764.83, the S&P 500 gained 4.31 points or 0.24 per cent, to 1,779.81 and the Nasdaq Composite added 17.037 points or 0.43 per cent, to 4,015.439. - Reuters

Jan
13-Dec-2013, 11:43 PM
House approves US budget compromise, Senate next

Published on Dec 13, 2013
10:01 PM


WASHINGTON (AP) - The Democrat-controlled Senate was expected to approve a bipartisan budget agreement next week, sealing a spending deal that would prevent a repeat of last month's damaging government shutdown and restore money for the US military and domestic agencies that had been slashed in automatic cuts.

The House of Representatives voted to pass the budget on Thursday - by a lopsided 332-94 margin - after a surprising about-face by Speaker John Boehner. The leader blasted the tea party wing of his Republican caucus and outside conservative groups for leading members astray and hurting the party by having forced the government shutdown two months ago. Until he came out in support of the new deal, Mr Boehner had largely bowed to pressure from the hard right. Republican approval among voters, polls showed, has plummeted.

When signed into law by President Barack Obama, as expected, the spending plan eases a brutal philosophical fight over government funding that has gripped the nation since Republicans retook control of the House in 2010, giving them sufficient power to bring the legislative process to a grinding halt.

While House Democrats were upset that the budget did not include an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, they voted overwhelming for the plan after Senate Democrats promised to force a vote on extending unemployment benefits when the chamber reconvenes next year. They hope that political pressure after 1.3 million people lose their benefits on Dec 28 will force Republican leaders to extend aid averaging less than US$300 (S$377) a week to people who've been out of work longer than six months.

Jan
13-Dec-2013, 11:54 PM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 13, 2013
US economic growth gauge slips in latest week: ECRI
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
[NEW YORK] A measure of future US economic growth edged lower last week, while the annualized growth rate also slowed, a research group said on Friday.
The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index fell to 131.4 in the week ended Dec 6 from a revised 132.7 the previous week, which originally had been reported as 132.8.
The index's annualized growth rate slowed to 2.8 per cent from 2.9 per cent a week earlier. - Reuters

xfactor
14-Dec-2013, 06:39 AM
S&P 500
1,775.32
-0.18 (0.01%)

Dow
15,755.36
+15.93 (0.10%)


NASDAQ
4,000.98
+2.57 (0.06%)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks ended Friday's session little changed after a three-day drop, but logged their worst week in nearly four months on concern that the Federal Reserve could signal the start of a reduction in its stimulus program at its policy-setting meeting next week.

Investors in U.S.-based funds pulled $6.51 billion out of stock mutual funds in the week ended Wednesday, representing the biggest weekly outflow this year, data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service showed on Thursday.

In a bullish signal, the S&P 500 closed on Friday right above 1,775 - considered a technical support level. At less than 2 percent below its record closing high, the S&P 500's pullback for the week shows no signs of investor panic, traders said.

Investors have been trying to gauge the timing of an expected winding down of the U.S. central bank's bond-buying stimulus, with many market participants expecting the Fed to announce a tapering in March.

Stronger economic data of late, however, has led some to shorten that timeline to as soon as the end of next week's two-day meeting.

"Focus is still on what the Fed says next Wednesday. There's a set of people that think (the Fed) is going to announce a tapering, but I think what we will have is more clarity," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.

Economic data on Friday showed producer prices declined in November for a third straight month, indicating a lack of inflation pressure that could give the Federal Reserve some wiggle room as it weighs the future of its stimulus.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 15.93 points or 0.1 percent, to end at 15,755.36. The S&P 500 <.SPX> dipped a mere 0.18 of a point or 0.01 percent, to finish at 1,775.32. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 2.572 points or 0.06 percent, to close at 4,000.975.

For the week, the Dow and the S&P 500 each lost 1.65 percent and the Nasdaq fell 1.52 percent. It was the largest weekly percentage drop for the indexes since August.

