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JPMorgan and Alcoa: what do they have in common? 1) They're the first large companies to report Q3 earnings, and 2) both had very low expectations going into their earnings.
What started off as a horrible month has turned into a very powerful rally. What's going on?
First, some traders blamed high frequency traders for the stock-market volatility. Then it was inverse and leveraged ETFs. Now Birinyi Associates has found a new source of volatility in the last hour: the publication deadline of European newspapers.
Stocks have been rising throughout Wednesday morning. Shortly after the US open, reports surfaced that Slovakian politicians have reached an accord to approve the EFSF expansion by Friday. All 17 eurozone countries will then have ratified the expansion.
Alcoa spacer miss does not hurt the market. More evidence that Europe is what matters: euro strong, European bourses up 1 to 3 percent.
Most traders continue to believe that Slovakia will approve the EFSF expansion later in the week.
You know the cultural zeitgeist is getting thrown in a blender when stock traders in midtown call me up and say, "Hey Bob, I'm coming downtown tonight...wanna grab a beer and hang out with the protesters?"
It's down to...Slovakia? European stocks and U.S. shares slipped late morning on word the vote in Slovakia on approval of the European Financial Stability Facility expansion was looking a bit more doubtful.
Earnings estimates are coming down — but not as much as bears predicted.
Scott Cutler, head of U.S. listings for the NYSE, told me on our air this morning that 498 IPOs were in the pipeline at the NYSE and Nasdaq, the biggest backlog in 10 years.
The meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the weekend produced a vague consensus: Sarkozy has agreed that the old July 21 agreement is no longer workable and that Greek debtholders will have to take a larger haircut than the 21 percent reduction that was originally proposed. Merkel seems to be bending on using the EFSF to at least partially recapitalize banks.
Merkel and Sarkozy, with their respective finance ministers, will meet over the weekend to hammer out some kind of common front ahead of the EU Summit Meeting October 13-14. Both now favor recapitalization of the banking system.
Better economic numbers reduce recession fears, and that helps EPS. This week we saw better than expected ISM, ISM Services, September same store sales, and nonfarm payrolls, all of which have reduced the likelihood of a recession.
After a brief period in positive territory, stocks moved down mid-morning, then took another leg down as Fitch downgraded Italy and Spain.
How to recapitalize banks? France worries about its sovereign credit rating. It was bound to happen: Now that Europe is getting on the same page about the need to recapitalize banks, the debate has focused on the mechanism for recapitalization.
It's a problem: since dropping in the beginning of August, the market has a hard time putting together consecutive strings of up or down days.
Thank you, Steve Jobs! You changed my life and millions of others.
I've been asked repeatedly why Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), which are stock companies that own and manage real estate for investors, have been so weak today. A couple of observations...
The signals being sent: there will be major haircuts on European debt, there will be recapitalizations, there will be changes to the EU treaty mechanism (this is where eurobonds come in).
There is yet another hint that a greatly expanded European Financial Stability Facility, or (down the road) euro bonds are coming. European officials are slowly talking themselves into greater euro integration. Whether that will happen fast enough is the question.
The U.S. dollar had its biggest one-day decline in nearly two months on Wednesday.
Markets saw the Fed's rate hike and forecasts as good in the short term for risk markets.
"A number of participants in the [FOMC] did bring up the issue of tariffs," Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference.