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NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures rose Tuesday, a day after fears about European debt sparked …


US stock futures edge up after steep declines
May 24, 2011, 8:44 a.m. EDT
Associated Press

Journal By Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures rose Tuesday, a day after fears about European debt sparked steep declines in financial markets around the world.

Ahead of the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 39, or 0.3 percent, at 12,401. Standard & Poor’s 500 futures are up 5, or 0.4 percent, at 1,319. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 7, or 0.3, at 2,322.

The modest advance in futures trading came despite more troubling news about the state of European debt management.

Greece‘s main opposition party said it opposed the government’s new austerity measures. The announcement dashed hopes that the country might be able to repair its finances enough to get another loan package from the International Monetary Fund.

Ratings agency Moody’s warned that a Greek restructuring of its debt would constitute a default. Moody’s said such a move would hurt the credit ratings of Greece and other debt-laden European countries. The ratings agency also said it would review 14 British financial institutions for a possible downgrade.

Nonetheless, European stocks recovered Tuesday after Monday’s declines.

The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares rose 0.4 percent in midday trading. Germany’s DAX rose 0.7 percent and the CAC-40 in France was 0.2 percent higher. The euro also rose slightly against the dollar after falling to a two-month low Monday.

In economic news, the Commerce Department is expected to report at 10 a.m. Eastern on how many new homes were bought in April, offering traders a glimpse at the housing market.

Analysts expect sales to have been roughly flat, rising slightly to an annual rate of 303,000 from 300,000 in March. That is still far below the 700,000 in annual sales seen as representing a healthy market.

New homes are unappealing to budget-conscious families because their median price is nearly 31 percent higher than previously-occupied homes. That’s twice the price difference typical of a healthy economy. At their current rate, new-home sales are on track to experience a sixth straight year of declines.

The Dow fell as much as 180 points Monday before paring back some of its losses after Greece, Italy and Spain suffered weekend setbacks in their attempts to control their debt. The Dow fell 130.78 points, or 1 percent, to close at 12,381.26.The S&P 500 index lost 15.90, or 1.2 percent, to 1,317.37. The Nasdaq dropped 44.42, or 1.6 percent, to 2,758.90.

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Sharp drop in new claims for unemployment: Dropped 29,000 last week …


Stock edge higher after unemployment claims fall
May 19, 2011, 10:25 a.m. EDT
Associated Press

Journal By Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,

Owner and Founder of: http://www.LedSomeBioMetrics.com

Hello Reader, What Party Do You Want Running The US Government 2013? Selection Poll B.O.Page!

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks opened slightly higher Thursday, extending Wednesday’s gains, after a government report showed a sharp drop in new claims for unemployment benefits. Weaker reports on home sales and economic expectations kept the gains in check.

Shares of social-networking company LinkedIn Corp. jumped 81 percent to $81.76 on their first day of trading. It is the largest U.S. Internet IPO since Google Inc.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 26 points, or 0.2 percent, at 12,586 in early trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 2, or 0.2 percent, to 1,343. The Nasdaq composite index added 4, or 0.1 percent, to 2,819.

The Department of Labor reported that applications for unemployment dropped 29,000 last week, more than expected, to 409,000.

Two other reports raised doubts about the strength of the housing recovery and the overall direction of U.S. growth.

The National Association of Realtors said fewer people purchased previously occupied homes in April. The number of homes sold in foreclosure also declined.

The Conference Board reported that expectations for future economic activity decreased, based on its index of leading indicators. The private research group said the index fell 0.3 percent in April, the first decline since June 2010.

In a sign that the U.S. consumer recovery remains uneven, Big Lots Inc. fell 9 percent to $34.31 after news reports that it decided not to sell itself. The Wall Street Journal said late Wednesday that the company received bids from two private-equity groups that were lower than it had hoped.

Sears Holding Corp. reported softer sales at its Kmart and Sears stores, causing a first-quarter loss of $1.58 per share, worse than analysts expected. The stock fell 3.2 percent to $73.31.

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Calvin Ledsome Sr.,

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PS., Hello Reader, What Party Do You Want Running The US Government 2013? Make Your Selection Below!

strong rebound on Wall Street spurred Asian stocks higher in early trading Wednesday


Asian markets higher after rebound on Wall Street

Posted by Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,

Owner and Founder of: http://www.LedSomeBioMetrics.com

Hello Reader, What Party Do You Want Running The US Government 2013? Poll Below!

