The big questions for the coming year are how long and deep will the recession be and how it will compare to those of the past.
New U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell 1 percent in November, a less severe drop than anticipated though it followed a steeply revised plunge in October orders, a government report on Wednesday showed.
The first half of next year will be very bad for the world economy, but investors will find value in stock markets as some deeply discounted shares will stage a rebound, Marc Faber, editor and publisher Gloom, Boom and Doom Report, told CNBC.
Monday's market is still feeling last week's pain, as lowered earnings outlooks add to the downward pressure from big bank downgrades. And forensic analysts continue to sift through the alleged Bernie Madoff fraud, asking: Can investors get anything back? But CNBC heard from experts who are anticipating an annual Santa Claus rally — and think it's crucial to buy oil stocks and other selected equities now.
On Friday, the auto bailout was announced: General Motors and Chrysler will get up to $17.4 billion in short-term loans from the U.S. in return for deep concessions. Treasury boss Hank Paulson reversed himself, asking for the second half of the TARP fund. Who gets bailed out next — and where does it end? Strategists told CNBC the bailout is going to make things worse; but one airline CEO sees a healthy Darwinian process.
Thursday: U.S. jobless claims eased from a 26-year peak but still showed weakness in the economy. After the Federal Reserve's moves this week, homeowners are scrambling to refinance; the dollar is sliding against the euro. And the second half of the $700 billion TARP bailout fund looks likely to go toward foreclosure relief and economic stimulus. CNBC heard from experts who say crude oil prices are finally correct — and oil, stocks and gold are going to soar.
Now that Fed Chairman Bernanke has answered how low he would take interest rates, he needs to explain what's next.
Some of the bad news Tuesday was "less worse" than many feared: Goldman Sachs reported its first quarterly loss since going public — but the $2.1 billion loss was much narrower than many had feared and Goldman shares rose as much as 11 percent. Stocks soared on the Federal Reserve rate-cut decision and options trading looks bullish on Boeing. CNBC heard from experts who predict a massive OPEC cut and more Fed moves to come.
Below is the statement released by the Federal Open Market Committee after its Dec. 15-16 meeting on interest rate policy:
With the Fed's key rate dropping closer to zero, the central bank is moving into uncharted territory. Still, Fed Chairman Bernanke has made it clear the Fed isn't running out of ammunition yet.
This morning's CPI data is further indication that demand for consumer goods is down as a result of a shift in spending habits due to the credit crunch.
The Consumer Price Index had its biggest one month drop ever. Here is a breakdown of the inflation benchmark to show you where costs are falling most.
When the Federal Reserve policymakers decide on interest rates Tuesday, investors will probably look one step beyond their decision, to gauge how much money will the Fed be willing to print once it is out of rate ammunition.
The Federal Reserve is expected to cut interest rates to close to zero on Tuesday and may point to further unconventional steps to battle a year-old recession.
"We have to sit down and figure what kind of life we have left," says Joan Sinkin, who with her husband, lost their life savings.
Some economists say it's time for Fed Chairman Bernake to just say no to Wall Street and cut interest rates less than the half point that's expected at Tuesday's meeting.
Numbers from the fed today demonstrated the turmoil that swept our ecoomy in the third quarter.
The survival of the U.S. economy depends on helping homeowners, said John Bogle, The Vanguard Group founder and former CEO.
Congressional wrangling over an auto-industry bailout continued to dominate expectations on Thursday, complicated by more downbeat data about initial claims for unemployment benefits. But some analysts interviewed by CNBC found diamonds among the lumps of coal.
Murky signs: Markets had rallied Wednesday morning on the belief that an auto industry bailout was all but certain. But some GOP legislators are opposing the White House deal with congressional Democrats. A top analyst sees financials in critical condition until 2010, but a peer says he's been buying bank stocks and socking them away. And a CNBC guest said commodities are going to lead a 50% S&P rally.