WBEZ | Stock market http://www.wbez.org/tags/stock-market Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en How Low Oil Prices Are A Drag on the Economy http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2016-01-25/how-low-oil-prices-are-drag-economy-114589 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/GettyImages-505885942.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It seems pretty simple, right? Cheaper oil means lower gas prices, which means consumers can spend gas money on other stuff. A nice little economic stimulus. But&nbsp;<a href="http://iedtexas.org/" target="_blank">Thomas Tunstall</a>,&nbsp;&lrm;senior research director at University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development, said it&#39;s not cut and dry.</p><p>&quot;I got tired of hearing people say, &lsquo;Yeah, oil prices are going down but consumer spending will make up the difference&rsquo; and I thought, I don&rsquo;t think so,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>David Goldwyn, president of&nbsp;<a href="http://goldwynstrategies.com/Content/David.aspx" target="_blank">Goldwyn Strategies</a>, said consumers aren&#39;t driving that much more, anyway.</p><p>&ldquo;And the amount they&rsquo;re saving is a pretty modest impact on the economy,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Goldwyn said the damage to the oil industry is much greater than the benefits to consumers. Those hardest hit were the oil field service companies, like Halliburton.</p><p>&ldquo;What happened when the price of oil dropped is the price that producers were willing to pay for their services dropped dramatically,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>And that means cutting jobs and dropping wages.</p><p>Baker Hughes, another drilling services company which Halliburton is buying said this week it would be laying off 11 percent of its workforce &ndash; 7,000 people.</p><p>That hurts the whole economy.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://cms.marketplace.org/2016/01/22/world/halliburtons-2016-might-not-be-looking-so-great"><em> via Marketplace</em></a></p></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 11:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2016-01-25/how-low-oil-prices-are-drag-economy-114589 Analysts: Markets May Be Underestimating U.S. Economic Resilience http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-edition/2016-01-25/analysts-markets-may-be-underestimating-us-economic-resilience <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_143530056502.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As the old saying goes, the stock market has predicted nine of the last five recessions. In other words, sharply falling stock markets are crying wolf about half the time.</p><p>Dyke Messinger, who runs a small manufacturing company in Salisbury, N.C., thinks stock investors have been overreacting during this sell-off.</p><p>&quot;It is bizarre to me when we see what we believe is good core strength in the U.S. market,&quot; he says.</p><p>Messinger&#39;s market is the construction industry. His company, Power Curbers, manufactures machines that contractors use to build curbs and gutters for housing developments and commercial buildings.</p><p>&quot;Everybody is a bit on pins and needles due to the changing world economy, but there&#39;s still pent-up demand for housing and commercial construction,&quot; he says.</p><p>Those sectors performed weakly in the U.S. coming out of the recession but are doing much better now.</p><p>Messinger&#39;s business is actually a good reflection of the situation many U.S. manufacturers face. He exports a lot of his machines. About 30 percent of his sales are to international customers, including oil producing countries in the Middle East. The plunge in oil prices has hurt his business; his international sales have fallen sharply. So he knows the global economy can hurt U.S. growth.</p><p>&quot;I know a lot of what happens in the United States depends upon what&#39;s going on in China and other countries, but if I had some spare money, I think I&#39;d be buying U.S. stocks,&quot; Messinger says.</p><p>He says for his company, growth in the U.S. economy will more than offset lost business abroad.</p><div id="con463991179" previewtitle="Related links"><div id="res463978088"><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div></div><p>Economist Sara Johnson also believes the U.S. stock market is not accurately predicting the U.S. economy in 2016. &quot;I think financial markets have overreacted,&quot; she says.</p><p>Johnson, senior research director for global economics at IHS, points to strong U.S. job growth as evidence the domestic economy remains on track despite global weakness. And she says concerns that the U.S. is vulnerable to the slowdown in Chinese growth are overblown.</p><p>&quot;While it certainly is creating some turmoil in financial markets, the real economic consequences for the U.S. are limited,&quot; she says.