BANGKOK (AP) — A strong rebound on Wall Street spurred by strong earnings reports and better-than-expected housing starts sent Asian stocks higher in early trading Wednesday.

The Nikkei rose 1.4 percent to 9,572.25 despite a government report showing that exports for March dropped for the first time in 16 months — one of many consequences to be felt from the mammoth earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country’s industrial northeast last month.

South Korea’s Kospi was 1.6 percent higher to 2,157.70, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.9 percent to 23,735.65. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan and Australia were also higher. Mainland Chinese shares were mixed, with the Shanghai Composite Index gaining 0.3 percent while the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index dropped marginally.

In New York on Tuesday, health care giant Johnson & Johnson rose 3.7 percent, leading the 30 companies in the Dow Jones industrial average, with earnings that beat Wall Street’s expectations.

In Washington, the Commerce Department reported that builders broke ground in March on more new homes than analysts expected. Home construction rose 7.2 percent from February.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.5 percent to close at 12,266.75. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.6 percent to 1,312.62. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.4 percent to 2,744.97.

Major stock indexes posted their largest one-day drop in over a month Monday after S&P said it might lower its rating on U.S. government bonds if Washington failed to tackle its mounting debts. While the rating agency kept its U.S. debt rating at AAA, the highest possible, it warned that there was a one-in-three chance it would downgrade U.S. debt within two years.

After the market closed, tech heavyweight Intel Corp. said earnings jumped 29 percent, surpassing estimates. Business spending on new computers offset a design error in one of its chips. Intel rose 6.2 percent in extended trading.

The dollar strengthened to 82.91 yen from 82.37 yen late Tuesday in New York. The euro rose against the greenback to $1.4388 from $1.4340.

Benchmark crude for June delivery rose 17 cents a barrel to $108.45 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract settled at $108.28 per barrel late Tuesday

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Calvin Ledsome Sr.,

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United States government risk losing the nation’s sterling credit rating.


S&P warning: Fix deficit or risk credit rating

Posted by Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,

Owner and Founder of: http://www.LedSomeBioMetrics.com

Hello Reader, What Party Do You Want Running The US Government 2013? Poll Below!

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key credit agency issued an unprecedented warning to the United States government Monday, urging Washington to get a grip on its finances or risk losing the nation’s sterling credit rating.

For the first time, Standard & Poor’s lowered its long-term outlook for the federal government’s fiscal health from “stable” to “negative,” and warned of serious consequences if lawmakers fail to reach a deal to control the massive federal deficit.

An impasse could prompt the agency to strip the government of its top investment rating in the next two years, S&P said. A loss of the triple-A rating would ripple through the American economy, making loans more expensive and credit more difficult to obtain.

The downgrade was interpreted as a rebuke to President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans, admonishing them to put politics aside and come up with a long-term financial plan as soon as possible.

“This is a warning: Don’t mess around,” said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group that is pushing for deficit reduction.

Analysts at S&P have never before used the outlook to cast doubt on the nation’s credit worthiness.

In response, stocks suffered their worst slide in a month. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 245 points before recovering to close down 140 points for the day.

“The credit quality of U.S. debt is sacrosanct, and legislators will do everything within their power to avoid a downgrade,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank.

The government is on pace to run a record $1.5 trillion deficit this year, the third consecutive deficit exceeding $1 trillion.

But so far, S&P sees little chance that the White House and Congress will agree on a deficit-reduction plan before the November 2012 elections, and the rating agency doubts that any plan would be in place until 2014 or later.

Obama and congressional Republicans are sparring over how to reduce the nation’s red ink. If Congress refuses to raise the nation’s debt limit this spring, and the U.S. Treasury lost authority to borrow additional money, the government would not be able to pay its bills and would default on its debt.

Although it’s a worst-case scenario that’s highly unlikely, default by the government means anyone owning federal debt of any kind — bills, notes, bonds — could go unpaid.

Both sides have proposed cutting $4 trillion from future deficits over the next 10 to 12 years.

The White House wants to reduce the deficit through spending cuts and by ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans reject that, calling it a tax increase. They seek instead to narrow the deficit largely by overhauling Medicare and cutting spending elsewhere.

