S&P 500 drops 1.5% on first trading day of 2016

January 5th, 2016  // News

About $289 billion in market value was wiped out Monday as the Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 1.5% in the first day of trading this year. It was the worst start for Wall Street since 2001. The sell-off began in China and deepened because of news that US manufacturing activity had fallen. Read more

Initial unemployment claims increase in US

January 4th, 2016  // News

First-time US jobless claims rose by 20,000, to 287,000, in the week that ended Dec. 26, the Labor Department said. That is the highest number since the week that ended July 4. The four-week moving average, which economists say gives a better picture of the labor market, increased to 277,000 from 272,500. Read more

US economy figures mixed, but looking up for consumers

December 24th, 2015  // News

Consumers, the driving factor in the US economy, this month registered their highest level of optimism in five months after incomes climbed in November, boding well for fourth-quarter growth. However, the overall picture is mixed, with closely watched non-defense capital goods orders minus aircraft easing 0.4% in November and the previous month's increase revised sharply downward. Read more

Economic growth revised downward slightly for Q3

December 23rd, 2015  // News

US gross domestic product for the third quarter has been revised downward to 2% from an initial estimate of 2.1%. Adjustments were made for lower spending by businesses and for inventory. Analysts also point to the strong US dollar as a source of weakness. Read more

Salary increases predicted as joblessness falls

December 22nd, 2015  // News

The declining unemployment rate in the US is likely to cause companies to raise salaries to retain workers or hire top talent, economists say. Read more

WTO talks end with gains for world trade

December 21st, 2015  // News

The latest round of World Trade Organization talks concluded with an agreement to eliminate agricultural export subsidies and to expand the number of information and technology products for tariff reduction. Members did not reaffirm the mandate of the Doha round of talks. Read more

House passes bill to make many tax breaks permanent

December 18th, 2015  // News

The House has voted 318-109 to approve a tax package worth more than $600 billion that would make many tax breaks permanent and would temporarily extend others. Provisions that would become permanent include enhanced small-business expensing, the tax credit for research and development, and an expansion of the earned-income tax credit. Read more

Fed approves 1st post-crisis rate hike

December 17th, 2015  // News

The Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark short-term interest rate for the first time in almost a decade, citing the strength of the economic recovery. The rate will increase by a quarter of a percentage point. As the Fed pursues future rate hikes, home sellers and shoppers with good credit could benefit. On the other hand, borrowers with variable-rate debt might feel the sting of higher rates. Read more

Congressional negotiators form $1.1T spending deal

December 16th, 2015  // News

Congressional negotiators have hammered out a $1.1 trillion spending package necessary to keep the federal government running through September. The bill needs to be approved by the House and Senate. Negotiators also reached a deal to extend a package of tax breaks, but Democratic lawmakers may oppose that legislation. Read more

US economy gained 211,000 jobs in November, beating expectations

December 16th, 2015  // News

US companies added 211,000 workers to nonfarm payrolls in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, exceeding expectations that 200,000 jobs would be added. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5%. Read more

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