Stock Markets

US stocks mixed as Obama's tax plan inches forward

US stocks mixed as Obama's tax plan inches forwardNew York, Dec 14 - US stocks erased gains from earlier Monday as President Barack Obama's compromise tax cut plan with Republicans appeared poised to pass the Senate.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index had rallied earlier after China refrained from raising interest rates. But investors were restless over the uncertainty of tax cuts slated to expire at year's end unless the US Congress agrees on a plan to extend them.

As the Senate's procedural vote was underway in Washington, "the trading floor was extremely quiet", Barry Knapp of Barclays Plc in New York, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg financial news service.

US stocks rally over upbeat economic data

US stocks rally over upbeat economic dataNew York, Dec 11 - US stocks were up Friday, with the Standard and Poor's 500 Index closing at a two-year high, as investors welcomed new data that showed the US trade deficit narrowed in October.

According to data from the Commerce Department, the trade deficit decreased 13 percent to $38.7 billion. It said that exports were the strongest since August 2008, with Mexico and China buying large amounts of US goods.

The decline brought the trade deficit to a nine-month low - exports climbed 3.2 percent to $158.7 billion and imports fell 0.5 percent to $197.4 billion.

US stocks rally over extension of tax cuts

US stocks rally over extension of tax cutsNew York, Dec 9 - US stocks rose Wednesday, boosted by a proposal to extend tax cuts and news that the government intends to sell at least $15 billion of its shares in American International Group (AIG).

Investors were still considering the implications of a proposal that keeps the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for middle-income earners in place. It also extends cuts for wealthy households with incomes exceeding $250,000.

President Barack Obama said Tuesday the compromise deal with Republicans was "an essential step on the road to recovery", and necessary to avoid placing a greater burden on the middle class.

US stocks end flat

US stocks end flatNew York, Dec 8 - Major stock indices ended Tuesday little changed, erasing a rally earlier in the day prompted by President Barack Obama's remarks on a deal to extend tax cuts.

Obama defended a compromise with Republicans that would extend tax cuts for two years, saying the deal was essential to avoid placing a greater burden on the middle class.

US stocks fall after Fed chief says economy needs more stimulus

US stocks fall after Fed chief says economy needs more stimulusNew York, Dec 7 - US stocks fell Monday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he would not rule out more monetary interventions to prop up the struggling economy.

Bernanke made the remarks in an interview aired Sunday by broadcaster CBS.

The US central bank in November announced a controversial plan to buy up $600 billion in government bonds over the coming eight months. The new round of "quantitative easing" was criticised by some conservatives and foreign governments for pushing down the value of the dollar.

Wall Street ends week up despite unemployment rate increase

 Wall Street ends week up despite unemployment rate increaseNew York, Dec 4 - US stocks produced gains Friday, ending the week in the black, despite an increase in the jobless rate that had pushed shares down earlier in the day.

The US unemployment rate climbed to 9.8 percent in November, the Labour Department reported, sharply denting hopes that the labour market was beginning to recover after months of stagnation.

The jobless rate was the highest since April with just 39,000 jobs added during November, compared to a revised 172,000 jobs added in October. The jobless rate had remained at 9.6 percent over the last three months.

US stocks jump for second day on more good economic news

US stocks jump for second day on more good economic news New York, Dec 3 : US stocks surged Thursday for the second straight session because of positive economic data, this time from the housing and retail sectors.

Sales of existing homes climbed a better-than-expected 10 percent in October, while a number of major retailers posted positive sales entering the holiday shopping season.

The figures offered hope that the US economy, which has been mired in a weak recovery, could be slowly gathering steam. On Wednesday, the rate-setting Federal Reserve reported growth in 10 of 12 US regions.

Canadian markets hit pre-recession levels

Canadian markets hit pre-recession levelsToronto, Dec 2 - Canadian markets hit a new high Wednesday after the global meltdown, with the composite index on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) closing at 13,148.35 points.