The credit report called the two proposals a “starting point” of the process, but warned that the gap between the parties remained wide.

S&P took no position about how to reduce the deficit or how to change spending and revenue plans.

“But for any plan to be credible, we believe that it would need to secure support from a cross-section of leaders in both parties,” S&P said in its report.

A lower credit rating would drive up the government’s borrowing costs. It could lead to higher interest rates on everything from mortgages to car loans and threaten to slow U.S. economic growth.

Ablin said the credit worthiness of the country is the underpinning on which all other asset classes are valued.

“If all of a sudden the credit quality of U.S. Treasurys isn’t as high as people perceive, we could see erosion of confidence,” he said.

For now, S&P continues to give the U.S. government its top investment ranking. That means S&P believes that the U.S. government can and will repay its debts and that Treasury investments are virtually risk-free. But the agency says the U.S. faces a one in three chance of a downgrade in the next two years. That would likely happen if the White House and Congress could not come up with a credible plan for reducing debt.

The other major credit agencies — Moody’s and Fitch Ratings — did not match S&P’s outlook warning.

S&P gives its top investment rating to just 19 of the 127 countries it analyzes. But it says Britain, France and Germany moved much faster to contain deficits after the 2008 financial crisis and 2007-2009 recession, which cut tax revenues and forced governments to spend more on unemployment benefits, aid to the poor and bailouts of the banking system. Those countries also have top-notch investment ratings.

S&P noted that the U.S. deficit grew to 11 percent of economic activity in 2009, a risky percentage. The deficit averaged less than half that percentage in the previous six years.

The government was beginning to run surpluses at the end of the Clinton administration. But deficits returned after President George W. Bush’s tax cuts, a 2001 recession, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a massive expansion of Medicare’s drug coverage.

The deficit widened even more after the Great Recession started in 2007, depleting tax revenue and raising spending to stimulate the economy and provide benefits for the unemployed and the poor.

In the past, credit warnings have jolted politicians into action.

In May 2009, Standard & Poor’s downgraded its long-term outlook on the United Kingdom to negative, saying that the country’s debt could double in four years.

Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative-Liberal coalition government laid out plans to cut nearly 500,000 jobs and reduce welfare spending. Britain’s economy also posted modest gains, and the ratings agency changed its outlook in October back to “stable,” noting the government’s “political resolve.”

In recent months, at least two countries — Portugal and Greece — have had their credit ratings downgraded as they endured financial woes of their own.

The Obama administration embraced Monday’s warning as a welcome call for cooperation among the two political parties. Press secretary Jay Carney said the White House believes the political process will outperform the agency’s expectations because the president and Congress recognize the problem.

A budget showdown is likely in the next few weeks. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said the government will reach its debt limit no later than May 16. He can juggle funds to keep the government running until about July 8, after which the government could not pay its bills.

On Sunday, Geithner said Republican leaders have privately assured the Obama administration that Congress will raise the government’s borrowing limit in time to avoid an unprecedented default on the nation’s debt.

But Rep. Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, took a hard line Monday, calling the S&P announcement “a wake-up call to those in Washington asking Congress to blindly increase the debt limit.” He said Republicans would only agree to raise the debt ceiling if the White House agrees to “serious reforms that immediately reduce federal spending and to end the culture of debt in Washington.”

A bipartisan deficit-reduction commission appointed by Obama recommended late last year that about $4 trillion be slashed from budget deficits during the coming decade.

Under the commission’s plan, roughly two-thirds of the savings would come through spending cuts and one-third through increased tax revenue. Although overall tax rates would decline, dozens of popular tax breaks would be scaled back or eliminated, including the child tax credit, mortgage interest deductions and deductions claimed by employers who provide health insurance.

Obama praised the panel for its work, but embraced few of its recommendations, and none of the major ones on new taxes.

For now, U.S. politicians are at a stalemate. “There is bipartisan agreement on the need to reduce the debt by $4 trillion over roughly the next decade,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. “Now we just need to resolve how to do it.”

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Associated Press writers Pallavi Gogoi and Janna Herron in New York and Derek Kravitz, Andrew Taylor, Jeannine Aversa and Ben Feller in Washington contributed to this report.

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Calvin Ledsome Sr.,

Owner and Founder of: 

Thank you for visiting, do come back for more news…
Warmest regards,

Hello Reader, What Party Do You Want Running The US Government 2013? Poll Below!

