December 20th, 2014
On Thursday, U.S. stocks surged to extend a Federal Reserve-fueled rally from the previous session. The surge also gave the S&P 500 its best two-day advance in three years.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve expressed its commitment to take a “patient” approach toward raising interest rates while signaling it was on track to raise rates in 2015. Analysts said Fed’s announcement offered relief and clarity to investors over the policy outlook.
The S&P 500 posted its biggest daily percentage gain since January 2013. The Dow jumped 421 points and recorded the best one-day percentage gain since December 2011. “The anxiety over the Fed meeting has abated for now, with the Fed using that word ‘patient’,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial, which is based in Newark, New Jersey. “You had the beginning of the proverbial Santa Claus rally.” “Some of those who were caught in the meat grinder of what happened with energy … may be wanting to make up for performance now,” Krosby said.
“What happened this week was a game-changer. That easy money trade came to the forefront, and it’s so powerful it wipes out all of these concerns that exist,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 421.28 points, or 2.43 percent, to 17,778.15, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 48.34 points, or 2.4 percent, to 2,061.23 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 104.08 points, or 2.24 percent, to 4,748.40.
November 27th, 2014
Tutoring is a viable option for parents who want academic assistance for their children outside of the classroom. This is where online tutoring or internet tutoring comes into the picture.
This innovative form of educational learning can happen anytime and this is the greatest advantage of online tutoring. Your child is not expected to wait until a scheduled time and day to clear his or her doubts or problems. Moreover, he or she can get instant educational assistance and feedback so that problematic areas of study can be corrected at the earliest.
By doing this, the online tutor encourages the child to raise questions and learn easy-to-follow techniques that in turn promotes good scores. In other words, internet tutoring is all about assisting your child academically by working around his or her busy schedule so that he or she gets good marks. In addition to these advantages, the online form of tutoring saves a valuable time and effort that may have been otherwise spent on commuting. Since the child learns from the tutor from his or her own home, the child feels at ease while the online tutor is imparting subject lessons.
These benefits of online tutoring surely make it the most effective and convenient educational option for students across the world.
November 24th, 2014
U.S. President Barack Obama imposed the most sweeping immigration reform in a generation. By doing this, President Obama eased the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and setting up a clash with Republicans.
Obama, in a White House speech, rejected critics from the Republican party who remarked his decision to bypass Congress and take executive action is tantamount to amnesty for illegal immigrants. Obama urged Republican critics to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has blocked.
“Today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it,” Obama said. “It’s been this way for decades. And for decades we haven’t done much about it.”
The plan of Obama would let some 4.4 million who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents remain in the United States on a temporarily basis, without the threat of deportation. There are about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. The measure would apply to those who have been in the United States for at last five years.
In his speech, Obama said that the real amnesty would be “leaving this broken system the way it is.” Trying to deport all 11 million people living in the country illegally was not realistic, he added.
“What I’m describing is accountability, a common-sense, middle-ground approach,” he said. “If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.”
November 6th, 2014
On Tuesday, Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters clashed with police in the densely populated district of Mong Kok. These @Hong Kong protests marked tensions escalating at one of three remaining demonstration sites for the first time in more than two weeks.
Hundreds of protesters were swept by dozens of police armed with batons and shields. Led by a restive generation of students, the protestors are asking China’s Communist Party rulers to fulfill its constitutional promises to grant full democracy to the city which returned to Chinese rule in 1997. In August, the people of Hong Kong were offered a chance by Beijing to vote for their own leader in 2017 but China said only two to three candidates could run after getting backing from a 1,200-person “nominating committee” stacked with Beijing loyalists.
Pro-democracy activists are planning to march this Sunday from the heart of the city’s financial center to the Chinese central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong. Protestors have barricaded important roads leading into Hong Kong’s most economically and politically important districts with wood and steel. The 2014 Hong Kong protests are primarily concentrated in two key areas – the district of Admiralty next to government buildings and across the harbor in Mong Kok.