</p><p>For one reason, total exports represent only about one-eighth of the U.S. economy, and less than 10 percent of those exports go to China. So the vast majority of U.S. economic activity is generated inside U.S. borders.</p><p>And Johnson sees a positive picture for this year, helped by the deep decline in oil prices. She acknowledges that plummeting oil prices hurt the U.S. economy last year, decimating energy companies and sparking huge layoffs. But, she says, 2016 will be different.</p><p>&quot;The U.S. is a net importer of crude oil, so the drop in prices is a substantial gain to U.S. consumers,&quot; she says.</p><p>That&#39;s been the conventional wisdom, but some economists have begun to doubt that low oil prices are a net positive for the U.S. economy. After all, because of the shale revolution, the U.S. has become the world&#39;s largest producer of oil and natural gas. That means energy price drops have a bigger negative impact on American companies and workers than before.</p><p>In fact, Goldman Sachs now predicts that those negatives will offset the benefit to U.S. consumers, so lower oil prices won&#39;t be a boost to the economy this year.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/25/463968800/analysts-markets-may-be-underestimating-u-s-economic-resilience?ft=nprml&amp;f=463968800"><em>&mdash; via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 11:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-edition/2016-01-25/analysts-markets-may-be-underestimating-us-economic-resilience Economy Adds 292,000 Jobs in December http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-08/economy-adds-292000-jobs-december-114431 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/0108_job-fair-624x416.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_99508"><img alt="Job applications and information for the Gap Factory Store sit on a table during a job fair at Dolphin Mall in Miami, on Oct. 6, 2015. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2016/01/0108_job-fair-624x416.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Job applications and information for the Gap Factory Store sit on a table during a job fair at Dolphin Mall in Miami, on Oct. 6, 2015. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)" /><p>What&rsquo;s been a turbulent week on the stock market ended with a positive jobs report.</p><p>The Labor Department reported today that the economy<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/us-economy-added-robust-292000-jobs-december-114720"> added 292,000 jobs in December, </a>better than many expectations.</p></div><p>The unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent, but average hourly wages were flat.</p><p>This comes weeks after the Federal Reserve decided to raise its benchmark interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.</p><p>Michael Regan&nbsp;of Bloomberg News discusses the December jobs report with<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2016/01/08/positive-december-jobs-report" target="_blank"><em>&nbsp;Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em></a> Peter O&rsquo;Dowd.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 08 Jan 2016 16:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-08/economy-adds-292000-jobs-december-114431 How China’s crash affects housing market http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-25/how-china%E2%80%99s-crash-affects-housing-market-112718 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/housing DanielSTL_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The news of a slowdown in the Chinese economy last week sent shockwaves across the globe, including the U.S. housing market. The crash has already led the federal government to say it&rsquo;s less likely to increase interest rates this fall. Crain&rsquo;s Chicago Business real estate reporter Dennis Rodkin talks about the Chinese market&rsquo;s effect on housing here in the U.S. and Chicago.</p></p> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 10:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-25/how-china%E2%80%99s-crash-affects-housing-market-112718 Fake tweet shakes stocks http://www.wbez.org/news/fake-tweet-shakes-stocks-106806 <p><p>NEW YORK &mdash; The stock market climbed Tuesday following strong earnings across a range of U.S. industries.</p><p>Makers of handbags, jet planes and chemical products all turned in good results for the first quarter, reviving investors&#39; confidence after a sharp downturn in the stock market last week.</p><p>Markets swooned briefly shortly after 1 p.m. Eastern time after The Associated Press&#39; Twitter account was hacked and a fake tweet was posted about explosions at the White House.</p><p>Trading at Chicago&rsquo;s CME Group was also affected.</p><p>Andrew Busch is publisher of the financial newsletter, the Busch Update.