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.
For the week ending Friday, July 25, 2008, the markets closed mixed for the week, on negative housing data, and mixed earnings results. An early rally in financial and airlines stocks, supported by the continued slide in oil prices, was quickly wiped away by ongoing uncertainty in the economy. The Dow dropped more than 280 points on Thursday, marking the worst one day point drop in over a month. However, Friday saw a slight rebound on strong durable goods and a bounce back in consumer sentiment. Only the Nasdaq finished slightly up 1.2% for the week. The Dow and S&P finished down 1.09% and 0.23%, respectively.
Swiss agrochemicals company Syngenta posted a better-than-expected 25 percent rise in first-half net profit and raised its guidance for 2008 and 2009, citing buoyant agricultural markets and good prospects for the southern hemisphere planting season.
Chemical maker DuPont Tuesday posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings as strong demand for its corn and soybean seeds offset weakness in the domestic housing and automotive markets.
For the week ending Friday, July 18, 2008, the U.S. markets saw extreme volatility yet settled higher on better-than-expected earnings results, a pullback in crude oil, and an indication that the Fed will hold interest rates steady. Nonetheless, the Dow had its best week since April 18 and its best 3-day percent gain since March 2003 even after closing below 11,000 for the first time since July 2006.
For the week ending Friday, July 11, 2008, the U.S. markets finished in bear market territory with the Dow dipping below 11,000 during intraday for the first time in 2 years.
In a time of rising food prices, investors should have agricultural stocks in their portfolios, Victor Badin, fund manager at Global Cap, said.
Shares of leading mobile handset maker Nokia have fallen nearly 40 percent so far this year, producing a great buying opportunity for a still-growing tech company.
For the short Independence week ending Friday, July 3, 2008, the U.S. Markets ended the week in bear market territory with the Dow and the NASDAQ off more than 20% from their market peak set in October, 2007.
As economies around the world struggle, it's best to stay in defensive areas like health care, according to Markus Ratz, fund manager at Lupus Alpha.
With soft commodity prices at record highs, is it time to invest in the sector?
As food prices surge investors should look to the Commonwealth of Independent States for opportunities, says strategist Kingsmill Bond.
For the week ending Friday, June 27, 2008, the U.S Markets tumbled on low consumer confidence levels, battered financial stocks, interest rates concerns, and new record prices for crude oil.
Kroger is voluntarily recalling all ground beef products sold in Michigan and certain Ohio stores between May 21 and June 8 because the meat has been linked to recent outbreaks of E. coli bacteria.
Monsanto posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year forecast, but its shares fell more than 6 percent as Wall Street expressed disappointment that the company's results and outlook were not stronger.
Bunge will buy fellow agriculture company Corn Products International for $4.4 billion in stock, the companies said Monday.
For the week ending Friday, June 20, 2008, the markets dropped on disappointing earnings results from the financial sector, and a continued spike in crude oil prices added to investors' concerns over inflation. The Dow closed below 12000 on Friday for the first time since Mid-March.
With thousands of displaced people and the floods working their way from Iowa down to Mississippi, the worst flooding in the U.S. Midwest in 15 years is adding pressure to the recent rise in prices for food and corn-based ethanol. Here are some of the other businesses in the region, affected by the deluge.