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Euro zone factory output growth crept up in November from October's 26-month low, but is unlikely to regain its summer momentum soon, pointing to interest rates remaining on hold, a key survey showed on Monday.
A strong enough vote to ensure that President Vladimir Putin can manage a smooth succession, and not too strong to alienate the West -- Russia's election provided no nasty surprises for financial markets.
Australian inflation accelerated further above the central bank's comfort zone in November as petrol prices climbed, a private survey showed on Monday, suggesting interest rates might yet have to rise further.
Stocks closed mostly higher on expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates and the U.S. government will help homeowners recover from the subprime mortgage crisis.
The dollar surged against a basket of major currencies Friday and was on track for its biggest weekly gain in more than a year on profit-taking in the euro and month-end squaring up of positions by corporates.
The U.S. Treasury Department and mortgage industry leaders are putting the final touches on a plan that could save struggling homeowners from foreclosure by freezing interest rates before they reset sharply higher.
Economists say the Fed is almost certain to lower interest rates Dec. 11, but key economic data in the week to come will determine if its a quarter point or half a point.
Oil closed down more than $2 to a one-month low below $89 per barrel on Friday, as expectations that OPEC could agree to boost output at a meeting next week weighed on the market.
The U.S. economy is continuing to show weakness in everything from personal spending and income to construction spending, according to several reports out Friday
While political reporters like me are largely focused on the 2008 presidential race, our dysfunctional governmental apparatus in Washington continues laboring, however haltingly, in search of some tangible accomplishments. And some of them would have significant impact on Wall Street and the business community more broadly.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Thursday a resurgence in financial strains in recent weeks had dimmed the outlook for the U.S. economy, signaling an openness to lowering interest rates again.
Euro zone inflation jumped more than expected in November to its highest in six and a half years and inflation expectations rose while economic sentiment worsened, highlighting the European Central Bank's rate dilemma.
Asian markets closed mostly higher Friday after comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke raised hopes for an interest-rate cut in December, but China's Shanghai Composite Index ended sharply lower as PetroChina and financial stocks fell.
German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck criticized bank managers for misjudging risks to their balance sheets and said prosecutors had good reason to look into the woes of German subprime casualty IKB.
German retail sales posted their steepest decline in October since a value-added tax increase sent them plunging at the start of the year, in a sign that consumers are increasingly worried about higher energy and food prices.
Higher energy and food prices saw Japan's core consumer prices record their first annual rise in 10 months in October, but the modest 0.1 percent gain only slightly boosted expectations of a rate hike early next year.
The dollar rallied against most major currencies Thursday, buoyed by demand from U.S. corporations seeking to square their books by the end of the month.
Oil rose slightly Thursday, giving back nearly all of its early gains after Enbridge Pipeline said its fire-damaged crude pipeline in Minnesota could restart within days.
Online brokerage E-Trade Financial Corp, which has been pounded by credit woes in the mortgage business, said on Thursday that it was getting a $2.55 billion cash infusion from investors led by Citadel Investment Group.
Softer-than-expected new-home sales and a surge in jobless claims heightened fears of a steep U.S. economic slide.