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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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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown has both Democrats and Republicans on board with the broad outlines of his plan for stockpiling some cash and paying off debt. But as the special legislative session Brown called on the issue opened Thursday, it was clear that, as lawmakers like to say, the devil could be in the details. Republicans, whose votes the Democratic governor needs to place his measure on the fall ballot, want tighter controls on the reserve fund than the governor has proposed.
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BUSINESS
December 17, 2012 | By Chris O'Brien
Another day, another few billion dollars of Apple's market cap bounced around like a ping-pong ball by the stock market. After flirting with the $500 barrier early in trading on Monday, the stock rebounded and was up 0.48% to $ 512.25 in mid-day trading. The gut-wrenching ride seemed to be driven by the usual mixed bag of data points.  PHOTO TIMELINE: Apple, from Foxconn uprising to a Mini roll-out It's become almost routine, as I wrote over the weekend in a story that tried to explain the extraordinary economic impact and volatility of Apple's stock . But there was a related question that people discussed in the reporting of that story that I didn't include:  Is there anything Apple could do to reduce the volatility of its stock?
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
February 27, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
The Dow's run toward 13,000 may not be the biggest surprise in the stock market this year. The sharp drop in volatility is just as unexpected. After barely budging last week, the Dow Jones industrial average resumed its effort Monday to permanently vault past past 13,000. It pierced that level briefly last week but has yet to close above it. After overcoming an early-morning sell-off, it's a smidge over 13,000 at the moment. The assault on 13,000 has made it easy to overlook the big drop in volatility.
BUSINESS
December 12, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - First-time jobless claims surged last week to a two-month high after plunging to near a six-year low the previous week, highlighting the volatility of the data during the holiday season, the Labor Department said Thursday. About 368,000 people filed for initial unemployment benefits in the week ending Saturday, up from a revised 300,000 in the previous week. Economists believed the earlier figure was artificially low because of the Thanksgiving holiday that week.
BUSINESS
January 4, 2005 |
There's a tug of war in the financial markets between investors who believe the economy is on its way to a strong recovery and those who believe a rebound will be slow and bumpy. The result: a spate of volatility in stock trading that will probably continue this week. "That wide divergence in opinion can lead to wide swings in market prices," said Greg Walker, an investment strategist in JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s private banking division. For several weeks, upbeat investors have dominated the market, helping stocks move higher.
BUSINESS
August 11, 2011 | By Nathaniel Popper, Los Angeles Times
Wall Street's gut-wrenching turbulence in the last six trading days has sent many investors into a state of paralysis, watching helplessly as the Dow Jones industrial average swoons 520 points one day only to soar 430 the next. Many American's can't help but make the comparisons to the financial crisis of 2008. This kind of whipsaw stock trading triggers panic and torpedoes confidence, leading many to abandon stocks altogether. The Dow roared 423 points higher Thursday to 11,143.31 — the 11th-largest gain in the blue-chip index's history.
BUSINESS
December 27, 1987 | CHARLES WOLF JR., CHARLES WOLF JR. directs RAND Corp.'s research in international economic policy and is dean of the RAND Graduate School
At a time when computerized program trading is a favored bete noire in explaining the market's Oct. 19 debacle, it may come as a surprise to suggest that another form of computerized trading may be a partial remedy for excessive market volatility. Nonetheless, the securities industry could benefit from an innovation in communications technology that already is used widely in banking--the automated teller machine, or ATM.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 1, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
Volatility at Universal Pictures, particularly the huge loss the studio is taking on "Battleship," has kept NBC Universal from a steady performance this year, the chief executive of its parent company Comcast Corp. said at an investors' conference Friday. After noting that the NBC Universal had a 34% increase in operating cash flow during the first quarter driven in part by the success of films "The Lorax"and "Safe House,"Brian Roberts said the Comcast-owned media conglomerate that also operates television networks and theme parks is now facing a "negative quarter.
BUSINESS
December 12, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - First-time jobless claims surged last week to a two-month high after plunging to near a six-year low the previous week, highlighting the volatility of the data during the holiday season, the Labor Department said Thursday. About 368,000 people filed for initial unemployment benefits in the week ending Saturday, up from a revised 300,000 in the previous week. Economists believed the earlier figure was artificially low because of the Thanksgiving holiday that week.