T-Mobile US shares jumped late in regular trading after a Wall Street Journal report that Sprint is mulling a bid for its rival. T-Mobile US shares shot up 8.7 percent to close at $27.64 while Sprint gained 3.4 percent to end at $8.43. After the bell, Sprint further extended its gain by 3.1 percent.

Shares of International Paper rose 3.6 percent to close at $47.83 and led the gainers in the S&P 500's materials sector. Jefferies said in a research note that there are signs of demand pickup in containerboard, and the recent pullback in IP and others has created a buying opportunity.

In the energy sector, shares of Anadarko Petroleum Corp fell 6.4 percent to $78.31 a day after a U.S. judge ruled that Anadarko and its Kerr-McGee unit acted with "intent to hinder" when they spun off Tronox , a paint materials company that later went bankrupt. The judge ruled that Anadarko and Kerr-McGee should pay billions of dollars in environmental cleanup costs. Tronox shares gained 7.5 percent to $22.76.

Adobe Systems Inc climbed 12.8 percent to $60.89 a day after the maker of Photoshop and Acrobat software reported a surge in the number of subscribers to its Creative Cloud suite from the previous quarter.

Twitter Inc shares rose 6.6 percent to a record closing high of $59 a day after the company was forced to nix a change to its "block" feature after users protested that the new policy empowered perpetrators of online abuse.

Advancers beat decliners on the NYSE by a ratio of 4 to 3. On the Nasdaq, about seven stocks rose for every five that fell.

About 5.5 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 6.1 billion average so far this month, according to data from BATS Global Markets

wen
14-Dec-2013, 10:46 AM
By Keith Coffman
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) - A student seeking to confront one of his teachers opened fire at a Colorado high school on Friday, wounding at least two classmates before apparently taking his own life, law enforcement officials said.
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson told a televised news conference that one student victim was in serious condition with gunshot wounds at a local hospital. A second suffered minor injuries and may not have been hit by bullets.
Robinson said the suspected gunman "identified a specific teacher at Arapahoe High School that he was interested in confronting, and that teacher was informed of the situation and exited the school quickly."
The accused shooter was later found dead inside the school after he "apparently killed himself," the sheriff said, adding that authorities knew the boy's identity and were in contact with his family. He did not reveal his name.
The incident comes a day before the first anniversary of the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School before killing himself.
Holly Schaefer an 18-year-old senior at the school, was in mathematics class when she and fellow students heard a loud bang, she said. That was followed shortly by another bang, and "then we knew definitely it was a gunshot."
Schaefer said her teacher immediately initiated lockdown procedures, shutting the door to the classroom as students huddled in a corner of the room.
After about 30 minutes, Schaefer said, they heard police calling out on the other side of the door. Officers eventually cleared her classroom and as students were being escorted out of the building, she said she saw blood on the hallway floor.
'SHAKING, CRYING, FREAKING OUT'
Television images from the high school showed students running out with their hands raised and gathering on a track field. Some students were shown being patted down in the aftermath.
Robinson said officers in Colorado were "slowly and methodically" clearing the school and transporting students by bus to a nearby church, but believed the danger had passed. He said the entire incident lasted 14 minutes.
"We were having fun and laughing and then all of sudden we heard a really loud bang, and my teacher asked what it was, and then we heard two more, and we all just got up and screamed and ran into a sprinkler system room," student Whitney Riley, 15, told CNN. "It sounded like it was coming from the hall that was near us."
"We were shaking, we were crying, we were freaking out. I had a girl biting my arm," she said. "We stayed quiet and we heard a whole bunch of sounds. We heard people yelling, we heard walkie-talkies."
A woman who answered the phone at a Yogurtland across the street said her store was being evacuated and dozens of police officers were at the school with guns drawn.
Phone calls to the Arapahoe High School were not answered. A spokesman for Littleton Public Schools, the district that administers the school, said the school had been placed on lockdown.
Centennial is a suburban community south of Denver, not far from the unincorporated community in nearby Jefferson County that is home to Columbine High School, where two students gunned down 13 students and staff before killing themselves in 1999. (Additional reporting by Steve Gorman, Alex Dobuzinskis and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Sandra Maler and Gunna Dickson)

wen
14-Dec-2013, 10:56 AM
Florida man faces 142 felony counts after cop sees his Instagram page

