MINNEAPOLIS— Poultry producers in the nation's top turkey state are taking extra steps to protect their flocks after a devastating strain of bird flu was confirmed at two Minnesota farms in as many days last week, a disease that had already slammed the doors shut on some key export markets. The confirmation Saturday of the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of avian...» Read More
Do you know where your federal income-tax dollars go? The National Priorities Project does. Learn how each dollar is spent when it gets into Uncle Sam's hands.
For the week ending Friday, September 26, 2008, the major U.S. Indices tumbled for the week as uncertainty lingered over the Congressional $700B bailout package. We also witnessed a historic bank failure, unsatisfying housing data, a continued rise in jobless claims, and a record one-day gain in the price of crude. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite shed more than 3% for the week. The NASDAQ had the worst weekly performance amongst the three major indices, losing 3.98%, followed by S&P 500 which lost 3.3%, marking their biggest weekly drops since the start of Sept. for the NASDAQ & since mid May for the S&P.
For the historic week ending Friday, September 19, 2008, the major U.S. Indices managed to close mixed and almost flat after one of the most volatile trading weeks ever, driven by the collapse of investment bank, Lehman Brothers, enormous government actions around the globe, and billion dollar deal making. In one week, the government bailed out AIG, pumped funds into money markets, and banned short selling of financials - all while keeping the Fed Funds target unchanged and taking unprecedented actions to halt the liquidity crisis. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) surpassed the benchmark level of 30, hitting an intraday high of 42.16 on Thursday, its highest level since 10/2002. The major indices were all up and down +/- 3% for 4 of the past 5 days. The Dow posted a 2 day point move of more than 778 points as of Friday’s close, after plummeting 811 between Monday and Wednesday and hitting 10,609.66, its lowest level since 11/9/2005. On Friday, The Nasdaq Composite recorded a 2-day point move of greater than 175 points after it closed down 109.05 points on Wednesday, its first triple digit decline for one day since it began trading after the 9/11 attacks. The S&P 500 flirted with record territory closing up 98.7 over the last two days, marking its biggest 2-day point move since 3/16/2000, the largest 2-day point move ever.
Rising fuel and food costs, the threat of job losses and disputes over pensions and pay are just some of the factors that sparked thousands of disgruntled workers to take action this summer.
For the week ending Friday, September 2, 2008, the major U.S. Indices finished up for a week marked with the demise of more financial stocks, sluggish Retail Sales data, a steeper than expected decline in Pending Home Sales, and a looming hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Volatility continues to dominate the markets as the Dow posted a 2 day consecutive up/down point move of 569 points on Monday and Tuesday (up 289 and then down 280), its largest 2-day up/down point swing since June 6. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) which measures market uncertainty reached an intraday high of 26.67 on Friday.
For the week ending Friday, September 5, 2008, the U.S. markets ended in negative territory for the week after weak employment data and declines in auto and retail sales pointed to weaker consumer spending and a greater economic slowdown. The unemployment rate jumped to a 5-year high, soaring to 6.1%. On Thursday, the three major Indices fell back into bear market territory by dropping 20% from their market peaks set last fall. Both the Dow & Nasdaq Composite had their worst daily closes since July 26, with drops of more than 340 points for the Dow and 75 points for the Nasdaq.
There's no arguing that for most farmers, it's been a good year. How good? As we head into the fall harvest season, the USDA is forecasting what the farm economy will be worth in 2008. Total farm assets are expected to rise nearly 7 percent to $2.4 trillion dollars.
For the week and month ending Friday, August 29, 2008, the major U.S. Indices ended slightly lower for the week but up for the month. The markets had a volatile week, sinking first on housing price drops and an up-tick in oil prices, then rallying on better-than-expected GDP numbers, and finally falling to end the week on worse-than-expected personal income and spending data. The Dow hit a 200+ point rally on Thursday, its largest one day gain since 8/8. The NASDAQ led the indices to the downside this week, down nearly 2%. For the August close, the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P all finished up 1.5% or more, marking the best monthly gain since April for the Dow & S&P, and best month for the Nasdaq since May.
The head of the European Central Bank should be running the Federal Reserve because he is doing a better job at protecting his economy, investor Jim Rogers, CEO of Rogers Holdings, told "Squawk Box Europe" on Friday.
Four years of Olympic navel gazing starts here -- and it's about time the Brits got on board. As a nation we so love moaning about our capital city, London, that we ignore the cool rating it gets from the rest of the world.
For the week ending Friday, August 22, 2008, the U.S. major Indices fell for the week on the unknown future of mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, downbeat home construction July data, and soaring producer prices. The NASDAQ Composite performed the worst for the week, declining 1.54%, its steepest decline since Independence Day week. However, Friday was a positive day for the markets helped by a welcome speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and a pull back in the price of crude. The Dow had three days of triple-digit point gains & losses, netting to finish almost flat for the week.
A summer stock rally has ended with a thud as investors—once optimistic that the worst was finally over—are now fretting that the worst is yet to come.
Bill Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital told "Squawk Box Europe" viewers to stay off the financial grid to preserver their capital.
Falling crops prices have dogged shares of potash producers in recent weeks, but the sell-off in these crop nutrient makers appears overdone and their shares look poised for a rebound.
For the week ending Friday, August 15, 2008, U.S. major Indices finished mixed, after the markets digested negative results including a surge in CPI, a decline in retail sales, and continued expansion in unemployment claims. The Nasdaq Composite prevailed amongst the major U.S. indices, as it edged up 1.59% for the week, marking its fifth week of gains. Nasdaq gains were led by bullish comments on Amazon (AMZN) which gained 7.3% for the week. The likelihood of the eurozone moving toward recession allowed for a stronger dollar against the euro, continued pressure on oil, and a positive impact on U.S. stocks as a potential safe haven.
Time for Fast & Furious -- you know the drill!
Agriculture trade is plunging amid the commodity selloff. Shares of fertilizer firms are down more than 20% from record highs in June. Deere shares are down a quarter this year ahead of earnings Wednesday. Is this pain in the agricultural sector short- or long-term?
For the week ending Friday, August 8, 2008, the U.S. markets ended the week on a positive note, cheered by a retreat in commodity prices, a Fed’s decision to keep rates steady at 2%, better-than-expected results in pending home sales, and a stronger dollar.
California continues to drown in red ink. This year's budget shortfall is $15 billion, and Governor Schwarzenegger has vowed to reduce the wages of 200,000 state employees to the federal minimum of $6.55 an hour until a budget agreement is reached.
For the week ending Friday, August 1, 2008, the markets finished relatively flat after a turbulent week that saw 4 straight days of triple-digit moves on the Dow. An early rally was dampened by weak economic data including weaker-than-expected GDP numbers and a rise in the unemployment rate.