</p><p>&ldquo;What concerns me for Chicago, an account gets hacked and people start putting out misinformation whether it&rsquo;s about a company, or a police situation or flooding, that&rsquo;s where things get kind of crazy and people can actually get hurt. Not only people, but companies as well,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Busch says now officials will be looking for anyone who may have benefited from the sharp turn in trading.</p><p>The CME Group declined to comment.</p><p>Coach, Lockheed Martin, DuPont and Travelers were among the winners after they reported results that were better than analysts expected. The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard &amp; Poor&#39;s 500 index both rose nearly 1 percent in morning trading, putting them on track for a third straight day of gains.</p><p>A resurgence in corporate profits after the Great Recession has been one of the drivers that pushed both the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard &amp; Poor&#39;s 500 index to record levels this year. However investors are starting to question how much further company earnings can improve without the outlook for growth in the global economy improving as well.</p><p>Tuesday&#39;s upturn in stocks put both indexes back in the black for April and closer to the record high closes they reached on April 11. It was a sharp change of tone from last week, when the market had its worst drop since November. That sell-off started after economic growth in China, the world&#39;s second-largest economy, slowed.</p><p>So far, 69 percent of the companies that reported earnings for the first quarter have beaten analysts&#39; expectations, better than the 10-year average of 62 percent, according to data from S&amp;P Capital IQ. Analysts expect earnings to rise by 2.3 percent in the first quarter, compared with 7.7 percent growth in the previous three-month period.</p><p>Stocks and other markets were shaken in the early afternoon when a fake tweet on the AP&#39;s Twitter account prompted a sudden sell-off.</p><p>A posting saying that there had been explosions at the White House and that President Barack Obama had been injured was sent at 1:08 p.m. The Dow immediately plunged about 143 points, from 14,697 to 14,554. The AP said its Twitter account had been hacked and the posting was fake. Within five minutes the Dow had snapped back.</p><p>AP spokesman Paul Colford said the news cooperative is working with Twitter to investigate the issue. The AP has disabled its other Twitter accounts following the attack, Colford added.</p><p>Joe Fox, chairman and co-founder of online brokerage Ditto Trade, was at work in L.A. when he got a call from the Chicago brokerage offices telling him what had happened. Fox watched the market tanking, then its quick bounce back.</p><p>&quot;It was a tipsy-turvy rollercoaster for a few minutes there,&quot; Fox said.</p><p>Fox said the news didn&#39;t sound right to him when he first heard it, and he thinks that traders are being more cautious in the wake of the 2010 &quot;flash crash,&quot; which sent the Dow spiraling 600 points in a matter of minutes.</p><p>After the brief sell-off investors turned their focus back to earnings.</p><p>Netflix soared 24 percent to $216 after reporting a big gain in subscribers in the first quarter late yesterday. Coach, which makes Luxury handbags and other accessories, soared 10 percent to $55.84. Lockheed rose 1.5 percent to $97.30. Travelers rose 2 percent to $86.15.</p><p>The Dow was up 139 points at 14,706 as of 3:46 p.m. The S&amp;P 500 was 14 points higher at 1,577. Both indexes are 1 percent below their record high closes from nearly two weeks ago.</p><p>The Nasdaq composite rose 33 points to 3,267.</p><p>The price of crude oil dropped about 60 cents after the fake tweet, to $88.40 from $89, then quickly recouped that loss. It was up 11 cents at $89.30 in afternoon trading.</p><p>The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was 1.70 percent, unchanged from late Monday.</p><p>Apple reports earnings after the market closes. Apple has lost 23 percent of its value this year. Investor worry that demand for the iPhone is waning as competitors like Samsung sell more smartphones. It stock was up 1.5 percent at $405.</p><p>___</p><p><em>Susie An contributed to this report.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 15:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/fake-tweet-shakes-stocks-106806 Stocks plunge after election http://www.wbez.org/news/stocks-plunge-after-election-103722 <p><p>The election behind them, U.S. investors dumped stocks Wednesday and turned their focus to a world of problems &mdash; tax increases and spending cuts that could stall the nation&#39;s economic recovery and a deepening recession in Europe.</p><p>The&nbsp;Dow&nbsp;Jones&nbsp;industrial average plummeted as much as 369 points, or 2.8 percent, in the first two hours of trading. The average was on track for its worst decline in a year.