Economic Measures Inflation

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  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to lower its target for the federal funds rate 25 basis points to 4-1/4 percent.

  • The Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington, DC.

    Financial markets expect the Fed to trim interest rates a quarter point this afternoon, but many investors are hoping for a half-point cut.

  • The U.S. economy is in the danger zone and one good shock could send it into recession next year, according to Global Insights, which released its top 10 predictions for 2008 Tuesday.The Boston-based forecasting company said GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2007 and first half of 2008 is expected to be very weak, and will make the United States extremely vulnerable.

  • Small business confidence in the U.S. economy tumbled for the second straight month in November because of worries that economic growth will slow, a survey released on Tuesday showed.

  • Ben Bernanke, President Bush's top economic adviser, speaks in the Oval Office at the White House after Bush named him to take over the Federal Reserve from retiring Alan Greenspan, in Washington, Monday, Oct. 24, 2005. It was the third time in as many years the president has turned to the 51-year-old Bernanke for a sensitive post. Bush named him to the Fed board in 2002, then made him chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers earlier this year. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Wall Street widely expects the Fed to cut interest rates Tuesday. Here are some of the factors policymakers will be considering

  • The global hiring outlook for the first quarter of 2008 remains healthy despite a slightly softer jobs forecast for the United States, a quarterly survey by Manpower Inc, one of the world's largest employment services companies, showed Tuesday.

  • China's National Flag

    China's factory gate prices jumped 4.6 percent in the year to November, overshooting forecasts by a wide margin and fueling concern that inflation could pose a stiffer challenge than many anticipated.

  • dollar_bills_pile_1.jpg

    The dollar retreated against most major currencies Monday, reversing some recent strong gains ahead of an expected Federal Reserve interest rate cut this week.

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

    A lot has changed since the Federal Reserve hinted two months ago that it might be finished cutting interest rates for a while.

  • Japanese core machinery orders rose more than expected in October, suggesting Japanese corporate activity remained resilient in the face of concerns over turmoil in global financial markets.

  • dollar_bills_pile_1.jpg

    The dollar rose against the yen Friday, as a slightly-above-forecast jobs report eased was seen reducing the chance of an aggressive interest rate cut.

  • Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson

    Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson defended the Bush administration's subprime mortgage plan, telling CNBC that it is not a federal bailout.

  • If cars and homes need insurance, investors should have it, too. Investing can be confusing. Luckily, Cramer has mapped out some road rules for all you Home Gamers trying to navigate the jungle that is Wall Street. Think of it as "Mad Money 101" –- some fundamental advice to keep in mind as you play the market. Whether you're a first time investor or a seasoned financier, it's always good to remember the basics.

  • jobs_report.jpg

    Employers added 94,000 jobs in November, but a slowdown in recent months fueled speculation of a modest rate cut next week.

  • A senior White House economist said on Friday he believes the U.S. economy is still strong and not headed for recession, though it remains at risk from the slumping housing market.

  • U.S. consumer sentiment soured for a third month in December as a housing recession andexpensive gasoline left consumers at their gloomiest since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a report showed Friday.

  • Unemployment Line

    Economists predict a modest gain of 70,000 in payrolls. But a strong private-sector report has the market looking for a positive surprise that could give the Fed license to cut.

  • Japan's foreign reserves, the world's second-largest, rose to a record $970.185 billion at the end of November, largely because lower U.S. interest rates boosted the value of U.S. bonds held in the reserves, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday.

  • Japan's revised down third-quarter growth on Friday, surprising markets that had expected an upward revision, prompting many to suggest it might now be late next year before the Bank of Japan can raise rates.

  • South Korea's central bank held interest rates steady for a fourth consecutive month on Friday, brushing aside growing local inflation but mindful that  persistent financial turbulence was clouding the global economy.