WASHINGTON, April 17- The Group of 20 leading economies on Friday said risks to the global economy had diminished with improved growth prospects in rich nations, but it warned of challenges from exchange rate volatility and geopolitical tensions to low inflation. "Risks to the global economy are more balanced since we last met," G20 finance ministers and central...» Read More
Unemployment has hit a five-year low, yet inflation remains a top concern. Has Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s first year on the job been good for America? “Morning Call” brought experts to debate. Michael Panzner, the author of “Financial Armageddon,” said Bernanke has people focused in the wrong direction. ... Greg Hess, dean of faculty at Claremont McKenna College, disagrees: “The Fed is clearly on its toes,” he said.
The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday held benchmark interest rates steady at 5.25% for a seventh straight meeting and again said its main worry is that inflation will fail to moderate. The widely expected decision by the U.S. central bank's Federal Open Market Committee keeps the overnight federal funds rate target at the level it hit in June after 17 straight quarter-percentage point increases.
The Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates steady on Wednesday, but some investors are hoping that the central bank may indicate that inflation pressures are easing.
The stock market may not be returning double-digit gains -- but Mark Jordahl, chief investment officer at First American Funds, and Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, still believe "investors need to be in the market." The CIOs joined "Closing Bell" to explain why.
The U.S. Federal Reserve looks certain to hold interest rates steady when it meets this week and will likely restate worries on inflation, even while nodding to weak growth and an easing of price pressures.
Will dizzying gasoline prices slam the brakes on the U.S. economy this summer? Derek Burleton, senior economist at TD Bank Financial Group, and Jan Stuart, UBS oil economist, agree that prices will rise -- but aren't sounding any alarms yet. The two joined "Power Lunch" to talk about the pump's impact on the economy.
Australia's central bank on Friday cut its forecast for underlying inflation this year to 2.5%, right in the middle of its target band and suggesting a much-reduced risk of a rise in interest rates for the next few months.
The S&P 500, which passed 1,500 for the first time in seven years Thursday, could reach 1,650 this year, according to Tony Dwyer, equity market strategist for FTN Midwest Securities. “I think we’re going to have double-digit returns from here,” Dwyer said on "Morning Call."
Robert Levitt, president and chief investment officer at Levitt Capital Management, told CNBC’s “Morning Call” that inflation, not a slowing economy, threatens to trip up the bull market.
Michael Darda, chief economist for MKM Partners, told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the current market favors small-cap stocks and emerging markets.“We’re in an environment of massive liquidity, booming global growth and interest rates are still low,” Darda said Tuesday. “That favors smaller companies, emerging markets. The falling dollar favors international issues over domestic concerns.”
Michael Darda, chief economist at MKM Partners, told CNBC’s “Morning Call” that he doesn’t expect the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates anytime soon despite weakness in the latest economic report. But Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, said he expects the Fed to cut interest rates to spur economic growth.
Edward Lazear, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the job market remains strong, suggesting economic strength and higher growth ahead.“The most important indicator to me is the labor market,” Lazear said. “It’s very strong. If the labor market were weak, if we were seeing job growth slow down, if we saw wage growth slow down, then I would be a bit more concerned about the GDP number.”
The Bank of Japan left its monetary policy unchanged at a board meeting on Friday, keeping the overnight call rate target at 0.5% as widely expected by financial markets. The decision by the nine-member board was unanimous.
Underlying inflation in Australia was surprisingly subdued in the first quarter while consumer prices rose at their slowest pace in two years, radically lessening the risk of a rise in interest rates.
The Federal Reserve should leave interest rates on hold for now to achieve sustainable economic growth while getting inflation under control, a top central bank official said.
Robert Pavlik, chief investment officer for Oaktree Asset Management, told CNBC’s “Power Lunch” that he wouldn’t put new money into the market.“I believe this market wave is going to crest soon,” Pavlik said. “I think the market has been driven largely by the earnings reports of some of the largest S&P 500 names that have been able to beat their lowered expectations – lowered being the key word.”
What's in store for the market? Alec Young, equity market strategist at Standard & Poor's, and Edgar Peters, chief investment officer at PanAgora Asset Management, gave their forecasts on "Morning Call."
Investment strategists and economists have weighed in on China's uncanny 11% growth. How does the Bush Administration view the Asian powerhouse? Rob Portman, of the Office of Management and Budget, joined CNBC's Maria Bartiromo on "Closing Bell" to talk about the "good news."
Where are U.S. markets headed if China cools down inflation? Art Hogan, managing director at Jefferies, and Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at Standard & Poor's, gave "Morning Call" viewers their answer: "We go higher."
Bill Strazzullo, chief market strategist for Bell Curve Trading, told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” that first quarter earnings estimates may have been too low.