Lori Spechler is a Senior Editor at CNBC responsible for booking and coverage of major market events. In addition, she has written for CNBC.com and NetNet on topics ranging from gold to the height of women's heels. Formerly a trader and market-maker in commodity options, her resume includes such infamous Wall Street names as AIG Trading Corp. and Drexel Burnham Lambert Trading Corp.
Tapping the brakes on the silver rally, the CME today sent a letter to its clearing member firms and others raising the amount of margin needed to trade silver futures contracts. The change will go into effect after the close of business Wednesday, November 10th, 2010.
Gold investor John Paulson should send Ben Bernanke a nice present this holiday season. The yellow metal is off to the races due to the $600 billion in QE2 announced yesterday. Not unexpected, the result is still a weaker dollar and buying in all the so-called precious metals: gold, silver, platinum and palladium.
H&R Block got slammed again today. One of the most actively traded stocks on the NYSE today, nearly 24 million shares changed hands closing near the lows of the session. Shares were pummelled after reports that the company had filed a lawsuit against HSBC for breach of contract (insert link here to Reuters story on cnbc.com) related to refund anticipation loans.
One stock that has missed the media spotlight so far in the latest foreclosure fiasco has been H&R Block. But, traders have not missed the fact that the tax preparer is exposed to mortgage put-backs. The stock was hit hard last week, down 9.7% or 45% year to date and the lowest level since Q1 2001.
This morning, TD Ameritrade joined Charles Schwab, Fidelity and Vanguard in offering commission-free trades on some ETFs. Of course, there are restrictions and the restrictions vary by company. But being the skeptic, you have to ask. Why are discount brokers offering commission free trades for what is the hottest product in equities? What's in it for them? Could this have anything to do with issues surrounding high frequency trading? Pay for volume? Or good old fashioned arbitrage
Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein raised the question last week — are clearing houses the new systemic risk to watch? Or, could they be the latest regulatory mess that will send investment houses fleeing to other shores?
Thursday looms large, with pharma, consumer products, big oil, financials and autos reporting earnings.
Check out the companies making headlines after the bell on Wednesday.
Shares of LogMeIn skyrocketed on news of the company's merger with the GoTo unit of Citrix Systems.
Shares of biotech company Illumina spiked 8 percent Wednesday after the company handily beat Wall Street estimates a day earlier.
Patti Domm is CNBC Executive Editor, News, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy.
A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Senior Producer - Breaking News
Dominic Chu is a markets reporter for CNBC.
Evelyn Cheng is a markets writer for CNBC.
Sara Eisen is a correspondent for CNBC, focusing on currencies and the global consumer.