Posts by Stacy Curtin
- Stacy Curtin at Daily Ticker8 mths ago
Today, the day before Thanksgiving, is the single busiest travel day of the year, according to AAA's annual travel outlook. But, as if right on cue, mother nature has unleashed a massive and deadly storm that is threatening travel this holiday.
More than 300 flights have been cancelled and nearly 1,000 have been delayed already today, according to Flightstats.com. That follows 284 cancellations yesterday and more than 6,500 delays.
AAA projects that 43.4 million Americans will be traveling this Thanksgiving weekend, down slightly from last year. The majority of those people (38.9 million) will be driving, with the rest of traveling by air (3.14 million).
So what does this deadly storm mean for the economy? In the accompanying clip, Yahoo Finance's Lauren Lyster and Jeff Macke discuss just that.
- Stacy Curtin at Daily Ticker8 mths ago
Investors certainly have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
But where can stocks go from here?
"All things being equal, an accommodative Fed means stocks are going higher," says Michael Holland, chairman of Holland & Company, a private investment firm. "Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen are telling us they are probably still likely to go up and that's the right bet right now."
Graduation season is here!
But instead of planning for a year abroad or embarking on exciting new careers, many new grads are instead paralyzed with fear over a weak job market and crushing debts.
“I am a slave to my student loans and I cannot take it," says Flickr user Rhiannon. She's a 27-year-old graduate of Arizona State University.
Related: Generation I.O.U. Slideshow
In 2011 two-thirds of college seniors graduated with roughly $27,000 in student loan debt. More than 38 million Americans owe more than a combined $1 trillion in outstanding student loans.
If you are a parent or a student, you know that college education costs have skyrocketed in recent years. What you may not know is that the annual cost of a four-year degree has risen three times as fast as the rate of inflation since the 1970s.
Why the U.S. higher education system is broken
What makes this crisis worse is the fact that finding a job after college graduation has becoming increasingly difficult in this tough economy.
Housing data out this week continues to support the case that a recovery is in the making.
Home prices jumped 8.6% and 9.3% since February 2012, according to the latest reading of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index for its 10- and 20-city composites. Those are the biggest gains since 2006.
Pending home sales for March also ticked up 1.5% to the highest level in three years, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Rick Newman, the chief business correspondent for U.S. News and World Report, sat down with The Daily Ticker's Lauren Lyster at the 2013 Milken Institute Global Conference to discuss what's driving the housing market.
The Federal Reserve begins its two-day policy-making meeting today and not much news is expected, as has been the case ahead of many of the most recent meetings.
The central bank has clearly stated it will continue its $85 billion per month bond-buying program until the unemployment rate drops to 6.5% and as long as inflation remains stable. The jobless rate for fell from 7.7% to 7.6% in March and remains well above the Fed's threshold for drawing back its monetary stimulus.
That said, inflation has been falling and may be even more reason for the Fed to continue its current program. The Wall Street Journal's Jon Hilsenrath details as much in a recent article:
Gold prices have finally stabilized after falling roughly 11% over the last week.
The yellow metal closed Thursday up 1.84% to $1,417 an ounce.
The reason for the recent drop in gold prices is unclear but some cite Cyprus selling its gold to cover the cost of its bailout as a factor or central bank manipulation.
Barry Ritholtz of Fusion IQ made a prescient call last December when he sold all his gold. He has recently been writing on his The Big Picture blog about the "New Great Rotation" from commodities into bonds (versus the "old rotation" from stocks to bonds).
CEO pay was 354 times that of the average worker last year, according to the AFL-CIO's new Executive PayWatch database. The labor group asserts that this is "by far the largest pay gap in the world."
In 2012, the chief executives of some of the country's largest companies earned an average of $12.3 million in compensation compared to the average worker who took home a salary of $34,645.
“American chief executives continued to do very well for themselves last year, while workers struggle to make ends meet,” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO. “We are calling out the hypocrisy of rich CEOs who have the gall to ask for corporate tax cuts to be paid for by squeezing the retirement security of working America. The American public deserves to know the truth about their self-serving agenda.”
The three executives who earned the most last year, according to the AFL-CIO, include:
That is too much, says Heidi Moore, economics editor at The Guardian, and something must be done to knock down this notion of the "imperial CEO."
The last financial crisis catapulted the U.S. economy into the worse recession since the Great Depression. Since then, much time and discourse has been dedicated to blaming the big banks for engaging in risky business.
Michael Pettis, finance professor at Peking University in Beijing and senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, recently wrote in the Financial Times that reckless banking is actually good for economic growth.
"No growing economy has sustained a stable financial system. In fact, long-term wealth creation accrues most to societies in which the financial system most willingly funds risk-taking entrepreneurs. But the more a financial system is willing to finance risky new ventures, the greater the likelihood of banking instability. That, perhaps, is why the system that delivered the subprime crisis also funded the computing and internet revolutions."
Even though the S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) are hovering at all-time highs, Chris Martenson, author of PeakProsperity.com and the “Crash Course” Series, is forecasting a major market correction.
Martenson predicts the S&P could fall 40% to 60% to the 600-800 level by this fall. His last major market call was in March 2008, before the financial crisis.
"I see recessionary signs all over the landscape. In particular, Europe is already in recession [and] Japan is already in recession," he says. "We are looking at global economic slowdown."
While the American economy may continue to be sending investors mixed signals about a potential recovery, famed short-seller Jim Chanos still believes the U.S. is "the best house in a bad neighborhood." He's been bullish on U.S. markets for three years.
"Boy the U.S. market has gone up quite a bit since then," says Chanos of his prediction. "A lot of what we thought might happen three years ago has sort of now been reflected in prices."