Nerdom has become big business in the years since legions of costumed fans first descended on San Diego.» Read More
A look at the data and happenings that shaped the first quarter for European businesses and markets.
After a dismal first quarter, investors look forward to what the spring has in store; but apart from a new gold rush and the euro rising further, there seems to be little to anticipate.
Signs that the credit crunch is affecting the real economy in Europe continued to appear in the first quarter of 2008, as the real-estate and retail sectors and mergers and acquisitions all struggled with tighter lending criteria, inflation and dwindling investment.
Stocks closed lower Friday after a profit warning from J.C. Penney, which renewed fears about slower consumer spending. Financials and techs caved in after earlier attempts to rally.
Oil fell $2 Friday after Iraq swiftly restarted a crude pipeline system that had been hit by a bomb attack the day before.
The dollar edged higher against the euro and Swiss franc Friday, marginally supported by improving money market conditions that helped ease the impact of generally bleak U.S. economic data.
Stocks advanced Friday, boosted by benign inflation data and an upgrade on Lehman Brothers.
Stocks rose at the opening bell as the market weighed benign inflation data with a weak outlook from J.C. Penney.
Euro zone price pressures are "alarmingly high," threatening medium-term price stability, and first quarter growth in the bloc could exceed expectations, European Central Bank officials said on Friday.
Consumer spending hit a 17-month low in February, hit by the credit crisis, job cuts and soaring energy costs. But a key inflation gauge remained tame.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Friday that an economic stimulus program that will put $168 billion into consumers' hands this year and next could help create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
Asian markets closed firmly higher Friday, despite a weak start to trading, with Chinese stocks jumping nearly 5 percent. Gains were all the more impressive given Wall Street's fall.
Japanese annual inflation hit a decade-high 1.0 percent in February, but the credit crisis and a stalling Japanese economy mean the Bank of Japan is still seen as more likely to cut interest rates this year than raise them.
South Korea's National Pension Service, the world's fifth-biggest pension fund, said on Thursday it was shying away from U.S. Treasurys because of falling yields and the weakening dollar.
Recent volatility for grains and oilseeds have increased significantly. And that's drawn increased market scrutiny along with it, sparking an initiative for wider trading limits from the CME. The CFTC gave its stamp of approval, making the changes effective today after the close.
Oil rose above $107 a barrel on Thursday after saboteurs blew up a major pipeline in Iraq, sharply reducing exports from the south of the country.
The U.S. economy seems to be slipping into recession and the Federal Reserve must cushion the pain and make it as brief as possible, two Fed policymakers said.
The dollar rallied Thursday after suffering steep losses in the last two sessions, rising on data showing the U.S. economy grew in the fourth quarter in line with market expectations.
The central banks of Britain and Switzerland added extra funds to ease pressure on high interbank lending rates on Thursday, while the European Central Bank said it was ready to step in with extra cash.
The economy nearly sputtered out in the final quarter of last year and is probably faring even worse now amid the continuing housing, credit and financial crises.