Taiwan: Japan quake may cut economic growth


Taiwan: Japan quake may cut economic growth
Associated Press
Posted by Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,
Owner and Founder of: https://economicnewsblog.wordpress.com and http://LedSomeBioMetrics.com

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A senior Taiwanese official says the recent Japan earthquake may cut Taiwan’s economic growth by 0.2 percentage point this year.

Taiwan Premier Wu Den-yih said Tuesday that local industries are feeling repercussions from the disaster, but some Taiwanese liquid crystal display and semiconductor components makers have got more orders from Japanese clients following the quake.

“Our worst estimate is our economic growth will lose 0.2 percentage point over the quake, but our best assessment is the economy will not be affected as the extra orders Taiwanese companies have received will offset the negative impact,” Wu said.

Japan is Taiwan’s second biggest trading partner. Taiwan officials predicted before the quake the island’s economy will grow 4.9 percent in 2011.

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Calvin Ledsome Sr.,

Owner and Founder of:

Thank you for visiting, do come back for more news…
Warmest regards,

Markets see renewed fears about European debt


Markets see renewed fears about European debt
Associated Press
Posted by Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,
Owner & Founder of: https://economicnewsblog.wordpress.com and http://www.LedSomeBioMetrics.com

LONDON (AP) — An outbreak of jitters over Europe’s debt crisis and discouraging U .S. housing data weighed on stocks Wednesday as investors grew increasingly concerned over both Portugal and Ireland.

A day before a summit of EU leaders in Brussels, a major worry is that Portugal’s government may fall later Wednesday following an expected defeat on planned austerity measures in a Parliament vote.

“A failure to support the proposed austerity measures (in Portugal) may trigger the fall of the government, increasing the likelihood that an EU bailout will be needed,” said Vassili Serebriakov, an analyst at Wells Fargo Bank.

While Portugal tries to stave off a bailout, the new Irish government is showing no sign of raising its super-low corporate tax rate, meaning the European Union is unlikely to give the Irish easier terms for their bailout loan.

Against that backdrop, investors are refocusing on Europe’s debt crisis after a couple of weeks when most attention has been centered on North Africa and Japan.

Movements in bond markets indicated increasing pessimism among investors. The yield on Portugal’s ten-year bonds was up 0.12 of a percentage point to 7.61 percent, a whisker short of euro-era highs, while Ireland’s yield was up 0.23 percentage point to 10.07 percent, its highest level since the single euro currency was established in 1999.

The worries started to affect the euro, which was trading 0.3 percent lower on the day at $1.4135.

And in Europe’s stock markets, Germany’s DAX was down 0.5 percent at 6,749 while the CAC-40 in France fall 0.3 percent to 3,881. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.2 percent lower at 5,750.

In the U.S., stocks were further undermined by another bad set of housing figures — the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.3 percent to 11,982 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.6 percent to 1,286.

This time, the Commerce Department reported that new-home sales fell 16.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 250,000 homes. That was the third straight monthly decline and far below the 700,000-a-year pace that economists view as healthy.

“This report and the existing home sales data released yesterday confirm that the housing market is still in free fall,” said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities.

U.S. economic news has barely driven markets over recent weeks, as investors have been preoccupied by developments in the Arab world, most recently in Libya, and the aftermath of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Japan’s struggle to contain radiation from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant and fears that the economic cost of the natural disasters may run over $300 billion weighed on Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 stock average earlier, which closed down 1.7 percent to 9,449.47.

There was also a lot of interest in the resumption of trading on Egypt’s stock exchange following a near two-month shutdown because of the mass protests that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. Unsurprisingly, it plunged almost 9 percent, with foreign investors leading the sell-off.

Earlier in Asia, South Korea’s Kospi eased 0.1 percent to 2,012.18, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.1 percent to 22,825.40.

Mainland Chinese stocks rose with the Shanghai Composite Index gaining 1 percent to 2,948.48, and the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index up 1.2 percent to 1,299.99. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand also rose.

Oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hovered around $105 a barrel as violent uprisings in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East kept traders nervous about possible crude supply disruptions. OPEC-member Libya, which produces enough oil to meet nearly 2 percent of world demand, has almost totally stopped shipping it.

