Politics Barack Obama

  • European stocks weakened as Fitch downgraded Portugal's credit rating to AA- from AA, with a negative outlook. Predictably, this caused another drop in the euro, which is now at the lowest level against the dollar since May of last year.

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    Banks and other private lenders are about to lose a $70 billion-a-year student loan business, part of a massive overhaul of college assistance programs that has received an unexpected boost from President Barack Obama's health care success.

  • The U.S. dollar has been on a tear versus the euro in recent months (touching 10-month highs against the single currency on Wednesday), leading some to think that greenback weakness is a thing of the past. And when one looks at the current state of affairs in Europe (with the troubles in Greece and Portugal and Spain on deck for financial drama,) it's easy to understand this perspective. But there is more to the dollar than meets the eye.

  • Existing home sales, while in-line with expectations at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.02 million units, are still disappointing.

  • How do you shrink the deficit now that Medicare and Medicaid are "off the table for deficit reduction?" By taking on benefits in the second biggest entitlement: Social Security. Or at least that's what the New York Times is suggesting in a front page story which is being widely passed around on trading desks.

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    Now that landmark legislation overhauling the health insurance system is about to become law, addressing Social Security’s solvency could well become the next big thing for President Obama and Congressional Democrats.

  • IPOs: A lousy start to the year, but that may be about to change. About 15 IPOs have happened so far this year, a poor showing, and of that only a little more than half are trading above their initial pricing. Others have been postponed. But this is the busiest week of the year in terms of numbers...at least five IPOs are coming, maybe more. What's driving things?

  • Groundhog Day, deja vu. Stop me if you've heard any of this before: volume light, no real sellers...half-hearted-attempt to push market down at the open has no legs, shorts cover immediately...Trichet says that speculation that Greece will exit from Euro zone was "absurd." All the above happened today, again.

  • Stocks ended higher Monday, led by health care, as passage of the health-care bill lifted uncertainty surrounding the legislation that was hanging over the market. Citigroup jumped after an analyst upgrade.

  • President Barack Obama

    Obama is expected to sign the bill Tuesday at the White House. A South Lawn ceremony is planned. Obama is inviting all lawmakers who supported the bill and other Americans whose stories represent the need for reformed health care.

  • Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) speaks at a news conference following the Senate's cloture vote on health care reform legislation on Capitol Hill.

    Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) finally unveiled his financial reform legislation. It was not worth the wait.

  • Yes, futures were weak at the open on two events: 1) many traders were short the market on expectations that healthcare reform passage would rattle stocks, and 2) more uncertainty over the EU's commitment to Greece. But then two things happened...

  • Stocks bounced back from a lower open Monday as all the uncertainty surrounding the health bill lifted after the House approved it. Merck and Pfizer remained at the front of the Dow pack. Citigroup jumped after an analyst upgrade.

  • While the historic health care vote dominated headlines, we are seeing weakness this morning out of Asia, where India's Sensex Index dropped 1 percent in response to Friday's quarter point rate hike. There's also weakness in Europe, as Greece is down another 3.2 percent on uncertainty about what, if any, support Greece may get with its debt crisis...

  • Stocks opened lower as the dollar gained amid worries about Greece's debt crisis. Health-care stocks were one of the few sectors higher today following the weekend passage of U.S. health-care reform.

  • American healthcare reform

    The day the President signs this into law could be viewed by a near-future generation of Americans as a day of infamy -- if we let it.

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    The uninsured are clearly the biggest beneficiaries of the health care legislation, but what does the bill mean for other Americans? The New York Times takes a look.

  • U.S. stock index futures fell Monday as Wall Street focused on the health care reform following the passage of the historic health care bill by the House of Representatives late Sunday night.

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    With the stage set for a historic showdown over landmark health legislation in the House, the White House and Democratic Congressional leaders winnowed their hunt for votes to a slim list of lawmakers....and acknowledged that the margin of victory would likely be razor thin even under their most optimistic scenario.

  • American healthcare reform

    That President Obama has come within a whisper of passing historic social legislation is remarkable in itself. But the story of how he did it is not his alone.