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BUSINESS
December 10, 2012 | By Andrew Tangel
NEW YORK -- Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's announcement that he would soon step down spooked the country's financial markets Monday, highlighting the European economy's continuing fragility. Italy's benchmark FTSE MIB stock index dropped 345 points, or 2.2%, to 15,354. Yields on the country's 10-year bond, meanwhile, jumped -- a sign of investor worry. The 10-year note saw its largest intra-day increase since September 2011, according to Tradeweb, with yields closing at 4.83%, up from 4.55% at Friday's close.
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SCIENCE
February 17, 2014 | By Monte Morin
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.
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BUSINESS
October 10, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
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.
BUSINESS
December 27, 2013 | By Tom Petruno
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.
SCIENCE
February 17, 2014 | By Monte Morin
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.
BUSINESS
October 10, 1987
Government securities markets will be closed Monday for the Columbus Day holiday. Stock exchanges will be open but most commercial banks and many businesses will close.
BUSINESS
January 1, 2013 | By Tom Petruno
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.
BUSINESS
July 9, 1993 | Highlights of Thursday's market activity, compiled from Times staff and wire reports:
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.
BUSINESS
December 27, 2013 | By Tom Petruno
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.
BUSINESS
April 28, 2010 | Tom Petruno
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.
BUSINESS
November 20, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve policymakers, expecting to pull back on their bond-buying stimulus "in coming months," are considering keeping short-term interest rates quite low for quite a while, among other options to try to support what they see as a moderately improving economy. Financial markets have been intensely anticipating signs for when the Fed might start reducing its $85-billion-a-month purchase of Treasury and mortgage securities, a program aimed at holding down long-term interest rates.
WORLD
November 13, 2013 | By Barbara Demick, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
BEIJING -- Financial markets, economists and even one amateur limerick writer gave the thumbs down to the new Chinese Communist Party leadership's long-awaited platform on economic reform. Although a communiqué issued Tuesday night at the close of the four-day party plenum hailed the “decisive” role played by markets, the financial markets didn't return the compliment. From Hong Kong to Shanghai to Seoul, Asia benchmark indexes slumped on disappointment that the plenum had failed to live up to its advance billing of ushering in market-oriented reforms.
BUSINESS
October 30, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve maintained its massive bond-buying stimulus program at the current level, citing still-high unemployment, a slowdown in the housing market and an economy held back by fiscal policies.  At the end of a two-day meeting Wednesday, the Fed said in a release that it would keep buying $85 billion of Treasury bonds and mortgage securities a month, in a bid to suppress long-term interest rates and spur economic and job...
BUSINESS
October 16, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel
NEW YORK -- Stocks rallied and bond yields eased as Washington edged closer to defusing its latest fiscal crisis and averting a default on U.S. debt. Major U.S. stock indexes gained 1% as Congress appeared poised to pass a Senate-led compromise that would raise the United States' borrowing authority and reopen the federal government.  The Dow Jones industrial average surged 205.82 points, or 1.4%, to close at 15,373.83. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 23.48 points, or 1.4%, to 1,721.54.
BUSINESS
October 15, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn and Andrew Tangel
SAN FRANCISCO - Twitter Inc. is moving full speed ahead with its initial public offering even as the world braces for the possibility of a U.S. debt default that would roil financial markets and hurt the stock's debut. The micro-blogging service said Tuesday that it would list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, handing a major victory to the Big Board over its rival, the Nasdaq Stock Market. Also, Twitter could kick off its road show to market the IPO to investors in the last week of October, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss it publicly.
BUSINESS
October 14, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - Five years after the U.S. financial crisis helped cause a deep global recession, foreign leaders are worried that history is going to repeat itself. The fiscal impasse that has partially shut the federal government now threatens to trigger a U.S. default that would roil financial markets worldwide, leading an agitated China to suggest replacing the dollar as the international reserve currency. "As U.S. politicians of both political parties are still shuffling back and forth between the White House and the Capitol Hill without striking a viable deal to bring normality to the body politic they brag about, it is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world," China's official state-run news agency, Xinhua, said in an English-language commentary Sunday.
BUSINESS
June 16, 1989 | From Reuters
Stock prices collapsed in late trading to close with the biggest one-day drop this year Thursday on selling linked to currency and interest rate worries. The key 225-share Nikkei index plunged 489.90 points, or 1.47%, to close at the day's low of 32,913.09, after gaining 189.44 points Wednesday.
BUSINESS
April 7, 1997 | From Reuters
After struggling through one of the most volatile weeks in recent memory, U.S. financial markets should calm early this week before tackling another round of data and an advance batch of first-quarter earnings reports. Last week, the Dow industrials shed more than 214 points--the fourth-largest weekly point loss total in New York Stock Exchange history--while bond yields edged up to their highest level in seven months. The Dow Jones industrial average closed Friday at 6526.07 points, up 48.72.
BUSINESS
October 10, 2013 | Jim Puzzanghera and Don Lee
The Federal Reserve appeared poised a few weeks ago to start pulling back on its unprecedented support for the economy, but surprisingly stopped short out of fear the recovery still was too fragile. That was before the budget stalemate boiled over in Washington. Now, with the federal government partially shut down and a looming debt-limit deadline threatening financial market chaos, analysts said it's highly unlikely that Fed policymakers will reduce their stimulus efforts when they meet at the end of this month.
BUSINESS
October 10, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel
NEW YORK -- Stocks rallied more than 1% in early trading amid reports that Washington lawmakers and President Obama may resume negotiations to avert a U.S. government default. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 200.63 points, or 1.4%, to 15,003.61 shortly after the opening bell on Wall Street. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 24.02 points, or 1.5%, to 1,680.42. The tech-focused Nasdaq composite index gained 61.69 points, or 1.7%, to 3,739.47. While stocks have not plunged into a 17% correction as they did when Washington last flirted with default, major U.S. indexes have fallen about 4% over the last three weeks.
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