China gave investors an early holiday present late last week when it unexpectedly announced its first interest rate cut in more than two years. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) reduced both its benchmark deposit and lending rates in what may mark the beginning of more stimulus on the way. Read more about To Cut or Not to Cut 11-26-14
After the S&P 500 set another new record high yesterday, stocks took a breather today as investors mulled the minutes from the late-October Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Read more about The Fed Offers No Surprise 11-19-14
Today, headlines trumpet the “historic” climate deal struck between the U.S. and China to curb carbon emission. The two countries also agreed to eliminate some 200 categories of tariffs, a move believed to have great potential to stimulate more bilateral trade and create tens of thousands of new jobs in the U.S. Yet at the same time that the U.S. and China reached some common ground, they are pursuing separate trade pacts with trade partners in the Asia-Pacific region, a stark reminder that they are still uneasy partners at best, as each vies for global primacy. Read more about China Flaunts Soft Power 11-12-14
Gold and silver have both fallen to levels unseen since early 2010 as declining oil prices continue to keep inflationary pressures low. A strong dollar has likewise hurt the precious metals. For the year, gold is down 5 percent while silver is down 21 percent.
With gold and silver prices lower, but extraction costs continuing to run high, not surprisingly the mining shares have been punished even more severely, with the benchmark indices falling to their 2008 lows. Read more about What to Make of Gold 11-05-14
As was widely anticipated, this afternoon the Federal Reserve announced the conclusion of its purchase of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities. The central bank will continue to reinvest maturing principal payments from the currently-held securities, so for the time being the Fed will not withdraw liquidity. Read more about An Upbeat Fed Wraps Up QE 10-29-14