Saturday, 18 Oct 2014 | 1:00 PM ET

The depressing truth behind the jobs 'recovery'

Posted By: Carleton English

Unemployment is below 6 percent for the first time since 2008, but it's not quite time to uncork the champagne when it comes to the jobs picture.

Wage growth in the U.S. has been flat for decades, providing an ugly counterweight to an ostensibly improving part of the economy.

September's positive jobs report, which saw the unemployment rate fall to 5.9 percent, was celebrated on Wall Street, but a growing chorus of experts suggests that the jobless number alone may not be enough to measure the health of the labor markets. New research suggests there should be more attention paid to income trends.

If your most recent raise felt underwhelming, there is compelling data confirming that your wallet is being squeezed by inflation and stagnant wages. Growth in wages peaked in 1973 and has steadily declined since. In fact, today's wages have the same purchasing power as they did in 1979, according to a report by the Pew Research Center.

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  Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 12:11 PM ET

Whoa! Pimco takes on Bogle over active management

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Jack Bogle
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
Jack Bogle

Talk about your heavyweight fights: Bond giant Pimco is taking aim at investing legend Jack Bogle.

In a rejoinder distributed Friday, the Newport Beach, California-based firm disputed comments Vanguard founder Bogle made recently indicating that index investing was as preferable on fixed income as it is in equities.

Pimco managing director James Moore, in a paper titled "Sorry, Mr. Bogle, But I Respectfully Disagree. Strongly," seeks to dispel conventional thinking in the long-running active vs. passive debate.

Essentially, Moore's arguments comes down to five points:

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  Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 12:14 PM ET

Small caps rake in big bucks; top week in 14 years

Posted By: Jeff Cox

A volatile week for financial markets has produced at least one clear winner.

Small-cap stocks, previously Wall Street's biggest laggards, took on a leadership role as the market bent and swayed in a storm of tumult that provided unpleasant reminders of the financial crisis.

While major indexes including the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average sustained huge swings that resulted in comparatively modest losses, the Russell 2000—the primary index for small caps—had risen an impressive 3.7 percent as of Friday morning trade.

The performance was especially impressive considering the barometer had actually entered official correction territory—down more than 10 percent from its most recent high—as investors abandoned the space.

Money flows drove the performance, with one exchange-traded fund in particular reaping the benefits.

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  Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 11:39 AM ET

NBA's Bucks add third hedge fund owner in Dinan

Posted By: Lawrence Delevingne
Jamie Dinan
Jacob Kepler | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Jamie Dinan

The big "bucks" keep flowing from Manhattan to Milwaukee.

Billionaire investor Jamie Dinan, founder of York Capital Management, has joined fellow hedge fund managers Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital and Wes Edens of Fortress Investment Group as a "substantial" owner of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.

Dinan became an owner in July, but it was first disclosed in a news release Thursday night announcing a separate group of new partial stakeholders. They include "community leaders and philanthropists" who the Bucks hope will represent a "bold new model of private, community and potentially public partnership."

"Marc, Wes and I are thrilled to have the Partners for Community Impact group join us on our quest to make the Bucks organization the best in basketball," Dinan said in a statement. "Since I joined as an owner in July, I have already seen the huge strides we have taken on making the Bucks an integral part of the Milwaukee community."

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  Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 5:24 PM ET

Steve Cohen made nearly $2 billion in 2014: Source

Posted By: Lawrence Delevingne
Steve Cohen
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen is still minting money.

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  Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 8:43 AM ET

Ebola 'fear factor' biggest threat: Goldman

Posted By: Jeff Cox

Rising public fear over Ebola poses potential obstacles to the global economy, with the worst-case impact along the lines of the 9/11 terror attacks and the 2003 SARS outbreak, according to a Goldman Sachs analysis.

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  Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 1:14 PM ET

How Alibaba IPO may have signaled a market top

Posted By: Jeff Cox

Call it coincidence if you will, but the biggest initial public offering of all time also happened to hit Wall Street the same day the stock market peaked.