By Nadine Kalinauskas | Daily Buzz – 10 hours ago

The Daily Buzz is quickly becoming a "what not to do" guide to selfie etiquette.
1. Don't take a self-portrait in front of a tragedy. You will make the front page of the paper.
2. Don't pose for a smartphone with your fellow world leaders at a memorial service. You'll end up doing damage control.
3. And don't take selfies that include stolen firearms. You will go to jail.
A south Florida man is learning that third lesson the hard way. Depree Johnson, 19, has been charged with 142 felony counts after his Instagram page got the attention of a local sheriff.
Johnson, who already had a rap sheet that included grand theft, burglary, and felony possession of a firearm, posted incriminating photos of himself flaunting cash, jewelry, drugs and weapons on the site.
The teen earned himself a search warrant.
[ More Daily Buzz: George W. Bush shows off his paintings on Air Force One ]
Cops found $250,000 in loot — Johnson has since been named the ringleader in a string of 30 to 40 burglaries in Palm Beach-area senior centres — including a Glock, a loaded TEC-9 9mm that was, of course, stolen, and a shoe box loaded with ammo.
Thanks to his impressive firearms collection, Johnson has been charged with 142 counts of being a felon in possession of a weapon or ammo.
When deputies filling out the arrest report asked Johnson for his occupation, Johnson responded: "thief."
Officers have also arrested four other people working under Johnson.
If you're trying to get away with burglary, avoid bragging about your criminal lifestyle on Instagram. The cops have the Internet, too, folks.

stochaholic
14-Dec-2013, 11:01 AM
America - the land of the brave & the home of the free.

Didnt know thieving was an occupation :chairfall:

Florida man faces 142 felony counts after cop sees his Instagram page

By Nadine Kalinauskas | Daily Buzz – 10 hours ago

The Daily Buzz is quickly becoming a "what not to do" guide to selfie etiquette.
1. Don't take a self-portrait in front of a tragedy. You will make the front page of the paper.
2. Don't pose for a smartphone with your fellow world leaders at a memorial service. You'll end up doing damage control.
3. And don't take selfies that include stolen firearms. You will go to jail.
A south Florida man is learning that third lesson the hard way. Depree Johnson, 19, has been charged with 142 felony counts after his Instagram page got the attention of a local sheriff.
Johnson, who already had a rap sheet that included grand theft, burglary, and felony possession of a firearm, posted incriminating photos of himself flaunting cash, jewelry, drugs and weapons on the site.
The teen earned himself a search warrant.
[ More Daily Buzz: George W. Bush shows off his paintings on Air Force One ]
Cops found $250,000 in loot — Johnson has since been named the ringleader in a string of 30 to 40 burglaries in Palm Beach-area senior centres — including a Glock, a loaded TEC-9 9mm that was, of course, stolen, and a shoe box loaded with ammo.
Thanks to his impressive firearms collection, Johnson has been charged with 142 counts of being a felon in possession of a weapon or ammo.
When deputies filling out the arrest report asked Johnson for his occupation, Johnson responded: "thief."
Officers have also arrested four other people working under Johnson.
If you're trying to get away with burglary, avoid bragging about your criminal lifestyle on Instagram. The cops have the Internet, too, folks.

wen
14-Dec-2013, 11:45 AM
America - the land of the brave & the home of the free.

Didnt know thieving was an occupation :chairfall:

Some people just gamble, steal or con - if arrested, no big deal - go to jail for free food and lodging :) This is nothing new. It happens all the time.

stochaholic
14-Dec-2013, 12:10 PM
Some people just gamble, steal or con - if arrested, no big deal - go to jail for free food and lodging :) This is nothing new. It happens all the time.

