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World Markets Relax After Fed-Inspired Jolt

World markets turn volatile Friday, alternating between steep falls and gains, after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments about winding down the Fed's bond-buying program.

IMF Sharply Downgrades U.S. Economic Outlook

The International Monetary Fund has sharply downgraded its outlook for the U.S. economy through 2012 because of weak growth and concern that Europe won't be able to solve its debt crisis.

The Financial Landscape: Is Italy the Next Greece?

As the eurozone sovereign debt crisis continues, focus is shifting to Italy as the next potential victim. But for worries closer to home, consider this: $37 billion in U.S. government benefits designed to help people through the downturn will expire by the end of 2011, leaving a hole twice that size in the economy.

Financial Landscape: DSK Case and Portugal Get Shakier

Portugal's economic health is at risk of collapse after Moody's cut its rating of the country's debt to junk status. Also at risk of collapse: The case against former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn after The New York Post reported that his accuser was working two jobs -- as a maid and a prostitute.

Job Concerns Soar Among Employed, Unemployed

Employee concerns about layoffs have moved sharply higher according to a new survey by online jobs company Glassdoor. The percentage of those who are worried rose sharply to 22% in the second quarter, the highest that statistic has been since the third quarter of 2009, in the heart of the recession.

The Financial Landscape: Gas Is Falling; Euro is Failing

Even before the International Energy Agency and the White House announced they were releasing billions of gallons or oil from fuel reserves, gas prices were falling. In the past two weeks, a gallon is down more than 11 cents. Also falling -- hopes for the euro, and the outlook for U.S. Treasury bonds.

The Financial Landscape: Big Pharma Wins; So Does Greece

It's a good day to be a drugmaker after two pro-business Supreme Court rulings favored the industry. And it's an even better day for those who are counting on the EU bailing out Greece. But the folks at Google may want to search for "defense lawyers" -- they may be seeing subpoenas shortly.

The Financial Landscape: Debt Woes, Hedge Fund Regs

Politicians in both Greece and the U.S. are struggling to find the common ground necessary to keep their governments from defaulting on their debts; QE2 hasn't ended yet, and already the Fed is considering QE3; and the SEC finally starts to regulate Wall Street's hedge funds.

The Financial Landscape: SEC Fines JPM Over CDOs

The news across the financial world is good for unions, which will find organizing a bit easier; adequate for Greece, which will find getting bailed out a bit easier, and bitter for JPMorgan which had to accept a $153.6 million SEC fine for misleading investors about a mortgage securities transaction.

Oil Falls as Worries About Europe Debt Crisis Continue

Concerns about the European financial crisis are still dragging down the price of oil. Benchmark crude for July delivery fell 32 cents to $92.69 per barrel in Monday midday trading. All eyes remain on Greece, which is trying to implement tough new austerity measures necessary to keep international aid coming.

The Financial Landscape: No Bailout Yet for Greece

The financial world Monday morning is focused on Greece. E.U. finance ministers postponed agreement on a bailout until they see proof that its government will follow through on austerity measures. Meanwhile, some big U.S. firms say that a generous tax break would help them expand their domestic operations.

Financial Landscape: Banks Get No Love; OPEC Vs. OPEC

As a new week begins on Wall Street, nobody wants bank stocks, J.P. Morgan Chase hints at changes at the top, OPEC ministers tussle over crude, and airlines are in for some financial turbulence. In fact, the only good news is for France, which apparently won't lose the IMF over the DSK scandal.

IMF Lays Out the Challenges Ahead for Global Recovery

In its latest report, the IMF applauds national policymakers for stabilizing credit markets and putting the global economy on a recovery track. However, thorny problems remain -- including how to prevent overheating in emerging markets, and how to cut the U.S. deficit while lowering its unemployment rate.

Why Interest Rates Keep Rising, Despite QE2

The Federal Reserve is doling out billions to buy bonds in hopes of keeping interest rates low and stimulating the economy. However, several powerful forces are working against that low-rate strategy, ranging from investor psychology to global competition for capital.

Ireland's Credit Rating Downgraded 3 Notches by Fitch

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Ireland three notches from A to BBB , citing the costs of restructuring the Irish banking system, the country's weak growth prospects, and uncertainty about its economy due to the deepening financial crisis, despite the international economic assistance it received last month.

Ireland's Austerity Budget:
Not Likely to Avoid Default

Despite its planned austerity budget, the long-term solvency of Ireland is still in doubt. Simply put, the losses which Irish taxpayers must cover are larger than the nation's economy can support, making sovereign debt default likely even with a promised bailout from the EU and IMF.

Investors May Need Better Reasons to Buy Stocks

Given all that transpired globally over the Thanksgiving weekend, the idea of holding risky assets like stocks should give investors heartburn. A good Black Friday weekend and strong holiday selling season will draw traders' gazes, but that's no sure shot.

Ireland's Credit Rating Cut by Standard & Poor's

Ireland%u2019s credit rating was lowered two notches by Standard & Poor%u2019s, as the country prepares to offer a four-year budget aimed at slashing the deficit. "The Irish government looks set to borrow over and above our previous projections to fund further bank capital injections into Ireland%u2019s troubled banking system," S&P said, according to Bloomberg News.

Greece Cleared to Receive Next Batch of Rescue Loans

Greece received the green light for the next installment of its 110 billion euro ($150 billion) bailout package. Representatives of the IMF, ECB and EU said they were recommending that the country receive the third batch of loans under the program, The Associated Press said. The loans are worth 9 billion euros.

Ireland Deal: Euro-Politics Plays a Major Role

Investors should stay focused on the dynamics within European politics that shaped the rescue. Other indebted economies -- like Spain, Portugal and Italy -- could find themselves in a similar situation, after all. And politics will again guide market moves.