Almost at the exact moment, actually: Just eight minutes after Alibaba's much-ballyhooed Sept. 19 IPO—which soared at the start but fizzled soon after—hit the market, the S&P 500 stock index reached its all-time high and has dipped sharply since.

This would hardly be the first time a big public debut coincided with a top in the equity markets—think AT&T Wireless back in 2000 or Visa in 2008, both highly successful initially but ultimately harbingers that investor interest had peaked and was setting up for a fall.

So it's not surprising to hear market experts wondering whether Alibaba has sent up a similar flare.

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  Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 9:50 AM ET

There is no real estate bubble, pros say

Posted By: Lawrence Delevingne
Downtown Denver
Aaron Ontiveroz | The Denver Post | Getty Images
Downtown Denver

Big names in real estate investing don't believe there's a market bubble.

Despite high valuations, homes, office buildings and other types of real estate remain attractive today, especially in comparison to other asset classes and given low interest rates, according to some deep-pocketed pros.

"We don't think there's a broad-based bubble in the real estate market today nor do we think there's one coming in the next year or two," said Chris Graham, a senior managing director at Starwood Capital Group, a $37 billion real estate investment firm.

"There's still room for upside here," Graham added during remarks Wednesday at iGlobal's Global Real Estate Private Equity Summit in New York.

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  Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 | 3:50 PM ET

Despite washout, hedge funds not bailing on energy

Posted By: Kate Kelly

Oil and gas companies like Hess, Anadarko, and Apache have been darlings of the hedge fund community in recent years, favored by such prominent players as Elliott, Citadel, and D.E. Shaw. But a reversal in the U.S. energy sector, exacerbated by a sharp and recent drop in the price of crude oil and natural gas, has hit those stocks hard, raising questions about whether those hedge funds are abandoning them.

Since June 30, the date of the last round of hedge fund filings on what stocks they hold, Hess has fallen 24 percent, Anadarko 23 percent, and Apache 29 percent—performances that weren't helped by a huge market swoon in U.S. trading Wednesday.

As the Dow fell as much as 450 points early Wednesday afternoon, multiple hedge fund traders said that the market was in liquidation mode and had been for several days, with money managers looking to dump shares whenever the market rallied modestly.

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  Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 | 12:13 PM ET

Why all this market volatility is here to stay

Posted By: Jeff Cox

What is making the market volatile is pretty obvious. What is likely to keep it volatile is a little less so.

Wall Street pros have trotted out all the usual suspects to explain why the major averages have wiped out almost all their gains for the year: Europe, Ebola, ISIS and a pick-your-poison menu of other headwinds that have made a world full of promise suddenly appear to be a minefield without a map.

Read MoreCorrection watch: Here are the levels to watch

Underlying the investing climate is a general level of uncertainty.

A growing chorus of investors worry not simply that the world is changing but is doing so in ways for which policymakers are not prepared. How does the Federal Reserve unwind its massive easing measures? What happens if things don't go as planned? In the case of a big scare, particularly in the fixed income market, will a lack of buyers turn a selloff into a stampede?

"We're seeing this move for the third time," Peter Boockvar, chief strategist at The Lindsey Group, said in reference to the Fed likely exiting the third leg of its quantitative easing bond-buying program this month. "People are acting like they've never seen this before. This is what happens when QE ends. All the warts and blemishes start to matter."

Indeed, there are warts and blemishes aplenty, even amid the wine and roses.

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About NetNet

  • NetNet is where you'll find the low-down and the high jinks of Wall Street. It's the place for insider stories, trader gossip, and tales of the foibles of the moneyed crowd and the culture of finance.Wall Street news and commentary served fresh all day long.


  • Jeff Cox is finance editor for CNBC.com.

  • Lawrence Develingne

    Lawrence Delevingne is the ‘Big Money’ enterprise reporter for CNBC.com and NetNet.

  • Stephanie Landsman is one of the producers of "Fast Money."

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