Money Matters - Simplified


Crude oil prices top $85 per barrel

New York -- Crude oil prices rose in early trading Monday, climbing above $85 per barrel as stock markets showed gains in Asia and Europe.

The Nikkei 225 index added 1.06 percent while the Shanghai composite index in China gained 0.97 percent Monday. Markets also rose in Britain, France, Germany and Sweden.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, December delivery crude oil added 27 cents to $85.15 per barrel. Heating oil prices gained 1.44 cents to $2.3782 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline blendstock prices rose 2.03 cents to $2.2302 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas lost 4.3 cents to $3.756 per million British thermal units.

Agent testifies about offshore deposits

Riverside, Calif. -- An FBI agent testified accused California fraudster James Duncan told a friend he had deposited $6 million of ill-gotten gains in offshore bank accounts.

Agent Nhan Ly said at a preliminary hearing that a friend of Duncan's named Russel Leonard had told him he had gone with Duncan to Malta, where Duncan and fellow defendant Hendrix Montecastro made bank deposits. In addition, Ly said Leonard heard Duncan claim he had deposited millions of dollars in Cayman Island accounts, The (Riverside, Calif.) Press-Enterprise reported Tuesday.

Markets exit October on a quiet note

New York -- U.S. stock indexes ended October quietly Friday, as stocks wiggled between black and red in advance of next week's Federal Reserve meeting and elections.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed 4.39 points, or 0.04 percent, at 11,118.34.

The Nasdaq composite was just above even, gaining a mere 0.04 point to close at 2,507.41 points.

The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 0.52 point, or 0.04 percent, to end the session at 1,183.26 points.

Analysts said they expect the Federal Reserve will announce more stimulus plans, said.

Britain's GDP up 0.8 percent in quarter

London -- The third quarter gross domestic product in Britain rose 0.8 percent, twice what economists had predicted, the Office of National Statistics said Tuesday.

While quarter-to-quarter gains were stronger than expected, economic output slowed from the second quarter, when growth reached 1.2 percent.

From a year ago, economic output has grown 2.8 percent, ONS said.

For the third quarter, output of the industrial sector rose 0.6 percent after climbing just 0.1 percent in the previous quarter. Output from manufacturing rose 1 percent, while mining output fell 0.7 percent. Utilities also produced less, with a drop of 0.2 percent in electricity, gas and water companies.

Crude oil prices head higher

New York -- Crude oil prices started the week making gains on the New York Mercantile Exchange, as prices solidified at a new plateau above $83 per barrel.

November delivery light, sweet crude added $2.17 to reach $83.63 per barrel, as the dollar index slide 0.09 percent.

Last week, oil ministers from the OPEC cartel met in Vienna, electing to keep production steady, citing the uncertainty of the global economic recovery. In its latest prediction, OPEC said demand would rise by 100,000 barrels per day in 2010 to 1.1 million barrels a day, enough to jar prices from a previous plateau of about $76 per barrel.

More Gains in Store for Ford

The mid-month auto-sales predictions from industry-watchers Edmunds and TrueCar don't usually get everything right, but more often than not they're directionally accurate. In other words, even if the numbers don't match up once all the sales are tallied, they tend to give us early notice on emerging trends.

U.S. markets gain Monday

New York -- U.S. markets rose to start the week Monday and gains were made in Asia and Europe.

Equities have defied dour predictions made in August when they were on a downswing.

In early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average added 53.81 points, 0.51 percent, to 10,516.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.86 percent, 9.55, to 1,119.10. The Nasdaq composite index added 1.52 percent, 34.05, to 2,276.54.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained 10/32 to yield 2.759 percent.

The euro rose to $1.2877 compared to Friday's $1.2711. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 83.56 yen from Friday's 84.20 yen.

U.S. markets hold onto slim gains

New York -- U.S. markets added to recent gains Thursday after the Department of Labor said 27,000 fewer first-time jobless claims were filed last week.

The weekly employment report took economists by surprise. The consensus forecast was for claims to drop by only 2,000.

The new four-week rolling average for claims came to 477,750, down 9,250 from the week prior.

In early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average added 23.69 points, 0.23 percent, to 10,410.70. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 0.49 percent, 5.33 points, to 1,104.20. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.43 percent, 9.63 points, to 2,238.50.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 24/32 to yield 2.739 percent.

Crude oil prices stagnant overnight

New York -- Crude oil prices added 2 cents in overnight trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange to $73.38 per barrel amid concerns of a double-dip recession.

U.S. stock markets faltered Wednesday, losing early gains despite a drop in first-time unemployment claims. Commodity traders on Friday are likely waiting from word from Wyoming on which direction Federal Reserve monetary policy will take as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is to speak at the central bank's annual retreat.

Heating oil for October added 0.0014 cents to $2.025 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline also gained 0.0014 cents, reaching $1.87 per gallon. Henry Hub natural gas rose 0.009 cents to $3.852 per million British thermal units.

Markets climb modestly

New York -- U.S. markets made modest gains Thursday morning after the Labor Department said first-time unemployment claims fell sharply in the latest weekly report.

The department said there were 31,000 fewer initial claims filed in the week ending Aug. 21, although the four-week rolling average moved up by 3,250 claims to 486,750.

In midmorning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average added 19.37 points, 0.19 percent, to 10,079.43. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.37 percent, 3.95, to 1,059.28. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.29 percent, 6.23, to 2,147.77.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 3/32 to yield 2.529 percent.