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Politics Barack Obama

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    the economy is in the throes of a V-shaped recovery. I've been saying that for months now. But is this recovery a temporary false dawn, or can we be confident it has legs? Will Washington's deficit-spending and debt-monetization policies be reversed, or is the soaring gold price a true negative signal for the future?

  • Stocks fell heavily Friday as worries over the growing European debt crisis trumped some encouraging U.S. economic data. Financials, materials and techs were the biggest decliners.

  • European markets close just off the lows for the day. Spain down 7 percent, Italy and Portugal and France down 4 percent, Germany down 3.5 percent. Europe weak all morning as the euro easily broke through $1.25, now at $1.238.

  • Stocks continued to lose ground Friday as worries about the European debt crisis overshadowed somewhat encouraging US economic data.

  • U.S. and European banks are both lower, for three reasons. With the exception of gold and gold stocks, commodity stocks are down 2-3 percent as energy and base metals weaken with the Euro falling below $1.25 today. And credit-card companies have their own troubles.

  • U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open Friday as investors waited for a batch of key economic data while Europe pushed on with its wave of austerity measures.

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    The federal Minerals Management Service gave permission to dozens of oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico without first getting required permits from another agency, the NYT reports.

  • Crisis in the Gulf

    Scientists and environmental groups are raising sharp questions about the size of the oil leak in the gulf, estimated at 5,000 barrels a day, declaring that the leak must be far larger. The NYT reports.

  • Betty White

    We vote for President—the executive branch. We vote for Congress—the legislative branch. Why can't we vote for the Supreme Court—the judicial branch?

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    The SEC itself will make an announcement on new rules early next week, likely Monday. At the same time, the exchanges will make a regulatory filing that will reflect the changes in their own rulebook.

  • Volatile activity in the capital markets has caused mixed results with initial public offerings.

  • President Barack Obama

    Over the last year, the Obama administration has pressed forward on hundreds of new mandates, while also stepping up enforcement of rules by increasing the ranks of inspectors and imposing higher fines for violations. The New York Times explains.

  • NYSE traders

    The ride may be bumpy, but the Dow is headed for 12,000 by yearend and 13,000 in 2011.

  • IPO's take another shot—and fail. The entire market is repricing risk, and IPOs are showing that stress. Last week was a mess for IPOs, and that continues this week.

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    The government says it recovered $2.5 billion in overpayments for the Medicare trust fund last year as the Obama administration focused attention on fraud enforcement efforts in the health care industry.

  • Shops in Athens' central market.

    It’s easy to look at the protesters and the politicians in Greece — and at the other European countries with huge debts — and wonder why they don’t get it. Yet in the back of your mind comes a nagging question: how different, really, is the United States? The NYT explains.

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    Public attitudes toward the economy have created ominous political problems for the Democratic Party and for Wall Street, according to the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

  • Gold coins and bar

    Gold prices are soaring because of growing inflation fears—both the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve seem to be on the path to permanently easy money with the Greek bailout and huge U.S. budget deficits.

  • Trade

    The Commerce Department reported the March deficit on international trade in goods and services increased to $40.4 billion from $39.4 billion in February.

  • U.S. stock futures are up as Europe is trading up 1 to 2 percent. The put/call ratio at the close yesterday was 1.28—meaning 1.28 puts bought for every call—fairly high. This is a contrarian indicator, as it represents stock that needs to be bought back eventually. What does it mean? It means traders are either getting short or hedging their long positions.