Sad but true...

Am sure a certain Madoff is betteroff inside rather than outside......considering the billions tht he's conned.

Makes u wonder whether justice is really served for the aggrieved party.....

Jan
14-Dec-2013, 03:09 PM
Modest US budget bill sails through House
A BREAKTHROUGH budget deal that avoids a US government shutdown in January and blunts automatic spending cuts easily won passage in the House of Representatives on Thursday, laying the groundwork for two years free of funding crises.

Jan
14-Dec-2013, 03:11 PM
Ford to hire 11,000 in US, Asia next year
FORD Motor Co plans to add 11,000 jobs in the US and Asia in 2014, with more than half of those hires coming in the latter region where the company is scheduled to open two factories.

Jan
14-Dec-2013, 03:12 PM
US wholesale prices fall in Nov for third straight month
Washington - US wholesale prices dropped in November for the third consecutive month, pushed down again by cheaper petrol and lower home heating oil costs. But excluding volatile energy costs, inflation was mostly stable. The producer price index declined 0.1 per cent last month, the Labor Department said yesterday. AP

Jan
14-Dec-2013, 03:43 PM
US stocks mostly higher after House approves budget
EmailPrintText Resize+-reset
POSTED: 14 Dec 2013 06:12

US stocks on Friday ended mostly higher after the US House of Representatives approved a budget deal that would avert another government shutdown.

PHOTOS
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AFP/Stan Honda)
ENLARGECAPTION
NEW YORK: US stocks on Friday ended mostly higher after the US House of Representatives approved a budget deal that would avert another government shutdown.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 15.93 (0.10 per cent) at 15,755.36.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.18 (0.01 per cent) to 1,775.32, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 2.57 (0.06 per cent) to 4,000.98.

The House early Thursday evening easily approved a bipartisan budget deal that would repeal some automatic spending cuts while trimming the budget deficit. The deal must win Senate approval.

Still, investors remained cautious ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting, which could taper its aggressive bond-buying program, said David Levy, portfolio manager at Kenjol Capital Management.

The budget deal "could increase the likelihood of a taper," Levy said. Investors are in "wait and see mode," he said.

Social network Twitter rose 6.6 per cent after RBC Capital Markets reiterated its "outperform" rating, citing a survey of advertisers who praised the company's improvements in advertising platforms.

Dow component Visa rose 1.9 per cent after a federal judge approved a $5.7 billion class-action settlement between merchants and credit card companies over credit card transaction fees. MasterCard, which was also a party to the settlement, rose 0.7 per cent.

Oil and gas company Anadarko fell 6.4 per cent after a US bankruptcy judge said it could be liable for $5.1 billion after concluding that a 2005 corporate reorganization was a fraudulent attempt to evade environmental liability. Anadarko vowed to appeal the ruling.

Online retailer Amazon rose 0.8 per cent after a report said it was working on a new consumer goods business that would compete with Walmart and Costco.

United Technologies fell 0.8 per cent after its 2014 forecast came in on the low end of expectations. The company projected earnings of $6.55-$6.85 per share against analyst expectations of $6.84.

Software company Adobe Systems shot up 12.8 per cent after earnings met expectations and revenues narrowly exceeded expectations of $1.03 billion at $1.04 billion. The company reported a big increase in "Creative Cloud" subscriptions.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dipped to 2.87 per cent from 2.88 per cent Thursday, while the 30-year fell to 3.87 per cent from 3.90 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

- AFP/fl

Jan
14-Dec-2013, 03:44 PM
US Senate to vote on Yellen, budget next week
EmailPrintText Resize+-reset
POSTED: 14 Dec 2013 06:03

The US Senate will vote next week on the new budget deal and Janet Yellen's nomination to lead the Federal Reserve, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Friday.