The last time the Toronto Stock Exchange - the world's biggest energy and mining market - had closed at these levels was in September 2008.

Keeping the momentum in line with Wall Street which rose after positive economic data, the TSX composite index jumped 195.47 points Wednesday, with mining stocks gaining four per cent.

US stocks fall again over worries about European debts

US stocks fall again over worries about European debtsNew York, Dec 1 - Continuing fears about fiscal instability among European Union governments overshadowed a favourable report on US consumer confidence as major Wall Street stock indices lost ground.

The New York-based Conference Board's index of consumer confidence reached a five-month high. But continuing worries about budget deficits in several EU countries weighed on the market.

US stocks fall over concerns about European debt crisis

US stocks fall over concerns about European debt crisisNew York, Nov 30 - US stocks fell Monday over concerns that the Irish bailout wouldn't stem the European debt crisis, tensions simmering on the Korean Peninsula and the release of thousands of secret US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks.

"There seems to be plenty to bother the market," E. William Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia, told Bloomberg news. "There's concern about the European financial crisis affecting healthier economies and the viability of the euro. This issue seems to be far from over."

US cracks down on China-based merchandise websites

US cracks down on China-based merchandise websitesWashington, Nov 30 - The US government has disabled dozens of websites based in China for allegedly selling counterfeit merchandise and other goods in violation of copyright laws, authorities said Monday.

US Justice Department and Homeland Security Department seized the domain names of 82 websites, mostly based in China, where the shipments of the purchased goods also originated, authorities said.

"Most of the products being produced were produced in China and being shipped to the United States," said John Morton, the Homeland Security Department's assistant secretary for immigration and customs enforcement.

US stocks drop on more euro concerns, Korea tensions

US stocks drop on more euro concerns, Korea tensionsNew York, Nov 27 - US stocks fell Friday as credit ratings for Irish banks were cut and tensions simmered on the Korean Peninsula.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's drastically downgraded the creditworthiness of Anglo Irish Bank and lowered its rating for three other Irish banks. The European Union and International Monetary Fund reportedly hope to reach agreement on a bail-out for Ireland by Sunday.

North Korea, meanwhile, warned that the peninsula was "inching closer to the brink of war" as the US and South Korea planned joint military exercises over the weekend.

US stocks surge on improving job indicators

US stocks surge on improving job indicatorsNew York, Nov 25 - US stocks jumped Wednesday on some hopeful signs that the country's struggling labour market may be improving.

Weekly claims for unemployment benefits fell to their lowest level since 2008. Indicators that showed a rise in household spending and consumer confidence also helped rally investors.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 150.91 points, or 1.37 percent, to 11,187.28. The broader Standard and Poor's 500 index jumped 17.62 points, or 1.49 percent, to 1,198.35. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index leapt 48.17 points, or 1.93 percent, to 2,543.12.

US stocks tumble as Koreas exchange fire

US stocks tumble as Koreas exchange fireNew York, Nov 24 - US stocks fell sharply amid an exchange of fire on the Korean Peninsula and fresh concerns that the eurozone's debt crisis could spread.

North Korea fired artillery shells at a South Korean island near their disputed western sea border. South Korea returned fire for about one hour, and both sides warned of massive retaliation if there were further attacks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meanwhile warned that the euro was increasingly under after the Irish government was forced to accept a bailout. Investors fear Portugal and Spain could be next.

US stocks fall as Ireland seeks bail-out

US stocks fall as Ireland seeks bail-outNew York, Nov 23 - US stocks fell and the dollar strengthened as Ireland sought outside help with its debt crisis, sparking fears that other eurozone countries might not be far behind.

Ireland formally asked for help Sunday and was in the process of negotiating terms this week with the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said he would dissolve Parliament in the New Year.

Ireland became the second country after Greece to seek a bail-out. Markets are also looking warily at Portugal, Spain and Italy.

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