"Patient" in Every Way Except Semantics 03-18-15

At the previous Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, held in January, Fed officials agonized over whether to retain the term “patient” in the policy statement language, as regards the question of rate hikes. They ultimately decided to do so lest removing the word would mislead market participants to believe that tightening monetary policy was imminent. Read more about "Patient" in Every Way Except Semantics 03-18-15

Strong Dollar Pressures Markets 03-11-15

The U.S. dollar has risen to almost a 12-year high against the euro and sits at similar highs against other major currencies. The very strong dollar makes imports cheaper, keeps inflation low and thus increases consumers’ buying power, but for the stock market it’s not so great. In today’s globalized world, many U.S. corporations generate a significant share of their revenues and profits overseas, and a strong greenback reduces the dollar value of their foreign sales. Furthermore, the dollar’s appreciation makes U.S. exports less price competitive. Read more about Strong Dollar Pressures Markets 03-11-15

Not Quite Good Enough 03-04-15

The S&P 500, proxy for the broad market, set a new closing high on Monday, while the tech-intensive NASDAQ Composite Index broke the 5000 mark for the first time in 15 years. Having run up to these levels, stocks have already priced in a solid pace of economic growth and need increasingly positive data to maintain the upward trajectory. In other words, the higher stocks climb, the higher the expectations. Thus, it’s no surprise that some soft economic readings this week have triggered profit taking.   Read more about Not Quite Good Enough 03-04-15

Temporary Accord Extends Hellenic Saga 02-25-15

After demanding major concessions from its creditors but running into a brick wall, Greece has agreed to accept a four-month extension mere days before the expiration of the bailout agreement. In return for promising to implement reforms, Greece will be eligible for loans through June. The country would still have to show overseers that it’s making good on its promises in order to unlock payment installments, but at least it now has a lifeline. Without the extension, Greece would have run out of money within weeks. Read more about Temporary Accord Extends Hellenic Saga 02-25-15

Fed Officials Don't Want to Jump the Gun 02-18-15

It wasn’t that long ago that investors scrutinized the Fed’s every word for clues when it might begin to taper (once a term that dominated financial headlines). Now that QE has gradually ended as planned, the new key question is when the Fed will first increase the federal funds rate from its current rock-bottom level, where it has sat since the financial crisis in late 2008. Read more about Fed Officials Don't Want to Jump the Gun 02-18-15

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