PHOTOS
US Capitol in Washington, DC. (AFP/Saul Loeb)
ENLARGECAPTION
WASHINGTON: The US Senate will vote next week on the new budget deal and Janet Yellen's nomination to lead the Federal Reserve, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Friday.

While Yellen's approval is almost certain to go through, the budget, just passed by the lower house of Congress, could run into trouble.

"On Tuesday, we'll begin consideration of the budget. On Wednesday, the defence bill, and after that we'll address further nominations, of which the most important one is Janet Yellen," Reid said on the Senate floor.

Yellen, currently number two at the Fed and picked by President Barack Obama to replace outgoing chairman Ben Bernanke, is expected to gain easy approval.

The date for the vote has not been set, but Reid has said he wants the Senate to complete its work in this session by Friday, December 20 so legislators can then head out for the Christmas holiday.

Bernanke's last day, at the end of a second four-year term, is January 31.

The budget bill, a Democrat-Republican compromise that reduces scheduled cuts over the next two years, could run into resistance after the House of Representatives pushed it through on Thursday with overwhelming support.

Some Senate Republicans, including Kelly Ayotte and conservative star Marco Rubio, have said they will oppose it, opening the possibility of a stall on a final vote.

"This budget continues Washington's irresponsible budgeting decisions by spending more money than the government takes in," Rubio said in a statement.

- AFP/fl

Jan
14-Dec-2013, 03:45 PM
Cisco to add 1,700 jobs in Ontario
EmailPrintText Resize+-reset
POSTED: 14 Dec 2013 05:23

Telecommunications equipment manufacturer Cisco Systems announced on Friday plans to more than double its Canadian footprint with the hiring of 1,700 high-tech workers in Ottawa and Toronto within six years.

PHOTOS
A sign in front of the Cisco Systems headquarters in San Jose, California. (AFP/Justin Sullivan)
ENLARGECAPTION
OTTAWA: Telecommunications equipment manufacturer Cisco Systems announced on Friday plans to more than double its Canadian footprint with the hiring of 1,700 high-tech workers in Ottawa and Toronto within six years.

The San Jose, California-based company said it will also invest Can$1.8 billion (US$1.7 billion) in the province of Ontario, which is providing a Can$220 million (US$207.5 million) incentive to bolster its technology sector.

As well, Cisco held out the possibility of adding 2,000 more Canadian jobs by 2024, which would bring its total number of Canadian employees nationwide to 5,300.

"Canada continues to be one of Cisco's best success stories globally," Rob Lloyd, head of Cisco development and sales, said in a statement.

"Today's announcement ... is another milestone in driving our business in Canada."

Ontario has historically been Canada's economic hub, but has fallen on hard times in recent years as more and more traditional manufacturing jobs are lost and factories are closed.

As such, it has made significant efforts to attract new foreign investment.

The new Cisco jobs will include research and development, product engineering, product system and solution testing, systems engineering and advanced services.

- AFP/fl

Jan
14-Dec-2013, 03:50 PM
Obama to give "State of the Union" on Jan 28

US President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address - his annual showpiece speech - on January 28, at the start of a mid-term election year.

PHOTOS
US President Barack Obama (AFP/Jewel Samad)
ENLARGECAPTION
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address - his annual showpiece speech - on January 28, at the start of a mid-term election year.

By tradition, the speaker of the House of Representatives must invite the president to make the address to a joint session of the US Congress and a national televised audience.

Republican Speaker John Boehner sent a letter of invitation to Obama on Friday, and White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president had accepted.

Boehner's office said the joint session was set for 9:00 pm (0200 GMT).

Presidents have historically used the speech to lay out their policy agendas. American voters will go to the polls in November 2014 for the mid-term Congressional elections.

"In the coming year, Americans expect Washington to focus on their priorities and to look for common ground in addressing the challenges facing our country," Boehner wrote in the letter to Obama.

