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December 13, 2012 | By Andrew Tangel, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - Low interest rates pushed down by the Federal Reserve have opened a spigot of easy money to companies with less than sterling credit. The Fed, which signaled Wednesday that it would aggressively keep rates low until unemployment fell below 6.5%, has been pumping billions of dollars into the economy. And the historic rate drops are nudging investors into riskier investments. One place that has attracted investors is the debt of companies with non-investment-grade, or "junk," credit ratings.
March 20, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
It wasn't as breathlessly awaited as the latest iPad or iPhone, but investors may come to appreciate the iDividend just as much. Investors have been clamoring for Apple Inc. to begin making quarterly payouts as the tech giant's stock price has doubled since June and its cash hoard neared $100 billion. The announcement Monday illustrates the importance that investors place on dividends — especially during times of market uncertainty. Pressure from shareholders has prompted American companies to boost dividend payments at a record pace in the last few years, and experts say the trend will continue.
April 28, 2011 | By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times
Writer Jack Canfield, who co-created the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, will sell an oceanfront estate in West Maui, Hawaii, by auction May 12. The suggested opening bid is $7.5 million. Canfield, who makes his primary residence in Santa Barbara, is a key investor in the property, listed at $15.9 million. Called the Jewel of Kahana, the half-acre property has 250 feet of ocean frontage. The main house and two-story detached guest quarters include eight bedroom suites.
December 22, 2011 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Investors cheered when they learned French police had arrested accused Southern California con man Bruce Fred Friedman in the seaside resort town of Cannes. But more than one year later, Friedman remains in France and the hundreds of investors in his alleged Ponzi scheme — authorities pegged it at $228 million — are beginning to wonder whether they'll ever see him in a U.S. courtroom. For more than 13 months, Friedman has opposed efforts to stand trial in Los Angeles. French courts have authorized his extradition to the United States, but the matter now awaits a final decision by the French government, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.
March 10, 2009 | Dawn C. Chmielewski
A group of Walt Disney Co. shareholders wants a say on the wages and benefits paid to the company's executives. The proposal would give Disney investors a nonbinding, advisory vote on the pay packages given to Chief Executive Bob Iger and other top executives. The measure reflects growing investor ire over generous executive compensation.
February 22, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel
Investors have been plowing billions of dollars into stocks this year, but new data show the torrent of money has been slowing this month  - particularly into U.S. equities.  Starting in January, investors began pouring into stocks after President Obama and Congress defused much of the so-called fiscal cliff. The Federal Reserve, meanwhile, has nudged investors into riskier assets like stocks by lowering interest rates and making safer investments less attractive. In the week ending Jan. 16, investors shoved $9.2 billion into equity mutual funds, according to data from the Investment Company Institute.
September 17, 2009 | Walter Hamilton And Tom Petruno and Tiffany Hsu
Dania Leon's portfolio has surged 55% during the stock market's booming rally over the six last months -- and she couldn't be more nervous. After suffering deep losses last year, the 41-year-old Pasadena resident is grateful to recoup some of her money. But she fears that stock prices have shot up far more than is warranted given the country's still-weak economy and nearly double-digit unemployment rate. "I'm scared, I'm scared, I'm scared," Leon said. "Why are we up, especially with unemployment as high as it is?
June 25, 2012 | By Ricardo Lopez
Losing your company $2 billion apparently causes investors to respect you less, according to a recent survey conducted by Barron's. After an investment group within JPMorgan was found to have lost $2 billion in trading, the bank's listing on Barron's annual survey dropped to 49th this year from 14th last year. After the loss, JPMorgan's chief executive apologized for the risky trading before a congressional committee. Apple again took the top spot, even after its leadership changed when Steve Jobs died last fall.
April 11, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
The stock market rose for the first time in six days Wednesday, but the gains were muted and did little to dispel the notion that a deeper sell-off may be underway. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 89.46 points, or 0.7%, to 12,805.39, a welcome reversal from its nearly 500-point decline over the last five trading sessions. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.7%, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 0.8%. An unexpected first-quarter profit from Alcoa Inc.late Tuesday and a slight drop in yields on Spanish and Italian government debt lured buyers.
February 15, 2012 | By Joe Bel Bruno
Wall Street wrapped up its worst day of the year, with the Dow Jones industrial average posting its largest one-day point and percentage drop since Dec. 28. Here's how America's most-watched index is faring: The index fell 97.33 points, or 0.76%, to 12780.95 - its first drop in three trading days. Five of the Dow's 30 components finished higher. The index is down 9.77% from its record close of 14164.53 reached on Oct. 9, 2007; but it is up 95.22% from its 12-year closing low of 6547.
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