The Fed Offers No Surprise 11-19-14

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

China Flaunts Soft Power 11-12-14

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

What to Make of Gold 11-05-14

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

An Upbeat Fed Wraps Up QE 10-29-14

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

Winning Streak Ends at Four 10-22-14

The S&P 500 fell today, ending a four day winning streak that saw the index gain more than 4 percent during the stretch. Coming off the best one-day performance of 2014 yesterday, market participants took some profits today as oil fell more than 2 percent and news struck of an attack on the Canadian Parliament, the second act of terrorism in the country this week, highlighting the threat posed by extremists in the West. Today’s decline notwithstanding, optimism for additional monetary stimulus and solid U.S. Read more about Winning Streak Ends at Four 10-22-14

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