</p><p>The Standard &amp; Poor&#39;s 500 index fell as much as 40 points, or 2.8 percent.</p><p>Energy companies and bank stocks took some of the biggest losses. Both industries presumably would have faced lighter and less costly regulation if Mitt Romney had won the election.</p><p>&quot;It does look ugly,&quot; said Robert Pavlik , chief market strategist at Banyan Partners LLC. He said it&#39;s hard to untangle Europe-related selling from nerves about the nation&#39;s fiscal policy, he said.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a combination of all that, quite honestly,&quot; Pavlik said.</p><p>Stocks seen as benefiting from President Barack Obama&#39;s decisive win rose. They included hospitals, free of the threat that a Romney administration would have sought to roll back Obama&#39;s health care law, and renewable-energy companies.</p><p>With the election over, traders&#39; attention returned to an increasingly sickly European economy, dragged down by a debt crisis for more than three years. The 27-country European Union said unemployment there could remain high for years.</p><p>The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, said that it expects the region&#39;s economic output to shrink 0.3 percent this year. In the spring, the group predicted no change.</p><p>For next year, the commission predicted 0.4 percent growth, barely above recession territory. It predicted 1.3 percent last spring.</p><p>U.S. stock futures were higher overnight after Obama cruised to victory. They turned sharply lower after the European forecasts and discouraging comments from Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank. European markets turned negative as well.</p><p>Now that the U.S. election has been resolved, it&#39;s natural for traders to focus on Europe&#39;s problems, said Peter Tchir, who manages the hedge fund TF Market Advisors.</p><p>What they&#39;re tuning in to, he said, is the failure of a major European summit last week and minimal progress on the issues that are holding the region back.</p><p>&quot;People can only digest one or two stories at a time, and people had put Europe on the back burner&quot; before the election, he said.</p><p>Obama&#39;s win followed a costly campaign that blanketed markets with uncertainty about possible changes to tax rates, government spending and other issues seen as crucial to the prospects of some industries and the broader economy.</p><p>As jitters about the election subsided, traders confronted an ugly reality: The so-called fiscal cliff, which will impose automatic tax increases and deep cuts to government spending at the end of the year unless the president and Congress can reach a deal.</p><p>That&#39;s no easy task for a deadlocked government whose overall composition has barely changed &mdash; a Democratic president and Senate and a Republican House.</p><p>If Congress and the White House don&#39;t reach a deal, the spending cuts and tax increases could total $800 billion next year. Some economists say that could push the economy back into recession.</p><p>&quot;Obama&#39;s re-election does not change the bigger economic or fiscal picture,&quot; Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics Ashworth, an economic research company, said in a note to clients.</p><p>Fitch Ratings offered a warning about the fiscal perils facing the U.S. If Obama does not quickly forge agreement with Congress to avert the fiscal cliff, the credit rating agency said Wednesday, it may strip the U.S. of its perfect AAA credit rating.</p><p>Fitch changed the outlook for the U.S. rating to negative last year after Congress and the Obama administration failed to meet an earlier deadline for resolving their differences on fiscal policy. Other rating agencies also have warned of possible downgrades.</p><p>Tobias Levkovich, a financial analyst at Citi Research, told clients Wednesday that a compromise on taxes and spending was likely in mid- to late January, but that stocks will probably fall in the meantime.</p><p>A deal early next year is much more likely &quot;once the political class begins to negotiate realistically and as the consequences . . . are too costly for either party to ignore,&quot; he wrote.</p><p>Shortly before 12:30 p.m. EST, the&nbsp;Dow&nbsp;was down 296 points at 12,949, dipping below 13,000 for the first time since Sept. 4. The S&amp;P 500 was down 31 at 1,397. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 68 to 2,943.</p><p>European markets closed sharply lower, with benchmark indexes in France and Germany losing 2 percent. Italy lost 2.5 percent; Spain lost 2.3 percent.</p><p>As traders streamed into lower-risk investments, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note plunged to 1.64 percent from 1.75 percent late Tuesday. A bond&#39;s yield declines as demand for it increases.</p><p>Stocks continue to hurt from lackluster third-quarter earnings reports, Tchir said.