SCIENCE
November 15, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Four billion years ago, rivers and lakes dotted the surface of Mars, their waters reflecting puffy clouds drifting in a blue sky, scientists believe. Now, it's a dry, rusty rock that's subject to fierce sandstorms, withering blasts of radiation and freezing temperatures that have frozen carbon dioxide to the planet's poles. What happened? That's the question NASA seeks to answer with the scheduled launch Monday of the MAVEN spacecraft. Planetary scientists believe the answer lies high in the Martian atmosphere.
SPORTS
October 23, 2013 | By Chris Foster
  Mike Bellotti, former head coach at Oregon, can pick out the defensive coordinator on any Pac-12 Conference football staff. "They have a very high stress rate and a lot of gray hairs," Bellotti said. The reason is clear: In 2004, there were 29 major college teams that averaged 30 or more points per game. Now there are 62. The challenge is especially difficult in the Pac-12, where a smorgasbord of offenses ranges from the tempo-obsessed spreads to the traditional meat-grinder approach.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 2013 | By Susan King
Gilles Legrand's harrowing psychological drama "You Will Be My Son," which opened Wednesday, is a study in contrasts. Set in a lush French vineyard estate in Saint-Émilion near Bordeaux, the film captures the beauty and bouquet of the legendary wine region. But behind the walls of the estate lurks a dark ugliness: Paul de Marseul (Niels Arestrup), the passionate, brilliant winemaker with the heart of a monster who treats his mild-mannered grown son Martin (Lorànt Deutsch) like a dog. Though his son has tried all his life to please his widower father, Paul doesn't think Martin has what it takes to take over the family business.
NATIONAL
September 10, 2013 | By Tina Susman
New York City voters began deciding Tuesday who should become their next mayor after a volatile primary campaign that touched on everything from civil rights to kittens, with no shortage of scandal mixed in thanks to the candidacy of disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner. The big question to be answered in this primary is whether any of the Democrats will win 40% of the vote to avoid a runoff next month before the general election in November. The most recent polls indicate that Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate, could do just that if he's able to win over Democrats who remain undecided.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 11, 2013 | By Melanie Mason and Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - State lawmakers, back from their summer break and starting their final month in session, have a lengthy to-do list that features such politically volatile issues as environmental rules, gun control and immigration. Some 1,100 bills - about 275 a week, or 55 a day - require action before the Legislature adjourns Sept. 13 if they are to become law by the beginning of next year. Among them are proposals to relax California's landmark environmental quality law; place restrictions on the controversial oil extraction method known as fracking; and grant new benefits to those in the country illegally.
BUSINESS
April 19, 1998
I am not a professional economist, but I have a theory about our unprecedented and, apparently, permanent bull market. It seems to me that the traditional criteria by which stock prices are determined --earnings, quality of management, etc.--have been superseded by simple supply and demand. Twice each month, millions of baby boomers, having sated their appetites for homes, cars and espresso machines and facing for the first time the reality of eventual retirement, are stashing the maximum allowable into tax-deferred mutual funds.
BUSINESS
September 29, 2010
Wall Street took a breather from a month-long rally Wednesday, with investors bracing for higher volatility going forward as the best quarter in a year nears its end. The S&P 500 is up 9.1 percent in September, traditionally a weak month for stocks, as investors anticipate the Federal Reserve will take extra steps to spur economic activity. Still, the VIX futures show the options market has a very high level of skepticism about this rally. "There is still an elevated bid as traders position themselves for a higher expectation of volatility," said Steve Place, a founder of InvestingWithOptions.
SPORTS
May 23, 2013 | By Steve Dilbeck
Now Wednesday was an interesting little day, no? Yet oddly, the one guy who came out of the brouhaha looking the best was Andre Ethier. That would be the often volatile Ethier, the player who's been known to smash helmets after strikeouts, snap at reporters, flip the bird to photographers and just generally be handicapped by his own emotions. Not Wednesday, though. Not this year, really. Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly called out his team for lack of mental toughness before Wednesday's game, and specifically Ethier, whom he benched against a right-handed starter.
BUSINESS
May 18, 2013 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
Call it retirement anxiety, or maybe recession obsession. For all of their married life, Patrick Webster, 63, and Susie Martin, 54, have been extremely frugal. Webster and Martin, who both work at Marymount College in Rancho Palos Verdes, have been stashing away their combined income at an enviable rate - more than 25% - for retirement. Together they have more than $1 million in investments and no debt. But rather than feeling reasonably secure about their financial future, they dread a return of hard times.
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