March 3, 2013 |
Stocks' rally since 2008 has been underpinned by a resurgence of corporate earnings. But now what? Year-over-year earnings growth slowed sharply in the second half of 2012 from the torrid pace of 2010 and 2011, when the global economy was in the first phase of its rebound from the 2008 crash. Most of the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index have reported their fourth-quarter 2012 results. Overall, operating earnings for the S&P 500 firms are on pace to rise 6% from the final quarter of 2011, according to data tracker Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
March 1, 2013 |
The Dow Jones industrial average is within striking distance of a new record. Still. In what has become a near-daily ritual, the world's best-known stock index inched closer to an all-time high Friday but stopped short once again. The Dow climbed 35 points to rise for the second straight week. That marked a fresh five-year high and the third-best close of all time. But whether it's the budget stalemate in Washington or the typical jitters that precede such milestones, the blue chips couldn't push into new high ground.
February 28, 2013 |
Herbalife Ltd. said it will add two more directors to its board and allow them to be picked by billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, who is now one of the nutritional product maker's biggest shareholders. Icahn has backed Herbalife in its fight against hedge fund manager William Ackman, who accused the Los Angeles company in December of operating a pyramid scheme. The two famed Wall Street investors have been taking swipes at each other for weeks. Herbalife also announced that Icahn has the right to increase his stake in Herbalife to 25% from the nearly 14% he disclosed last month.
February 25, 2013 |
ROME - After more than a year of stable but unelected government, Italy appeared headed for a period of uncertainty Monday as results from a closely watched election showed a major backlash against the political establishment and signs of gridlock in Parliament. An inconclusive outcome threatens to unnerve investors and spark a flare-up of Europe's debt crisis. Investors are worried that prolonged instability in Italy could compromise efforts to improve competitiveness and to turn around a lingering recession in the Eurozone's third-largest economy.
February 22, 2013 |
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.
February 21, 2013 |
Activist investors have succeeded for the first time in placing a shareholder resolution on the risks of greenhouse-gas emissions up for a vote at a major bank, a step toward making climate change an important consideration for corporations. The resolution, which follows years of protests over banks financing certain coal operations, is to be included in proxy material being sent to shareholders of PNC Financial Services Group of Pittsburgh before the bank's April 23 annual meeting.
February 20, 2013 |
Herbalife Ltd. Chief Executive Michael Johnson said the company has had "short discussions" with billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who last week disclosed that he had purchased 13% of the company's stock and would consider efforts to take the company private. Johnson, speaking to analysts in a conference call Wednesday morning, did not elaborate. "Yes, we've had short discussions with Mr. Icahn but beyond that nothing concrete to discuss," Johnson said. Icahn and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman have engaged in a public battle about the value of Herbalife, a Los Angeles maker of weight loss and nutritional products.
February 16, 2013 |
Bill Sepe has gotten used to rejection. The 28-year-old Rancho Cucamonga native has put in nearly 200 unsuccessful offers since August on Inland Empire homes, varying from typical suburban ranches to classic craftsman homes. All this anguish comes in pursuit of a modest home in the exurb of San Bernardino County, the epicenter of the Southern California housing crash. Plummeting values here sparked a vicious wave of foreclosures. But it's precisely because prices fell so far here that Sepe can't buy a house now. In a sharp irony, many would-be homeowners in hard-hit markets can't compete with a flood of all-cash offers from investors, some backed by Wall Street war chests.
February 14, 2013 |
Federal agents arrested 14 people, including a former deputy district attorney, on suspicion of running a stock manipulation scheme from Southern California that cost investors more than $30 million. Authorities said the scheme involved the heavy promotion of worthless stocks, which the perpetrators later sold for huge profits in a classic "pump-and-dump" scheme. More than 20,000 investors worldwide are believed to have been victims. Investigators with the FBI and Internal Revenue Service used wiretaps to secretly record thousands of telephone calls and text messages during a three-year investigation, building what U.S. Atty.
February 14, 2013 |
Small investors should beware of rising interest rates, a regulatory group warned Thursday. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued an “investor alert” warning individuals that their fixed-income holdings could lose value if interest rates rise. With interest rates hovering near record lows, a wide range of experts worry that small investors are not prepared - financially or emotionally - for the eventual likelihood that rates will rise. In general, an increase in the rates being paid on newly issued bonds, such as popular U.S. Treasury securities, erodes the value of older bonds.