</p><p>&quot;There&#39;s been this whole litany of things that have been dragging down the market for a while, earnings chief among them, and that&#39;s still out there,&quot; he said, adding that those concerns &quot;play as much of a role as anything to do with the election.&quot;</p><p>Earnings have been relatively weak, with many companies reporting lower revenue and darkening expectations for the coming quarters.</p><p>With more than four-fifths of them having reported, companies in the S&amp;P 500 index say earnings are up about 2 percent over last year, the lowest growth rate in three years, according to data from S&amp;P Capital IQ.</p><p>Most industries reacted to the election much as analysts had expected.</p><p>Hospital companies soared because of expectations that they will gain business under the health care law, known as ObamaCare. HCA Holdings and Tenet Healthcare leapt 7 percent, Community Health Systems 6 percent and Universal Health Services 4 percent.</p><p>Not all hospital companies are expected to benefit. Many of the patients who will gain insurance will be covered by Medicaid plans, which generally do not cover the full cost of care provided by hospitals.</p><p>Health insurance stocks sank, defying many analysts&#39; expectations. ObamaCare will expand coverage of the uninsured in 2014, giving insurers millions of new customers. But the overhaul also imposes fees and restrictions on the companies, potentially threatening their profitability. Humana slid 10 percent, UnitedHealth Group 5 percent, Aetna 4 percent and Wellpoint 6 percent.</p><p>With Obama seeking to restrain the growth of military spending, defense companies could struggle to win government contracts. Their stocks fell sharply: Lockheed Martin Lost 5 percent, Northrop Grumman 6 percent and General Dynamics 5 percent.</p><p>Among the 10 industry groups in the S&amp;P 500 index, financial stocks and energy companies fell the most.</p><p>Banks figure to face tougher regulation in a second Obama term than they would have under Romney. JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup fell 4 percent, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs 6 percent and Morgan Stanley 8 percent.</p><p>The biggest losers were coal companies, which had hoped that a Romney administration would loosen mine safety and pollution rules that make it more costly for them to operate. Peabody Energy dived 9 percent, Consol Energy 7 percent, Alpha Natural Resources 13 percent and Arch Coal 11 percent.</p><p>Oil companies fell less steeply.</p><p>Alternative energy companies, especially solar manufacturers, outperformed the indexes on expectations that they will continue to enjoy generous subsidies. First Solar was roughly flat and Yingli Green Energy Holding edged slightly higher.</p><p>Trading also reflected the outcome of ballot measures decided in Tuesday&#39;s election. After two states approved the recreational use of marijuana for the first time, Medical Marijuana Inc., a company too small to be listed on major exchanges, surged 17 percent.</p><p>Other notable moves included Apple, the world&#39;s most valuable company. IT fell 3 percent to $564.57 and has dropped 20 percent from its all-time high of $705.07, reached Sept. 21.</p><p>___</p><p>AP Business Writers Steve Rothwell in New York, Tom Murphy in Indianapolis and Linda Johnson in Trenton, N.J., contributed to this report.</p></p> Wed, 07 Nov 2012 11:53:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/stocks-plunge-after-election-103722 Stocks plunge again, as rollercoaster ride continues on Wall Street http://www.wbez.org/story/stocks-plunge-again-rollercoaster-ride-continues-wall-street-90354 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-10/Wall St Sign_Flickr_Alex E. Proimos.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong>Updated at 3:08 p.m. </strong></p><p>The rollercoaster ride on Wall Street continued Wednesday, as U.S. stock market indices fell again on worries about the weakening economy.</p><p>The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 520 points, or 4.6 percent, to <span class="pr"><span id="ref_983582_l">10,719</span></span>. The S&amp;P 500 and Nasdaq each closed down more than 4 percent.</p><p>The Dow gave back much of its gain from Tuesday, when it surged 429 points after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep its key interest rate at nearly zero into 2013.</p><p>But the Fed's statement also included a dim outlook on the economy. It said growth has been "considerably slower" than it expected and that it anticipates a slower pace of recovery.</p><p><strong>Job market expands</strong></p><p>On Tuesday, the Labor Department reported that the number of available jobs rose to 3.1 million in June, up from 3 million in May. It was the highest total since March, and a sign that hiring could improve a bit in the coming months.