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  • Merrill Lynch says fund managers it surveyed in December are more pessimistic about corporate profits than they have been in nearly a decade. Seventy-four percent believe we are in a late cycle phase of business expansion while four percent believe the economy has already entered global recession, the firm says.

  • Dollar Up on Year-End Buys, Europe Slowdown Wednesday, 19 Dec 2007 | 3:23 PM ET
    Exchanging Dollars and Euros
  • Oil At $50 A Barrel: Can It Be That Low Again? Wednesday, 19 Dec 2007 | 3:05 PM ET
    Patrons line up for fuel, Tuesday, May 30, 2006, in Cincinnati. Oil prices rose above $72 a barrel Tuesday ahead of an OPEC meeting in Venezuela and the start of the Atlantic hurricane season later this week. The Memorial Day holiday marked the beginning of the peak driving season in the U.S., a period when energy traders are extra skittish about any loss of oil production or refining capacity. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

    As I watched the signing ceremony for another energy bill today, I thought, why bother? The push for more ethanol only seems to drive up the price of corn, displace other crops, and lead to food inflation for consumers. Energy independence? Please. We import roughly half the oil we use each day. That's a pretty big hurdle to independence.

  • Eight Predictions For Autos in 2008 Wednesday, 19 Dec 2007 | 2:57 PM ET

    As we close out this year, I know some of you are asking, "Hey Toyota Phil (a nickname a friend gave me after accusing me of giving the Japanese automaker too much praise) what do you think will happen in the auto industry next year?" Well, since you asked, and I know some of you haven't asked, here are my prognostications for 2008.

  • Cash-Starved Banks Jam The Fed's First Auction Wednesday, 19 Dec 2007 | 11:10 AM ET

    Cash-strapped banks took the Federal Reserve up on its offer of $20 billion in short-term loans to help them overcome credit problems, but the interest rate wasn't as low as some had hoped.

  • BoE Voted 9-0 for Dec. Rate Cut, Mulled Bigger Moves Wednesday, 19 Dec 2007 | 7:20 AM ET

    All nine members of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted to cut interest rates by a quarter-point in December and even discussed whether slowing economic growth meant a bigger move might be needed.

  • Japan Cuts Growth Forecast, Sees Recovery in 08/09 Wednesday, 19 Dec 2007 | 6:49 AM ET
    Japanese Flag

    Japan's economy will grow 2.0 percent in the fiscal year starting on April 1, the government said on Wednesday while sharply downgrading its initial forecasts for the current year to reflect tumbling investment in housing.

  • German Business Confidence Falls More than Expected Wednesday, 19 Dec 2007 | 6:14 AM ET

    German corporate morale deteriorated more than expected in December as firms took a dimmer view of current conditions, with retailers especially downbeat, a closely-watched survey showed on Wednesday.

  • Asian Markets End Mixed, Rally Cools Wednesday, 19 Dec 2007 | 5:34 AM ET
    A man uses his mobile phone in front of electronic stock boards at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX Ltd.) headquarters in Sydney, Australia.

    Asian stocks were mixed in the afternoon session Wednesday, as markets failed to sustain an earlier recovery. Japan shed 1 percent despite spending most of the session in positive territory. Australia also closed lower.

  • Hedge Funds Are Biggest Donors on Wall Street Tuesday, 18 Dec 2007 | 4:35 PM ET

    When it comes to charitable giving, who gives more--hedge funds or private equity? Turns out the private equity folks are the cheapskates.

  • Europe's Central Banks Flood Markets With Funds Tuesday, 18 Dec 2007 | 4:15 PM ET

    The European Central Bank and Bank of England flooded money markets with funds on Tuesday as the UK central bank chief warned of a possible "self-reinforcing" downward spiral in credit.

  • Oil Above $90 on Shortage Concerns Tuesday, 18 Dec 2007 | 2:59 PM ET
    Oil Pipeline

    Oil fell below $90 Tuesday, despite a workers' strike at five French oil refineries which stoked concerns of fuel shortages.

  • U.S. Stocks: Lackluster Year From Overseas Investing Tuesday, 18 Dec 2007 | 2:05 PM ET

    As we near the end of the year, the S&P is up a measly 2 percent. If it ends here, it will be the worst year since 2002. One reason for a lackluster year in stocks has been the complete and utter indifference of the Ameican investor to U.S. stocks. To be blunt, U.S. investors are sticking all their cash in overseas funds.

  • Survive Volatility with This Large-Cap Stock Tuesday, 18 Dec 2007 | 1:44 PM ET

    Market volatility and the pullback in financial stocks isn't over yet, says Sarat Sethi, partner and portfolio manager at Douglas C. Lane & Associates. So he advises investors to find safe harbor in large-cap multinationals with diverse exposure.

  • BoE's King: Worst Still to Come from Credit Squeeze Tuesday, 18 Dec 2007 | 10:49 AM ET

    Bad news for financial markets isn't over yet and joint central bank action to ease the credit crunch may not be enough to stop a big slowdown in the world economy, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said on Tuesday.

  • Dollar Gains Versus Yen on Rising Stocks Tuesday, 18 Dec 2007 | 10:43 AM ET
    Dollar and Euro

    The dollar rose against the yen on Tuesday as a modest improvement in risk appetite encouraged investors to buy stocks, but it consolidated versus the euro after recent hefty gains.

  • Gas Prices: "Driving" You To Buy A Different Car? Tuesday, 18 Dec 2007 | 9:25 AM ET

    As I've been talking about for some time, and as we've seen from auto sales in the last couple of months, the price of gas IS causing people to shift the kinds of vehicles they are planning to buy. The latest evidence comes from Kelley Blue Book.

  • UK Inflation Below Forecasts in Nov. Tuesday, 18 Dec 2007 | 7:49 AM ET

    Britain's inflation rate held steady in November, wrongfooting analysts who had forecast a rise and giving the Bank of England more scope to cut interest rates should the economy weaken sharply.

  • Asian Markets Seesaw in Volatile Trading Tuesday, 18 Dec 2007 | 5:27 AM ET

    Asian stocks seesawed in volatile trade Tuesday with financial counters and exporters taking a roller-coaster ride.  Japan closed slightly lower though the market was well over 1 percent lower at one point. South Korea finished the session up 1.2 percent.

  • Euro Zone Oct. Trade Surplus Rises as Exports Gain Tuesday, 18 Dec 2007 | 5:16 AM ET

    The euro zone had a higher-than-expected trade surplus in October despite a continued rise in the euro as exports grew faster than imports, the European Union's statistics office said on Tuesday.

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