"In that spirit, we welcome an opportunity to hear your ideas, particularly for putting Americans back to work," he wrote.

"It's my honour to invite you to speak before a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, January 28, 2014."

- AFP/fl

Jan
15-Dec-2013, 03:38 PM
"Taper" again on table at Fed's final 2013 meeting
EmailPrintText Resize+-reset
POSTED: 15 Dec 2013 11:04

Steady economic gains, including a sharp fall in the unemployment rate, should stir the US Federal Reserve to begin trimming its stimulus programme at its policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.

PHOTOS
The US Federal Reserve building is seen in Washington, DC. (AFP/Karen Bleier)
ENLARGECAPTION
WASHINGTON: Steady economic gains, including a sharp fall in the unemployment rate, should stir the US Federal Reserve to begin trimming its stimulus programme at its policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.

But economists say there is a chance the Fed will still hold off the long-awaited taper of its huge bond purchase programme, which aims at holding down interest rates to spur investment and hiring.

With inflationary pressure absent, outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his successor-designate, Vice Chair Janet Yellen, could very well wait another month to be sure the economic data holds up.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) holds its final meeting of the year on December 17-18, marking the first anniversary of the US$85 billion-a-month QE3, the latest edition of the crisis-era "quantitative easing" operations.

Since Bernanke began talking about reducing the programme in May, markets have expected the start of the taper, with bond yields and lending rates, especially mortgage rates, jumping more than one percentage point in anticipation.

Since then, FOMC meeting minutes show a reticence to take the first step, amid concern over Washington policy battles and mixed indicators on the economy's health.

Tapering QE3 would signal the beginning of the end of the Fed's five-year crisis stance, a major step toward the normalization of monetary policy, including, eventually, higher base interest rates.

But analysts think that move could be held off for Yellen to put her stamp on policy. The US Senate will almost certainly approve her nomination next week, after which she will take over on February 1. The Fed's next two reviews will come on January 29-30 and then March 19-20.

"Policymakers will probably wait a little while longer in order to feel secure that these improvements are sustainable," said IHS Global Insight in a report.

One reason for QE3 last year was the need to offset the drag on economic growth of looming tax increases and steep cuts in government spending that were to come into place from the beginning of 2013.

In addition, there was the turmoil of constant fights over raising the debt ceiling, including the 16-day government shutdown in October.

This time, however, the budget and debt brinkmanship appears to be out of the way. A Republican-Democrat deal on the budget over the next two years passed the House of Representatives on Thursday, and will likely pass the Senate next week.

The economic numbers are increasingly supportive of ending QE3. In November the unemployment rate sank unexpectedly sharply to 7.0 per cent, a five-year low.

While some of the drop could be explained by reconciliation of distorted figures the previous two months, the bottom line is that the rate has steadily fallen. It was 8.5 per cent at the end of 2011 and 7.8 per cent at the end of last year.

Other data is also fairly good on industrial production, consumer spending, exports and investment. The Fed's most recent regional survey found few weak points. Growth overall remains "modest to moderate."

On the other hand, inflation remains so weak that some policy makers have fretted about deflation. The official consumer price index was rising 1.0 per cent annually in last month's read, well below the Fed's target level of 2.0 per cent.

And on Friday the producer price report for November suggested more of the same: it was up a bare 0.7 per cent year-on-year and core prices -- excluding energy and food -- were up just 1.3 per cent.

"There remain no signs of price pressures anywhere in the system," said Michael Montgomery, US economist at IHS Global Insight.

"The downward shove from malaise in Europe may be ending, but there is no upwards shove from their recovery yet."

John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo, said that Yellen, more worried about employment, is more likely to take advantage of soft prices and keep QE3 spending in place to further boost the jobs market.

And when it comes, he added, the taper would be modest.

James Bullard, the head of the St Louis branch of the Fed, gave a plausible argument recently for FOMC action without too much commitment.