</p><p>Roughly 4.5 unemployed people, on average, were competing for each available job in June. That's down slightly from 4.6 in May.&nbsp; In a healthy economy, the ratio is about 2 to 1.</p><p><strong>Wholesale sales, inventories up</strong></p><p>Wholesale companies added to their stockpiles of autos, machinery and computers in June. Inventories rose for the 18th consecutive month and sales rebounded after a May decline.</p><p>The Commerce Department says wholesale inventories increased 0.6 percent in June after a 1.7 percent gain in May.</p><p>Sales at the wholesale level rose 0.6 percent in June. That followed a 0.3 percent drop in May. Sales have risen in 10 of the past 12 months.</p><p>Stockpiles at the wholesale level have risen to $458.7 billion, up 19.6 percent from the low point hit in September 2009. Rising demand could convince businesses to keep restocking their shelves, which could boost growth at a critical time when the economy has slowed.</p></p> Wed, 10 Aug 2011 14:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/stocks-plunge-again-rollercoaster-ride-continues-wall-street-90354 Stocks tumble following S&P downgrade of U.S. credit rating http://www.wbez.org/story/stocks-tumble-following-sp-downgrade-us-credit-rating-90245 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-08/Wall St Sign_Flickr_Alex E. Proimos.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong>Updated 8/8/11 at 4:00p.m.CT</strong></p><p>The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted one of its biggest single day losses in history Monday as the Dow dipped below the 11,000 mark for the first time since October, 2010.&nbsp;</p><p>Similar declines were posted on the S&amp;P 500 and the Nasdaq, each of which fell by more than 6 percent.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The declines capped a 24-hour rout in global markets in the first official trading day after Standard &amp; Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time.</p><p>S&amp;P cut the long-term debt rating for the U.S. by one notch late Friday. The downgrade wasn't unexpected, but it comes when investors are already nervous about a weak U.S. economy, European debt problems and Japan's recovery from its March earthquake.</p><p>Prices for Treasurys rose because they're still seen as one of the few safe investments. Gold topped a record $1,700 per ounce for the first time.</p><p>Asian and European stocks also were down Monday. The downgrade of U.S. debt is overshadowing bond purchases that the European Central bank is making to help Italy and Spain avoid defaulting on their debts.</p><p><strong>Obama seeks to calm markets</strong></p><p>President Barack Obama says the U.S. always is and always has been a AAA country, despite its rating agency downgrade. He said also the U.S. didn't need a rating agency to tell it that its political system was having trouble functioning.</p><p>Speaking at the White House on the Standard &amp; Poor's downgrade, Obama renewed a plea to Congress to take action in September of help create jobs and cushion Americans from a still weak economy.</p><p>Obama said financial markets around the world "still believe our credit is AAA. I and the world's investor's agree."</p><p><strong>Assessing the meaning of the S&amp;P downgrade</strong></p><p>The ratings downgrade announced late Friday came after the Dow Jones industrial average had recorded its worst week since 2009. A managing director at Standard &amp; Poor's said Monday that he has absolutely no second thoughts about the credit ratings agency's decision to cut the U.S. debt rating.</p><p>With global stocks sinking early in the day, S&amp;P's David Beers said on ABC's <em>Good Morning America </em>Monday that the agency's decision was based on several factors, including damage done to the U.S. reputation over the controversy surrounding the debt ceiling and concerns that underlying public finances are on an unsustainable path.</p><p>Asked if he had any second thoughts about the downgrade, Beers said "absolutely not."</p><p>While much has been made about the Treasury Department's claim that S&amp;P acted on an analysis that had a $2 trillion error, Beers rebuffed the notion during an appearance on CNN. "This idea that we made a $2 trillion error is simply a smoke screen for the unhappiness about our decision," he said.</p><p>Beers did seem to try to alleviate concern about the downgrade, saying it was "a very small diminution, if you like, in the credit standing of the United States."</p><p>"This is not a catastrophic decline in the U.S.'s credit-worthiness," he added.</p><p>S&amp;P downgraded the U.S. rating for the first time Friday, cutting the rating to AA+ from AAA. Two other ratings agencies - Moody's and Fitch - are for now keeping the AAA rating for U.S. debt.</p><p><strong>Impact on state and municipal debt</strong></p><p>Officials at Standard &amp; Poor's say they plan to indicate how local and state governments, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and insurers will be affected by the rating agency's downgrade of long-term U.S. debt.