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Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.
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U.S. Stocks Fall on Europe Debt Concerns, Higher Oil


Fier Says Conifer `More Bullish Now Than Last Month’

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Calvin L. Ledsome Sr.,

Also Owner and Founder of: http://PublicBlogNewsPostingService.com and http://LedSomeBioMetrics.com

Thank you for visiting, do come back for more news…
Warmest regards,

Stocks plunge on economic news, oil price swings


Stocks plunge on economic news, oil price swings

Article Posted Here by Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr,

NEW YORK (AP) — Just when Americans put aside their fears and started buying stocks again, here come a host of reminders of why they left.

Ominous news from around the world caused stocks to plummet on Thursday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to the worst one-day drop in seven months.

Claims for unemployment insurance rose unexpectedly. A credit rating agency lowered Spain’s credit grade, amplifying worries that Europe’s debt crisis will worsen. China’s economy showed a surprising sign of weakness — a trade deficit brought on in part by surging oil prices.

And just when markets started bouncing back, Saudi police opened fire on protesters in the eastern city of Qatif, raising concerns about the stability of the oil-rich kingdom. Oil prices swung wildly, and the Dow again dipped below the 12,000 mark.

Major stock indexes had been plodding steadily higher month after month, luring investors back in with gains of 24 percent since August. But Thursday’s steep drop, following a recent roller coaster of market dives, could cause some of them to return to their hiding spots.

“You’ve had people plowing into this market,” said Nicholas Colas, ConvergEx Group chief market strategist. “And nothing makes you take your foot off the accelerator like seeing an accident.”

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 228.48 points, or 1.9 percent, to close at 11,984.61. McDonald’s Corp. was the only stock in the Dow 30 that rose.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 24.91, or 1.9 percent, to 1,295.11. The Dow and S&P 500 are still up 3 percent since the start of the year. The Nasdaq composite fell 50.70, or 1.8 percent, to 2,701.02.

Thursday’s drop in the Dow was the biggest since Aug. 11. The S&P had a larger fall recently, dropping 27.57 points on Feb. 22 as the uprising against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gained strength.

The stock market has become much more turbulent in the past three weeks. Blame it on oil.

Crude oil prices have jumped $20 a barrel since protests spread through North Africa and the Middle East, raising concerns that the flow of crude oil will be disrupted. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned last week that consistently high oil prices could undermine the U.S. economic recovery.

Since the uprising in Libya started and oil prices began rising in mid-February, the Dow Jones industrial average has lost 100 points or more on four days. Twice it gained 100 or more points.

By contrast, the Dow had just two such swings in January and two in December. And only one of those was a loss.

“The tone of the market has clearly changed,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. “The market trend had been to buy rather than sell and that bad news doesn’t matter.”

The sharp swings come shortly after individual investors, long wary of the stock market, started returning. Investors put $36.1 billion into U.S. stock mutual funds in January and February, according to the research firm Strategic Insight. Over the previous eight months, they had withdrawn $66.1 billion.

But the little guy has notoriously bad timing. When average investors pile in or out of stocks, it’s often a sign the market is about to reverse course.

Large investors like Bill Gross and Carl Icahn have recently been warning that the market rally could soon hit a wall. Icahn said this week he would return $1.76 billion to investors in his hedge funds because he doesn’t want to be responsible to them for “another possible market crisis.” Icahn also said he was concerned about the economic outlook and trouble in the Middle East.

Oil prices exceed $100 a barrel. They had declined significantly Thursday on weak economic news, but recouped most of those losses after the police shootings in Saudi Arabia.

Oil traders will be closely watching the kingdom again Friday, when activists demanding democratic reforms have called for more protests. Government officials have warned they will take strong action if activists take to the streets.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter and among only a handful that can increase production by sizable levels to meet demand increases.

Investors moved money into relatively stable investments as stock prices fell. Treasury prices rose, sending the yield on the 10-year note down to 3.37 percent from 3.47 percent late Wednesday.

Five stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume was 4.8 billion shares.

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AP Business Writers Francesca Levy, David K. Randall and Chris Kahn contributed to this story.

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Dow Jones Below 12,000 Stocks Plunge on Economic News, Oil Price Swings

Warmest regards,
Calvin L. Ledsome Sr.,
Owner of:
https://economicnewsblog.wordpress.com

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