"A small taper might recognise labour market improvement, while still providing the committee the opportunity to carefully monitor inflation during the first half of 2014," he said.

"Should inflation not return toward target, the committee could pause tapering at subsequent meetings."

- AFP/ec

Jan
17-Dec-2013, 01:00 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 16, 2013
WALL STREET INSIGHT
Fed-focused stock market ignoring healthy economic indicators
What Bernanke will say will determine the future of rally
BYROB CURRAN PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
BT 20131216 RCCOL16 878049
Inverted logic: Ford said it would hire 4,000 workers, mostly in the US. Retail sales, especially of cars, were good. But the market fell last week. - PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
LAST week, the United States stock market had its biggest five-session drop since August as jitters about Federal Reserve policy offset positive economic data and even an unexpected budget compromise.
Whether the 2013 rally resumes depends on whether Fed chairman Ben Bernanke goes out like Santa Claus or Ebeneezer Scrooge.
For much of 2013, the outlook for central bank policy has overruled the traditional arbiters of stock market action - economic and corporate data.
Last week was perhaps the most extreme example of the inverted logic of a central bank focused market. It was as if stock traders awoke to find everything they ever dreamed of beneath the Christmas tree, then slunk off in the corner crying because they feared the central bank would come and take them all away. Stocks sold off not because retail sales and industrial data were bad but because they were too good.

Jan
17-Dec-2013, 01:01 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 16, 2013
US trade talks could deliver cheaper energy for Europe
[BRUSSELS] European negotiators, hoping to cut fuel bills, will press their US counterparts in Washington this week on including energy exports in a transatlantic trade pact that aims to integrate two markets accounting for half the world's economy.
Bringing politically sensitive energy into the debate stands to complicate talks spanning agriculture to finance, but the rewards could be big for the European Union, where natural gas prices are around three times those in the United States.
The United States has benefited from a shale gas revolution and for Europe, US imports are likely to be a faster way to lower prices than overcoming the social, planning and geological barriers to developing the continent's own reserves.
US gas exports could be up to 6 billion cubic feet, or around 170 million cubic metres per day - half of Britain's daily demand in winter - from the end of this decade, according to Washington-based think tank The Brookings Institution.

Jan
17-Dec-2013, 01:03 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 16, 2013
US productivity rises by most in nearly four years
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
TKLabourOutput16122013
US nonfarm productivity rose the most in nearly four years in the third quarter but a drop in unit labour costs underlined a lack of inflation pressure, bolstering arguments for the US Federal Reserve to maintain its massive monetary stimulus - PHOTO: AP
[WASHINGTON] US nonfarm productivity rose the most in nearly four years in the third quarter but a drop in unit labour costs underlined a lack of inflation pressure, bolstering arguments for the US Federal Reserve to maintain its massive monetary stimulus.
Productivity rose at a 3.0 per cent annual rate after increasing at a 1.8 percent pace in the second quarter, the Labour Department said on Monday, driven by a 4.7 per cent rise in output.
The data revised up an earlier estimate and was slightly above the 2.8 per cent increase analysts forecast in a Reuters poll. It was the largest rise since the fourth quarter of 2009.
Productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, was 0.3 per cent higher compared to the same period last year.

Jan
17-Dec-2013, 01:04 AM
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 16, 2013
US factory activity expands in Dec, pace ticks lower: Markit
PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
TKSheffieldPlaters16122013
The US manufacturing sector continued to expand in December albeit at a slightly lower rate than expected, with employment growing at its fastest pace in nine months, an industry report showed on Monday - PHOTO: AP
The US manufacturing sector continued to expand in December albeit at a slightly lower rate than expected, with employment growing at its fastest pace in nine months, an industry report showed on Monday.
Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index dipped to 54.4 from a 10-month high of 54.7 in November. Economists polled by Reuters expected a reading of 55.0.
A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity.
The output subindex fell to 57.3 from 57.4 in November, which was the strongest reading in 20 months.