</p><p>S&amp;P officials told reporters Monday that the agency is looking at key sectors that are linked to the U.S. debt, and will announce "shortly" how those ratings might be affected.</p><p>The officials did not name any specific governments or insurance groups. But they said AAA-rated insurance groups, government-sponsored enterprises and state and local governments affected by possible consolidation of programs in Washington would likely be reviewed.</p><p><strong>Fed meeting Tuesday</strong></p><p>Meanwhile, a regular meeting of the Federal Reserve Board's Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled for Tuesday.&nbsp; While most analysts don't expect the Fed to take any action during the meeting, many will be closely watching comments from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke following the meeting for clues about future monetary policy.</p></p> Mon, 08 Aug 2011 13:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/stocks-tumble-following-sp-downgrade-us-credit-rating-90245 Dow Tops 12,000 For First Time Since June 2008 http://www.wbez.org/story/business/dow-tops-12000-first-time-june-2008 <p><p>While we should always keep in mind that what goes up can easily come down:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>"The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit the 12,000 level Wednesday for the first time since June 2008." (Reuters)</p><p></blockquote></p><p>The New York Stock Exchange <a href="http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/lcddata.html?ticker=DJI" target="_blank">tracks the Dow here</a>.</p><p>What's behind this morning's upward push?</p><p><a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703293204576105561303106684.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories" target="_blank"><em>The Wall Street Journal</em> says</a> "investors cheered a wave of corporate earnings and President Barack Obama's call for corporate tax cuts and a spending freeze."</p><p>The <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704698004576104990107021136.html" target="_blank"><em>Journal</em> also says</a> the market could get a boost later when Federal Reserve policymakers issue their latest thoughts on how the economy's doing and what that means for monetary policy. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1296058335?&gn=Dow+Tops+12%2C000+For+First+Time+Since+June+2008&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=stock+market,Dow+Jones+Industrial+Average,Business,Economy,The+Two-Way,U.S.,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=133238939&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110126&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Wed, 26 Jan 2011 09:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/business/dow-tops-12000-first-time-june-2008 Stocks Rallying; Manufacturing Up; Construction Spending Higher http://www.wbez.org/story/construction/stocks-rallying-manufacturing-construction-spending-higher <p><p>Stocks are trading higher this morning (the <a href="http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/lcddata.html?ticker=DJI" target="_blank">Dow Jones industrial average is up</a> about 110 points, or 1 percent) and some of the credit is going to these latest economic indicators:</p><p>-- The <a href="http://www.ism.ws/ISMReport/MfgROB.cfm" target="_blank">private Institute for Supply Management says</a> the nation's manufacturing sector expanded again in December. It was the 17th straight month of growth.</p><p>-- Construction spending rose 0.4 percent in November from October, <a href="http://www.census.gov/const/C30/release.pdf" target="_blank">the Census Bureau reported</a>. It was the third straight increase.</p><p>This week's most-anticipated economic data, though, will be the December payroll employment and jobless figures released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate has been stuck between 9.5 percent and 10 percent since mid-2009. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1294070235?&gn=Stocks+Rallying%3B+Manufacturing+Up%3B+Construction+Spending+Higher&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=construction,manufacturing,economy,Stock+market,National+News,Economy,The+Two-Way,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=132620392&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110103&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=132620438,132620436,132620433,132620431,127602855,127602331,103943429,132618513,127747535,127602971,127602855,126366183,103943429,132618297,127857532,127602855,103943429,132616411,132616409,127869695,127602855,127602596,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Mon, 03 Jan 2011 09:45:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/construction/stocks-rallying-manufacturing-construction-spending-higher