February 17, 2014 |
Do hormones drive volatility in world financial markets? According to new research, chronically high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, can alter the behavior of beleaguered financial traders, boosting their risk aversion and inspiring "irrational pessimism. " In a paper published Monday in journal PNAS, researchers found that London financial traders experienced a 68% increase in cortisol levels during periods of market volatility. When researchers reproduced similar levels of chemicals in human subjects in the lab, they observed a "large" change in the study participants's willingness to take on risk.
October 10, 2013 |
Appearing before lawmakers a week before the deadline to raise the debt limit, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew on Thursday warned that the uncertainty caused by the fiscal stalemate was stressing financial markets and could "deeply damage" the economic recovery and "the jobs and savings of millions of Americans. " Lew also forcefully dismissed the idea being pushed by some Republicans that the Treasury could prioritize interest and principal payments to holders of government bonds to prevent a technical default if the $16.7-trillion debt limit isn't raised by Oct. 17. Although President Obama would prefer an increase that would put off another debt limit fight for a while, Lew said the White House was open to approving a short-term increase that would avoid a potential default for a month or so. QUIZ: Test your knowledge about the debt limit But Lew stressed that Congress must raise the debt limit by Oct. 17, when the Treasury will run out of borrowing authority and be dependent on cash on hand and incoming revenues to pay the federal government's bills.
July 9, 1993 |
Blue-chip stocks racked up large gains for the second consecutive session Thursday, buoyed by news of strong retail sales and an upbeat weekly employment report. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 38.75 points to 3,514.42. * The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond sunk to another 16-year low as traders responded favorably to further signs that inflation is in check.
January 1, 2013 |
Global financial markets overcame a torrent of fears in 2012 to post strong gains nearly across the board. Returns on most categories of stock mutual funds were in double digits. The average domestic equity fund generated a total return (price change plus dividend income) of 15%, after losing 2.5% in 2011, according to investment research firm Morningstar Inc. It was the third calendar-year gain in the last four years, as the bull market that began in March 2009 rolled on. Bond mutual funds also posted positive returns as market interest rates continued to slide, boosting the value of older bonds issued at higher rates.
December 27, 2013 |
Wall Street had plenty of reasons to think 2013 would go miserably for the stock market - what with a lackluster global economy, the U.S. government shutdown, Syria's civil war, the Obamacare fiasco and Miley Cyrus. Instead, we're on track for a 29% gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 index, which would be its best annual showing since 1997. So the highlight of the year for many Americans will be the repair job on their retirement savings accounts. But taking a broader view, here are six 2013 market memories that should endure: • Ma and Pa come back to stocks.
April 28, 2010 |
Global financial markets tumbled Tuesday as investor sentiment caved to the worsening government-debt crisis in Europe. The Capitol Hill grilling of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executives on their role in the housing-market meltdown also undercut Wall Street, traders said. Financial shares led the market lower, although Goldman's stock rebounded. U.S. stocks, which Friday had hit 19-month highs, suffered their biggest sell-off since early February. The Dow Jones industrial average slumped 213.04 points, or 1.9%, to 10,991.