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The bruised economy limped through the first quarter of this year at only 0.6 percent as housing and credit problems forced people and businesses alike to hunker down.
U.S. private-sector employers unexpectedly added 10,000 jobs in April according to a private report by ADP Employer Services released on Wednesday.
Most Asian markets closed lower Wednesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve rate decision later in the session. Japan finished slightly lower, but Shanghai was the stand out performer, up almost 5 percent.
Euro zone inflation slowed more than expected in April, an early estimate showed, but economic sentiment also deteriorated faster than forecast, pointing to slowing economic growth.
Singapore's unemployment rate rose to a seasonally adjusted 2 percent in the first quarter amid mounting uncertainties in the global economy, and analysts warned the jobless rate may climb higher in the months ahead.
Japan's industrial production fell far more than expected in March, pushing up Japanese bond prices and stoking worries that U.S. economic woes are hitting Japanese companies.
Wednesday holds the first-quarter GDP report as well as the Fed's interest rate decision. Find out what to expect from both.
Sure, consumer confidence is at a 5-year low. You wouldn't know it by looking at these credit-card stocks.
Oil fell more than $3 a barrel on Tuesday, retreating further from a record high hit a day before, as the dollar firmed and a strike ended at Britain's Grangemouth refinery.
Oil hit a fresh peak near $120 a barrel on Monday as supply outages in Nigeria and Britain shut down nearly 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of output in the Atlantic Basin.
The dollar rose to its highest against the euro in nearly a month Tuesday as expectations grew that the Federal Reserve will soon signal the end of its easing campaign, with weak European data denting interest rate sentiment in the region.
As the U.S. Treasury races to get rebate checks to households, higher gasoline prices are blunting the economic impact of the $152 billion stimulus package.
The Federal Reserve looks set to deliver a small interest rate cut on Wednesday, though the central bank could signal that this is the last in a cycle.
U.S. consumer confidence fell to a five-year low this month as Americans confronted the grimmest jobs outlook since late 2004, while data also showed a record drop in home prices in February.
U.S. manufacturers are much more pessimistic about the U.S. economy and the direction of their businesses than they were three months ago, according to a quarterly survey of senior industrial executives released Tuesday.
Asian markets were lackluster on Tuesday following a flat finish in the U.S. stock market. But Greater China shares remained firm on the back of positive corporate earnings. Most investors were sidelined and cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting.
New Zealand posted a surprise trade deficit in March, driven by lower dairy exports and higher oil imports, suggesting slower economic growth in the first quarter and sending the currency lower.
The U.S. dollar may lurch higher on Wednesday if the Federal Reserve signals an end to its campaign of slashing interest rates, but a rally would soon fizzle if April's jobs report comes in well below forecasts.
So has Hillary Clinton's battle between Barack Obama been going on forever, or does it just seem that way? When the battle effectively began--in Oct. 2006 when Mr. Obama declared he had changed his mind and was considering a White House bid--the average price of gas then stood at $2.20-a-gallon.
Another round of supply fears helped keep oil in record territory, after prices in electronic trading hit a new all-time high: just 7 cents shy of $120 a barrel. The markets reacted to "expected" supply disruptions in Nigeria to the North Sea, despite already having priced it in last week.
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