Politics Barack Obama

  • Tomorrow (Friday), the S&P 500 will be conducting its quarterly rebalancing. The S&P is weighted by market capitalization, so changes in the share count of companies trigger changes in the relative weightings of the individual stocks in the S&P. Here's a breakdown...

  • Cost of healthcare

    The revised health care bill that Democrats released in advance of a House vote this weekend contained one initial mystery: how did they revise the Senate health care bill to make it more generous to the uninsured while simultaneously shaving more from the federal budget deficit?

  • These five high-yielding stocks could shield you from what Cramer thinks is a coming sell-off – or two.

  • Cost of healthcare

    But here’s what I do know: Obamacare’s worst tax hike is the imposition of a new 3.9 percent Medicare payroll tax on capital gains and other investments.

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    In a sunny Rose Garden ceremony, Obama said the legislation will help the private sector start hiring again.  It is the first of several jobs measures promised by Democrats this year.

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    At a time when political leaders in Europe and the United States are committed to no additional income-tax burden on the middle class, they also share the advantage of raising revenue without drawing too much attention to the tightening fiscal noose.

  • S&P Futures little changed as the February Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed virtually no inflation pressure. And: As the S&P 500 hit another new high yesterday, traders were passing around lots of technical charts, in particular noting that the Relative Strength Index (RSI) is in unusally overbought territory.

  • Cynics will note that ever since Mr. Volcker and Mr. Bernanke have been testifying, the market has drifted lower. Regardless. There are a number of positive factors behind today's modest move, which—given that the S&P 500 is up 12 out of 14 days—can only be described as a meltup.

  • Hartford Financial may float their $1.45 billion common stock offering to pay off TARP debt as early as tonight, traders tell me. HIG's announcement that they would be repurchasing the $3.4 billion of its preferred shares issued to the Treasury under the TARP program may spur others to pay off their TARP debt. Why now?

  • Surgeons

    President Barack Obama's much-challenged health care overhaul gained traction Wednesday as a liberal lawmaker became the first to switch his opposition and Catholic nuns declared their support in an unusual public break with the bishops.

  • Why is volume so low? This has been the primary complaint from trading desks for two weeks now. Never mind that we are melting up to new highs, traders who make their living trading are grousing, because business is poor.

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    Companies that hire unemployed workers will get a temporary payroll tax holiday under a bill that easily won final congressional approval Wednesday.

  • "The government has taken very decisive action in cutting capital spending and the salaries of public service workers ... We are in the right direction in terms of winning more foreign investment, says IDA CEO O'Leary.

  • Uncle Sam and money

    As a society gets richer, its tax rates tend to rise.

  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

    Speaker Pelosi is as good as it gets in wrestling votes for legislation she favors. She is the female version of that titan, Tip O'Neill (D. Mass.) who famously said, "All politics is local." But as good as she is, the Speaker seems to have come up short with the necessary votes to get the Senate version of the health care bill passed in the House of Representatives.

  • The S&P 500 futures is up a couple points again today. Despite the gripes about low volume and low volatility, the market is melting up: the S&P 500 has been up 11 of the last 13 trading sessions.

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    With time and tempers short, everyone's playing hardball in the drive to pass -- or stop -- President Barack Obama's massive health care legislation by the weekend.

  • Federal Reserve done for the moment. What's next? Three factors for the remainder of week: 1) inflation indicators: PPI tomorrow, CPI Thursday. 2) Quadruple witching on Friday. 3) Health care bill is the unknown.

  • The Federal Reserve continues to modestly upgrade the economy, ex-housing. The job market is "stabilizing," business spending on equipment and software has...

  • Stethescope and money

    As they prepare for climactic votes on health care reform, lawmakers face an angry public that isn't likely to applaud any decision they make, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.