July 16, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Goldman Sachs doubled its profit in the second quarter as the financial giant saw surges in investment banking and trading. The New York-based banking giant said it earned $1.9 billion in the second quarter, up from $962 million the same period a year ago. Earnings per share of $3.70, up from $1.78 from the second quarter last year, easily beat expectations. Analysts had estimated earnings per share of $2.83, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters. QUIZ: How much do you know about the stock market?
July 16, 2013 |
Swift rising home prices, bidding wars, investors flush with cash. Bubble you say? Not so fast, according to a new report. Real estate information firm CoreLogic said Tuesday that a bubble has not formed in the U.S. housing market, nor in hot regional markets, adding that rising interest rates will put a brake on any danger. Southern California's housing recovery: An interactive map Freddie Mac said last week that lenders were offering a 30-year fixed mortgage at an average rate of 4.51%, up from a 3.31% record low last fall.
July 11, 2013 |
The stock market streaked to new highs Thursday as investors remained hopeful that the Federal Reserve's easy money policies will continue to drive the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index, the two most widely followed market barometers, jumped a day after Fed chief Ben S. Bernanke gave the clearest sign yet that the central bank will maintain its stimulus programs. Investors were spooked when Bernanke hinted last month that the Fed may end a bond buying program widely credited with spurring the long-sluggish economic recovery.
July 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve policymakers appear to be deeply split on how quickly to pull back their $85 billion a month bond-buying stimulus. An account of the central bank's last meeting in mid-June shows that about half of the Fed officials believe the bond-purchase program should be halted by the end of the year. A few participants even wanted to see the purchases slowed or stopped at the last meeting, said the minutes, released Wednesday with the usual three-week lag. That would be much sooner than what most investors are expecting -- and ahead of the time frame outlined by Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke.
July 10, 2013
By Michael A. Memoli WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats failed again Wednesday to pass their plan to lower the interest rate for some college loans, forcing lawmakers to choose between adopting another plan many consider burdensome for students or leaving the current higher rates temporarily in effect, to their own political detriment. A bloc of Republicans - joined by Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Angus King (I-Me.) - voted against a procedural step that would have cleared the way for the Senate to approve a plan to reinstate lower interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans for one year.
July 9, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Antonya Bruno, a senior at Howard University, has used the maximum amount of federal loans over the last three years to help pay her steadily climbing tuition. "It's been very helpful," she said, happy that she has avoided taking out more expensive private loans. Because of a political stalemate, however, Bruno will see the interest rate on her new loans double to 6.8% unless Congress can pass a retroactive fix. It could add $1,000 over the life of her loans, and cost new students four times as much.
July 5, 2013 |
Wall Street has preferred to call the recent rebound in long-term interest rates a "wake-up call. " But to some bond investors it's apparently more like a five-alarm fire. As rising interest rates have pushed down the value of older bonds in the last two months, the share prices of popular bond mutual funds have slumped. Case in point: Shares of the Pimco Total Return Bond fund have dropped 6.4% since May 2. The losses aren't on the scale of what happened to stocks in 2008-09, when that market plunged nearly 50% in six months.
July 2, 2013 |
Interest rates on some student loans doubled to nearly 7% Tuesday after Congress failed to reach a last-minute compromise. The interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans jumped from 3.4% to 6.8% but could be reduced when lawmakers return from the Fourth of July holiday. Lawmakers from both parties, as well as the White House, vowed to lower that rate before students start signing loan documents this fall. The rate now stands higher than that of most loans available from private lenders, the Associated Press reported.
June 28, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. senators headed home for a Fourth of July recess without passing a bill that would prevent interest rates from doubling on student loans next week, leading to a ramp-up of political finger-pointing. Last year, Democrats used the looming increase in the cost of student loans to great political effect, pressuring Republicans in an election year and rallying young voters in support of President Obama's campaign. Now, as a temporary extension of discounted interest rates is set to lapse, Democrats are at odds with one another over the issue, with the party's leaders privately grumbling about a White House proposal nearer to Republicans' solution than their own. So Republicans are happily turning the political heat on Democrats.
June 28, 2013 |
Congress racked up another F this week, failing to stop a looming increase in student loan interest rates that both parties say they oppose. Friday will be the last day for college students of modest means to obtain a federal loan at the ultra-low interest rate of 3.4%, at least for a while. The rate jumps to 6.8% Monday for new subsidized Stafford loans, a type of loan available only to students from low- and moderate-income families. Lawmakers missed the interest rate deadline despite the fact that they had a pair of thoughtful proposals for how to proceed.