Money Matters - Simplified


U.S. markets post small gains

New York -- U.S. markets finished higher Wednesday as crude oil prices closed above $75 a barrel.

Energy companies led a retreat early from Tuesday's market gains of more than 1 percent as an American Petroleum Institute report showed oil prices slipped to near five-week lows on higher inventories, but rebounded after a government report said crude oil supplies actually declined slightly.

At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average added 9.69 points, 0.09 percent, to 10,415.54. The S&P 500 rose 1.62 points, 0.15 percent, to 1,094.16. The Nasdaq composite index was up 0.26 percent, 6.26 points, to 2,215.70.

Rumors aside, corporations are doing well

New York -- The economic recovery has done well by U.S. corporations, but the gains have not seeped into the labor market, records show.

The St. Louise Federal Reserve said first quarter corporate profits hit a record of $1.37 trillion, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Businesses, which have increased their spending 20 percent in the second quarter, are also holding onto $2 trillion in cash, the newspaper said.

However, ""If you're running a business, you can't start hiring on speculation. You have to wait until you see market signals that things are getting better.

Manufacturing shows gains in Britain

London -- Growth in British manufacturing continued, but at a slower pace in July, compared to June, a research group said Monday.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, which tracks Britain's Purchasing Manager's Index, said the PMI for July was 57.3, a drop from June's 57.6, but still in positive territory. Numbers above 50 indicate growth.

July showed the slowest growth rate of the past five months, however, "both production and new work received in July … encouraged manufacturers to raise employment for the fourth consecutive month," the report said.

Production grew for the 14th consecutive month, but "the rate of expansion was the weakest so far in 2010," the report said.

7 Reasons to Worry About Next Week

There sure are a lot of companies hitting new highs lately.

U.S. markets drop from early gains

New York -- U.S. markets clung to early gains Tuesday as the Agricultural Bank of China raised more than $19 billion in its initial public offering.

After an early burst of buying, gains melted away, as the Dow Jones industrial average rose to 9,841.63 early, up 152 points, before losing ground.

Most Dow components were still ahead in early afternoon trading, but shares of Home Depot Inc. fell 1.19 percent, while Verizon Communication shares dropped 0.8 percent.

Early gains slip away on Wall Street

New York -- A U.S. market rally prompted by movement in the Chinese yuan faltered Monday, despite strong gains in Asia and modest gains in Europe.

The People's Bank of China said Saturday it would allow limited flexibility in the Chinese currency, which many analysts say is undervalued, keeping Chinese exports cheap overseas. The yuan had been pegged to the U.S. dollar since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008.

Companies with a presence in China, such as Caterpillar Inc., expect to make gains if the yuan appreciates, but the firm followed the general trend, up 3.4 percent early and closing up only 0.33 percent.

New York manufacturing shows gains

New York -- The New York Federal Reserve says its general business conditions index extended a run of consecutive gains to 11 months in June.

The headline index based on a survey taken the first two weeks of each month edged higher than May with a reading of 19.6, the New York bank said. Numbers above zero indicate growth.
The new orders index rose modestly to 17.5 from 14.3 in May. The prices paid index, meanwhile, fell sharply from 44.7 to 27.2.

The inventories index remained flat for the month, an indication that inventories have stabilized, the Fed said.

The number of employees index dropped 10 points to 12.4, but the average number of hours worked index climbed, the report said.

Cablevision acquires Bresnan for $1.36bn

Cablevision Systems Corp., the nation's fifth largest cable operator that offers high speed internet connection agreed to pay more than $1.36 billion for Bresnan Communications, a cable services operator whose owners include the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners.

Airline traffic shows gains over 2009

Washington -- The U.S. Department of Transportation said airline passenger traffic picked up in March from a year ago, but air travel remains significantly below 2008.

In March, airline traffic rose 2.4 percent compared to March 2009 to 62.4 million passengers.
Traffic was 7.8 percent higher two years ago, however, the DOT said.

From a year ago, domestic travel rose 2 percent while international travel rose 5.1 percent, the report said.

March traffic showed gains compared to the first three months of 2010, which saw 0.9 percent more seats filled on airlines than the same month a year ago.

U.S. markets skid to a close

NEW YORK, June 9 (UPI) -- U.S. market gains slid away late Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said high unemployment would take years to correct.

Bernanke told members of a House budget committee that policy action was necessary to steer the country clear of an "unsustainable path" of rising federal deficits.

By close, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 40.73 points or 0.41 percent to 9,899.25. The Standard & Poor's 500 index shed 6.31 or 0.59 percent to 1,055.69. The Nasdaq composite index fell 0.54 percent, 11.72, to 2,158.85.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,568 stocks advanced and 1,472 declined on a volume of 5.9 billion shares traded.

The benchmark 10-year treasury note rose 3/32 to yield 3.18 percent.