“The central government firmly supports the Hong Kong government to push ahead the city’s democratic development,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei. “We hope different parties in Hong Kong could discuss the matter reasonably, build consensus and implement the election based on the laws.” “The central government firmly supports the Hong Kong government to push ahead the city’s democratic development,” said spokesman Hong Lei. “We hope different parties in Hong Kong could discuss the matter reasonably, build consensus and implement the election based on the laws.”
October 22nd, 2014
On Friday, Asian stocks clawed back some of the losses of this week after a robust set of U.S. data claimed turbulence in global financial markets. However, investors were kept on edge with underlying worries about slowing world economic growth.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS gained 0.2 percent but the Nikkei share average .N225 fell 0.5 percent to 4-1/2-month lows.
“We need to see a period of better data from the U.S., and especially Europe, for markets to really calm and volatility to cool,” said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Markets in Melbourne.
“People still think the U.S. economy is on solid ground. But they don’t think it is strong enough to lead the global economy,” said Hiroshi Ono, the head of equity investment at Sumitomo Life.
On Monday, the Volatility index .VIX, which is viewed as a gauge of investor fears, eased to 25.2 percent from a 2 1/2 year high above 31 percent hit.
“I expect market volatility to gradually to come down. Loss-cutting trades will come to an end soon after a hectic week and markets will be looking to what kind of policy options major countries can adopt now,” said Makoto Noji, senior strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities.
On Wednesday, the U.S. dollar also recovered, with the dollar index stabilizing at 84.950 .DXY, off a three-week low of 84.472 hit. “It was largely a cool-down session, spiced up by solid U.S. data and a surprisingly dovish comment from Fed member Bullard,” analysts at CitiFx wrote in a note to clients.
October 4th, 2014
China is facing growing pressure from the United States to show restraint during mass pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong issue is also expected to be raised in high-level U.S.-Chinese talks.
Secretary of State John Kerry would discuss the issue with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi a day after the United States backed calls by thousands of Hong Kong for greater autonomy in selecting candidates for Hong Kong’s chief executive.
“I expect it will come up,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said to reporters, referring to the @Hong Kong protests. “It is in the news. It is an issue we are concerned about and focused on.” Psaki said he believes Kerry will ask that the legitimacy of the Hong Kong chief executive would be enhanced if people have a genuine choice of candidates.
The protesters have called on chief executive Leung Chun-ying to step down and are demanding full democracy. A month ago, Beijing ruled it would vet candidates wishing to run for the leadership of Hong Kong in 2014.
The chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Robert Menendez, accused Beijing of “reneging on the promises it made to the people of Hong Kong.”
“I write today to express my grave concerns over current events in Hong Kong,” in a toughly worded letter to Leung, Menendez said, urging Leung “to exercise your leadership to guarantee that your citizens, the people of Hong Kong, receive the full democratic rights and freedoms that they have been promised and which they deserve.”
September 19th, 2014
In a historic referendum, Scotland spurned independence in a huge for millions of Britons including Prime Minister David Cameron.
The referendum threatened to rip the United Kingdom apart and cause financial turmoil in Britain. A vote for the 307-year union was greeted by unionist who cheered, kissed, and drank wine at a party in Glasgow. Nationalist leader Alex Salmond conceded defeat in front of an image of a giant white on blue Scottish flag in Edinburgh.
“Scotland has by a majority decided not, at this stage, to become an independent country. I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all of Scotland to follow suit in accepting the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland,” Salmond said. Salmond added British politicians in London must respect their last minute promise of more powers for Scotland. “Scotland will expect these to be honored in rapid course,” he said before walking off the stage.
“We have chosen unity over division, and positive change rather than needless separation,” Alistair Darling, head of the “Better Together” campaign and a former British finance minister.
Scots were asked to answer “Yes” or “No” to the question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” Voters lined up at polling stations to vote with 4.28 million voters, or 97 percent of the electorate, registered to vote.
The prospect of breaking up the world’s sixth-largest economy had stoked concern in the United States and Europe. Washington made clear it wanted the United Kingdom, its main ally in Europe, to remain together.
“The risk of huge disruption from Scottish independence is gone. Not for good, given the still high support for a No in the polls, but for a considerable time,” said Robert Wood, economist at Berenberg Bank. “For now markets can return to normal.”
September 1st, 2014
Caixabank will buy the Spanish retail and corporate banking operations of Barclays. Caixabank, Spain’s third-biggest lender and one of the most acquisitive banks during the recent financial crisis would be paying 800 million euros ($1.05 billion) for the Barclays businesses.
This deal also includes wealth management and marks one of the first big steps in the bid of Barclays to exit most of its European retail banking businesses. This move is made after Chief Executive Antony Jenkins embarked on a turnaround plan to try and lift profitability.
In the next three years, Barclays will make thousands of job cuts as part of the restructuring. Barclays recently remarked it wants to refocus on its British and African businesses, credit cards, and investment banking in Britain and the United States. “We remain on track to rebalance Barclays,” Jenkins said in a statement on the sale.
It said Barclays will make a loss after tax on the sale of about 500 million pounds, with 400 million pounds of that to be reported in the 3rd quarter of 2014 and the rest on completion of the deal.
Earlier this year, Barclays parked its retail banking operations in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal in a “bad bank” so they could be sold, separated or floated. Caixabank will be taking on a 270 branch network and nearly 2,400 from Barclays, as well as 550,000 retail and private banking clients. Caixabank said the announced price was set on a value of the whole business of 1.7 billion euros as a whole.
July 31st, 2014
The New Zealand dollar skidded to a low of six weeks on July 24 after central bank of the country decided to follow a wait-and-see stance following its fourth straight rate hike. On the other hand, the Australian dollar rose after a survey showed the factory sector of China expanded at its fastest pace in 18 months.
The kiwi dollar dropped nearly a full U.S. cent to touch levels not seen since June 12. The Australian dollar, which is often used as a proxy for the economic performance of China, touched a high of three weeks of $0.9480 and last traded at $0.9463.
In July, the HSBC/Markit Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 52.0 that is its highest since January 2013.
“Long positions in the pound and antipodean currencies were unwound at the height of concerns towards tensions in the Ukraine, but such moves are winding down with the market now more immune to geopolitical risk,” said Kyosuke Suzuki, director of forex at Societe Generale in Tokyo.
“Under such conditions participants are opting again for the pound, Aussie and dollar, which could benefit from the next round of economic indicators. This leaves the euro as the sole bear currency,” he said.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) raised its cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.5 percent early and remarked the economy appeared to be responding to higher rates as intended.
“Perhaps the main surprise was the language regarding the high NZD exchange rate. ‘There is potential for a significant fall’ opens to interpretation as a veiled intervention threat,” said Imre Speizer, senior strategist at Westpac in Auckland.
July 10th, 2014
On last Thursday, the holiday-shortened session of Wall Street ended with multiple records with the Dow Jones Industrial Average topping 17,000 for the first time after the June jobs report came in much stronger than expected. The Dow and S&P 500 ended at their third consecutive record highs.
Since 2000, the Nasdaq closed at its highest and rose for a third straight week. Regular trading ended at 1 p.m. on the day before the Independence Day holiday, when the U.S. stock market will be closed.
The U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in June, racing past the 212,000 that economists had expected.
“The report was very good and a real sign the economy is starting to take off,” said David Kelly, chief global strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds in New York, which has about $450 billion in assets under management. “That said, it isn’t an unmixed positive for the market because it suggests the Fed will consider raising rates in the first quarter.”
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 92.02 points or 0.54 percent, to 17,068.26. The S&P 500 .SPX gained 10.82 points or 0.55 percent, to 1,985.44. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 28.19 points or 0.63 percent, to 4,485.93.
The Dow Jones Transportation Average .DJT closed at a record 8,294.74, after hitting an intraday all-time high at 8,298.17.